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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 10
2012
IND at JAC (THU) DEN at CAR *NYJ at SEA TEN at MIA
ATL at NO *DET at MIN OAK at BAL *KC at PIT (MON)
*BUF at NE *HOU at CHI *SD at TB Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at PHI NYG at CIN *STL at SF ARI, CLE, GB, WAS

Prediction: SD 20, TB 34 (Line: TB by 3)

Players Updated : Robert Meachem

Players to Watch: Danario Alexander

The 4-4 Chargers finally got a win and hit the road where they are 2-2. The 4-4 Buccaneers are also 2-2 at home and these teams are fairly similar except the Bucs allow just one back to take all the action and also have two good wide receivers.

San Diego Chargers
Homefield: Qualcomm Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @OAK 22-14 10 @TB -----
2 TEN 38-10 11 @DEN -----
3 ATL 3-27 12 BAL -----
4 @KC 37-20 13 CIN -----
5 @NO 24-31 14 @PIT -----
6 DEN 24-35 15 CAR -----
7 BYE ----- 16 @NYJ -----
8 @CLE 6-7 17 OAK -----
9 KC 31-13 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SD @ TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Philip Rivers 270,2
RB Donald Brown 20 3-20
RB Ryan Mathews 60 2-10
RB Danny Woodhead 20 5-50
WR Malcom Floyd 6-70,1
TE Antonio Gates 4-50,1
PK Nick Novak 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Nothing like beating up on the visiting Chiefs to end a three game losing streak (that started after the first Chiefs match-up). The Chargers just went 1-1 in the last two weeks despite playing probably their two easiest games of the year. The next five games could end up as a coach killer because the Chargers will not likely be favored and so far have only shown an ability to beat the Chiefs.

Philip Rivers is throwing for fewer yards this year with 233 yards on average and only once topping 300 passing yards. He's been good with two touchdowns in most games but has been blanked twice already. Most of what Rivers is using are running backs for receivers only not the ones that you want. Rivers has become nothing more than a decent bye week filler and even then you need to hit the right week.

Ryan Mathews had a very encouraging 2011 when he gained 1546 total yards and six touchdowns. Some of that came from catching three to six passes every game and getting 13 to 20 carries in most weeks. Last week with a golden opportunity versus the visiting Chiefs, he was only allowed 13 runs that gained 67 yards (5.2 YPC) and two short catches.

And yet, Ronnie Brown is getting five to seven receptions in recent weeks and is the #2 receiver for the team. He is also running the ball more and his six carries in week nine totaled 11 touches against 15 for Mathews. That's a running back who's been released from two other teams for being old, slow and of no value being used almost equally with Mathews who doesn't even receive what he was getting in 2011 before being promised a bigger load by HC Norv Turner. Not to mention Jackie Battle still taking a few runs as well. In a fantasy sense this has neutered Mathews and made him only a marginal running back play. With a 3-5 record, it doesn't even make NFL sense.

Antonio Gates scored in his second game this year when the Chiefs came to town but only ended with three receptions for 43 yards in what has become his irreversible decline. Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal were held out last week though both were close to playing. They are tentatively expected back this week though neither has made any impact to the Chargers. Seyi Ajirotutu is back on the team but only recorded one catch for 28 yards last week and Danario Alexander caught three passes that gained 61 yards and that buys him more playing time. The coaches were impressed with Alexander and he has now made it one full game without suffering his season-ending leg/knee/hamstring injury.

The problem here is that Gates is a big step down from the past years. Mathews is being so limited that his fantasy value is marginal even in a great match-up and now there are a number of mediocre receivers for Rivers to choose from making any individual even less attractive and harder to forecast.


RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SD 24 4 31 11 11 6
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 27 18 30 20 12 6

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Philip Rivers, SD JAC 0000027030 ***
Gotta love ol' Bolo Tie against a defense that's allowed at least 250 and 2 in every game thus far. The last time he was at home he sliced up the Seahawks for 284 and 3; solving the Jags should be mere child's play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Donald Brown, SD JAC 7014200000 ***
With every other Bolts back injured, Brown inherits the bulk of the touches against a Jacksonville defense that's giving up 184 combo yards and two TDs a game to opposing backs. Nice timing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Keenan Allen, SD JAC 005701000 ***
Plenty of receivers have had their way with the Jacksonville secondary; the question is, will it be Allen's turn or does that just mean he'll keep ceding stats to Malcom Floyd and Eddie Royal? Allen's too talented to be off to the lousy start he's having, so bet heavily on the former.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eddie Royal, SD JAC 005600000 ***
It would be easy to say you're chasing Royal's two TDs from last week, but the Jags just let four different Colts wideouts score and/or top 50 yards against them last week so... go ahead, chase.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Malcom Floyd, SD JAC 003400000 ***
Seven different receivers have scored and/or topped 50 yards against the Jags, including four last week alone. Floyd has been outperforming Keenan Allen, though Allen has been drawing some pretty elite coverage. This week Floyd likely regresses to WR2, though there's still fantasy value to be had here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Antonio Gates, SD JAC 006802000 ***
One week after lighting up the Seahawks Gates was usurped by Ladarius Green. The split is problematic, but it's an extremely favorable matchup with a Jaguars defense that's allowed four TE TDs already this year.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Novak, SD JAC 2234 ***
With the Jags giving up almost 40 points per game, Novak should have plenty of opportunity to swing the leg this week.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Homefield: Raymond James Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CAR 16-10 10 SD -----
2 @NYG 34-41 11 @CAR -----
3 @DAL 10-16 12 ATL -----
4 WAS 22-24 13 @DEN -----
5 BYE ----- 14 PHI -----
6 KC 38-10 15 @NO -----
7 NO 28-35 16 STL -----
8 @MIN 36-17 17 @ATL -----
9 @OAK 42-32 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Doug Martin 110,1 3-30
WR Vincent Jackson 6-100,1
WR Louis Murphy 3-30
TE Brandon Myers 6-60

