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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 13
2012
NO at ATL (THU) *CLE at OAK *MIN at GB *SEA at CHI
*ARI at NYJ HOU at TEN NE at MIA *SF at STL
CAR at KC *IND at DET *PHI at DAL TB at DEN
*UPDATED *CIN at SD *JAC at BUF *PIT at BAL NYG at WAS (MON)

Prediction: TB 20, DEN 27 (LINE: DEN by 8)

Players to Watch: Vincent Jackson

The Buccaneers slip to 6-5 after their loss in Atlanta but are 3-2 on the road. The 8-3 Broncos are 4-1 at home and on a six game winning streak. This should be an interesting game, but mostly because Manning goes against one of the worst secondaries in the NFL.

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 27-21
3 @DAL 10-16 12 ATL 23-24
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 90 5-30
WR Vincent Jackson 4-60
WR Louis Murphy 2-30
TE Brandon Myers 5-50

Pregame Notes: After six straight games with multiple scores, it was a sad surprise to Josh Freeman owners to see him only gain 256 yards against the Falcons last week with no touchdowns. The Falcons have been rejuvenated by both the rushing of Doug Martin and the passing of Freeman. The Buccaneers did go through an incredibly kind stretch of games starting in week four and the passing stats reflected it. Fortunately there is only this week and the week 17 finale in Atlanta that should be a problem. Then again, winning right now is all about making your playoffs.

Doug Martin was held to only 50 yards on 21 runs by the Falcons but he still ended up with two touchdowns which gives him ten touchdowns on the season. One oddity with Martin is that he has only three games with over 100 yards. In those three, he scored seven of his touchdowns. And all three were road games. He's used heavily as a runner and a receiver which ensures solid production each week.

The Bucs are using the tight ends more in recent weeks and Dallas Clark not only scored in weeks 10 and 11, but his best two yardage games were the last two that he played - 7-58 in Carolina and 4-65 versus the Falcons.

The wideouts have been cranking out the big games at least for Vincent Jackson who topped 90 yards in each of the last two games despite playing good secondaries. Mike Williams really tailed off in the last two weeks but has been solid with 60+ yard games for most of the year. Williams would match on Champ Bailey but chances are they'll stick him on Vincent Jackson as much as they can since he's the one that does the most damage.

This is a really good test for the Buccaneers and another very good defense to face. There is no big weakness to exploit in Denver and since there is a distinct chance that Manning has fun against the Bucs poor secondary, this game will move to the air for the Bucs sooner than later.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 14 5 9 24 7 14
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 12 8 8 30 4 15

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Josh McCown, TB NO 0000025011 **
Mike Glennon posted a decent 249 and 2 against the Saints back in Week 5; McCown has hit those numbers just once in the past month, but the Saints secondary hasn't been particularly good down the stretch so a repeat of those good-not-great numbers isn't hard to fathom.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Doug Martin, TB NO 5002100000 ***
There's an opportunity here against a defense that's allowed Jeremy Hill (152), Justin Forsett (182 & 2), and Jonathan Stewart (155 & 1) to run roughshod on them in the past month and a half. Martin's best effort to date is a 14-96 against the Panthers; if he hadn't laid a 10-for-17 egg last week against the Packers we'd be more inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Charles Sims, TB NO 1003300000 ***
The Saints have allowed a couple 100-yard RB receivers already this year, but Sims has yet to live up to the hype so the odds of him becoming the third are slim.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Evans, TB NO 004501000 ***
The Saints missed Evans earlier in the year; they may not know what they're in for. At minimum Evans is a touchdown threat against a Saints secondary that's allowed 19 WR TDs on the year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Vincent Jackson, TB NO 0061000000 ****
Jackson posted 8-144 against the Saints earlier this year, though Mike Evans missed that game so he was the go-to guy. he's been a yardage hound of late, with games of 117, 159, 70 and 60 over the past month. Even in Evans' shadow he's a viable performance league option, just know that he hasn't seen the end zone since Week 4.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Patrick Murray, TB NO 2211 ****
We have 15 games of evidence that Murray isn't going to provide a fantasy helper. Why start now?

