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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 3
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Sunday Late
*updated

Prediction: NYG 27, TB 13

Saturday Update: Manningham had a full day on Friday and is good to go.

Friday Update: Domenik Hixon was out on Wednesday and limited on Thursday so I am not adding him into the projections and he has become a nonfactor anyway. Mario Manningham was limited both days this week with a sore shoulder but says he will play and is expected to have a full practice today.

Maurice Stovall has missed practice this week because of his knee and has been removed from the projections.

The Giants are 2-0 after downing divisional rivals and spoiling the Dallas Stadium homecoming game. Their biggest challenge now is getting excited about playing easy games in a row. The Buccaneers have never looked worse, losing by almost two touchdowns in both losses and doing their best to remind us that the great defense of the past is completely gone. This could be a trap game but even then would not matter.

New York Giants (2-0)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 WAS 23-17 -6.5 37
2 @DAL 33-31 +3 43.5
3 @TB - -7 44
4 @KC - - -
5 OAK - - -
6 @NO - - -
7 ARI - - -
8 @PHI - - -
9 SD - - -
10 BYE - - -
11 ATL - - -
12 @DEN - - -
13 DAL - - -
14 PHI - - -
15 @WAS - - -
16 CAR - - -
17 @MIN - - -
NYG at TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning     230,2
RB Brandon Jacobs 110,1 10  
RB Ahmad Bradshaw 50 10  
TE Kevin Boss   20  
WR Steve Smith   80,1  
WR Mario Manningham   80,1  
PK Lawrence Tynes 2 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: Huge win in Dallas can give comfort to the Giants that 2009 is shaping up to be yet another fine season. The defense has been outstanding for the most part and always good enough in the least. The rushing game hasn't exploded this year so far but facing two very good defenses would naturally depress those numbers. Perhaps answering the only question coming into the season, the Giants passing game is doing just fine, thanks very much for asking. It could be facing familiar opponents these last two weeks but the schedule is hitting a nice soft spot for the next month. It would be no shock for the G-Men to make it to their bye week with a 7-1 or even 8-0 record.

Quarterback: Eli Manning had a very strong showing in Dallas with 330 yards and two touchdowns and what was even more encouraging is that he did almost all that using just his two starting wide receivers. Manning already had some minor chemistry with Steve Smith from last year but Mario Manningham has exploded on the scene thanks to the confidence of Manning. So far this year, Manning is having another very strong start. The question as always is how he'll finish.

The Buccaneers have yet to allow less than two passing scores and the yardage simply depends on how well the rushing game goes - probably pretty well this week. Expect at least a good game from Manning again but he won't need to post monster stats to win this one.

Running Backs: Brandon Jacobs has started the season on a quiet note with only 16 carries per week and around 50 yards but he was playing against two very good rushing defenses and that is not the case this week. Ahmad Bradshaw has filled in as his complement but the Giants have passed their way to the wins so far so the running backs have only had a supporting role.

That should change this week facing a defense that just allowed Fred Jackson 163 rushing yards and the Cowboys topped 100 rush yards as well but were having too much fun scoring on long bombs. Expect a nice bounce back game for Jacobs this week and there could be enough slop left over to give Bradshaw some minor fantasy numbers this week as well.

Wide Receivers: Forget about Amani Toomer and Plaxico Burress - what took so long to get rid of those bums?

While the early returns are just that - early - there is no denying that the wideouts for the Giants have stepped up beyond expectations so far. Steve Smith has been the solid possession receiver with 16 catches for 214 yards and a score over the first two games. Mario Manningham is the waiver wire darling of the week after snaring ten passes for 150 yards in Dallas. That is if his 58-yard, one touchdown game in the opener wasn't enough to land him on a roster. Domenik Hixon remains a non-factor and Hakeem Nicks is still on the mend but this young duo in New York has been thoroughly impressive.

