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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 11
2012
MIA at BUF (THU) *CLE at DAL *NO at OAK TB at CAR
*ARI at ATL GB at DET NYJ at STL *CHI at SF (MON)
*BAL at PIT *IND at NE PHI at WAS Bye:
*UPDATED CIN at KC JAC at HOU *SD at DEN MIN, NYG, SEA, TEN

Prediction: TB 27, CAR 17 (Line: TB by 1)

Players to Watch: Doug Martin, Cam Newton, Steve Smith

This is a replay of the season opener when the Buccaneers won 16-10. Now the 5-4 Bucs are on a three game winning streak while scoring over 34 points in four of the last five games. The 2-7 Panthers are only 1-4 at home and have not scored more than 22 points in the last six weeks.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Homefield: Raymond James Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CAR 16-10 10 SD 34-24
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 100,1 5-30
RB Jacquizz Rodgers 30 5-30
WR Vincent Jackson 4-70,1
WR Louis Murphy 2-20
WR Cecil Shorts 3-40
TE Brandon Myers 5-70

Pregame Notes: The Buccaneers stumbled out of the blocks with a new running back, wideout and coaching staff. At their bye, they were only 1-3. And then it caught fire. The defense still leaves a lot to be desired but the offense is more balanced and formidable than it has in at least a decade. Not only that but it is very young with room to grow in every area.

Josh Freeman threw for multiple scores in each of the last five weeks with a total of 18 touchdowns already and a personal best of 420 passing yards in the Saints game. Freeman only passed for 138 yards in that season opener with the Panthers but has been not only very productive, but he has not thrown an interception in the last four games.

Doug Martin is also a big reason for the offensive explosion lately. He's already scored eight times this year and topped 100 total yards in each of his last five outings. He's not only being used as a workhorse back, but he's adding three or four receptions each week. Martin is so good that lately get all but maybe one or two carries in the game. LeGarrette Blount watched what was probably his entire NFL career disappear in the last month. In his first game ever, Martin ran for 95 yards and added four catches for 23 yards in the first meeting with the Panthers.

The Buccaneers also made a great move when they added Vincent Jackson. He's already scored six times and and half his games have been over 85 yards including the 216 yards he gained against the Saints. He's been better in home games than on the road and started the year with only 47 yards on four catches versus the Panthers. Mike Williams scored in the season opener and totals five touchdowns so far with two efforts over 100 yards. He's been a near lock for around 50 ot 60 yards in most games and has been aided by the addition of Jackson who lets Williams take the single coverage.

The first meeting was low scoring but unlike the Panthers, the Buccaneers offense has greatly improved to the point of being a top scorer in the NFL for the last month. As bad as their secondary has been - they need the offense.

What works this week is Martin facing the #27 defense against running backs.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 15 8 12 28 11 11
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 10 27 9 11 32 30

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Jameis Winston, TB LA 10100024011 ***
Winston was dreadful in Week 2 but should at least look competent against the Rams. Nevertheless, keep him firmly planted on your bench.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Charles Sims, TB LA 4005300000 ***
An increased workload is expected, but the scat back is best used in PPR formats or as a wild daily flier. The Seahawks came close to getting something going on the ground last week, so there is some hope for Sims owners. He's a flex, at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jacquizz Rodgers, TB LA 2003200000 ***
Rodgers will be involved in the offense with Doug Martin sidelined. Fantasy owners have no justifiable reason to include the well-traveled vet in fantasy lineups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Doug Martin, TB LA 00000000 *
Martin is not expected to play in Week 3.

Update: As expected, Martin has been ruled out of action this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Evans, TB LA 006601000 ***
Evans was targeted 17 times in Week 2, catching just six of them. He has a solid matchup in Week 3. The Bucs are limited without Doug Martin, and relying on Evans is their best chance at finding success. Play him as usual.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Adam Humphries, TB LA 004500000 ***
No writeup available
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Vincent Jackson, TB LA 004500000 ***
Jackson could see an uptick in work with Doug Martin sidelined, but the one-trick pony isn't a worthy play in PPR and is best left for DFS formats. The Rams can be exploited, but it's likely to come from Mike Evans.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Cameron Brate, TB LA 005400000 ***
Tampa's starting tight end is a non-factor in fantasy football. Maybe he sees more looks without Doug Martin in the lineup, but that's not enough to warrant him being in yours.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Roberto Aguayo, TB LA 2222 ***
The Rams have shut the door on fantasy kickers so far, allowing only one three-pointer.

