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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 Danny Woodhead 20 5-50
WR Malcom Floyd 6-70,1
WR Stevie Johnson 5-40
TE Antonio Gates 4-50,1

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 0000024001 ***
Rivers' quest for the passing title takes a hit against the league's top pass defense. The Broncos limited him to 202 yards in the earlier meeting, and he hasn't thrown for 300 yards against Denver since January of 2011. Don't expect much here with the Broncos still playing for playoff positioning.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Danny Woodhead, SD @DEN 1005600000 ***
Game script suggests plenty of throwing, and the Broncos' pass rush suggests plenty of checkdowns to Woodhead. That's the extend of the upside in San Diego's backfield this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Travis Benjamin, SD @DEN 003500000 *
The Steelers have allowed two receivers to score or top 60 yards in three straight so you have to believe there's at least one fantasy helper here. And Benjamin is the best bet among Cleveland's thinning receiving corps.

Update: Benjamin was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday and is listed as questionable due to an ankle injury. You may need to check his status pre-game if you're planning to use him in your Week 17 fantasy lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dontrelle Inman, SD @DEN 004400000 ***
Inman proved to be Philip Rivers' go-to guy last week, and the Broncos have been much more lenient of late in giving up five WR TDs over the past three games. But seeing as how Chargers wideouts combined for four catches and 60 yards against Denver just a month ago, expectations should be limited.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Javontee Herndon, SD @DEN 005300000 ***
Herndon's top NFL outing is 5-47, and he's still looking for his first pro TD. Unlikely to come against a top pass defense on a team going nowhere... at least until the offseason.

Update: Herndon is listed as questionable with a chest injury, but after limited practice sessions early in the week he was available for the full session on Friday so he should be good to go this weekend.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Malcom Floyd, SD @DEN 003300000 ***
Banged up, facing an elite pass defense, with nothing to play for... tough to get excited about Floyd's fantasy prospects here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Antonio Gates, SD @DEN 006500000 ***
The Broncos haven't given up a TE TD in a month, with Gates' 6-50 the top TE game against them in that span. He's topped five catches and 50 yards each of the past three meetings with Denver, with three TDs in those three games, so there's at least a little upside to him here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Lambo, SD @DEN 1100 ***
Three points in home game
vs. DEN; even altitude
won't be enough help

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
PK Connor Barth 2 FG 4 XP

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 Jameis Winston, TB @CAR 20000020012 ***
Volume begats at least modest success against Carolina's pass D, as the last four QBs with 40 or more attempts have all thrown multiple TDs as well. Winston threw for 287 and 2 on 43 attempts in the previous meeting, but he's only been in the 40s or higher twice all season so temper expectations accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Charles Sims, TB @CAR 2004301000 ***
Sims scored a receiving TD in the earlier meeting with Carolina as Bucs RBs compiled 67 receiving yards. And the Panthers are just a couple weeks removed from Shane Vereen's 8-43-1 receiving line against them. Sims tallied a receiving score last week and has 12-158 receiving over the past three games, so there's PPR and performance upside in this matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Doug Martin, TB @CAR 5001100000 ***
Martin rushed for 106 yards and a TD in the earlier meeting with Carolina, and as he's still very much in contention for the rushing title he'll get plenty of carries. Asking for another hundo is optimistic, however.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Evans, TB @CAR 003300000 ***
Evans mustered 3-32 against Josh Norman and the Panthers in the earlier meeting while Vincent Jackson went off for 10-147-1 on 15 targets. No VJax this week means more Norman for Evans; he still might be force-fed targets, but the upside is limited by Carolina's pass defense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Adam Humphries, TB @CAR 002300000 ***
The upside would be Humphries capitalizing on Carolina's focus on Mike Evans and having the kind of day Vincent Jackson had (10-147-1) against the Panthers. The more likely outcome is another non-fantasy helper for a tertiary Tampa Bay target.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donteea Dye, TB @CAR 001300000 ***
While Vincent Jackson's absence opens a door, Dye has yet to top one catch in a game so he's not rushing through that opening any time soon.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TB @CAR 002200000 ***
ASJ was absent for the earlier meeting with Carolina; now he's back, with 22 targets in the past month and touchdowns in each of the past two games. The Panthers haven't given up as much as 50 yards to a TE since Week 10, only two TE TDs in that span, so lower expectations accordingly.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Connor Barth, TB @CAR 3311 ***
Kickers average
Four points per game vs. Panthers
last two months; stay away!

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

a d v e r t i s e m e n t