Hixon did have a sprained knee last week and left the game. I will assume he misses this week. Doesn't much matter either way.

The Buccaneers secondary has already been victimized for all five of the passing touchdowns allowed. Josh Reed is the only wide receiver to have at least one catch against the Buccaneers and yet not score a touchdown. It's like passing out free money so far. No question here - Smith and Manningham are both attractive starts this week. The success of the rushing game may limit them a bit but so far - everyone scores.

Tight Ends: While Boss had a nice opening game, he was back to just one catch on Sunday. No fantasy consistency here.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 13 26 2 27 1 2
Preventing Fantasy Points    TB 29 17 31 18 32 19


Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-2)
Homefield: Raymond James Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 DAL 21-34 +5 39
2 @BUF 20-33 +4 41
3 NYG - +7 44
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 vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Byron Leftwich     210,1
RB Derrick Ward 40 20  
RB Carnell Williams 40 30  
TE Kellen Winslow Jr.   60,1  
WR Maurice Stovall 30
WR Michael Clayton   40  
WR Sammie Stroughter   20  
PK Mike Nugent 2 FG 1 XP  

Pregame Notes: Tough times for the new regime in Tampa Bay who want to establish a strong ground game but failed to create the sort of defense that allows the luxury of just running the ball. So far the only saving grace to this team is that slop time is posting some fantasy stats where there should be none. And the worse part is that the schedule just gets worse with the next two games in Washington and Philly.

Quarterback: You have to love slop time. It is making Byron Leftwich appear to be a productive quarterback with games of 276 and 296 yards so far and a total of four passing scores. Of course the Bucs have lost both games by 13 points but Leftwich is making some fantasy waves if you can stand the sheer terror of starting him. Last week had him throwing two interceptions and being sacked a couple of times and that should merely be the starting point for this game.

The Giants have only allowed one passing score per opponent and none have produced more than 211 passing yards. Unfortunately, Leftwich faces a team that doesn't even like to allow slop yards or scores.

Running Backs: This actually could be a productive unit if the Buccaneers could control the scoreboard and at least slow down their opponents. Of course there is still no consistency how this committee is used each Sunday and that alone makes it unworthy of fantasy consideration. Derrick Ward fell back last week to only 32 yards on nine carries after a good opening week. Carnell Williams had a worse time with only nine yards on seven receptions and the Bucs used him as a receiver for a respectable 56 yards and a score on seven catches. Ernest Graham figures in as a minor character but the bottom line is that the rushing game can never get into rhythm because the Buccaneers fall behind too quickly. And these runners are going to be borderline too old next year when things may get better.

The Giants were gashed by the run in Dallas but that was with more to worry about than the Buccaneers can hope to present. Look for moderate games at best from Williams and Ward who are better off on your bench. Receiving yardage could salvage fantasy value here but even that has been inconsistently used,

Wide Receivers: Four passing scores this year and still none for the wideouts. Maurice Stovall had a decent game in Buffalo with 80 yards but he only had one catch in week one. Michael Clayton's 93 yard season opener disintegrated into only two receptions for 27 yards last week. There is no consistency in the use of receivers and that despite the 270+ passing yards of the last two weeks. Antonio Bryant remains out with his sore knee and should miss this game.

The Giants secondary has been dominating so far and held all Dallas receivers to only one catch each. No way is any Tampa Bay receiver an attractive play this week. They never score and may have minimal yards this time.

Tight Ends: The addition of Kellen Winslow has added something to the offense even if nothing else has. Winslow has scored in each game this year and had a season best 90 yards on seven reception in Buffalo. The Giants have allowed a passing score to a tight end in each game so far so look for Winslow to at least have a decent game and potentially another good one.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 7 8 25 1 31 27
Preventing Fantasy Points    NYG 9 24 1 28 10 1

The Huddle
WEEK 3
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Sunday Late
Other Features
Fantasy Statistics
Early Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
Game Recaps
Tunnel Vision
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