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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 @CHI 10000027021 ***
McCown has been fantasy relevant in both of his starts since replacing Mike Glennon, and now he gets a revenge game against the Bears. Why not?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Charles Sims, TB @CHI 4004200000 ***
Sims has done nothing of fantasy note in his two NFL games, and a change in that plan is unlikely in Chicago this week.
Update: Sims is listed as questionable after closing the week with a couple of limited practice sessions. Like he needs further dings to his fantasy prospectus.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bobby Rainey, TB @CHI 1002200000 ***
Rainey is playing understudy to Charles Sims, and neither has been particularly effective. It's not a favorable matchup, so no reason to reach for him here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Evans, TB @CHI 0071101000 ***
Evans is smoking hot right now, with three straight 100-yard games and five touchdowns in that span. No reason to think Chicago has an answer the Redskins, Falcons, and Browns did not.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Vincent Jackson, TB @CHI 006900000 ***
The Packers are the only team to produce multiple productive fantasy receivers against Chicago, and Jackson has definitely fallen off to wingman duties in Tampa Bay. He's a fringe fantasy contributor at best this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TB @CHI 004401000 ***
The Bears have surrendered eight TE TDs in just the past four games, and with Seferian-Jenkins taking over as the go-to tight end in Tampa he's definitely a fantasy option this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Patrick Murray, TB @CHI 1122 ***
It's about as favorable a matchup as you'll find--the Bears have given up multiple field goals in five straight and eight of 10 on the year--but Murray has yet to tally a double-digit points game so even with the matchup he's a stretch of a fantasy start.

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 MIA 0000030030 ***
Forget last week's aberration in St. Louis; Manning is money at home, with at least three TD tosses in every game and an average of 318 yards per home contest. The Dolphins haven't allowed so much as a 300 yard game this year, but it's Manning so anything's possible.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Anderson, DEN MIA 7006600000 ***
Looks like Anderson will be the lead dog in Denver this week, against a Miami defense that hasn't let a back go for 50 yards against them in a month. Expect him to pick up a little fantasy help in the passing game, which combined with his share of the run game makes a tidy little fantasy package.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Demaryius Thomas, DEN MIA 0081101000 ***
With or without Emmanuel Sanders, whether or not Brent Grimes plays him man-up the entire game, Thomas is an every-week fantasy starter.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Emmanuel Sanders, DEN MIA 004601000 **
If Sanders is cleared from his concussion he belongs in your fantasy lineup, but that's a decision we won't know until later in the week.
Update: Sanders did not practice until Friday, at which point he got in a full session. The official injury report lists him as probable, so the expectation is he'll return from his concussion and play this week. And if he's playing, he belongs in your fantasy lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Wes Welker, DEN MIA 005500000 ***
Welker could see some extra looks with Emmanuel Sanders out with a concussion, but it's going to take no Sanders in the lineup for Welker to warrant fantasy attention.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Caldwell, DEN MIA 004500000 ***
The Broncos have options if Emmanuel Sanders can't go, with Caldwell being one of them. He'd warrant fantasy attention if Sanders is ruled out; otherwise he's just going to remain a fantasy afterthought.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Julius Thomas, DEN MIA 003200000 *
It isn't a great matchup, but if Thomas recovers from his ankle injury in time to play he's an every-week fantasy starter. No Thomas, no need to reach for his backups.
Update: Thomas did not practice all week, and his official "questionable" designation seems optimistic. You should have a Plan B at the ready.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Brandon McManus, DEN MIA 2133 ***
Tacking on points for Peyton Manning's offense hasn't been as productive as you might think--just one double-digit points game in the past six and only two all year. So keep your expectations in check with McManus and you'll be just fine.

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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