Denver Broncos
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PIT 31-19 10 @CAR 36-14
2 @ATL 21-27 11 SD 30-23
3 HOU 25-31 12 @KC 17-9
4 OAK 37-6 13 TB -----
5 @NE 21-31 14 @OAK -----
6 @SD 35-24 15 @BAL -----
7 BYE ----- 16 CLE -----
8 NO 34-14 17 KC -----
9 @CIN 31-23 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
DEN vs TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 330,3
RB Ronnie Hillman 20
WR Emmanuel Sanders 4-60
WR Demaryius Thomas 5-110,1
WR Wes Welker 8-100,1
TE Jacob Tamme 4-40,1
PK Connor Barth 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Broncos already have a four game lead in the AFC West so that's in the bag. They still trail the Ravens by a game to get the coveted first round bye so that game in Baltimore in week 15 may be for a week off in January. There is no doubt that the Broncos will be heavily favored in all other games. With any luck, Denver wins in week 15 and then has to play it all out to maintain their #2 seed.

Peyton Manning is back at home this week and facing probably the weakest secondary so far this year. That's a good thing for a quarterback who has passed for more than 270 yards in each of the last nine games and almost always posts three passing scores when at home. This is going to be a nice time to own Manning... sort of like the rest of the year.

The only change on the Broncos has been replacing Willis McGahee. While Ronnie Hillman seemed a perfectly reasonable replacement since he was the #2 back, the went "another direction". Not only did they start Knowshon Moreno against the Chiefs, he was given 20 carries to gain 85 yards while Hillman was limited to just three runs for nine yards. Hill even was not thrown a pass for just the second time all year. Moreno sat in the shadows for the last ten weeks as a game day inactive but he's back to being a starting tailback. It's like the ghost of Shanahan still lives in Denver.

This week is even more of a must-start for Demaryius Thomas who Manning recently said needs the ball more. And for Eric Decker. In a pinch? Even Brandon Stokley may end up with more than his usual 50 yards. Thomas has six scores on the year including in both the most recent games. Thomas really shines when a bad secondary shows up and he should be a lock for a nice game that could be a monster. Decker should end up with a score as well though his possession role doesn't often add up to many yards.

The Buccaneers offense is good enough to post points and not allow Denver to feel comfortable without a pretty big lead. This is one of those dream fantasy matchups for the passing effort.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 7 17 2 6 15 3
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 29 18 31 21 6 6

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Peyton Manning, DEN OAK 0000028020 ****
Manning's average outing against Oakland the past two seasons is 326 and 4--and he actually bettered those numbers with 340 and 5 in the earlier matchup this season. There may not be a reason for Manning to stick around for the full game to compile such numbers, but you can bet the Broncos want him back on track for the postseason so he'll get enough reps to fill your fantasy passion bucket.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Anderson, DEN OAK 12023100000 ***
Anderson blew up the Raiders by land and air in the previous meeting, amassing 163 combo yards and a touchdown on just 17 touches. He may cede a few looks to Ronnie Hillman to get the former starter some game action before the postseason, but not before doing more than enough to help your fantasy squad.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Demaryius Thomas, DEN OAK 0081201000 ***
Thomas is averaging more than 100 yards per game in his last five meetings with the Raiders, including 11-108 earlier this year. He's only scored in one of those games, however, so he's no lock to help you in a TD-heavy league. That yardage, though, is more than enough of a performance-league cushion.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Emmanuel Sanders, DEN OAK 005701000 ***
Sanders scored against Oakland in 2013 as a Steeler; he scored twice against them earlier this season as a Bronco. No reason to think he won't put up another fantasy helper here.
Update: Sanders was limited all week with a hip injury and is officially listed as questionable. He may make an early exit from this tilt should the Broncos take a commanding lead early on.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Julius Thomas, DEN OAK 004500000 ***
Thomas' 6-63-2 kicked off a stretch in which the Raiders allowed six TE TDs in a seven-game span. Julius hasn't scored or topped 35 yards since, but the favorable matchup and a need to shake off rust before the postseason starts suggest he'll be at least a viable fantasy option this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Connor Barth, DEN OAK 1144 ***
Barth's at least good for six points; every kicker to face the Raiders has produced at least that number. And with Peyton Manning struggling, maybe he has another of those five field goal games, which he's done in half his outings as a Bronco.

WEEK 13
2012
NO at ATL (THU) *CLE at OAK *MIN at GB *SEA at CHI
*ARI at NYJ HOU at TEN NE at MIA *SF at STL
CAR at KC *IND at DET *PHI at DAL TB at DEN
*UPDATED *CIN at SD *JAC at BUF *PIT at BAL NYG at WAS (MON)

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