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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

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

Prediction: TB 16, TEN 23

Players to Watch: Chris Johnson in case he cares

Update: Matt Hasselbeck is expected to play this week and is listed as probable but the Titans may not be shy about replacing him again with Jake Locker after last week showed the rookie playing so well in his first action.

The Buccaneers have lost four straight and are only 1-4 on the road. The Titans are 5-5 with a 3-2 home mark. The Titans vacillate between mediocre and very good while the Buccaneers have been hanging out at "not good" for a while now.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Homefield: Raymond James Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DET 20-27 10 HOU 9-37
2 @MIN 24-20 11 @GB 26-35
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 16-27      
Buccaneers Report | Statistics | Roster
TAMPA BAY at TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Josh Freeman - - 240,1
RB LeGarrette Blount 60 - -
TE Kellen Winslow Jr. - 40,1 -
WR Preston Parker - 50 -
WR Mike Williams - 40 -
WR Dezmon Briscoe - 30 -
WR Arrelious Benn - 40 -
PK Conner Barth 3 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Buccaneers enjoyed all new success on offense last week in Green Bay in what looked like a trap game in the making until the Packers realized it was just the Buccaneers. Last week aside, the offense has not progressed and scoring points has been a major challenge. It would be nice to see last week turn into something bigger but on the road against the Titans defense, a replay for production is far less likely.

QUARTERBACK: Though Josh Freeman comes off a season best game in Green Bay where he passed for 342 and two scores, he's been far more likely to end up with moderate yards and just one score each week. He only has passed for 11 touchdowns this season against 15 interceptions and needs an ideal matchup before he merits any fantasy attention - like last week. Not this week.

The Titans are nothing special in the secondary but that matches up with Freeman pretty well. Look for his standard game with one touchdown and forget about last week.

RUNNING BACKS: It was a great surprise last week when LeGarrette Blount rushed for 107 yards on 18 carries and scored on a 54-yard pinball run through half of the Packers defense. Blount only had one other game over 100 rushing yards and that was when the Colts visited. It was his first score since week four - again the Colts game. He only averaged around 40 rushing yards in the three intervening games.

The Titans have been very good against the run outside of Arian Foster and Blount on the road makes a marginal fantasy start in most games.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This mish-mash of four receivers always mix-n-match with minimal fantasy relevance. Mike Williams had a freakish 7-83 and a score on the Packers bad secondary and that was his first touchdown since the season opener. There have been nine touchdowns thrown to the position here - two each except for Preston Parker who has three. There still has been no wideout for the Bucs that gained 100 receiving yards in a game this year.

The Cortland Finnegan factor is less an issue this week since all four are roughly as good as the other. No reason to expect a big game here by any of them let alone the Titans worry about shutting any one of them down.

TIGHT ENDS: Kellen Winslow Jr has been a disappointment this year but at least he did score in two of the last four games. He also had a season best 132 yards on nine catches but he typically ends up closer to 40 yards per week. Winslow is the better bet for a a score this week against the Titans who have allowed six touchdowns to the position.

Gaining Fantasy Points TB 13 27 16 18 17 24
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 13 22 5 31 14 3

Tennessee Titans
Homefield: LP Field
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @JAC 14-16 10 @CAR 30-3
2 BAL 26-13 11 @ATL 17-23
3 DEN 17-14 12 TB -
4 @CLE 31-13 13 @BUF -
5 @PIT 17-38 14 NO -
6 Bye - 15 @IND -
7 HOU 7-41 16 JAC -
8 IND 27-10 17 @HOU -
9 CIN 17-24      
Titans Report | Statistics | Roster
TENNESSEE vs TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck - - 200,2
RB Chris Johnson 50 30 -
TE Jared Cook - 40 -
WR Lavelle Hawkins - 30 -
WR Nate Washington - 40,1 -
WR Damian Williams - 50,1 -
PK Rob Bironas 3 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Titans are a hard team to get a handle on with dominating wins in Carolina and against the Texans and yet losses to the Bengals and in Atlanta. Now that Matt Hasselbeck has a bad elbow, it is bound to have a chilling effect on the passing effort and the run game is already as reliable as a political promise made in private. This week at home is likely the easiest game left on the schedule aside from the Indy trip.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Hasselbeck has no structural damage to his right elbow and the team does not expect to know his status until Friday. He is expected to be limited in practices through Thursday and then evaluated to see if he can play or if Jake Locker will take the start. Locker was impressive leading the Titans to two scores in the failed comeback bid in Atlanta. With the Titans season starting to slip away, there is a chance we would be seeing more of Locker anyway.

The Buccaneers on the road have been very generous though that involved Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. Still most teams end up with high yardage and multiple scores on them. With the status of Hasselbeck still unknown, no reason to expect a big game here.

RUNNING BACKS: You put your money down, you take your chances.

The safest bet is that not only does Chris Johnson lack the fire and hunger now but that it doesn't really bother him that much. He rushed for 130 yards and a score against the Panthers and that was more than his three previous games combined. And yet in Atlanta, he ran 12 times for 13 yards and was smiles and laughs after the game talking to the Falcons. HC Mike Munchak said he was disappointed with the run game which only took eleven obvious weeks to get there.

Now the Titans face the incoming Buccaneers who are horrible against the run. They have allowed 14 touchdowns to running backs and numerous big games. This is as good as it gets for the remainder of the season which we also said about Indy when he only gained 34 yards on 14 carries. Oddly his only two decent games came on the road as well as his only two touchdowns. Easiest thing to do - assume that he will be more like he is 80% of the time instead of the 20% of the time. But this is as good as he will get.

WIDE RECEIVERS: When Jake Locker took over last week, suddenly Nate Washington came to life and ended with a season best 115 yards and one score on nine catches. His four previous games were all 40 yards or less and his hot start to the year had given way to Damian Williams how had scored in weeks nine and ten and totaled 107 yards in the Panthers blowout. If Locker ends up starting, Washington becomes more interesting though with only the one good game after a month of near nothing. Williams only had one catch in Atlanta but was targeted 11 times - two more than Washington.

I like at least one score if not two to end up with the wideouts and both Washington and Williams are somewhat attractive at home. They are also dependent on which Chris Johnson shows up. Consider both risky but with some upside.

TIGHT ENDS: Jared Cook has been a marginal play for the last month with at most around 50 yards in a game and usually less. The Buccaneers are not that strong against the position and Cook could score, but he just does not get the looks anymore.

Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 16 29 11 15 21 21
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 26 31 24 28 22 9

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

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