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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
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 STL 20000022021 ***
McCown's Week 1 stat line looked a whole lot like what the Rams gave up to Matt Cassel--and neither was much fantasy help. While he did take this defense for 352 and 2 as a Bear last year, those numbers are too optimistic for his current offense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Doug Martin, TB STL 5002100000 ***
Martin's Week 1 injury was deemed "minor", meaning he should be available for this tilt. He'll face a defense that held Adrian Peterson in check last week and limited the Martin-less Bucs to 37 RB rushing yards in a meeting late last season. In other words, there's little reason to be optimistic.
Update: All systems go for Martin, who returned to practice and is expected to resume his role as the lead dog in Tampa Bay's backfield committee.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Vincent Jackson, TB STL 005701000 ***
VJax went 5-98 against this defense with little help last year. Now he has to hope his improved supporting cast doesn't usurp his looks to the point of sapping his fantasy value.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Evans, TB STL 004500000 ***
Evans saw as many targets as erstwhile WR1 Vincent Jackson last week, but this is still VJax's show and the matchup doesn't suggest enough in the way of passing game numbers to feed multiple mouths.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Chris Owusu, TB STL 002300000 ***
Owusu swiped a TD out from under Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans last week, but he can't be relied upon for anything resembling consistent fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Brandon Myers, TB STL 003301000 ***
No writeup available
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TB STL 00000000 *
Brandon Myers saw the vast majority of Tampa Bay's tight end targets last week, but ASJ's athleticism is not to be denied. Against a defense that let Kyle Rudolph find the end zone last week, he at least has a shot at a score.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Patrick Murray, TB STL 2222 ***
Murray wasn't given much in the way of opportunity last week; until that changes, you can find a more palatable fantasy kicking option.

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 Matt Prater 2 FG 3 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 KC 0000030020 ***
Last year's home date with the Chiefs was Manning's only game in Denver where he failed to throw for multiple touchdowns; fantasy owners had to settle for 323 and 1. Against a Chiefs D that just gave up 266 and 2 to Jake Locker, we like his chances of correcting that wrong from a year ago.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Montee Ball, DEN KC 10013200000 ***
Ball scored twice in the front end of last season's series with the Chiefs, then rushed for 117 yards in the rematch--all while sharing 46 touches with Knowshon Moreno. Now that the gig is all Ball's, no reason to think his numbers will be anything other than fantasy stud-worthy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Demaryius Thomas, DEN KC 0061101000 ****
Thomas topped 100 yards in both ends of last season's series, though he failed to find the end zone in either contest. He and Peyton were a little out of sync in Week 1; expect the kinks to be worked out and Thomas to be his usual dominant fantasy self.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Emmanuel Sanders, DEN KC 2004600000 ***
All three of Denver's wideouts topped 70 yards in the front end of last season's series with KC, and two reached triple digits in the rematch--with Eric Decker, the guy Sanders replaced, pulling an Abe Lincoln (four scores). While Julius Thomas may be taking a bigger bite, there's still more than enough productivity here for Sanders to be more than a little fantasy-relevant.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Julius Thomas, DEN KC 004701000 ****
Thomas scored in the front end of last season's KC series, then missed the rematch with an injury. After blowing up the Colts in the season opener he gets a Chiefs defense that let Delanie Walker find the end zone on them last week. Doesn't take much to figure out Thomas is a dynamite play this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Brandon McManus, DEN KC 2144 ***
McManus keeps riding the Broncos' gravy train all the way to... well, at least through Matt Prater's four-game suspension.

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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