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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 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.

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

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 SD 0000030030 *****
Manning has never not thrown for multiple touchdowns or 300-plus yards against the Chargers. Never. And in five of 11 lifetime meetings he's done both. Same could be said for this season, as he's averaging 300-plus and three TDs. Even with no NFL record dangling in front of him, Manning should put up his usual big numbers this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ronnie Hillman, DEN SD 6003200000 ****
Hillman has been more than okay filling in for the injured Montee Ball. This week's edge comes in the passing game, as the Chargers have already given up five RB receiving scores and Hillman has nine targets in his two starts. No reason to bail on him here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Demaryius Thomas, DEN SD 0071201000 ****
The Chargers have given up just one big game to wideouts... but the Broncos are a different animal, and Thomas is at the head of that pack. He's scored in three of four career meetings with the Bolts, including a 108 and 3 outing last November. No Brandon Flowers certainly doesn't help San Diego's hopes of slowing the Denver passing game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Emmanuel Sanders, DEN SD 005800000 ***
The trickle-down effect of San Diego losing a starting corner helps Sanders' prospects as well. With a whole bunch of Peyton Manning productivity to spread around, Sanders should see his share of the fantasy love.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Wes Welker, DEN SD 005600000 ****
Signs of life from Welker last week, and as long as Peyton Manning is throwing him the ball there's no reason to shy away from him as a fantasy contributor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Julius Thomas, DEN SD 003401000 ***
Thomas failed to score for the first time last week, and the Bolts aren't an easy matchup for the position. That said, he's far too involved in the Denver offense to be benched simply for a bump in the road difficult matchup.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Brandon McManus, DEN SD 3333 ****
The risk with McManus is that he counts by ones instead of threes. Consider the Chargers enablers, as they've allowed only one multiple field goal game since Week 1.

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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