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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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Game Predictions Summary

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WEEK 8
2010
*GB at NYJ *CAR at STL *MIN at NE *HOU at IND
*DEN at SF WAS at DET *SEA at OAK ATL, BAL
JAC at DAL *BUF at KC TB at ARI CHI, CLE
*UPDATED MIA at CIN *TEN at SD *PIT at NO NYG, PHI

Prediction: TB 23, ARI 20

The Buccaneers suddenly fancy themselves as a top NFC team because they beat the visiting Rams by one point. Then again, they only had three wins in all of last season so they are already way ahead of 2009. The Cardinals are 3-3 including a 2-0 mark at home but have hardly inspired any bravado.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2)
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 W 24-21 14 @WAS --
6 NO L 6-31 15 DET --
7 STL W 18-17 16 SEA --
8 @ARI -- 17 @NO --
9 @ATL -- - - -
Buccaneers Report | Statistics | Roster
TAMPA BAY at ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Josh Freeman - - 200,1
RB Carnell Williams 10 30 -
RB LeGarrette Blount 80,1 - -
TE Kellen Winslow Jr. - 60,1 -
WR Mike Williams - 60 -
WR Sammie Stroughter - 20 -
PK Conner Barth 3 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Buccaneers have reached a giddy 4-2 record but that only included two away games and now they'll hit the road in four of their next five outings. But this is still one of the lighter schedules in the league and their winning ways should continue at least sporadically. The biggest test lies in week nine in Atlanta because they currently trail them by a half game. Even still - ending with a .500 record in the NFC might be good enough for a wildcard this year.

QUARTERBACK: Josh Freeman chugs along as the standard average quarterback with around one score in every game and usually between 180 and 220 yards each week. Not the stuff of fantasy dreams but pretty consistent with his weekly "something". He also has seven touchdowns against only three interceptions and has never had more than one pick in any game.

The Cardinals have never failed to allow at least one passing score per opponent and half of them end up with two or three. No real reason why Freeman should have more than his standard game here even though the opportunity could be there.

RUNNING BACKS: Here is a change. At least potentially.

In their never-ending search to find an actual running back, the Buccaneers finally gave LeGarrette Blount 11 carries against the Rams and he ended up with 72 yards. Compare this to Carnell William who only gained 12 yards on four carries in that game or better yet the 80 carries for 202 yards that Williams has produced as the primary running back this year - only 2.5 yards per carry. That assures that Blount gets a role in the offense but sadly Williams will stick around at least enough to affect what Blount could do. Williams will revert to more of a third down and change of pace back (in case they only want 2 yards on a play). With a favorable schedule, Blount may end up as one of those guys who show up around mid-season and then makes a difference for a fantasy team.

The Cardinals are weak against the run and only rank 29th against running backs but at home will prove tougher. And the workload will be split to some measure so consider Blount no more than a moderate play this week and Williams is most likely bench material from here on out if Blount can deliver.

WIDE RECEIVERS: No changes here to this low ranking unit. Mike Williams has been a big find and has been no worse than a moderate play every week. He has a team high three receptions for a score and his four games over 52 yards are the only by a Bucs wideout this year. Arrelious Benn has moved into being a starter but has no more than one catch to show for the promotion. Either it happens for Williams or it does not happen at all in this unit.

The Cardinals have mostly been beaten by the run so they have only allowed five passing scores to wideouts this year. But four players had around 90 yards or better and even the other Mike Williams posted 87 yards on 11 catches for a score on the Cards last Sunday. Williams is a decent play this week but no other wideout here should even be on a fantasy roster.

TIGHT ENDS: Jerramy Stevens has been released from the Buccaneers after being caught with marijuana that may include intent to sell so yet another very talented moron idiot headcase has ruined what could have been a good career. Kellen Winslow Jr. has been solid with yardage so far and averages around five receptions but has not yet scored for 2010. I like it to finally happen here against the #30 ranked defense against tight ends that has already permitted four scores to the position and plenty of yardage.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 14 26 22 19 27 14
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 24 29 19 30 31 31
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) TB 10 3 -3 11 4 17


Arizona Cardinals (3-3)
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @STL W 17-13 10 SEA -
2 @ATL L 7-41 11 @KC -
3 OAK W 24-23 12 SF -
4 @SD L 10-41 13 STL -
5 NO W 30-20 14 DEN -
6 Bye - 15 @CAR -
7 @SEA L 10-22 16 DAL -
8 TB - 17 @SF -
9 @MIN - - - -
Cardinals Report | Statistics | Roster
ARIZONA Rush Catch Pass
QB Max Hall - - 170,1
RB Beanie Wells 110,1 - -
RB Tim Hightower 10 20 -
WR Larry Fitzgerald - 60,1 -
WR Steve Breaston - 30 -
WR Stephen Williams - 20 -
WR Early Doucet - 30 -
PK Jay Feely 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Cardinals come off a tough loss to the Seahawks that sets them back on reclaiming the NFC West this year. But this team is a far cry from the one that went to the Super Bowl and in three three losses they could not score more than 10 points. There may finally be a changing of the guard in the backfield but until the Cardinals can rediscover even an average passing game, this team remains a shadow of the Warner years.

QUARTERBACK: Max Hall received a concussion last week and his playing time is dependent on him passing the tests and practicing. I will assume that he can play and change that if warranted later in the week. Hall took over mid-game in week four and then left midgame in week seven. He still has not thrown a touchdown and has two interceptions. Derek Anderson has been marginally better and even adds in the spice of more turnovers.

The Buccaneers have allowed no less than two passing scores to each of their last four opponents who, of course, all have a quarterback far better than Max Hall. This very well could be the spot for Hall's first NFL touchdown though the Bucs have only allowed more than 210 passing yards just once. There is no fantasy starter here regardless.

RUNNING BACKS: Tim Hightower fumbled in the first half last week and never had another carry in the game. He has lost three fumbles this year and four last season and apparently HC Ken Whisenhunt is finally tired of it. He spoke specifically about his displeasure with Hightower after the game and Beanie Wells turned in his best effort of the year when he rushed for 54 yards and one score on 14 carries in Seattle. That should cement Wells as the starter and move Hightower back to being a third down back. Wells has not been much more productive rushing but at least he has not turned the ball over.

The Buccaneers biggest shortcoming is against the run and that should see a nicely timed start for Wells end up profitable. Each of their last four opponents have featured a runner with 110+ rush yards and this is Wells big chance to make a lasting impression before the Vikings thump him next week in Minnesota.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Steve Breaston was held out last week because of field conditions that could have set back his knee sprain but he will play this game. He hasn't been around yet with Max Hall and the only player of any note in any game from these receivers is of course Larry Fitzgerald who has two of the three touchdown passes by the Cardinals. The Buccaneers have allowed nine touchdowns to wideouts already this season so hold out hope that Fitzgerald finally sees the endzone for the first time since week three.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 31 29 24 31 24 2
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 19 27 24 12 5 14
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) ARI -12 -2 0 -19 -19 12

WEEK 8
2010
GB at NYJ CAR at STL MIN at NE HOU at IND
DEN at SF WAS at DET SEA at OAK ATL, BAL
JAC at DAL BUF at KC TB at ARI CHI, CLE
  MIA at CIN TEN at SD PIT at NO NYG, PHI
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