FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 11
2012
MIA at BUF (THU) *CLE at DAL *NO at OAK TB at CAR
*ARI at ATL GB at DET NYJ at STL *CHI at SF (MON)
*BAL at PIT *IND at NE PHI at WAS Bye:
*UPDATED CIN at KC JAC at HOU *SD at DEN MIN, NYG, SEA, TEN

Prediction: TB 27, CAR 17 (Line: TB by 1)

Players to Watch: Doug Martin, Cam Newton, Steve Smith

This is a replay of the season opener when the Buccaneers won 16-10. Now the 5-4 Bucs are on a three game winning streak while scoring over 34 points in four of the last five games. The 2-7 Panthers are only 1-4 at home and have not scored more than 22 points in the last six weeks.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Homefield: Raymond James Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CAR 16-10 10 SD 34-24
2 @NYG 34-41 11 @CAR -----
3 @DAL 10-16 12 ATL -----
4 WAS 22-24 13 @DEN -----
5 BYE ----- 14 PHI -----
6 KC 38-10 15 @NO -----
7 NO 28-35 16 STL -----
8 @MIN 36-17 17 @ATL -----
9 @OAK 42-32 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
TB @ CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 290,2
RB Doug Martin 100,1 5-30
RB Jacquizz Rodgers 30 5-30
WR DeSean Jackson 6-80,1
PK Nick Folk 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: The Buccaneers stumbled out of the blocks with a new running back, wideout and coaching staff. At their bye, they were only 1-3. And then it caught fire. The defense still leaves a lot to be desired but the offense is more balanced and formidable than it has in at least a decade. Not only that but it is very young with room to grow in every area.

Josh Freeman threw for multiple scores in each of the last five weeks with a total of 18 touchdowns already and a personal best of 420 passing yards in the Saints game. Freeman only passed for 138 yards in that season opener with the Panthers but has been not only very productive, but he has not thrown an interception in the last four games.

Doug Martin is also a big reason for the offensive explosion lately. He's already scored eight times this year and topped 100 total yards in each of his last five outings. He's not only being used as a workhorse back, but he's adding three or four receptions each week. Martin is so good that lately get all but maybe one or two carries in the game. LeGarrette Blount watched what was probably his entire NFL career disappear in the last month. In his first game ever, Martin ran for 95 yards and added four catches for 23 yards in the first meeting with the Panthers.

The Buccaneers also made a great move when they added Vincent Jackson. He's already scored six times and and half his games have been over 85 yards including the 216 yards he gained against the Saints. He's been better in home games than on the road and started the year with only 47 yards on four catches versus the Panthers. Mike Williams scored in the season opener and totals five touchdowns so far with two efforts over 100 yards. He's been a near lock for around 50 ot 60 yards in most games and has been aided by the addition of Jackson who lets Williams take the single coverage.

The first meeting was low scoring but unlike the Panthers, the Buccaneers offense has greatly improved to the point of being a top scorer in the NFL for the last month. As bad as their secondary has been - they need the offense.

What works this week is Martin facing the #27 defense against running backs.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 15 8 12 28 11 11
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 10 27 9 11 32 30

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Jameis Winston, TB CHI 0000030020 ***
Matt Ryan went for 321-1-0 last week against the Bears. Winston had a few more days of prep time for this one, and the Bucs have a wealth of weaponry.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jacquizz Rodgers, TB CHI 6012100000 **
Here's Game 2 of Doug Martin's four-game break, and Rodgers should get the bulk of the action. Charles Sims may be a factor in the passing game, though. The Bears lost Jerrell Freeman in Week 1. Outside of a Martin TD in Week 10 last year, Chicago owned Tampa's RBs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, TB CHI 003701000 **
Jackson's Tampa debut draws a moderate matchup against a Bears defense that did a pretty good job of containing Atlanta's offense in Week 1. He's a better choice in non-PPR given the chance of a big play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mike Evans, TB CHI 006800000 ***
Tampa's star receiver may have a tough go of it in this one. The Bears held Julio Jones down last weekend. The plus side is that Evans had extra prep time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Adam Humphries, TB CHI 004400000 ***
Humphries checks in as a fringe lineup gamble in deep formats. The Bears will be focused stopping Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson, so there's hope for a surprise performance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Cameron Brate, TB CHI 005601000 **
While it happened on just two plays, Chicago was smacked upside its head by Atlanta TE Austin Hooper in Week 1. Brate is the starter here and has reasonable upside with a fairly safe floor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE O.J. Howard, TB CHI 002200000 ***
Howard has a bright outlook that we will see on display in ... you guessed it, the future. Rookie TEs rarely make noise in fantasy, especially in their first start.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, TB CHI 1133 ***
Folk's offense should provide ample chances against a Chicago defense ready to be beaten up by a Buccaneers squad with extra prep time.

