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
TB @ NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 220,1
RB Doug Martin 80,1 4-20
RB Jacquizz Rodgers 40 4-30,1
PK Nick Folk 1 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 Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB @MIA 0000025010 ***
Fitz once again starts in place of the injured Jameis Winston. Miami was whacked in Week 10 and presents an interesting matchup. Quarterbacks have averaged only 226.4 passing yards, which is the 10th fewest, but have thrown a touchdown once every 8.7 completions -- the second-softest clip in football.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Doug Martin, TB @MIA 500000000 ***
Despite a great matchup, Martin isn't a top candidate for fantasy success. Say he has a better game than expected, the floor is awfully low and the ceiling is relatively low, as well. Miami is a much better opponent for gamers in non-PPR scoring.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Charles Sims, TB @MIA 1003200000 ***
In the last five games, Miami has given up just 19 receptions (28th) and 31.8 yards (26th) per game. One of those catches scored.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Evans, TB @MIA 004701000 ***
A one-game break is over, and Evans will return from his suspension for a blindside hit two weeks ago. The Buccaneers remain without Jameis Winston (shoulder). Miami should be a reasonable opponent for exploitation purposes. While the reception volume is low against this defense, wideouts have found the end zone at the highest clip in football when facing Miami.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, TB @MIA 004500000 ***
Mike Evans returns this week and pushes D-Jax back into sitting shotgun. The Dolphins have surrendered wide receiver touchdowns at the highest rate of any team, which is interesting since this is the fifth-best defense at limiting catches. Sounds exactly like a matchup for Jackson to exploit, so there is at least some upside to this conservative projection.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Adam Humphries, TB @MIA 003300000 ***
Humphries will continue to work out of the slot and have a minor role in the offense. Playing him is asking for trouble. Miami has given up only 9.6 receptions per contest to wideouts, although one in 6.9 have scored.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Cameron Brate, TB @MIA 004500000 *
Tight ends have posted healthy numbers when facing Miami. The position has averaged 5.6 snares for 57.8 yards and a score every 9.3 receptions -- all top-12 figures.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Patrick Murray, TB @MIA 3311 ***
A 3.8 XPA-per-game average is tops in football. Allowing just six of the eight field goals, spread over five games, is far from encouraging, though.

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
TE Coby Fleener 2-20
TE Clay Harbor 5-50

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 WAS 0000021020 ***
Washington was set ablaze last week by far less prolific passer in Case Keenum. Brees has a chance at a monster game. The Redskins have permitted 258.2 passing yards (10th) and a TD every 9.0 completions (3rd). This defense has yielded the fourth-most fantasy points per game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Mark Ingram, NO WAS 8013301000 ***
Ingram was a monster last week and could come close again against the 'Skins. Washington has surrendered one rushing TD a game, plus an aerial score on the last 18 catches. Yardage (21st) and receptions (30th), this is a tougher matchup, but that kind of scoring volume is hard to ignore for a guy coming off of a trifecta performance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alvin Kamara, NO WAS 7015300000 ***
Washington has permitted six offensive TDs (5 rushing) in the last five games, allowing an average of 123.8 offensive yards (21st). This isn't an ideal matchup for receiving backs, but Kamara is explosive enough to score from anywhere on the field.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Ted Ginn, NO WAS 003501000 ***
Ginn was held in check last week, but much of it was because the offense didn't need him the way the running backs were moving the sticks. Washington has given up seven TDs in the last five games, which traverses 10.6 receptions a week. That TD once every 7.6 grabs rates as the third-best clip to exploit.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Thomas, NO WAS 003400000 ***
The Redskins have given up big plays but tend to limit the receivers in receptions. This is actually just the 20th-best matchup for catches allowed (10.6/game) but ranks 12th in yardage and third in TD frequency.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon Coleman, NO WAS 002200000 ***
Coleman has lived and died by visiting the end zone, or not, in 2017. Consider him among the deepest of fliers because of the matchup. Washington is a top-seven opponent in both scoring formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Coby Fleener, NO WAS 002200000 ***
Fleener has been too quiet for too long to consider in a lineup. Perhaps he defies the odds, and if he were to do it, this matchup would make some sense for it to be the one. Washington is the sixth-best rating for tight ends in Week 11.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Wil Lutz, NO WAS 2244 ***
All 15 of the extra points against the 'Skins have gone through, but only eight of 14 field goals made their mark. That's the worst conversion rate for any team that faced 10-plus field goal attempts in the past five weeks.

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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