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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 2
2011
ARI at WAS CLE at IND * JAC at NYJ SD at NE
BAL at TEN * DAL at SF * KC at DET SEA at PIT
* CHI at NO GB at CAR * OAK at BUF TB at MIN
*updated * CIN at DEN * HOU at MIA PHI at ATL * STL at NYG (mon)

Prediction: TB 16, MIN 17

Player to Watch: Earnest Graham, Josh Freeman, Donovan McNabb

Both teams come off losses that made them look surprisingly punchless on offense but the Vikes were on the road to San Diego so it was not without some expectation. But the Buccaneers not only lost to the Lions, they looked sloppy and ineffective in all facets of the offense even though they had hosted the Lions in Tampa Bay at the end of the 2010 season and let the Lions win then as well.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Homefield: Raymond James Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DET 20-27 10 HOU -
2 @MIN - 11 @GB -
3 ATL - 12 @TEN -
4 IND - 13 CAR -
5 @SF - 14 @JAC -
6 NO - 15 DAL -
7 CHI - 16 @CAR -
8 Bye - 17 @ATL -
9 @NO -      
Buccaneers Report | Statistics | Roster
TAMPA BAY at MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Josh Freeman 20 - 250,1
RB LeGarrette Blount 50 - -
RB Earnest Graham - 30 -
TE Kellen Winslow Jr. - 70,1 -
WR Mike Williams - 50 -
WR Preston Parker - 40 -
WR Arrelious Benn - 50 -
PK Conner Barth 3 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: We have to decide if the Lions are that good or the Buccaneers are that bad. Last week the Bucs fell behind, abandoned the rushing game entirely and then had limited success passing until finally scoring their only offensive touchdown with less than two minutes left. Were this last season, this game would be very winnable. This week we find out if the Bucs were smoke and mirrors last year or if last week was just a fluke.

QUARTERBACK: Josh Freeman was a big surprise last season when he ended with 25 passing touchdowns and the expectations were that he would either take the next step up this year or step back because he wasn't really as good as he seemed. So far, no step forward. Freeman passed for 257 yards and one score with one interception but that was against a generally weak Lions secondary and Freeman had nearly no success until he scored when the game was nearly over and already well out of reach.

The Vikings gave up 335 yards to Philip Rivers last week but there are precious few similarities between the Chargers and Bucs.

RUNNING BACKS: Every LeGarrette Blount owner wondered if he was injured last week when he only posted five runs for 15 yards and ran only once in the second half. The Bucs fell behind and Blount is not a part of any passing package. HC Raheem Morris mentioned that Blount still has not picked up pass protection well enough to remain on the field. That means Blount has value only when you can feel good that the score remains close enough so that the Bucs continue to run.

The Vikings held the Chargers to only 80 yards on 24 runs so it doesn't look great for Blount again this week .Earnest Graham turned in eight catches for 58 yards last week but that is very hard to rely on. I'm not going to project for Graham unless he again has such a busy role. It is less likely that the Vikes are going to jump out to a big lead this week. If Graham is used more than a handful of times, it is a bad sign for Blount.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Sammie Stroughter has a small fracture in his foot and will be replaced by Preston Parker in the slot role again this week. Parker collected four passes for 44 yards last week while Mike Williams ended with 50 yards and a score on four receptions. Arrelious Benn is back and turned in four catches for 27 yards last week. Mike Williams remains the only fantasy play here and even with the poor showing last week, he led all wideouts with 50 yards and a touchdown on four catches. Sure, it was a meaningless score at the very end of the game but it all counts the same.

The Vikings were very good against the wideouts in San Diego where none of them had more than 45 yards or scored. Expect a smaller game from the crew with Williams a marginal play this week. Figure Vincent Jackson only had two catches for 31 yards on them.

TIGHT ENDS: Kellen Winslow Jr. had no offseason surgery and he looks as healthy as he has in years. Winslow opened the season with a team high six catches for 66 yards and the Vikings gave up 74 yards on eight catches to Antonio Gates. Winslow is the most attractive receiver to start this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 18 26 18 17 13 17
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 22 32 4 20 13 6


Minnesota Vikings
Homefield: Metrodome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @SD 17-24 10 @GB -
2 TB - 11 OAK -
3 DET - 12 @ATL -
4 @KC - 13 DEN -
5 ARI - 14 @DET -
6 @CHI - 15 NO -
7 GB - 16 @WAS -
8 @CAR - 17 CHI -
9 Bye -      
Vikings Report | Statistics | Roster
MINNESOTA vs TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb 10 - 150,1
RB Adrian Peterson 120,1 10 -
TE Vishante Shiancoe - 20 -
WR Bernard Berrian - 30 -
WR Michael Jenkins - 30 -
WR Percy Harvin 20 50,1 -
PK Ryan Longwell 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The only reason last week seemed remotely close in San Diego was thanks to a 103-yard kick return for a score and a 46 yard run by Adrian Peterson that got the ball close to the goal line. The reality was that the only element of the offense that worked was Adrian Peterson and that may be said after every game this year if Donovan McNabb doesn't turn the boat around quickly. This week may be as easy as it gets this year.

QUARTERBACK: Not exactly a good start for Donovan McNabb who completed only 7 of 15 passes for 39 yards and one score with one interception. Sad thing is that was not his worst game ever but certainly close. Assumedly McNabb back in Minnesota will be better and the Bucs gave up 305 yards and three scores to Matthew Stafford last week. The Vikes are going to live and die by Adrian Peterson anyway, but McNabb has to do more and this is his best chance.

RUNNING BACKS: Adrian Peterson will always be the workhorse in this offense and last week had 16 runs for 98 yards to keep the Vikings from setting some record for futility. Back at home should mean better stats for Peterson though it was disappointing last week to see him only catch two passes in a game where McNabb could find no one open.

The Bucs held Jahvid Best to only 72 yards on 21 runs but expect Peterson to easily pass that.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Well. Percy Harvin returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Hard to evaluate a set of wideouts when they only combined for five catches for 33 yards and one score. Percy Harvin is still worth a fantasy start as he also runs the ball (four times for 15 yards last week). But none of the others here have any fantasy value yet.

TIGHT ENDS: Vishante Shiancoe only had one pass thrown his way last Sunday and he did not catch it. He's a fantasy nonfactor until something proven happens.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 31 24 27 32 23 7
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 27 16 26 26 25 12

WEEK 2
2011
ARI at WAS CLE at IND JAC at NYJ SD at NE
BAL at TEN DAL at SF KC at DET SEA at PIT
CHI at NO GB at CAR OAK at BUF TB at MIN
  CIN at DEN HOU at MIA PHI at ATL STL at NYG (mon)

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