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 Doug Martin 80,1 4-20
WR Vincent Jackson 8-120,1
WR Louis Murphy 3-40
TE Brandon Myers 5-50

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 Josh McCown, TB GB 0000025021 ***
Green Bay's defense is nothing special unless they've got you down by a couple touchdowns and force you to be one-dimensional. On the road they've been less dominant, which should allow the Bucs to remain multifaceted and keep McCown from playing the role of sitting duck in the pocket. He had some success against Green Bay last year as a bear, but his upside feels like two TDs and something in the mid-200s; you'll want more during championship week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Doug Martin, TB GB 400000000 ***
We've seen flashes of the Martin of old--not enough to dust him off for a fantasy start, but enough to plant a seed in the backs of minds heading into next year. Splitting touches with Charles Sims takes a bite out of his fantasy potential as well; consider him a placeholder for now.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Charles Sims, TB GB 1003300000 ***
Sims could see extended work as a pass-catcher if the Packers do in fact get out to a big lead and force the Bucs to throw, so there's some fantasy value here for PPR leaguers. Aside from that... not much.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Evans, TB GB 005802000 ***
Big-bodied receivers--Julio Jones (259 & 1), Brandon LaFell (2 TDs), Jordan Matthews (107 &1), Brandon Marshall (112 & 1), and more--have success against the Packers' secondary. And Evans is plenty big-bodied--not to mention heavily targeted and a red-zone monster. Have to love his opportunity here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Vincent Jackson, TB GB 005900000 ***
Green Bay has noticeable difficulty handling larger receivers--like Jackson, for example, who has 239 yards and four touchdowns in two career meetings with the Packers. That trend has continued this season through the likes of Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Kelvin Benjamin and even Jordan Matthews and Brandon LaFell. So while VJax still plays second fiddle to Mike Evans (another big WR), he should have ample opportunity to build a fantasy portfolio of his own this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Patrick Murray, TB GB 1122 ***
Murray's next game with double-digit points will be his first. No reason to expect it to happen this week.

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 ATL 0000027020 ***
The Falcons have held three of their last four foes to one or zero touchdowns, and they limited Brees to 333 & 1 back in the season opener. So don't look for gaudy numbers; settle for pretty good and you'll be just fine.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Mark Ingram, NO ATL 11022100000 ***
You can run on the Falcons, as no team has given up more fantasy points to running backs. And while he no longer gets all the carries, Ingram gets enough to make a fantasy impact.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Pierre Thomas, NO ATL 1006400000 ***
Thomas faces a Falcons' defense that has served up the third-most running back receptions and third-most RB receiving yards. Since his primary function is as a receiver out of the backfield, expect him to capitalize on those stats with a solid fantasy helper here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Stills, NO ATL 006901000 ***
Stills is handling Brandin Cooks' duties, so it's worth noting that the rookie went for 7-77-1 in the earlier meeting--numbers that could easily be replicated here in the rematch.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marques Colston, NO ATL 005701000 ***
Colton went for 110 yards in the earlier meeting with Atlanta, but that's not rare against the Falcons. Five different wideouts have hit triple-digits in the past six games; expect Colton to return to their ranks this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jimmy Graham, NO ATL 004500000 ***
The Saints haven't forgotten about the tight end position; they've scored four TE TDs in the past three games. They have, however, apparently forgotten about Graham, who has scored exactly zero of those touchdowns. He's scored in six of eight career meetings with Atlanta, and remains an every-week starter--though a gentle reminder to Sean Payton of his presence would be appreciated.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Shayne Graham, NO ATL 2244 ***
Graham tallied double-digit points back in the season opener in Atlanta, but he hasn't been back above that mark since Week 8 and has just one multiple field goal outing in that span so keep those expectations in check.

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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