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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

Prediction: TB 17, SEA 27

Friday Update: Kellen Winslow was held out of practice on Friday and is considered a gametime decision because of his knee apparently being a problem since practicing fully on Thursday. Check for inactives to see if he plays because this will be a nice situation for him if he can participate in Seattle. I am changing the projections to reflect the risk.

Thursday Night Update: Nate Burleson has already been called out for this week and has been removed. Michael Clayton remains out of practice with his bad knee. Sammie Stroughter has returned to practice and should play but has not been productive enough to warrant adding into the projections anyway.

The Buccaneers come off their fifth straight loss and getting beaten 3-26 wasn't even their worst loss or lowest offensive output. The Bucs are 0-6 on the road. The Seahawks fall to 5-8 because they were on the road last week but their 4-2 home record is all you need to know for this week.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-12)
Homefield: Raymond James Stadium
  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 14-33 +16 42.5
6 CAR 21-28 +3 39
7 NE 7-35 +15.5 44.5
8 BYE - - -
9 GB 38-28 +10 43.5
10 @MIA 23-25 +10 43
11 NO 7-38 +10.5 51
12 @ATL 17-20 +12 46
13 @CAR 6-16 +3.5 40
14 NYJ 3-26 3.5 36.5
15 @SEA - +7 39.5
16 @NO - - -
17 ATL - - -
TB at SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Josh Freeman     230,2
RB Carnell Williams 30 10  
TE Kellen Winslow Jr.   40,1  
WR Antonio Bryant   90,1  
WR Maurice Stovall   40  
PK Conner Barth 1 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Buccaneers seemingly have a chance this week since their previous road games include three losses by a field goal or less but then again who takes the Buccaneers as a serious threat? Josh Freeman has turned into an interception machine and the offense has not scored a touchdown since week 12. Chances are very good that the Buccaneers can end their year with a 1-15 record unless they somehow take down the Falcons in the final game.

Quarterback: Josh Freeman comes off two disastrous games and only managed to complete 14 of 33 passes for 93 yards and three interceptions last week. He had five interceptions and no scores in Carolina the previous Sunday. The only real success he had aside from the first game was on the road to Atlanta against the worst secondary on his schedule. He passed for 250 yards and two scores that week.

The Seahawks have one of the weakest secondaries in the league and have allowed multiple passing scores in nine different games and four passers threw for more than 300 yards. The situation is good here but Freeman has hardly been a top quarterback. Expect moderate yardage and a score here but it is more likely to go higher than lower.

Running Backs: Carnell Williams will finish out the year as the starter but his only claim to fame is being marginally better than Derrick Ward and Ernest Graham. Williams has only three rushing scores on the season and has never topped 100 rushing yards in any game. He should have yet another bad game this week against a Seattle defense that has only given up one rushing score to a visitor and no runner has topped 67 rushing yards there. Unfortunately, Williams is limited to one or two catches per week so offers no help there either.

Wide Receivers: Antonio Bryant was predictably shut down by Darrelle Revis last week but Bryant claims to be finally pain free and recovered from his knee injury for the first time this season. He had two straight efforts of 90+ yards leading up to last week. That is important since both Sammie Stroughter and Michael Clayton were out last week. Clayton has missed two weeks now but Stroughter had been chugging along with his single catch per game from the slot. I will assume both Stroughter and Clayton are out again this week and they have no fantasy value anyway. Maurice Stovall will fill in.

The Seahawks are weak against the pass and even though the wide receiver crew is a bit decimated by injury here the reality is that Bryant is the only one that matters, along with tight end Kellen Winslow. The Seahawks allow about one passing score per visiting wideout and double that on the road. Look for Bryant to get his fourth score on the season.

Tight Ends: Kellen Winslow has been the most consistent aspect of the passing game all year long and he has topped 80 yards in four different games and scored five times. This week will be the softest secondary he has faced since he had 81 yards on seven catches against the Falcons. Winslow had his top four yardage efforts all come on the road. Look for a solid effort here from Winslow against a secondary that has given up several big games to lesser tight ends.

Gaining Fantasy Points TB 24 31 31 7 32 21
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 29 20 31 21 14 19

Seattle Seahawks (5-8)
Homefield: Qwest Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 STL 28-0 -7.5 37
2 @SF 10-23 +1.5 39.5
3 CHI 19-25 +2 37
4 @IND 17-34 +10 43.5
5 JAC 41-0 +3 40
6 ARI 3-27 -3 47
7 BYE - - -
8 @DAL 17-38 +10 46
9 DET 32-20 -10 43
10 @ARI 20-31 +9 47
11 @MIN 9-35 +10.5 47
12 @STL 27-17 -3.5 42.5
13 SF 20-17 -1 41.5
14 @HOU 7-34 +7 44.5
15 TB - -7 39.5
16 @GB - - -
17 TEN - - -
SEA vs TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck     220,2
RB Julius Jones 70,1    
RB Justin Forsett 40 30,1  
TE John Carlson   20  
WR T. J. Houshmandzadeh   70  
WR Deion Branch   60,1  
WR Nate Burleson 50
PK Olindo Mare 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: As usual, the Seahawks hit the road against a non-divisional opponent and were drubbed in Houston last week. At least at home against likewise bad teams the Seahawks have shined and this is likely the last chance for a win this year with the Packers and Titans left on the schedule. Ending up 6-10 is an appropriate record since it reflects that the Seahawks really cannot handle opponents outside the division or on the road.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck re-injured his throwing shoulder last week but said he was confident that he would play this week. He's been unusually inconsistent in recent weeks that included two games with no scores but at home he has been better. Playing in Seattle has produced three of his multiple score games.

The Buccaneers have allowed multiple passing scores in nine different games this year and most of those on the road. The yardage they allow to the passing game is normally moderate because opponents have such good success rushing the football. It is not likely that Hasselbeck has that much yardage this week but he should have at least one score and perhaps two.

Running Backs: The backfield was supposed to shift to more of a split between Julius Jones and Justin Forsett but week13 saw Forsett limited to only five carries in part because of not being healthy. Jones rushed for 67 yards on 20 carries that week against the 49ers but in Houston the duo shared the meager workload. Jones (10-39) was marginally more productive than Forsett (9-26) who also added four catches for 47 yards.

This is significant because the Buccaneers bring in a rush defense that has allowed 14 rushing scores this year and nine players have ended with around 100 or more rushing yards against them. The split ensures that neither Forsett or Jones is likely to have a big game here but both should be decent and Jones is likely for one rushing score. Forsett has a good shot at decent total yardage and a score via a reception.

Wide Receivers: T. J. Houshmandzadeh was injured in the Houston game when he was crushed on a route over the middle but was able to later finish the game and expects to be available again for this game. Nate Burleson sprained his ankle as well and is due for MRI tests not available as of this writing. I will assume he can play and update as needed. Deion Branch is the only Seattle wideout with a score in the last five weeks and just missed on another last week. Houshmandzadeh and Burleson roughly share an even load of catches and yards but neither player has scored since week nine. Branch rarely has more than 30 yards in a game but scored in the last home game.

The Buccaneers are weak against the pass with 17 scores allowed to the position but this offense doesn't operate to make a lot of use of them. No reason to expect more than moderate yardage and the score is more likely to end up with Branch.

Tight Ends: John Carlson caught a touchdown last week but only had two on the season and is seeing a reduced number of plays with him on the field. It's been a month since he had more than 30 yards in a game and is being used more and more as just a blocker.

Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 15 12 14 24 14 19
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 21 23 21 19 30 23

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