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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 14
2012
DEN at OAK (THU) *CHI at MIN MIA at SF SD at PIT
*ARI at SEA *DAL at CIN *NO at NYG *STL at BUF
*ATL at CAR *DET at GB NYJ at JAC *TEN at IND
*Updated BAL at WAS KC at CLE PHI at TB HOU at NE (MON)

Prediction: PHI 17, TB 30 Line: (TB by 7)

Players to Watch: Nick Foles, Vincent Jackson

3-9 Eagles have lost their last eight games and are 1-5 in road games anyway. The 6-6 Buccaneers have lost their last two but are at home where they are 3-3 this year. All you can hope for here is that the Eagles make a game of it like they did in Dallas. The Buccaneers have no room for error if they want to make the playoffs.

Philadelphia Eagles
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CLE 17-16 10 DAL 23-38
2 BAL 24-23 11 @WAS 6-31
3 @ARI 6-27 12 CAR 22-30
4 NYG 19-17 13 @DAL 33-38
5 @PIT 14-16 14 @TB -----
6 DET 23-26 15 CIN -----
7 BYE ----- 16 WAS -----
8 ATL 17-30 17 @NYG -----
9 @NO 13-28 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PHI @ TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford 210,1
QB Mark Sanchez 190,1
RB Ryan Mathews 70 2-10
RB DeMarco Murray 70,1 3-20
RB Darren Sproles 6-60
WR Riley Cooper 3-20,1
TE Brent Celek 3-40

Pregame Notes: The Eagles enjoyed a rare lead in Dallas and looked like an upset was in the making but even the Cowboys in December can beat these Eagles. Offensive line guru Howard Mudd has announced he is retiring at the end of the year. The Defensive Line coach Jim Washburn was just fired. DeSean Jackson is on injured reserve. Michael Vick was just benched for the rest of the year so the team could evaluate Nick Foles. It is all starting to smack of an impending high school graduation where you still have to go to classes but nothing really matters.

Foles looked nearly serviceable against the Cowboys when he completed 22 of 34 for 251 yards and one touchdown. But that was his first score in three starts and he has a long way to go to make anyone comfortable that he is anything more than the future back-up.

Bryce Brown is a great lesson for fantasy football. He did nothing for the whole season and once LeSean McCoy went out with a concussion, Brown gained 189 total yards and two scores versus the Panthers and followed that up with 183 yards and two scores in Dallas. For a guy who banged around colleges with a spotty resume' and potential character issues he's been the best back in the NFL over the last two weeks.

Yes, whenever McCoy returns they are not going to forget about Brown. Certainly not this year and that is only if McCoy returns. Not much incentive for him to play and risk further injury in a meaningless season. McCoy is still in Phase 3 of his recovery with yet another go pass after that.

The passing game under Foles rarely involves much. Jeremy Maclin was already marginal and now is a marked man. Riley Cooper steps in to replace DeSean Jackson and while he scored in Dallas, he only had two receptions for 31 yards. Damaris Johnson gets more snaps but is still unlikely to record more than one catch.

This offense is just going to be unreliable for the rest of the year since they will be trying out new things and the focus is not always on putting the best players on the field.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 16 21 21 21 22 32
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 29 18 31 21 6 6

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Sam Bradford, PHI @NYG 0000025012 ***
Bradford managed 280 and a touch in the earlier meeting with the Giants, and who knows how things will work sans Chip Kelly this week. Bradford's upside isn't nearly sexy enough to suggest wading through the confusion to start him this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB DeMarco Murray, PHI @NYG 5013200000 *
The good news is that Chip Kelly's departure likely lets Murray out of the doghouse in Philly. The bad news is that no one knows what the running back rotation will look like under an interim play-caller. Murray was solid (22-109-1) in the earlier meeting and scored last week, but he hasn't seen 15 touches in a game since Week 11 and is simply too volatile to trust fully even in a favorable matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Ryan Mathews, PHI @NYG 500000000 **
Chip Kelly's departure throws the Philly backfield into further disarray. The reward is too small to offset the risk with so many backs getting touches, so best avoid the situation--or at least Matthews, coming off a six-touch game--entirely.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordan Matthews, PHI @NYG 005801000 ***
Matthews has become the closest thing the Eagles have to a WR1, with back-to-back 100-yard games with a touchdown. He played third fiddle with 59 yards in the earlier meeting with the Giants, but he's a much better bet to reprise or improve upon those numbers than either Riley Cooler (3-76-1 against the Giants) or Miles Austin (3-60 in that same game).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Nelson Agholor, PHI @NYG 004500000 ***
There's some upside to the emerging Agholor against a Giants secondary that's given up a touchdown or at least 99 yards to multiple receivers in three of the past four games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Ertz, PHI @NYG 006800000 ***
Just as Ertz was living up to lofty preseason expectations with 30 targets, 21 catches, 200 yards and a touchdown the past two games... Chip Kelly gets canned. There's still plenty of fantasy upside against a Giants defense that has given up TE TDs in two straight and six 50-plus yard efforts in the past nine games--but also much more uncertainty.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Caleb Sturgis, PHI @NYG 1122 ***
Multiple field goals
in just one of last seven--
plus no Chip Kelly

