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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 9
2011
* ATL at IND * DEN at OAK * NYJ at BUF TB at NO
* BAL at PIT * GB at SD SEA at DAL CHI at PHI (mon)
CIN at TEN * MIA at KC * SF at WAS Bye Week
* Updated * CLE at HOU * NYG at NE * STL at ARI CAR, DET, JAC, MIN

Prediction: TB 17, NO 31

Player to Watch: LeGarrette Blount

The Buccaneers come off their bye having last lost in London to the Bears. At 4-3 they are just one game behind the Saints but only 1-2 in away games. The Saints are coming off their bad mojo game. After decimating the Colts 62-7 they were spanked by the Rams in a way that no one thought was possible. Chances are the Saints will be up for this game.

The Buccaneers won 26-20 when the Saints visited three weeks ago.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Homefield: Raymond James Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DET 20-27 10 HOU -
2 @MIN 24-20 11 @GB -
3 ATL 16-13 12 @TEN -
4 IND 24-17 13 CAR -
5 @SF 3-48 14 @JAC -
6 NO 26-20 15 DAL -
7 CHI 18-24 16 @CAR -
8 Bye - 17 @ATL -
9 @NO -      
Buccaneers Report | Statistics | Roster
TAMPA BAY at NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Josh Freeman - - 240,2
RB LeGarrette Blount 60 20 -
TE Kellen Winslow Jr. - 40 -
WR Preston Parker - 30,1 -
WR Mike Williams - 50 -
WR Dezmon Briscoe - 40 -
WR Arrelious Benn - 60,1 -
PK Conner Barth 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Buccaneers get LeGarrette Blount back but the problem this week is that the Buccaneers have not been very productive once they leave Tampa Bay. With a win over the Saints just three weeks ago, the Buccaneers have a chance to actually compete for the division with a win. But the road has not been their friend and the defense just does not play as tough away from home.

QUARTERBACK: Josh Freeman comes off his bye week with seven touchdowns in seven games and yet 10 interceptions. There is the problem. In 2010, Freeman passed for 25 touchdowns and only six interceptions which naturally boosted his expectations this year. He's done nothing but been average this year. Basically, he's traded all those scores to Mike Williams for interceptions. He's been better in the last two home games with his first two-touchdown games and solid yardage but his last outing was hosting the Bears who intercepted him four times.

Freeman passed for 303 yards and two scores on the Saints in week six.

The Saints should be primed for this matchup, especially since the Bucs beat them recently and then the Rams fiasco happened. Look for good yardage here and likely two scores again.

RUNNING BACKS: The Buccaneers anticipate that LeGarrette Blount finally returns after his four week absence, Earnest Graham is on injured reserve and the current plan is for Blount to remain on the field for third down duty. Blount has the only rushing touchdowns this year (3) by a running back and was on a streak of over 70 yards per week before being injured. If he can add even a couple of catches per week it would really help his fantasy value to remain consistent.

Earnest Graham ran for 109 yards on 17 runs against the Saints this year.

The Saints at home are always tougher and there are reasons to expect them to get an early lead and prevent Blount from getting many carries. Figure on moderate yardage but watch to see if he actually does act as a receiver.

WIDE RECEIVERS:Mike Williams scored in the season opener but never since and he has not topped 75 yards in any game and has averaged only 45 yards per week. Arrelious Benn comes off his best game of the year with a score and 83 yards in the Saints game but had not been better than 46 yards in any other game. Preston Parker turned in a few decent games early in the year but has been under that same 45 yard mark for the last month. Dezmon Briscoe also figures in and that is the problem. Each of the four wideouts have managed one or two decent games but there is no consistency here outside of three of the four remain below 45 yards in pretty much every game. It just rotates each week.

Benn had his one good game of the year with 83 yards and one score on three catches against the Saints. Parker also scored though only gained 32 yards on two receptions.

I like the two scores to end up here but it could be any of the four wideouts.

TIGHT ENDS: Kellen Winslow Jr. is just like another wide receiver. Meaning that he almost always has less than 45 yards and has just one touchdown on the year. He's only a marginal replacement for a bye week.

Winslow turned in five catches for 40 yards when the Saints visited three weeks ago.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 15 16 14 15 16 16
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 15 20 17 6 14 17


New Orleans Saints
Homefield: Superdome
Sportexe Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @GB 34-42 10 @ATL -
2 CHI 30-13 11 Bye -
3 HOU 40-33 12 NYG -
4 @JAC 23-10 13 DET -
5 @CAR 30-27 14 @TEN -
6 @TB 20-26 15 @MIN -
7 IND 62-7 16 ATL -
8 @STL 21-31 17 CAR -
9 TB - - - -
Saints Report | Statistics | Roster
NEW ORLEANS vs TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees - - 320,3
RB Pierre Thomas 40,1 20 -
RB Darren Sproles 40 40,1 -
TE Jimmy Graham - 80,1 -
WR Marques Colston - 80,1 -
WR Lance Moore - 40 -
WR Devery Henderson - 30 -
WR Robert Meachem - 20 -
PK John Kasay 1 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Saints are proving rather mortal lately. They were beaten by these Buccaneers and then took it out on the Colts in the biggest blowout of the year. But then a trip to St. Louis to merely mail-in their next game against the doormat of the league ended up as a embarrassing loss so now the Saints have every reason to want to score big at home yet again. A win here makes taking the division fairly straight-forward. A loss just plunges the division into a three way tie.

QUARTERBACK: The last two road trips have been tough on Drew Brees. He's been prolific nearly every week but settled for just one score in those games. He was just sacked six times by the Rams. But at home, Brees has always passed for at least three touchdowns and 270+ yards and should light it up again this week.

Brees threw for 383 yards and one score but had three interceptions in Tampa Bay.

RUNNING BACKS: Mark Ingram never practiced last week because of his heel so the early week assumption is that he will be out again this week. Pierre Thomas had the best effort with a touchdown on his seven runs for 23 yards and he added 11 yards on four catches. Darren Sproles only gained 16 yards on six runs but turned in six receptions for 60 yards. Chris Ivory has been activated but was not used in the game.

Ingram scored once in Tampa Bay but no runner had more than 22 yards against the Bucs in week six.

The Buccaneers allowed 120+ rushing yards to all three primary backs met in road games this year but the Saints committee just splits that all up. It is always a risk to rely on one of these backs besides Sproles as a receiver but there is a good chance for a score again for Thomas.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This remains a gaggle of moderately productive wide receivers that are almost unreliable aside from just a few catches and yards each week. Lance Moore (8-82) just scored in St. Louis but had been stuck in 40 yard efforts in the previous four games. Robert Meachem has slowly become less and less productive to the point where he only has 20 yards or so for the last three games. Marques Colston is not above a bad game but is the most consistent of the bunch and has scored three times in the last three weeks.

Colston gained 118 yards and one touchdown on seven catches in Tampa Bay.

Aside from Colston - the rest are very risk plays.

TIGHT ENDS: Jimmy Graham disappeared last week for the first time but had been cranking out the big games and scores virtually every week. He's never had a bad game at home and should find the end zone once this week.

Graham gathered seven receptions for 124 yards on the Bucs three weeks ago.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 4 1 7 2 4 13
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 19 22 23 24 23 9

WEEK 9
2011
ATL at IND DEN at OAK NYJ at BUF TB at NO
BAL at PIT GB at SD SEA at DAL CHI at PHI (mon)
CIN at TEN MIA at KC SF at WAS Bye Week
  CLE at HOU NYG at NE STL at ARI CAR, DET, JAC, MIN

a d v e r t i s e m e n t