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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Sortable Player Projections
Game Predictions Summary

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WEEK 12
2010
NE at DET TB at BAL PHI at CHI *MIA at OAK
NO at DAL *JAC at NYG *MIN at WAS STL at DEN
CIN at NYJ *CAR at CLE *GB at ATL *SD at IND
*UPDATED TEN at HOU PIT at BUF *KC at SEA SF at ARI

Prediction: TB 17, BAL 24

This is an interesting game that pits the 7-3 Buccaneers against the 7-3 Ravens. The Buccaneers are a game behind the Falcons though and tied with the Saints so any loss hurts deeply. The Bucs are 4-1 on the road. The Ravens are tied with the Steelers for their division lead and are 4-0 at home. Notable - the only loss on the road by the Bucs and actually every loss this year has been to every team with a winning record. The Ravens could get caught here looking ahead at week 13 against the Steelers.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3)
Homefield: Raymond James Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CLE W 17-14 10 CAR W 31-16
2 @CAR W 20-7 11 @SF W 21-0
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 W 38-35 17 @NO --
9 @ATL L 21-27 - - -
Buccaneers Report | Statistics | Roster
TAMPA BAY at BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Josh Freeman 20 - 220,1
RB Carnell Williams 20 20 -
RB LeGarrette Blount 70,1 - -
TE Kellen Winslow Jr. - 20 -
WR Mike Williams - 100,1 -
WR Arrelious Benn - 30 -
WR Sammie Stroughter - 40 -
PK Conner Barth 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: This is where the Buccaneers find out who they are. They have never beaten a winning record team so claiming themselves as the best team was probably premature. Road games in Baltimore, Washington and New Orleans could be losses as well as host the Falcons next week. But even with that the Bucs would end 9-7 with a winning record and that alone is an accomplishment for the youngest team in the league.

QUARTERBACK: Josh Freeman has thrown a score in all but one game and these last three weeks has seen him score twice each time. He has 14 touchdowns against just five interceptions. Freeman has been nearly a constant each week - the games win or lose on the rushing and defensive efforts more than the passing game.

The Ravens have only given up 12 passing touchdowns though four different quarterbacks have managed to post 300 or more yards on the secondary. Freeman should end with at least one score and his average yardage. Two touchdowns and this could be a very close game.

RUNNING BACKS: The Buccaneers finally made it official by allowing LeGarrette Blount to take the first snaps of a game and Carnell Williams is now just a third down back type. But Williams will still be used as a runner and has scored twice on the ground over the last two weeks. Blount was given a season high 26 carries in San Francisco and gained 82 yards including another of his patented hurdles over a would-be tackler. Blount has no role as a receiver so Williams remains a fixture.

The Ravens have been solid against the run with only five touchdowns allowed to rushers and only twice has any runner topped 80 yards against them. But I like the idea that the Ravens want to look ahead at the Steelers next week and Blount ends up surprising them with a score. The yardage won't likely be big barring a long run, but I like the one score to make this game competitive.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Mike Williams remains the lead receiver and has six scores on the season. What is strange is that five of those came during the previous five road games along with every big yardage game he has turned in. Williams has been a far bigger factor on the road. His DUI has been resolved and he'll get a team fine and be done with it. Arrelious Benn is still locked at only one or two catches per week while Sammie Stroughter is marginally better. Bottom line - it is either Mike Williams or no one has a nice game as a wideout.

The Ravens have given up six scores to the position at home and Williams excels in road games. No reason to bench him this week or start any of the others in any week.

TIGHT ENDS: Kellen Winslow Jr had one decent game this year and it was at home. In away games, he never had more than 31 yards in recent weeks. He's not worth a roster space.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 16 17 24 20 26 12
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 4 6 19 1 23 6
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) TB -12 -11 -5 -19 -3 -6


Baltimore Ravens (7-3)
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYJ W 10-9 10 @ATL L 21-26
2 @CIN L 10-15 11 @CAR W 37-13
3 CLE W 24-17 12 TB --
4 @PIT W 17-14 13 PIT --
5 DEN W 31-17 14 @HOU --
6 @NE L 20-23 15 NO --
7 BUF W 37-34 16 @CLE --
8 Bye - 17 CIN --
9 MIA W 26-10   - -
Ravens Report | Statistics | Roster
BALTIMORE vs TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco - - 240,2
RB Ray Rice 90,1 40 -
TE Todd Heap - 50,1 -
WR Anquan Boldin - 70,1 -
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh - 30 -
WR Derrick Mason - 40 -
PK Billy Cundiff 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: If the Ravens can win this week and again when the Steelers show up, they'll be in a very good situation for winning the division and possibly getting a first round bye. A win over the Steelers puts them up at least one game and they will own the first tiebreaker. With HOU, CLE and CIN left on the schedule, only NO would likely be an issue and they are the visitors and a loss could do no worse than another standings tie with PIT when they own the tiebreaker.

QUARTERBACK: Joe Flacco continues his hot streak with his first 300 yard passing effort and he has scored in each of the last nine games. His home games have generated multiple scores three times and he still only has two interceptions in the last eight games. He's been nearly error free and productive when needed.

The Buccaneers rate highly against the position but several opponents have been easy to stop like SF, ARI, CAR(2) and CLE. And four teams posted multiple scores via the pass on them. I like Flacco to end with two scores but probably only moderate yardage since the Bucs are easier to run on.

RUNNING BACKS: The Ravens have backed off using Willis McGahee for the last three weeks and when he is not scoring a touchdown - he is pretty much worthless for fantasy purposes. I will exclude him from the projections at least until he shows up again.

Ray Rice has been very productive though mostly with total yards that normally add up well over 100 each week. Rice has only rushed for 100 yards once and scored in just two games. But this week is a great chance for another touchdown going against a Bucs defense that has given up nine scores to running backs. Six backs have totaled 100+ rushing yards on them as well. Expect a solid game from Rice this week and likely one score. This should be a good week as long as McGahee doesn't show back up and ruin it.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Derrick Mason admitted that his fractured pinkie is forcing him to change the way he catches the ball and he had a low three catches for 42 yards in Carolina. The problem is that all the receivers here have some promise but Flacco spreads the ball around so much that almost no one ever has a big game. T.J. Houshmandzadeh finally scored again and had 79 yards on two catches last week but that followed five weeks of sub-30 yard games. Anquan Boldin has six scores on the year but only once in the last seven games has he been over 70 yards in a game. Derrick Mason is locked into sub-50 yard efforts though he scores on occasion as well. The fantasy value here is marginal at best and risky to rely on.

The Bucs give up scores and yards to the wideouts but have faced few good passers so far so the overall numbers seem lower. There should be one score to the wideouts - almost every game has as much - and that could favor any. I will credit Boldin but with low confidence.

TIGHT ENDS: Todd Heap has been a big part of the passing game and actually been more consistent than any wideout. He has scored four times in the last five weeks and been around 50 yards in almost every game. He is as likely a scorer as any on the team.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 15 9 17 12 8 22
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 6 25 12 9 3 12
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) BAL -9 16 -5 -3 -5 -10

WEEK 12
2010
NE at DET TB at BAL PHI at CHI MIA at OAK
NO at DAL JAC at NYG MIN at WAS STL at DEN
CIN at NYJ CAR at CLE GB at ATL SD at IND
  TEN at HOU PIT at BUF KC at SEA SF at ARI
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