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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Sortable Player Projections
Game Predictions Summary

Projections by Team
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WEEK 5
2010
*TB at CIN GB at WAS *STL at DET *PHI at SF
*ATL at CLE JAC at BUF *NO at ARI *MIN at NYJ
*NYG at HOU *DEN at BAL *SD at OAK MIA, NE
*UPDATED *KC at IND *CHI at CAR TEN at DAL PIT, SEA

Prediction: TB 10, CIN 24

Update: Jordan Shipley has not practiced because of his concussion and is not expected to play.

The Buccaneers opened to a 2-0 mark before playing the Steelers. And beating the visiting Browns and winning in Carolina isn't as impressive as it once seemed. The Bengals return home after being nipped by the Browns and at 2-2, they cannot afford letting any easier games get away from them. Games like this one.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1)
Homefield: Raymond James Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CLE W 17-14 10 CAR --
2 @CAR W 20-7 11 @SF --
3 PIT L 13-38 12 @BAL --
4 Bye - 13 ATL --
5 @CIN -- 14 @WAS --
6 NO -- 15 DET --
7 STL -- 16 SEA --
8 @ARI -- 17 @NO --
9 @ATL -- - - -
Buccaneers Report | Statistics | Roster
TAMPA BAY at CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Josh Freeman 30 - 170,1
RB Carnell Williams 30 - -
RB Kareem Huggins 10 20 -
RB LeGarrette Blount 40 - -
TE Kellen Winslow Jr. - 30 -
WR Mike Williams - 50 -
WR Michael Spurlock - 20 -
WR Sammie Stroughter - 30,1 -
PK Conner Barth 1 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Buccaneers are better than 2009 - they only need one more win to equal their previous season total. Now starts a much tougher slate of games but the defense has been much improved and the offense is still sorting out exactly what it does and doesn't have. Taking a road win outside the division would be asking a lot but these Buccaneers are at least playing competitively again.

QUARTERBACK: For the first two weeks, Josh Freeman had a nice start with two scores in each game and around 180 yards in each. But then the Steelers adjusted the sense of reality and Freeman is still a work in progress. He still is one of the best rushing quarterbacks in the league. The Bengals have a very good secondary though and the only other game in Cincy had Joe Flacco held to only 154 yards and a score.

Expect that sort of performance here and even then it may come during trash time.

RUNNING BACKS: The Buccaneers have one of the most interesting backfields in the league because it is undergoing a much needed transition. Carnell Williams has been ineffective as a runner averaging only 2.5 yards per carry and finally giving up some work in week three to LeGarrette Blount who gained 27 yards on six runs and scored the only rushing touchdown this season for the Bucs. Blount is slated to get more carries but Williams is not going away.

Making matters more interesting still is that Kareem Huggins is healthy after sitting out with a groin injury. Huggins was impressive in the preseason and is now expected to replace Earnest Graham as the third down back. What that could mean this week is that four different runners who ruin each other's value. The Bengals have been good against the run this season and the Bucs are hardly "bringing it" this year.

There is no running back worth starting yet, but Blount and maybe even Huggins could surprise. The opportunity exists and there are at least spots in the schedule where some fantasy points will be produced. Both Huggins and Blount are no doubt gone in all but the smallest of leagues. Still too early to use either but a definite one to watch.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Mike Williams is the only fantasy relevant wideout here with two scores on the season but never more than five catches or 55 yards. Sammie Stroughter will keep his job as flanker for now but the team wants the rookie Arrelious Benn to step up sooner than later into that role. I am not projecting yet for Benn who only had three catches so far but he will be making a move up sometime soon. So far Williams and Kellen Winslow provide almost all the help as receivers.

The Bengals are weaker against wide receivers but should keep Williams in check. Look for one score that favors Stroughter slightly or it could end up with Michael Spurlock or even Benn.

TIGHT ENDS: The Bucs use Kellen Winslow Jr. for around four catches per game and he has yet to score. Winslow no longer belongs as an every week fantasy starter but makes a decent bye week replacement since he always gets 20 or 30 yards each game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 16 19 22 20 16 14
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 7 12 7 18 14 21
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) TB -9 -7 -15 -2 -2 7


Cincinnati Bengals (2-2)
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NE L 24-38 10 @IND --
2 BAL W 15-10 11 BUF --
3 @CAR W 20-7 12 @NYJ --
4 @CLE L 20-23 13 NO --
5 TB -- 14 @PIT --
6 Bye - 15 CLE --
7 @ATL -- 16 SD --
8 MIA -- 17 @BAL --
9 PIT -- - - -
Bengals Report | Statistics | Roster
CINCINNATI vs TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer - - 240,2
RB Cedric Benson 100,1 10 -
TE Jermaine Gresham - 30 -
WR Chad Ochocinco - 90,1 -
WR Terrell Owens - 70,1 -
PK Mike Nugent 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: It was a painful loss last week when the Browns took the Bengals down and left them only 2-2. Worse yet, they allowed Terrell Owens a monster game that he could not crow about since they lost the game. The Bengals need this win before going on their bye week because the schedule only gets more brutal as the season progresses.

QUARTERBACK: It came in a loss but at least Carson Palmer posted his best game of the year when he passed for 371 yards and two scores in Cleveland. Palmer had only one score in the two previous week and never more than 200 passing yards. Now he gets to face the Buccaneers who have not allowed more than 227 pass yards. But - the Buccaneers have not faced a decent quarterback in their first three games so expect a decent showing here by Palmer ho should end with two scores and moderate yardage.

RUNNING BACKS: While Cedric Benson is not running as well as he did in 2009 with an easier schedule, the weekly claim that Bernard Scott will be more involved never happens and in fact Scott only had two runs each in the last two games. This week should be a turnaround though with the Bengals at home and facing the Bucs who last allowed 143 yards and a score to Rashard Mendenhall.

This should end up one of the top performances by Benson this year. Expect good yardage and one score.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Now both Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens have one monster game each and three pretty mediocre other showings. Owens had ten catches for 222 yards and one score which made him the oldest player to record a 200+ yard game in NFL history. The Browns doubled Ochocinco (3-59) and allowed Owens to have the big game. Unfortunately, Jordan Shipley already had a shoulder injury and received a concussion in the last game. He's expected to rest this week and allow Andre Caldwell to take his place.

The Buccaneers have a decent secondary but were victimized in week three by Charlie Batch. No reason to sit either Owens of Ochocinco this week. Both have a good chance at a score and at least decent yardage.

TIGHT ENDS: Jermaine Gresham only has one score on the season but same is true for any other receiver on this team. But Gresham remains good for around 30 yards per week. That's probably a ceiling for an easier game at home.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 14 29 4 22 2 24
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 16 22 13 8 3 20
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) CIN 2 -7 9 -14 1 -4

WEEK 5
2010
TB at CIN GB at WAS STL at DET PHI at SF
ATL at CLE JAC at BUF NO at ARI MIN at NYJ
NYG at HOU DEN at BAL SD at OAK MIA, NE
  KC at IND CHI at CAR TEN at DAL PIT, SEA
Other Features
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Tuesday Injury Report
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