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 23-31
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 90,2 3-20
WR Vincent Jackson 6-100,1
WR Louis Murphy 4-50
TE Brandon Myers 6-80,1
PK Connor Barth 3 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: Two straight losses but both were against division leaders and solid defenses. And both were by a touchdown or less. The Buccaneers are still on the outside looking in for a wildcard but the next three games will all be competitive and with any luck, the Falcons will mail in week 17 having already clinched all they can get.

Josh Freeman had a break from his two touchdowns games in week 12 versus the Falcons but picked it right back up in Denver. That makes seven of the last eight games featuring at least two scores or more from Freeman and usually right around 250 yards. He's been consistent and nearly error free with only three interceptions in the last seven games.

Doug Martin's productive ways took a downturn these last two weeks when the Falcons held him to only 63 total yards - but two touchdowns. In Denver, Martin totaled 98 yards but was unable to pop off any game breakers. He's still plenty productive nearly every week thanks to his role as a receiver.

Dallas Clark scored in three of the last four games though his yardage varies wildly from game to game depending on what the opponent gives and takes. As expected, Vincent Jackson was held in check by Champ Bailey last week and ended his string of 90+ yard games. But Mike Williams took up the mantle and ended with 93 yards on six catches and scored once.

The Eagles have been good against the run this year though on the road last week they gave up 109 rush yards and a score. The Philly secondary is where the damage is done with the last three games giving up nine passing touchdowns and everyone scores at least once. All but three opponents scored more than once. This should be a good game against a dispirited Eagles team back on the road after thinking they had a chance last week. The Bucs certainly won't overlook them but if the Eagles do not put up much of a fight, then the Bucs won't press to score too much. Makes playing the Eagles a tougher challenge to predict.

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 PHI 24 7 17 11 26 32

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Jameis Winston, TB @CAR 20000020012 ***
Volume begats at least modest success against Carolina's pass D, as the last four QBs with 40 or more attempts have all thrown multiple TDs as well. Winston threw for 287 and 2 on 43 attempts in the previous meeting, but he's only been in the 40s or higher twice all season so temper expectations accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Charles Sims, TB @CAR 2004301000 ***
Sims scored a receiving TD in the earlier meeting with Carolina as Bucs RBs compiled 67 receiving yards. And the Panthers are just a couple weeks removed from Shane Vereen's 8-43-1 receiving line against them. Sims tallied a receiving score last week and has 12-158 receiving over the past three games, so there's PPR and performance upside in this matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Doug Martin, TB @CAR 5001100000 ***
Martin rushed for 106 yards and a TD in the earlier meeting with Carolina, and as he's still very much in contention for the rushing title he'll get plenty of carries. Asking for another hundo is optimistic, however.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Evans, TB @CAR 003300000 ***
Evans mustered 3-32 against Josh Norman and the Panthers in the earlier meeting while Vincent Jackson went off for 10-147-1 on 15 targets. No VJax this week means more Norman for Evans; he still might be force-fed targets, but the upside is limited by Carolina's pass defense.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Adam Humphries, TB @CAR 002300000 ***
The upside would be Humphries capitalizing on Carolina's focus on Mike Evans and having the kind of day Vincent Jackson had (10-147-1) against the Panthers. The more likely outcome is another non-fantasy helper for a tertiary Tampa Bay target.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Donteea Dye, TB @CAR 001300000 ***
While Vincent Jackson's absence opens a door, Dye has yet to top one catch in a game so he's not rushing through that opening any time soon.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TB @CAR 002200000 ***
ASJ was absent for the earlier meeting with Carolina; now he's back, with 22 targets in the past month and touchdowns in each of the past two games. The Panthers haven't given up as much as 50 yards to a TE since Week 10, only two TE TDs in that span, so lower expectations accordingly.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Connor Barth, TB @CAR 3311 ***
Kickers average
Four points per game vs. Panthers
last two months; stay away!

WEEK 14
2012
DEN at OAK (THU) *CHI at MIN MIA at SF SD at PIT
*ARI at SEA *DAL at CIN *NO at NYG *STL at BUF
*ATL at CAR *DET at GB NYJ at JAC *TEN at IND
*Updated BAL at WAS KC at CLE PHI at TB HOU at NE (MON)

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