FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 6 NYG at CHI (THU) DET at CLE OAK at KC TEN at SEA
ARI at SF GB at BAL PIT at NYJ WAS at DAL
CAR at MIN JAC at DEN PHI at TB IND at SD (MON)
*UPDATED CIN at BUF NO at NE STL at HOU On Bye: ATL, MIA

Prediction: PHI 16, TB 20 (Line: PHI by 1)

Players of Interest: Jeff Maehl, Mike Glennon

Update: Mike Williams was limited on Wednesday and Thursday and then held out of practice on Friday while being downgraded to questionable because of his hamstring. He will be a game time decision now.

Michael Vick was limited in practices this week and while he is questionable on the injury report the expectation is still that he will miss this tougher matchup. Barring a new development, Nick Foles will be the starter this week.

The Eagles are only 2-3 but in 2013 that gets you a tied lead in the NFC East. Oddly enough, the Eagles are 0-2 at home but 2-1 on the road. The Buccaneers are 0-4 with the fewest points scored in the NFL. To celebrate, they dumped their starting quarterback. The Bucs will win a trap game eventually but this one is hard to see coming since the Eagles are desperate to win and won't take anyone lightly.

The Eagles won 23-21 in Tampa Bay last year.

1 @WAS 33-27 10 @GB -
2 SD 30-33 11 WAS -
3 KC 16-26 12 BYE WEEK
4 @DEN 20-52 13 ARI -
5 @NYG 36-21 14 DET -
6 @TB - 15 @MIN -
7 DAL - 16 CHI -
8 NYG - 17 @DAL -
9 @OAK - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PHI @ TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Nick Foles 240,1
RB LeSean McCoy 60 6-40
RB Darren Sproles 30 6-50,1
WR Riley Cooper 2-20
WR Jeff Maehl 3-50
TE Brent Celek 3-30,1
TE Zach Ertz 2-30

Pregame Notes: The Eagles pulled the upset with the win in New York and so far the only teams they could beat were those in the NFC East. The defense remains a major problem but facing the least effective offense in the league should help at least this week. The Eagles are in the thick of the divisional race that is pretty sure to not include a wild card judging by current history. The two home games up next are of more importance with the Cowboys and a rematch of the Giants.

QUARTERBACKS: Michael Vick pulled up lame with a hamstring strain last week and while initial reports had him missing this week, that is not yet certain. I will assume that he will though it may end up as a game time decision. It seems far more prudent to keep Vick healthy for those two looming divisional matchups than a game down in Tampa Bay.

HC Chip Kelly said that it was at least possible that Nick Foles could steal the starting job with impressive showings but that may have been more of a motivator for Vick.

Foles was plenty effective against the Giants with 16 of 25 completions for 197 yards and two scores. Last year he played in Tampa Bay and passed for 381 yards and two scores for a career best.

RUNNING BACKS: LeSean McCoy was effective in the first two road trips of this three game streak away from home. He's been good for around 100 yards or more in every game and scored three times. His rushing totals vary wildly but his receiving yards and catches rise as the carries decrease. McCoy is the only consistent weapon and the center of the offense.

WIDE RECEIVERS: DeSean Jackson comes off another big game with 132 yards and a score in New York. That makes three games with over 100 yards and three touchdowns on the season as the lead receiver. He's getting little help from his fellow wideouts. Jason Avant has been nearly invisible in all but the Chiefs loss when he gained 87 yards and scored. Riley Cooper has been so bad that that he has just eight catches on the year despite being the starter. Last week he had none. He mostly a liability getting in the way of others with the ball. The Eagles are starting to replace him with Jeff Maehl who scored in week four. Maehl played for Chip Kelly in Oregon and simply cannot be any worse than Cooper. Maehl's been in the league since 2011 when he was signed as an undrafted player by the Texans.

TIGHT ENDS: The combination of Brent Celek and Zach Ertz is effective and nearly top ten for tight end units in the NFL. But divided evenly leaves them with marginal fantasy value. Celek caught the only two touchdowns by the position. Ertz typically only has one or two catches per week but one will be for a long gainer.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: What comes to play this week is that the Buccaneers defense is much upgraded from last season. At home no team scored more than 16 points and that was the unbeaten Saints. The Eagles feature just one wideout of any note and DeSean Jackson gets to shake hands with Darrelle Revis this week. The Buccaneers have not allowed any touchdowns to a running back and none have gained more than 65 rushing yards. This is where being less diversified is going to hurt the Eagles. Foles is a marginal start and while McCoy is always worthy of being used, this should be a lesser effort from him. Jackson could be used as well but chances are excellent he is looking at a lower game as well. The Buccaneers have been preparing for this for two weeks now.

