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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 9
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
BUF, CLE
Monday
NYJ, OAK
STL, MIN
* updated

Prediction: GB 27, TB 6

Late Update: Antonio Bryant has his bad knee swell up and he was held out of practice on Friday and becomes a gametime decision. Michael Clayton was limited all this week with an injured wrist but is expected to play. Donald Driver came back for a full practice on Friday as expected and will play.

Early Update: Donald Driver has not practiced because of the neck stinger he got last week but he has not been ruled out this week and he will play as long as he is cleared. Check back after Friday practice.

The Packers come off their thumping by he-who-has-no-name and the loss drops them two and a half games behind the Vikings and tied with the Bears in the NFC North. The Buccaneers are the lone remaining team without a win and they are throwing the rookie quarterback into the fire just to lock up that draft pick next April.

The Buccaneers won 30-21 when the Packers visited last year. The team this year - not so good.

Green Bay Packers (4-3)
Homefield: Lambeau Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 CHI 21-15 -4 46
2 CIN 24-31 -9 42
3 @STL 36-17 -6.5 41
4 @MIN 23-30 +3.5 46
5 BYE - - -
6 DET 26-0 -13.5 47.5
7 @CLE 31-3 -9.5 41.5
8 MIN 26-38 -3.5 46.5
9 @TB - -10 43.5
10 DAL - - -
11 SF - - -
12 @DET - - -
13 BAL - - -
14 @CHI - - -
15 @PIT - - -
16 SEA - - -
17 @ARI - - -
GB at TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers     300,2
RB Ryan Grant 80,1 30  
TE Donald Lee   30  
WR Greg Jennings   80,1  
WR Donald Driver   90,1  
WR James Jones   50  
PK Mason Crosby 2 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Packers are now into the meat of their schedule with this and week 12 in Detroit the lone oasis from which wins should be easily withdrawn. At 4-2 the Packers have an excellent shot still at an eventual wildcard but the division now belongs to the Vikings barring an unforeseen calamity in Minneapolis. Unless the Buccaneers got better in a big hurry, this week should be ripe for fantasy points since previous matchups with the Lions and Browns were blowouts. The Packers will roll up the score if they can. A big win would make last week slightly better.

Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers suffered a sprain in one foot and a sprained toe in the other but he is not expected to miss any playing time or be limited in any significant way. Rodgers has been very productive for the last five weeks with multiple scores in every game and three each in the last two weeks. He only has two interceptions on the season though he continues to be banged up by the pass rush. Rodgers has already been sacked 31 times in just seven games.

Rodgers passed for 165 yards and two scores in Tampa Bay last year.

The Buccaneers offer a welcomed matchup since they have allowed multiple touchdowns in all but one game this year and most teams throw for over 250 yards. Expect a solid showing here by Rodgers who will want to get past the Vikes loss as quickly as he can.

Running Backs: Ryan Grant only had 51 total yards last week but he has been solid with 100+ total yards for the previous month and always performs in direct relation to the quality of the defense he is facing. Ahman Green was signed to become a change of pace back and lend some veteran rah-rah but he was done as a fantasy force before he spent two seasons in Houston. Green only had two carries for one yard last week.

Grant rushed for just 20 yards on 15 carries in Tampa Bay last season.

This version of the Buccaneers are much different. They have allowed seven rushing touchdowns and six runners have topped 90 rushing yards against them. Look for at least a solid game from Grant that could get big if he gets some short scores.

Wide Receivers: Donald Driver had a neck stinger but is expected to be fine for this game. He remains the primary receiver and is solid for at least 60 yards each week. Greg Jennings finally showed up with a score last week and had 88 yards on eight catches against the Vikings. Jennings has mainly been inconsistent with little rhyme or reason why he shows up well one week and then disappears the next. James Jones had a two game scoring streak going but failed to score against the Vikings. He rarely has more than one or two catches anyway, the only question is if he catches the one long strike for a score.

Jennings caught six passes for 109 yards and two scores in Tampa Bay last year.

The Buccaneers secondary has been ravaged by wideouts and allowed 12 touchdowns to the position already this year. This is the week to start both Driver and Jennings since the Bucs have yet to face a team that did not get at least one score from a wideout.

Tight Ends: Jermichael Finley remains doubtful to play this week and while Donald Lee had his standard three catches as he always would, Spencer Havner stepped in to catch two passes for 21 yards - both scores. He now has four catches for 80 yards and three scores on the year. Those were FInley scores and will be again once he is healthy.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 1 24 9 3 6 6
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 29 26 26 22 23 22


Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-7)
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 13-16 +7 37
5 @PHI 33-14 +16 42.5
6 CAR 21-28 +3 39
7 NE 7-35 +15.5 44.5
8 BYE - - -
9 GB - +10 43.5
10 @MIA - - -
11 NO - - -
12 @ATL - - -
13 @CAR - - -
14 NYJ - - -
15 @SEA - - -
16 @NO - - -
17 ATL - - -
TB vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Josh Freeman     140
RB Derrick Ward 30    
RB Carnell Williams 40 10  
TE Kellen Winslow Jr.   20  
WR Antonio Bryant   30  
WR Michael Clayton   30  
WR Sammie Stroughter   30  
PK Conner Barth 2 FG    

Pregame Notes: At 0-7, why not make some changes? The Buccaneers are now on their third kicker for the year when they signed Conner Barth and released Shane Andrus. They have also opted to start the rookie Josh Freeman and the team has been wracked by the flu since leaving London in week seven. I'll assume the locusts won't show up for at least one more week.

Quarterback: The Buccaneers are now turning to Josh Freeman who they selected with the 1.17 pick of the NFL draft. He was a star at Kansas State and wasn't expected to see much work this year but the team was going nowhere fast with Josh Johnson at the helm. At least it is someone new to look at when the Buccaneers lose. Johnson started four games and had four scores against eight interceptions. Even those numbers will be hard to reach for the rookie.

Running Backs: The nice part about Derrick Ward and Carnell Williams splitting carries is that it removes both from any temptation to start them for your fantasy team. They have combined for one touchdown in the last six games and Williams has the team best since week one with 77 rush yards but he has never put two remotely decent games together so you can only know when it is not safe to use him and never when it is safe to use him. Add in a rookie quarterback and this gets no better.

Ernest Graham rushed for 111 yards and a score when the Packers visited last year.

The Packers have only allowed two rushing touchdowns this year and Adrian Peterson is not about to be traded to the Buccaneers. Hands off this crew until maybe early September, 2010.

Wide Receivers: All bets are off with a rookie quarterback getting his first start. Antonio Bryant has been the only player in this crew with any fantasy value and even he has only scored twice and has never gained more than 62 yards in a game. Lower your expectations this week. No - lower than that. A little more. There.

Bryant only had four catches for 39 yards against the Packers last year.

Tight Ends: Kellen Winslow has turned in three good efforts this year though only one since Byron Leftwich was demoted. He;s only had 38 yards on five catches over the last two weeks and both of those were home games. Hands off again this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 25 30 29 6 32 23
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 15 2 13 12 3 13

The Huddle
WEEK 9
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
BUF, CLE
Monday
NYJ, OAK
STL, MIN
Other Features
Fantasy Statistics
Early Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
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