Pregame Notes: The Buccaneers not only have won three of their last four games, they scored at least 28 points in each and averaged 36 points per game. It was not against the best of defenses in the league but then again neither are the Chargers. There is no chance that the Bucs will overtake the Falcons for the division but they could end up in the wild card race with an offense that is really starting to click. Aside from a couple of losses to the Falcons, the Bucs should be very competitive in all remaining games.

This offense could not get on track in 2011 and now it has two big stories to tell. First is Josh Freeman who passed for 16 touchdowns in his first eight games and that was with 11 scores over just the last four weeks. He has not thrown an interception since week six and is enjoying a rushing game that all defenses have to respect. Freeman has made his move into the top ten for quarterbacks.

The other story is all about Doug Martin who shredded the Raiders for 251 rush yards and four touchdowns last Sunday. It was the tenth best single game rushing total in NFL history. Over the last three weeks, all Martin has done is score seven times and gain 608 total yards. In three weeks. Granted, NO, MIN and OAK are not necessarily the best defenses in the league but neither are the Chargers. Martin has really turned up his level of play a few notches from the start of the season.

The Buccaneers now have two legitimately good wide receivers. Vincent Jackson scored six times already and produced over 80 yards in half his games. He tends to either have a big game with a touchdown or he lays an egg with no real middle ground. If he scored a touchdown, he gained at least 66 yards and if he did not, then he never gained more than 47 yards in that game. Mike Williams has been equally as effective with five touchdowns and two efforts over 100 yards himself. Tiquan Underwood provides little as the #3 and tight ends play no role in this offense but it doesn't matter. Williams and Jackson are providing plenty of bang and now Martin is turning into an elite running back.

The Charger defense is only average and the Bucs are starting to really come together and become something special. This should be another fine effort by the main weapons of the Buccaneers.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 13 5 13 28 12 12
Preventing Fantasy Points SD 14 19 21 6 1 24

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Mike Glennon, TB @PIT 30000019011 ****
Glennon is your likely starter in place of the injured/ineffective Josh McCown, but don't expect much out of the gate. Not that the Steelers have been lights out, but none of the QBs they've faced have put up much in the way of helpful fantasy numbers.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Doug Martin, TB @PIT 6011100000 *
Martin is expected back for this game, but he's been away for so long he'll need to show us something before he can be plugged back into a self-respecting fantasy lineup with any degree of confidence.
Update: Martin practiced fully all week, but it remains to be seen just how quickly he'll reclaim his share of the carries--or how effective he'll be with them.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bobby Rainey, TB @PIT 300000000 ***
While Doug Martin is expected to return to the lineup this week, he has done nothing to suggest he's ready for prime time, a fantasy start, or a full feature-back workload. If Rainey doesn't fumble away his opportunities again he makes an intriguing play against a Steelers defense that served up solid fantasy games to the likes of Terrance West and Bernard Pierce.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Evans, TB @PIT 005500000 ***
Glennon seemed locked on Evans early on in his 2014 debut, even though it was Vincent Jackson who wound up with the touchdown. There are too many variables at play here for Evans to be trusted with a fantasy start just yet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Vincent Jackson, TB @PIT 004500000 ***
Mike Glennon inexplicably couldn't find VJax early on, and while he did connect with him for the Bucs' lone offensive touchdown last week Jackson's fantasy value is on probation until we know for sure how Glennon will divvy up targets between Jackson and Mike Evans. On the bright side, similarly sized Kelvin Benjamin had a solid showing against the Bucs last week; then again, both Jackson and Evans are big boys.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Brandon Myers, TB @PIT 005401000 ***
Myers has done nothing of his own volition to warrant a fantasy start, but the Steelers have struggled to defend the position--only three teams have given up more fantasy points to tight ends this year--so if Austin Seferian-Jenkins remains sidelined he makes an intriguing plug-in play with six teams on the bye.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Patrick Murray, TB @PIT 1022 ***
The Steelers have served up multiple field goals to every kicker they've faced this season. However, multiple field goals would be at least one more than Murray has for the entire season so you can likely get your fantasy kicks elsewhere.

WEEK 10
2012
IND at JAC (THU) DEN at CAR *NYJ at SEA TEN at MIA
ATL at NO *DET at MIN OAK at BAL *KC at PIT (MON)
*BUF at NE *HOU at CHI *SD at TB Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at PHI NYG at CIN *STL at SF ARI, CLE, GB, WAS

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