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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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Game Predictions Summary

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The Huddle
WEEK 4
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
ARI, PHI
Monday
ATL, CAR
*Updated

Prediction: TB 13, WAS 17

Saturday Update: Bryant was still limited on Friday but will play injured as he did last week. No reason to consider him yet for a fantasy start. Derrick Ward is questionable to play but never practiced so I am lowering his projections and be aware that he may not play. That makes Carnell Williams the primary back that you do not want to use this week. Clinton Portis never practiced this week. I am removing him from the projections though he still may play some role. LaDell Betts would be in line for a start if Portis is out and at the least would have increased workload on Sunday with Portis not 100%. Marcus Mason would also get work so it's not as clean to expect Betts to completely take over should Portis not play.

Friday Update: Clinton Portis has been held out of practice for both days with his creaky ankles and a calf contusion but is still expected to play this week. Antonio Bryant has been limited this week but that is to be expected since his sore knee is not yet healthy.

What a horrible game to call. The Buccaneers have lost every game by about two touchdowns or more and are changing quarterbacks thinking it cannot get any worse than the shutout at home last week. The Redskins can remind them that yes, indeed, it can be worse when your team just allowed the Lions to end their 19 game losing streak. Chances are this will be the lowest scoring game this week.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3)
Homefield: Raymond James Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 DAL 21-34 +5 39
2 @BUF 20-33 +4 41
3 NYG 0-24 +7 44
4 @WAS - +7 37
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 WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Josh Johnson     140,1
RB Derrick Ward 20 10  
RB Carnell Williams 50 10  
TE Kellen Winslow Jr.   50,1  
WR Antonio Bryant   20  
WR Michael Clayton   30  
WR Sammie Stroughter   20  
PK Mike Nugent 2 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: A bad season only gets worse with the Giants pelting the Bucs in a shutout for the hometown fans. A change of quarterbacks is little more than changing the hood ornament on this team that is just drifting offensively. When the rushing attack is gone, there is nothing the offense can do to get the job done. The defense is an even bigger culprit that ensures the offense rarely has decent field position much less a decent game situation.

Quarterback: The Buccaneers hit rock bottom against the Giants and now Byron Leftwich falls to #3 on the depth chart while second-year player Josh Johnson will take over for now. Josh Freeman is considered too raw and there is no sense in subjecting him to the almost certain carnage of playing quarterback for the Buccaneers. Leftwich had managed to throw for as many as 296 yards and three scores (@BUF) but he was beyond bad last week and the coaching staff needs to at least look like they are doing something about it.

Problem though is that we don't really know what to expect from Johnson other than last week he only completed four of ten passes for 36 yards. No one has scored more than once via the pass against the Redskins so forget about Johnson for this week.

Running Backs: The committee backfield approach has been getting less and less effective with each passing week and against the Giants only produced 10 rushing yards on seven carries. What seemed to work in week one against the Cowboys is not devoid of all fantasy value.

The Redskins have only allowed one rushing touchdown and none while at home. This is where the Bucs have to hope to compete but the split in carries alone drains the fantasy value here. On the road to play a wounded Redskins team is not likely to see any improvement. Leave both runners alone this week. Carnell Williams is also starting to have knee problems again.

Wide Receivers: Antonio Bryant was able to play last week but only caught one pass for six yards. He did not have any swelling in his repaired right knee but he still isn't near being 100% healthy. Maurice Stovall was a scratch last week with a sore knee as well. This unit gets a new quarterback but that is hardly enough to merit any fantasy attention about.

The Redskins have not allowed more than 80 yards to any wideout and this unit is worse than any yet faced. No reason to touch any of these wideouts in the near future at least.

Tight Ends: Kellen Winslow had a horrible week three like the rest of the team but scored in both of the previous games with at least marginal yardage. With a new quarterback coming in, Winslow is the only Buccaneer that has any fantasy value and mainly because the tight ends as a position score the least anyway. New quarterbacks typically like their tight ends so I am giving him the one passing score. The Skins have not yet faced a team that much uses the tight end.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 21 21 29 2 32 32
Preventing Fantasy Points    WAS 8 11 19 6 12 23


Washington Redskins (1-2)
Homefield: FedEx Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @NYG 17-23 +6.5 37
2 STL 9-7 -10 37
3 @DET 14-19 -6.5 38
4 TB - -7 37
5 @CAR - - -
6 KC - - -
7 PHI - - -
8 BYE - - -
9 @ATL - - -
10 DEN - - -
11 @DAL - - -
12 @PHI - - -
13 NO - - -
14 @OAK - - -
15 NYG - - -
16 DAL - - -
17 @SD - - -
WAS vs TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Jason Campbell     220,2
RB Clinton Portis 80 10
RB Ladell Betts 80 10  
TE Chris Cooley   70,1  
WR Santana Moss   60,1  
WR Antwaan Randle El   40  
WR Malcolm Kelly   20  
PK Shaun Suisham 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: And that defines "ouch."

The Redskins became "IT" when they lost to the Lions last week and with that a chance that we've already seen the best days of HC Jim Zorn. They have almost certainly seen the best days of Clinton Portis. The Redskins have a very light schedule for now and are struggling to score - not a good sign for the future when the second half of the season is stocked with tough matchups. The visiting Buccaneers are a chance to regroup and get a much needed win. A loss here would be simply catastrophic.

Quarterback: Jason Campbell had a freakishly good game in Detroit (in fantasy terms) when he passed for 340 yards and two scores in the loss. He's always a safe bet for mediocrity most weeks and that usually equates into the standard 200 or so yards and maybe one score.

The Buccaneers have allowed at least two passing scores in all three games this year so there is a chance that Campbell becomes a option to cover a bye week. Small chance there is much yardage but he'll throw at least one score and maybe two.

Running Backs: Clinton Portis only had 12 carries for 42 yards last week since the gameplan called for a pass-heavy attack. Portis is nursing bone spurs in both ankles and has lost his best blocker to injured reserve. These last two games against the Rams and Lions should have been time for major fantasy points. Instead, he only had a combined 31 carries for 121 yards in those games.

Ladell Betts is not picking up the slack either with never more than four carries in any game. Needless to say, there have been no rushing scores for the Redskins this season.

The Buccaneers have allowed big games to running backs this year but expecting more than just a decent game from Portis is optimistic at this point. He makes an okay start in a matchup that should be a monster game.

Wide Receivers: Santana Moss had his annual stats-skewing monster game when he caught 10 passes for 178 yards and one score in Detroit while no other wideout had more than two catches or 21 yards. There is no consistency here other than there is no consistency. Antwaan Randle El had a seven catch, 98 yard game to open the year and then nothing since. Outside of Moss, there isn't a receiver here worth having even as fantasy depth.

The Buccaneers have already given up seven receiving touchdowns so look for Moss to be the most likely to score because all the other wideouts have been ineffective. It is a risk to rely on Moss but a calculated one for this one week.

Tight Ends: Chris Cooley is the only receiver on the Redskins who offers any reliability for fantasy points. He's been the primary receiver twice this year and likely again this week. The Bucs have not faced a receiving tight end yet so expect a good game by Cooley.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 14 26 21 15 25 28
Preventing Fantasy Points    TB 28 22 32 16 32 10

The Huddle
WEEK 4
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
ARI, PHI
Monday
ATL, CAR
Other Features
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Early Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
Game Recaps
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