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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 2
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Sunday Late
*updates

Prediction: TB 17, BUF 23

Saturday Update: Bryant is now considered doubtful and is being removed from the projections.

Friday Update: Antonio Bryant was limited in practice and then held out of practice on Thursday because of pain and swelling in the knee he had surgery on in the offseason. I am lowering his projections for now but check what happened in Friday practice to get a better idea of what to expect this week.

The Buccaneers hit the road after nearly playing Dallas even all except for those three pesky long touchdown catches. The Bills head home after blowing a chance to beat the Patriots in New England and get that long-time monkey off their back. What matters most this week is that the Bills played far better than expected while the Bucs are on the road where they have struggled in recent years.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1)
Homefield: Raymond James Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 DAL 21-34 +5 39
2 @BUF - +4 41
3 NYG - - -
4 @WAS - - -
5 @PHI - - -
6 CAR - - -
7 NE - - -
8 BYE - - -
9 GB - - -
10 @MIA - - -
11 NO - - -
12 @ATL - - -
13 @CAR - - -
14 NYJ - - -
15 @SEA - - -
16 @NO - - -
17 ATL - - -
TB at BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Byron Leftwich     240,1
RB Derrick Ward 50 20  
RB Carnell Williams 40,1    
TE Kellen Winslow Jr.   60,1  
WR Antonio Bryant 30
WR Michael Clayton   50  
WR Sammie Stroughter   20  
PK Mike Nugent 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: You should always remember - these are not the old Buccaneers. Aside from Ronde Barber, there is no tie back to when the Buccaneers defense was one of the best. That came to light again last week when blown coverages resulted in two long touchdown catches and the Cowboys had success running Marion Barber as well. Aside from one sack, they never much bothered the Cowboys offense. This is a problem when installing a new offense that wants to just run the ball. The committee backfield appeared to work great. It just could not be used once the scoreboard got away from them.

Quarterback: Byron Leftwich secured the starting job if only to keep the rookie Josh Freeman from getting hurt until the offense settles into the new scheme. Leftwich actually threw better than usual when he ended with 276 yards and a score without a turnover or a sack allowed. The offense could have held its own were the defense not handing out a free touchdown pass each quarter.

This week the Bucs face the Bulls who were fairly shredded by Tom Brady for 378 yards and two scores. Leftwich.. Brady... Leftwich.. Brady... Not the same thing. This game will either get away from the Bucs early and force Leftwich to throw with at least some success, or it will remain low scoring and close with mostly rushing by both teams. The second scenario is more likely. Expect minimal numbers from Leftwich this week.

Running Backs: It is a death knell to fantasy teams but the Buccaneers liked the result of their new committee backfield. Carnell Williams ran very well against the Cowboys with 97 yards on 13 carries and scoring once. Derrick Ward also had a big game with 12 runs for 62 yards and a touchdown as well. Put those together and you have a super back. Keep them as is and its going go be more heartache than fantasy points.

This week in Buffalo it will be much tougher running against a team that held the Pats to 64 rushing yards on 22 carries. Look for moderate stats at best from either Ward or Williams and be really, really ticked off if you drafted Ward early in the summer thinking you had the next Michael Turner. We tried to warn you.

Wide Receivers: Antonio Bryant had a quiet opening week with just 29 yards on two catches against his old team (one of them anyway). Michael Clayton led the team with five catches for 93 yards but everyone else remained well below the 50 yard mark. Leftwich threw almost as many passes to tight ends as he did wide receivers so a committee approach is not limited to the backfield.

The Buccaneers won't reprise what Randy Moss and Wes Welker did, but should see some moderate yardage from the primary wideouts.

Tight Ends: Kellen WInslow's first game for the Buccaneers went well with a touchdown on five receptions for 30 yards. Jerramy Stevens also chipped in four catches for 41 yards. What is germane here is that Leftwich had the most success last week going to his tight ends and the Pats scored twice with Ben Watson. So far - this is a weak TE defense going against a strong TE offense.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 13 4 18 4 27 31
Preventing Fantasy Points    BUF 28 17 26 31 18 13


Buffalo Bills (0-1)
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
AstroTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @NE 24-25 +10.5 47
2 TB - -4 41
3 NO - - -
4 @MIA - - -
5 CLE - - -
6 @NYJ - - -
7 @CAR - - -
8 HOU - - -
9 BYE - - -
10 @TEN - - -
11 @JAC - - -
12 MIA - - -
13 NYJ - - -
14 @KC - - -
15 NE - - -
16 @ATL - - -
17 IND - - -
BUF vs TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Edwards     230,1
RB Fred Jackson 90,1 50  
TE Derek Schouman   20  
WR Lee Evans   50  
WR Terrell Owens   80,1  
WR Roscoe Parrish   10  
PK Rian Lindell 3 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: It was a valiant effort that fell just short. It would have been a huge confidence boost had the Bills walked away with their first win in New England since Jurassic Period but even in the loss there were numerous positives. The defense nearly shut down the Pats rushing game and Fred Jackson was a multi-threat. They had no turnovers and Terrell Owens did not complain about only getting three passes. For the want of two points, it could have been glorious.

Quarterback: Trent Edwards opened his season on a good note with a solid game in New England. He passed for 212 yards and two scores and no turnovers. He still has yet to incorporate Terrell Owens into the offense and all but five passes for 71 yards went to running backs and tight ends. But Edwards looked in control and played well in what has historically been the Bills worst place to play.

This week should be better since the Buccaneers have obvious problems in the secondary giving up 353 yards and three scores to Romo who apparently did not miss Terrell Owens. Edwards has Owens and needs to do something with him. But the offense will run when possible and throw when needed. The Bills can beat these Buccaneers and it won't take a lot of passing to get it done. The Bucs are a different team away from home.

Running Backs: With Marshawn Lynch suspended, Fred Jackson made the most of his start by rushing for 57 yards on 15 carries and adding five receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown. That was impressive considering the venue as the Patriots rush defense is always very stout at home and Jackson had several impressive runs and receptions.

This week should be even better back at home against a defense that allowed Marion Barber to gain 5.6 yards per carry in Tampa Bay. Look for a solid yardage total over 100 with receptions counted and at least one touchdown as well.

Wide Receivers: Terrell Owens makes for one heck of a great decoy. And that is what he was last week when he only had three passes thrown his way while being in constant escort of multiple defensive backs. That's no way to add to his records but it does keep him employed this year. Edwards did not go down field much with any wideouts in New England and Lee Evans settled for three catches and 25 yards himself.

WIth the secondary problems of the Buccaneers and them being on the road as well, look for Owens to exert himself more this week and he loves the home crowd anyway. There's no need for a huge passing attack this week, but Owens should see himself producing some fantasy points.

Tight Ends: Both Shawn Nelson and Derek Schouman are being involved now but Schouman (3-41) took the bigger share of receptions. Nelson had a touchdown catch so though so neither are safe fantasy plays.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 8 9 29 9 20 9
Preventing Fantasy Points    TB 31 16 32 20 29 1

The Huddle
WEEK 2
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Sunday Late
Other Features
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Early Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
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