FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 1 BAL at DEN (THU) GB at SF *NE at BUF *TB at NYJ
*ATL at NO MIA at CLE *OAK at IND TEN at PIT
CIN at CHI MIN at DET SEA at CAR HOU at SD (MON)
*UPDATED ARI at STL *KC at JAC NYG at DAL PHI at WAS (MON)

Prediction: TB 20, NYJ 13 (Line: TB by 3)

Players of Interest: Geno Smith

Update: Santonio Holmes is listed as questionable and was able to have limited work done on Wednesday and Friday practices. He is expected to play a limited role this week.

This is the first time these teams have met since 2009 and only the second time in the last nine years. The Buccaneers ended their 2012 season with a disappointing 7-9 record but at least some strides were made in upgrading the offense. The Jets finished 6-10 on a three game losing streak. The offense does not appear to be upgraded. Did lose maybe the best cover corner in the league who tore his ACL last year and then went to... oh yeah... the Buccaneers.

1 @NYJ - 10 MIA -
2 NO - 11 ATL -
3 @NE - 12 @DET -
4 ARI - 13 @CAR -
5 BYE WEEK 14 BUF -
6 PHI - 15 SF -
7 @ATL - 16 @STL -
8 CAR - 17 @NO -
9 @SEA - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Doug Martin 70,1 3-20
WR Vincent Jackson 8-80,1
TE Luke Stocker 1-10
PK Rian Lindell 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Buccaneers offense remains the same from last year other than allowing Dallas Clark to leave. It was the year that Doug Martin was the top rookie back and Vincent Jackson turned in a big first year. The offense now has more time together and should take another step forward against one of the lighter schedules thanks to playing in the NFC South.

QUARTERBACKS: The Buccaneers were disappointed with Josh Freeman after 2011 but bringing in Vincent Jackson made a huge difference and boosted his stats to a career best 4065 yards and 27 passing touchdowns. Freeman is in a contract year and has every reason to want to do well. He has to prove himself but that only prompts him to play better. Freeman is solid with scoring in almost every game and rarely worse than 250 pass yards thanks to Jackson and Mike Williams.

RUNNING BACKS: Doug Martin ended up as around the #3 best fantasy back last year when he ran 319 times for 1590 yards and added 49 catches for 472 yards with a total of 12 touchdowns. He runs as often as Marshawn Lynch and had more total touches than all but Adrian Peterson and Arian Foster. That is a difference maker who is only going to get better and more consistent. His stats were buoyed by his 251 yard, four score torching of the Raiders.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Vincent Jackson left the Chargers after seven years of playing with Philip Rivers and all he did was turn in a career best 1384 yards and eight scores on 72 catches for a 19.2 yard average - another personal best. That was over 200 yards better than any season in San Diego. Mike Williams had a great rookie year but then regressed in 2011. Playing alongside Jackson, Williams also had a career high with 996 yards and he scored nine times. The recently released Tiquan Underwood was the #3 last year but almost never produced fantasy relevant stats. Kevin Ogletree and Jordan Norwood will compete for #3 duties that really won't matter much anyway.

TIGHT ENDS: Luke Stocker will be the starting tight end but that role falls below the fantasy radar. The Bucs brought Tom Crabtree in as well but he is out indefinitely with a high ankle sprain.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Jets lost SS Laron Landry and shutdown corner Darrell Revis but this is still a decent unit and certainly the stronger side of the team. What impacts this week is that the Jets are shakier at running back, no better at wideout and are likely to start Geno Smith the rookie. Already weak against the run, expect a nice game here by Martin who is always started of course. No need to shelve Williams or Jackson but more likely they have a quieter game than usual.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: The tight end will be new but no reason to watch him.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 16 9 13 22 12 24
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 5 16 1 10 11 30

 