Carolina Panthers
Homefield: Bank of America Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @TB 10-16 10 DEN 14-36
2 NO 35-27 11 TB -----
3 NYG 7-36 12 @PHI -----
4 @ATL 28-30 13 @KC -----
5 SEA 12-16 14 ATL -----
6 BYE ----- 15 @SD -----
7 DAL 14-19 16 OAK -----
8 @CHI 22-23 17 @NO -----
9 @WAS 21-13 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CAR vs TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Cam Newton 50,1 280,1
RB Jonathan Stewart 40 2-10
TE Greg Olsen 5-60

Pregame Notes: The Panthers won only one of their last six games and at 2-7 the worst of all outcomes is happening. Last week in the blowout loss to the Broncos, Steve Smith was on the bench later in the game because HC Ron Rivera wanted to take a look at the younger players. He said "We're at a point now where we're looking at guys." That means you probably cannot rely on anyone other than Cam Newton. Take away trash time and garbage yards and you remove the best of Steve Smith and Greg Olsen.

Newton comes off one of his best passing games of the year when he threw for 241 yards and two scores on the Broncos in a game that got out of hand early. He also only ran for seven yards on fours which makes the third time this year that he did not even gain ten yards as a runner. The first time was the season opener when he only ran for four yards on five runs in Tampa Bay. He passed for 303 yards and one score in that game with two interceptions.

Guessing who does what as a running back is folly here. Jonathan Stewart was promoted into being the primary back but only took eight carries for 31 yards last week while DeAngelo Williams was allowed six runs to gain only six yards. Michael Tolbert also carried twice and added two receptions. This is not only a committee backfield with no true primary back, it is one of the worst backfields in the league. No runner has gained more than 69 yards in any game and the only back who did not contribute to the five rushing touchdowns is Stewart, the supposed primary back. In the season opener, Williams ran for a net one yard loss on six carries while Stewart did not play.

Greg Olsen had a career day in week ten when he caught nine passes for 102 yards and two scores. He had scored just once in the previous nine weeks and was held to fewer than 50 yards for over a month. Olsen made six catches for 56 yards in the season opener.

Steve Smith only caught one pass last week and most of his last six games have remained under 50 yards. Smith has been as good as 118 yards in Chicago but he needs the opponent to stop caring because they know they are going to win. He needs his trash time. Smith is the only wideout for the Panthers of any note and that being taken away from him. He opened the year with seven catches for 106 yards and the Buccaneers secondary is no better. Even Brandon LaFell scored on his three catches for 65 yards in that game though he's mostly disappeared in all games since.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 13 27 29 13 32 9
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 28 20 31 20 13 4

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Cam Newton, CAR BUF 10000025020 ***
Cam was awfully rusty last week. Look for more high-efficiency passing situations for him this week. Buffalo yielded only 187 yards to the Jets, but it was the Jets, so it's a tough gauge.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Christian McCaffrey, CAR BUF 6005400000 ***
The Panthers are likely to be more selective with how McCaffrey is deployed, meaning he's likely to see most of his work through the air. PPR gamers can flex him against a Bills D that surrendered eight catches to backs last week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jonathan Stewart, CAR BUF 7002200000 ***
J-Stew still has some chops and mustered a decent fantasy showing in Week 1. Without finding the end zone, however, there is little to like about his offerings. Cautiously utilize the veteran.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kelvin Benjamin, CAR BUF 004601000 **
Look for KB to get on track after a tough showing in Week 1. Buffalo gave up only 13 catches for 91 yards to Jets "receivers" last weekend, which makes this appear to be a tough matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Russell Shepard, CAR BUF 002400000 ***
Despite scoring last week on a missed assignment, Shepard doesn't figure to have enough target volume to deserve fantasy consideration this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Devin Funchess, CAR BUF 002300000 ***
Funchess should remain in reserve, assuming he is even being rostered at this time.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Greg Olsen, CAR BUF 005601000 ***
Olsen belongs in all lineups through the good and the bad. This isn't an ideal matchup, but the Bills allowed a 5-59-0 line last week to Jets tight ends.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Graham Gano, CAR BUF 1133 ***
Gano was perfect a week ago, making a pair of XPAs and three field goals. Buffalo allowed two field goals against the Jets.

WEEK 11
2012
MIA at BUF (THU) *CLE at DAL *NO at OAK TB at CAR
*ARI at ATL GB at DET NYJ at STL *CHI at SF (MON)
*BAL at PIT *IND at NE PHI at WAS Bye:
*UPDATED CIN at KC JAC at HOU *SD at DEN MIN, NYG, SEA, TEN

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