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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 12 NO at ATL (THU) DEN at NE NYJ at BAL TEN at OAK
CHI at STL IND at ARI PIT at CLE SF at WAS (MON)
CAR at MIA JAC at HOU SD at KC On Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at NYG MIN at GB TB at DET BUF, CIN, PHI, SEA

Prediction: TB 14, DET 27 (Line: DET by 9)

Players of Interest: Tim Wright, Nate Burleson

Update: Nate Burleson is probable to play and has been cleared for contact. Joique Bell is listed as questionable because of his Achilles and was held out on Wednesday but returned and was in a full practice Friday. He is expected to play.

The Buccaneers are undefeated if you only count the last two games. But the 2-8 Bucs are 0-4 on the road and head to Detroit where the 6-4 Lions are 3-1 in home games. This should be a sizable win by the Lions unless they figure on mailing it in like the Seahawks recently did when they played the Bucs. Losing last week should help the Lions focus more.

1 @NYJ 17-18 10 MIA 22-19
2 NO 14-16 11 ATL 41-28
3 @NE 3-23 12 @DET -
4 ARI 10-13 13 @CAR -
5 BYE WEEK 14 BUF -
6 PHI 20-31 15 SF -
7 @ATL 23-31 16 @STL -
8 CAR 13-31 17 @NO -
9 @SEA 24-27 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
TB @ DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Mike Glennon 230,1
QB Josh McCown 220,1
RB Bobby Rainey 60,1 1-10
WR Vincent Jackson 6-70
TE Brandon Myers 3-40

Pregame Notes: Two wins in a row and all is right with the world. The Buccaneers offense played their best game of the year when the Falcons showed up and generated a lot of fantasy points. But the next two games are on the road and the only remaining realistic chance for a win or even significant fantasy points will be when the Bills visit in week 14. All the last two wins did was help HC Greg Schiano make it through to the end of the year.

QUARTERBACKS: Mike Glennon still only produces moderate statistics even in the easiest of games. He passed for 231 yards and two scores against the Falcons and that's been about his ceiling this year. As it works out, Glennon only played in two road games so far and did throw double scores in Atlanta and Seattle. He's no big difference maker but at least offers average production and has only thrown one interception in the last five games.

RUNNING BACKS: Bobby Rainey rocked the NFL last week when he ran for 163 yards on 30 carries, scored twice and added a third touchdown as a receiver. Burning up the visiting Falcons is hardly something new but Rainey was the best fantasy back in the league last week. Brian Leonard only ran four times for 16 yards and added four receptions for 21 more yards. Hitting the road will be a tougher challenge this time but Rainey might end up getting more than he should if the Lions do not take them as seriously as they should. Even Mike James ran for 158 yards in Seattle. Rainey now owns four of the five touchdowns scored by a Buccaneer running back this year after only two games.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Vincent Jackson reversed a three week scoreless slide when he was only averaging about 40 yards per week. He collected ten catches for 165 yards and one score in the win over the Falcons and there was only one other completion to a wideout. Tiquan Underwood was a factor in the Miami matchup when he caught three passes for 64 yards and he even scored in Seattle. But this passing game is all about Jackson and whether the opponent can stop him or not because he is the only weapon of any significance from the wide receivers.

TIGHT ENDS: Timothy Wright only caught one pass last week for 13 yards. He had just one for 19 yards versus the Dolphins. But more relevant than those two games that were won with rushing and Vincent Jackson is that Wright scored in the two previous games. When facing the Seahawks and Panthers, Wright ended up as one of the best targets for Glennon and he scored in both with around 55 yards in each. Wright is not a factor until you can take Jackson out of the equation but he is the #2 target for Glennon.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Lions have been weaker against the pass and allowed 19 passing touchdowns already and over half their opponents passed for more than 290 yards. Glennon on the road is not likely to produce his standard average game but at least it is more likely that he can crest 200 yards with one or two scores this week. The Lions still haven't given up a 100 yard rusher but several rushers came pretty close. The only way that Rainey has a big game here is either he breaks a long run (possible) or the Lions do not take them seriously and allow more than they should. That is less likely since they just lost and cannot let an easier win go past.