1 TB - 10 BYE WEEK
2 @NE - 11 @BUF -
3 BUF - 12 @BAL -
4 @TEN - 13 MIA -
5 @ATL - 14 OAK -
6 PIT - 15 @CAR -
7 NE - 16 CLE -
8 @CIN - 17 @MIA -
9 NO - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYJ vs TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Geno Smith 20 160
QB Michael Vick 50 210,2
RB Chris Ivory 50,1 2-10
RB Chris Johnson 60 4-20
RB Bilal Powell 40 3-20
RB Daryl Richardson 60 2-20
WR Eric Decker 4-50,1
WR Jacoby Ford 3-40
WR Stephen Hill 2-20
WR Jeremy Kerley 3-40
TE Jeff Cumberland 2-20
TE Zach Sudfeld 4-50
PK Nick Folk 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: This could be a long year. The Jets drafted Geno Smith for a fresh start but a rookie quarterback with these receivers may not be ideal. The team also parted ways with Shonn Greene but replaced him with the Saints #4 running back Chris Ivory who spent most of training camp injured. This offense looks to be even worse than last year barring any surprises. This week is just a tune-up for getting beaten in New England next week.

QUARTERBACKS: Mark Sanchez was competing with Geno Smith for the starting job he already had for four inglorious years but injured his shoulder when he was allowed to play in the fourth quarter of a preseason game. The team wants Smith to take over and Sanchez made it easer on them. He just never progressed and last year threw for only 13 touchdowns against 18 interceptions.

Smith will be the starter this week but he missed valuable time in camp with an ankle injury and was less than sharp when he played in preseason games.

RUNNING BACKS: While Chris Ivory was brought in to be the starter, he lost time with a hamstring injury and was lightly used in preseason games. Bilal Powell is currently the listed starter and will share the backfield with Ivory for now. Powell is not the answer nor was he last year. Ivory may be but he has to stay healthy. The Jets have one of the lightest rushing schedules in the NFL but no one here seems good enough to take advantage of it. Ivory spent three years in New Orleans and even gained 716 yards as a rookie but he's about to find out the difference of rushing for an offense that has perhaps the best passing game in the entire NFL versus one that may have the worst.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Santonio Holmes only played four games before being lost for the season with a Lis Franc injury in 2012. He is just now saying he is healthy and will play in week one. Since coming to the Jets in 2010, he has been worse every season though some of that is on the quarterbacking. Jeremy Kerley enters his third season and is likely to be the primary wideout unless Holmes suddenly improves from his form of the last three years. Kerley ended last year with a stat line of 56-827-2 which is pretty heady stuff for the Jets these days. Stephen Hill will also figure in after a 21 catch rookie season.

This unit was very weak last year and now will have a rookie quarterback. It may come together at some point but it will certainly not happen in any week in the near future.

TIGHT ENDS: Jeff Cumberland is the starting tight end - such as it is - and the team allowed Dustin Keller to leave. Cumberland enters his fourth year with the Jets and comes off a 29 catch year with three scores. He had only three receptions during his first two seasons. The Jets also signed Kellen Winslow who is competing for a starting job. He's 30 years old now with chronic knee problems.. His year with the Patriots resulted in only one catch. As it stands, I will project for Cumberland for now and review the situation next week. Chances are very high nothing matters here in fantasy anyway.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Buccaneers were horrible against the pass last year and cured that in part by taking Darrelle Revis from these Jets. Revis has been rehabbing his torn ACL from last year and is expected to start this week. It would be highly unlikely that Geno Smith will pick on Revis even if he was there bound and gagged like Hannibal Lector. The rushing game will be a committee so for this week, there really are no Jets that are an easy start. And that may hold true for much too long this season. There is very little to go on for this week with a rookie quarterback and a new runner involved.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: All that really matters is that Geno Smith can man the offense without making too many mistakes. it will be interesting to see how much work that Chris Ivory is given when they call Powell the starter.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 31 25 30 21 30 18
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 31 19 32 28 8 14

WEEK 1 BAL at DEN (THU) GB at SF *NE at BUF *TB at NYJ
*ATL at NO MIA at CLE *OAK at IND TEN at PIT
CIN at CHI MIN at DET SEA at CAR HOU at SD (MON)
*UPDATED ARI at STL *KC at JAC NYG at DAL PHI at WAS (MON)


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