FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 15
2012
CIN at PHI (THU) *GB at CHI *MIN at STL *SF at NE
CAR at SD IND at HOU *NYG at ATL TB at NO
DEN at BAL *JAC at MIA *PIT at DAL *WAS at CLE
*Updated *DET at ARI KC at OAK *SEA at BUF *NYJ at TEN (MON)

Prediction: TB 24, NO 31 (Line: NO by 3.5 )

Players to Watch: Vincent Jackson, Drew Brees, Marques Colston

This may not be for any of the playoff marbles but this has to be one of the best games of the weekend. It has to. This is a replay of week seven when the Saints won 35-28 in Tampa Bay. If this ends with anything less than 50 total points it will be a disappointment. When you draft in the summer, you should be looking for playoff games like this for your players.

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 21-23
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 Brian Leonard 10 3-20
RB Doug Martin 80,1 4-20
WR Vincent Jackson 8-120,1
WR Louis Murphy 3-40
PK Connor Barth 1 FG 3 XP
PK Rian Lindell 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Buccaneers are on a three game losing streak that has ruined their chances of making the playoffs and yet each was by a touchdown or less. Losing to the Eagles last week and ending their eight game losing streak is no resume builder but at least there could be no better matchup for the fantasy fortunes of the players this week.

Josh Freeman ended with his best game of the year in the last meeting with the Saints. He threw for 420 yards and three touchdowns with no turnovers. He has been good for at least two scores in eight of the last nine games as well though his yardage has never topped 263 yards since that week seven monster showing. WIth the Saints weak against the run as well, chances are that Freeman will continue to score but not need as many passing yards.

Martin has been a gold mine every week and consistently good for over 100 total yards almost every week. He has scored 11 times this season and turned in 85 yards on 16 runs and a touchdown against the Saints in week seven along with three catches for 37 yards. The Saints remain the worst unit against running backs and Martin should be a lock for 20+ carries and a few receptions this week.

Dallas Clark is highly inconsistent this year but did record a touchdown and 51 yards against the Saints last time. His last two scores came in road games but his yardage has tended to be very light.

The last meeting was when Vincent Jackson caught seven passes for 216 yards and one touchdown while Mike Williams only gained 36 yards on four catches. the success of the rushing game has lowered the needs of passing in recent weeks but the Saints are still one of the worst secondaries in the league. They do play better at home though and will be looking for some bounce back after getting trashed by the Giants last week.

Freeman, Martin and Jackson are must starts this week. This week should see the Buccaneers need to pass more since Drew Brees at home should victimize the Bucs equally bad secondary. That may limit what Martin does in a shootout but he plays every down anyway.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 14 7 8 25 6 18
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 32 32 29 26 26 15

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Mike Glennon, TB @NO 0000016001 ***
Glennon has been shut out in his last two road games and hasn't seen the north side of 250 yards since Week 8. Josh Freeman mustered just 125 yards and a score in the earlier meeting with New Orleans; now Glennon travels to the SuperDome, where expectations should be kept in check.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bobby Rainey, TB @NO 6002100000 ***
Doug Martin rolled the Saints for a season-high 144 yards back in Week 2; since then Mike James took Seattle for 158 and Bobby Rainey dropped 163 on Atlanta and 127 on the Bills. Both of Rainey's efforts came at home, however, so dial back your expectations for this trip to the SuperDome.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Vincent Jackson, TB @NO 005700000 **
Jackson posted 5-77 against the Saints earlier this season, but Kevin Ogletree swiped his touchdown. No worries; over the past six games V-Jax has dominated the Bucs' passing game stat sheet with 527 yards and three TDs. He's heavily targeted and worthy of fantasy consideration even when the matchup seems tough.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Timothy Wright, TB @NO 004400000 ***
Wright wasn't even on the radar when these teams met back in Week 2. Now he's scored in two of the last three and is one of the team's top secondary targets. Three of the five TE TDs the Saints have allowed have come in the past six games, so there's at least a chance Wright makes some fantasy noise here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Rian Lindell, TB @NO 3200 ***
Lindell's worst game of the season came at home against the Saints back in Week 2; don't expect things to get significantly better on the road against a Saints team playing for its playoff life.

