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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 Ronnie Brown 10 6-50
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 @DEN 0000025021 ****
Shooting it out with Peyton Manning hasn't proven to be lucrative, and it's been quite some time since Rivers had a monster game against the Broncos. That said, Rivers has multiple touchdowns in six straight and has played himself into every-week starter status regardless of opponent.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Branden Oliver, SD @DEN 6014300000 ***
Oliver came back to Earth a bit last week with 78 combo yards and no touchdown. The Broncos aren't a particularly favorable matchup, so if you've been riding Oliver's hot streak be prepared for some more disappointment this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eddie Royal, SD @DEN 004501000 **
Much like last year, Royal flashed and is now fading. He has no track record to speak of against his former squad, and his catches have declined three straight weeks. Don't bank on him being a fantasy helper here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Malcom Floyd, SD @DEN 004500000 ***
Floyd's the slow and steady winning the race; that he's had at least 50 yards in each of his last four against the Broncos underscores that philosophy. Philip Rivers isn't afraid to throw at him, and good things can happen when you're getting targeted.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Keenan Allen, SD @DEN 004400000 ****
Allen scored twice on two catches the last time these teams got together. That two matches the number of WR TDs the Broncos allowed last week, but it's infinitely more than the zero Allen has scored thus far in his sophomore slump of a season. We'll call the shot: he gets one here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Antonio Gates, SD @DEN 006601000 ****
Gates has spaced out his big games against the Broncos--like, 2012 and 2007 spaced out. Denver has had a soft spot for tight ends this year so don't dismiss Gates altogether, but history isn't on his side.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Novak, SD @DEN 1133 ***
Novak's a solid, consistent option but don't set expectations too high: you don't keep up with Peyton Manning by kicking field goals, and Novak has multiple treys in just one of his last three outings.

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 MIN 0000026021 ****
Glennon's posted three straight two-TD games, with at least 249 yards in each and 300-plus yards in two of the three. Minnesota has given up multiple touchdown tosses or at least 273 yards in all four road games, so they're not likely to keep Glennon from his appointed rounds.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bobby Rainey, TB MIN 2011100000 ***
Rainey's the touchdown/fumble guy. Given that the Vikings have allowed at least one RB TD in five of the past six games, there's a chance Rainey reaches fantasy relevancy despite getting fewer touches than Doug Martin.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Doug Martin, TB MIN 5003200000 ***
The Vikings are giving up five yards per carry on the road and have let their last three hosts all rush for better than 100 yards. Martin remains the quantity guy in Tampa Bay, and this provides an opportunity for him to turn back the clock to when he was fantasy relevant.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Vincent Jackson, TB MIN 005701000 **
Bucs wideouts should be splitting up 160 or so receiving yards this week, which is what the Vikings surrender to wide receivers in a typical road game. As the top target Jackson takes his cut off the top, more than enough to be a fantasy helper.
Update: VJax practiced on a limited basis all week. He's listed as questionable but expected to play, so plan on him as you usually would.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Evans, TB MIN 003501000 ***
Though he's running second to Vincent Jackson in targets Evans has scored in each of his two previous games. He has a great chance to make it three straight against a Minnesota secondary that's allowed multiple wideouts to score and/or top 50 yards in three straight road games and just got carved up by fellow rookie Sammy Watkins.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Louis Murphy, TB MIN 004300000 **
Tough to dismiss Murphy against a Vikings defense that's allowed multiple wideouts to score and/or top 50 yards in three straight road games, but he's definitely the third wheel behind Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans so he'll have to hope for copious table scraps.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TB MIN 003400000 ***
The Vikings have allowed only one TE TD all year and ASJ is still sharing targets with Brandon Myers so keep that breakout game for the rookie on hold for the time being.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Patrick Murray, TB MIN 1133 ***
The Vikings are giving up less than six points per game to opposing kickers, which is great because Murray has scored less than six points in more than half of his games. You can do better 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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