Carolina Panthers
Homefield: Bank of America Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @TB 10-16 10 DEN 14-36
2 NO 35-27 11 TB -----
3 NYG 7-36 12 @PHI -----
4 @ATL 28-30 13 @KC -----
5 SEA 12-16 14 ATL -----
6 BYE ----- 15 @SD -----
7 DAL 14-19 16 OAK -----
8 @CHI 22-23 17 @NO -----
9 @WAS 21-13 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CAR vs TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Cam Newton 50,1 280,1
RB Jonathan Stewart 40 2-10
TE Greg Olsen 5-60

Pregame Notes: The Panthers won only one of their last six games and at 2-7 the worst of all outcomes is happening. Last week in the blowout loss to the Broncos, Steve Smith was on the bench later in the game because HC Ron Rivera wanted to take a look at the younger players. He said "We're at a point now where we're looking at guys." That means you probably cannot rely on anyone other than Cam Newton. Take away trash time and garbage yards and you remove the best of Steve Smith and Greg Olsen.

Newton comes off one of his best passing games of the year when he threw for 241 yards and two scores on the Broncos in a game that got out of hand early. He also only ran for seven yards on fours which makes the third time this year that he did not even gain ten yards as a runner. The first time was the season opener when he only ran for four yards on five runs in Tampa Bay. He passed for 303 yards and one score in that game with two interceptions.

Guessing who does what as a running back is folly here. Jonathan Stewart was promoted into being the primary back but only took eight carries for 31 yards last week while DeAngelo Williams was allowed six runs to gain only six yards. Michael Tolbert also carried twice and added two receptions. This is not only a committee backfield with no true primary back, it is one of the worst backfields in the league. No runner has gained more than 69 yards in any game and the only back who did not contribute to the five rushing touchdowns is Stewart, the supposed primary back. In the season opener, Williams ran for a net one yard loss on six carries while Stewart did not play.

Greg Olsen had a career day in week ten when he caught nine passes for 102 yards and two scores. He had scored just once in the previous nine weeks and was held to fewer than 50 yards for over a month. Olsen made six catches for 56 yards in the season opener.

Steve Smith only caught one pass last week and most of his last six games have remained under 50 yards. Smith has been as good as 118 yards in Chicago but he needs the opponent to stop caring because they know they are going to win. He needs his trash time. Smith is the only wideout for the Panthers of any note and that being taken away from him. He opened the year with seven catches for 106 yards and the Buccaneers secondary is no better. Even Brandon LaFell scored on his three catches for 65 yards in that game though he's mostly disappeared in all games since.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 13 27 29 13 32 9
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 28 20 31 20 13 4

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Cam Newton, CAR MIN 40100025011 ***
Cam posted 21.2 fantasy points against Denver's stout D in Week 1 and 29.8 last week (SF). The Vikings have given up 23.5 fantasy points per game in two contests, which is the 11th easiest matchup. No Jonathan Stewart could mean more attention on Cam, so think of him more as Clark Kent than Superman this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Fozzy Whittaker, CAR MIN 6003200000 **
Whittaker could benefit from Minnesota's tough ground defense -- hear us out. They gave up two touchdowns through the air to running back DeMarco Murray in the opening week. No J-Stew will give Whittaker ample chances to produce fantasy points in your flex spot.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Cameron Artis-Payne, CAR MIN 200000000 **
CAP is going to be active with Jonathan Stewart on the mend, so he'll have a role. It's probably not that much of one, and a terrible matchup to boot. The Vikings have given up 98 total rushing yards to RBs in two games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kelvin Benjamin, CAR MIN 005801000 ***
Benjamin could ascend into the upper tier of fantasy receivers for 2016 with a strong performance against a nearly impervious defense. Minnesota has given up only one touchdown to the position, which came from Jordy Nelson in Week 2. Benjamin's size alone makes him a promising fantasy play in this otherwise formidable matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Ted Ginn, Jr., CAR MIN 002300000 ***
Ginn is always a home run threat and a risky fantasy start. Minnesota has permitted receivers to score only once this year on 28 grabs, ranking in the 10 toughest matchups for the position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Devin Funchess, CAR MIN 002300000 ***
A TD saved his Week 2 value and gives some hope as the Vikings prepare to stop Kelvin Benjamin. Minnesota has been a strong opposition for receivers through two games, allowing only 31.8 fantasy points per game to the position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Greg Olsen, CAR MIN 007800000 ***
Not an ideal matchup for the veteran tight end ... keep him in your lineup, and avoid him in DFS. The Vikes have locked down the position to only nine catches for 98 yards and no TDs. Temper your expectations with Olsen and hope a mismatch can be exploited by that attention cast on a pair of towering receivers.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Graham Gano, CAR MIN 1133 ***
This one could go either way -- start Gano, because Minnesota could stall several Panthers drives. Don't be surprised if Gano is seldom used, though.

WEEK 11
2012
MIA at BUF (THU) *CLE at DAL *NO at OAK TB at CAR
*ARI at ATL GB at DET NYJ at STL *CHI at SF (MON)
*BAL at PIT *IND at NE PHI at WAS Bye:
*UPDATED CIN at KC JAC at HOU *SD at DEN MIN, NYG, SEA, TEN

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