New Orleans Saints
Homefield: Superdome
Sportexe Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 WAS 32-40 10 ATL 31-27
2 @CAR 27-35 11 @OAK 38-17
3 KC 24-27 12 SF 21-31
4 @GB 27-28 13 @ATL 13-23
5 SD 31-24 14 @NYG 27-52
6 BYE ----- 15 TB -----
7 @TB 35-28 16 @DAL -----
8 @DEN 14-34 17 CAR -----
9 PHI 28-13 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NO vs TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 340,3
RB Mark Ingram 40,1
WR Marques Colston 9-100,1
TE Jimmy Graham 7-80,1
TE Benjamin Watson 4-40
PK Shayne Graham 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The wheels really came flying off last week when the Giants went nuclear on the Saints. But while this has been the third straight loss, all went to division leaders and the last two were on the road where the Saints have been much less formidable this season. Now back at home against one of the few teams they beat in a road game this year, the time has come to cash in on holding Drew Brees and the boys during fantasy playoff time.

Brees has turned into a turnover machine these last three weeks but again - they faced top NFL teams and these last two games had over 340 pass yards in each. After a stellar season, Brees has finally been disappointing for two weeks but that should change against the same team that allowed him 377 yards and four touchdowns in Tampa Bay back in week seven.

Darren Sproles turned in 59 total yards and four catches with one score in Tampa Bay this year while Mark Ingram only gained 21 yards on seven runs. The strength of the Buccaneers is against the run while both they and the Saints have spent all season trading back and forth as to who was the worst defense against quarterbacks and wide receivers. This should be another lesser game for the running backs.

Jimmy Graham did not play in the week seven meeting in Tampa Bay but David Thomas subbed in and scored once on his two catches for 27 yards that week. Graham has not scored since week 11 and his yardage took a big hit these last three weeks. He should bounce back at home against a weak secondary.

Lance Moore accounted for 121 yards on nine receptions in Tampa Bay while Marques Colston settled for seven catches for 73 yards and a score. Moore only has one game with a score since week three and that was on the road in Oakland. Colston scored in each of the last four home games.

The recent success of the rushing effort should hit a stumbling block here if only because their average rushing defense looks so much better than their terrible secondary. Brees needs a bounce back game with some gaudy stats and this is the perfect situation for just that.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 2 6 7 3 30 23
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 31 15 32 24 7 8

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Drew Brees, NO TB 0000029030 ****
Ah, home sweet dome. It's been almost three full seasons since the last time Brees didn't throw for either 300-plus yards or multiple touchdowns at home. In fact, he has multiple TDs in 23 of his last 24 at home and 300-plus yards in nine straight and 18 of 24 at home. With the Saints needing a win to make the postseason, expect Brees to be firing on all cylinders.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Pierre Thomas, NO TB 4004300000 ***
The Saints haven't scored a running back touchdown in five games, with Thomas and Mark Ingram taking turns being the primary ball-carrier. Expect a little more than the 75 yards three New Orleans backs combined for in the earlier meeting between these teams, but it will be so fractured that a legit fantasy helper is unlikely.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Mark Ingram, NO TB 300000000 ***
The Saints haven't scored a running back touchdown in five games, with Ingram and Pierre Thomas taking turns being the primary ball-carrier. Expect a little more than the 75 yards three New Orleans backs combined for in the earlier meeting between these teams, but it will be so fractured that a legit fantasy helper is unlikely.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marques Colston, NO TB 004500000 ***
Colston paced Saints receivers in the earlier meeting, but that was pre-Darrelle Revis. This time around Colston might find the going tougher against a healthy Revis, but he's been an inconsistent fantasy play anyway. Weigh the home uptick the Saints' offense gets with the possibility of Revis blanking Colston and he's pretty much right back where he started--a good play but hardly a sure thing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Stills, NO TB 002400000 ***
Stills is the last non-Colston Saints wideout to score... and that was back in Week 10. This passing game runs through the tight end, with an assist from the running backs; even at home, where the Saints' numbers tend to climb, Stills is too far down the pecking order to be banked on for fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jimmy Graham, NO TB 0091102000 ***
The last time Graham saw the Bucs he went for 10-179-1--and that was on the road. If you only count his home games, Graham would still rank third among tight ends with nine touchdowns. So, yeah, he's a good play... again.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Shayne Graham, NO TB 2233 ***
Graham tallied seven points in his Saints debut, more than half his team's points. Should be a significantly easier row to hoe this week--not to mention a home date in the SuperDome--so expect Graham to have ample opportunity to get his kicks this week.

WEEK 15
2012
CIN at PHI (THU) *GB at CHI *MIN at STL *SF at NE
CAR at SD IND at HOU *NYG at ATL TB at NO
DEN at BAL *JAC at MIA *PIT at DAL *WAS at CLE
*Updated *DET at ARI KC at OAK *SEA at BUF *NYJ at TEN (MON)

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