WHAT TO WATCH: Rainey is obviously notable but Tim Wright is the more revealing watch since he usually pops up in games where the Buccaneers are behind and Jackson cannot get open often enough. The Lions only allowed one score all year to a tight end but six different players have topped 50 yards and five catches against them.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 31 19 24 29 29 19
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 23 13 31 7 31 3

 

1 MIN 34-24 10 @CHI 21-19
2 @ARI 21-25 11 @PIT 27-37
3 @WAS 27-20 12 TB -
4 CHI 40-32 13 GB -
5 @GB 9-22 14 @PHI -
6 @CLE 31-17 15 BAL -
7 CIN 24-27 16 NYG -
8 DAL 31-30 17 @MIN -
9 BYE WEEK ----- ----- -----
News | Stats | Roster
DET vs TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford 330,2
RB Joique Bell 20 2-20
RB Reggie Bush 90,1 6-40
WR Calvin Johnson 7-100,2
TE Brandon Pettigrew 3-30
PK Matt Prater 2 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: Losing to the Steelers drops the Lions down to a tie with the Bears for the NFC North lead but at least they've already swept them and own the first tie breaker. The Lions could be a dangerous team this year since their remaining schedule should see them favored in all but perhaps the Philly game. Losing in Pittsburgh was likely more about a hangover effect from winning in Chicago the previous week.

QUARTERBACKS: Matt Stafford continues his outstanding season with 21 passing scores already and five efforts exceeding 300 yards. He's never scored fewer than two touchdowns at home. He's been a top five quarterback all year.

RUNNING BACKS: Reggie Bush only ran for 31 yards on 12 carries and spent plenty of time on the sidelines later in the game while Joique Bell took a more prominent role. Bell ended with 97 total yards and a touchdown but it was later disclosed that Bush was largely pulled from th3e game because of the natural turf. Bell injured his foot in the loss in Pittsburgh but reports are that it isn't as serious as initially feared. Bell said he heard it pop and his status for this week won't be clear until later in the week. I'll assume that he plays a limited role and adjust once more is known.

Bush always receives well over 20 touches in every home game and rolls up at least 100 total yards along with three of his four touchdowns scored this year. Expect a bounce back this week by Bush, more so if Bell doesn't play.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Calvin Johnson remains unstoppable. Even in Pittsburgh, he turned six catches into 179 yards and two scores. His 11 touchdowns are two more than any other wideout. He already broke 1000 yards on the season with six more left to play. He is on a pace for 1700 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Nate Burleson could return this week all going well with his arm. He'll be getting a great matchup if he can play and was averaging 80 yards per game in the first three weeks of the season. His arm shouldn't be a limitation when he is able to play.

TIGHT ENDS: Marginal fantasy value in most weeks and even less in most home games where the offense runs well enough without dipping down to the tight ends.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Buccaneers are bringing a defense that has never failed to allow at least one touchdown if not three. Oddly they have never allowed fewer than 217 passing yards but more than 260 yards happened just twice and only once did anyone throw for 300 yards (Drew Brees). Safe to expect nice passing stats here though Darrelle Revis tends to take the #1 wideout out of the game plan. That will never happen with Johnson but his only bad game was when he was covered by Joe Haden. The Buccaneers have only allowed five scores for running backs but several have turned in big yardage and Bush is at home. The normal starters apply this week - Stafford, Johnson and Bush.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 4 4 4 11 18 25
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 25 12 18 12 22 5

WEEK 12 NO at ATL (THU) DEN at NE NYJ at BAL TEN at OAK
CHI at STL IND at ARI PIT at CLE SF at WAS (MON)
CAR at MIA JAC at HOU SD at KC On Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at NYG MIN at GB TB at DET BUF, CIN, PHI, SEA


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