WHAT TO WATCH: While the expectations have to be kept in check, at least Jeff Maehl is a new element to the offense that desperately needs more than Jackson downfield running a route. He's worth watching and in a deep league, he can be stashed in the unlikely event be becomes relevant.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 2 5 11 13 4 25
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 14 4 7 24 25 13

 

1 @NYJ 17-18 10 MIA -
2 NO 14-16 11 ATL -
3 @NE 3-23 12 @DET -
4 ARI 10-13 13 @CAR -
5 BYE WEEK 14 BUF -
6 PHI - 15 SF -
7 @ATL - 16 @STL -
8 CAR - 17 @NO -
9 @SEA - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
TB vs PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Mike Glennon 240,2
RB Doug Martin 80 4-30
WR Vincent Jackson 6-80,1
TE Brandon Myers 4-30

Pregame Notes: The Browns traded away their best player and benched their starting quarterback and won three games in a row. The Buccaneers still have Doug Martin and changed out their quarterback as well but the results have been only worse. The unfair part of the season has been that the improvement in the Buccaneers defense has been lost in their 0-4 start but they have allowed only 17.5 points per game and never more than 23 despite playing the Saints and at New England. The offense has just lost all punch though and the addition of Mike Glennon doesn't appear to be any spark so far.

QUARTERBACKS: Mike Glennon has one loss under his belt when he threw for 193 yards and one score against the visiting Cardinals. He also ended up with two interceptions and a lost fumble while no receiver topped 38 yards. The Buccaneers have only passed for three touchdowns on the entire season and that is not only killing the wideouts, it ensures that Doug Martin continues to face stacked lines.

RUNNING BACKS: Plenty disappointing when Doug Martin was already disappointing with just one score on the season and over 100 rushing yards just once when the Saints visited. With Glennon at the helm, Martin turned in his worst game of the year despite playing at home against the Cardinals. Martin only gained 45 yards on 27 carries and added 16 more yards on three receptions. He's now averaging just 3.4 yards per carry on the season and only 1.7 yards per carry when playing with Glennon.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Just pitiful and almost without any obvious reason. Vincent Jackson started the year well enough with 154 and 77 yards in the first two games but has since been held to fewer than 35 yards in the most recent two games. With Glennon passing, Jackson was thrown his normal 11 targets but only came down with two for 27 yards. Mike Williams was able to score but only produced four receptions for 38 yards. Assumedly Glennon will improve but until he does, it appears most of the fantasy value has been stripped from the wide receivers.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value and Nate Byham was placed on injured reserve. Tom Crabtree may be able to make his debut after missing the season with a high ankle sprain.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Bottom line - this will be the easiest matchup for the Buccaneers this year and they come off a bye with two weeks to prepare. The Eagles have allowed over 300 yards and two scores to every opposing quarterback in a road game. They are averaging 336 passing yards allowed to every opponent. That gives Glennon a "good as it gets" situation and a chance for both Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams to turn in good games against the #32 defense versus wide receivers. The rushing defense has been better for the Eagles but even that is only average on a good day. They've allowed four touchdowns to running backs so far. Consider Doug Martin a decent start this week and Jackson/Williams as having their best chance of the year in this one. Relying on Glennon for a fantasy start is risky but it will be his best chance to post a decent game.

WHAT TO WATCH: Mike Glennon should look better here if only because of the Eagles defense. Should he struggle here, the Bucs are going to be hard-pressed to notch even one win.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 32 26 28 31 32 12
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 27 19 32 7 23 28

WEEK 6 NYG at CHI (THU) DET at CLE OAK at KC TEN at SEA
ARI at SF GB at BAL PIT at NYJ WAS at DAL
CAR at MIN JAC at DEN PHI at TB IND at SD (MON)
*UPDATED CIN at BUF NO at NE STL at HOU On Bye: ATL, MIA


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