Game Predictions & Player Projections - TB vs CLE

Game Predictions & Player Projections - TB vs CLE


Game Predictions & Player Projections - TB vs CLE

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Prediction: TB 17, CLE 27 (Line: CLE by 6.5)

UPDATE: Doug Martin is expected to miss the game and Bobby Rainey will start. Charles Sims is also expected to be active for the first time and play a role. I have changed the projections based on this.

Amazingly the 1-6 Buccaneers are only two and a half games behind the Panthers and are still within striking distance in the division no one wants to win. The Bucs are on a three game losing streak and are 1-2 in road games. The 4-3 Browns squeaked past the Raiders to avoid losing to an unbeaten team two weeks in a row. The Browns are 3-1 at home.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1 CAR 14-20 10 ATL —–
2 STL 17-19 11 @WAS —–
3 @ATL 14-56 12 @CHI —–
4 @PIT 27-24 13 CIN —–
5 @NO 31-37 14 @DET —–
6 BAL 17-48 15 @CAR —–
7 BYE —– 16 GB —–
8 MIN 13-19 17 NO —–
9 @CLE —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
TB @ CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Mike Glennon 230,1
RB Charles Sims 30 2-20
WR Mike Evans 4-50
WR Vincent Jackson 5-60
WR Louis Murphy 3-40,1
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins 4-50

Pregame Notes: Losing to the visiting Vikings hurts since they presented one of the few opportunities that the Bucs have to play an opponent even and win. Once the Falcons visit in week ten, the schedule gets really bad, really fast and this defense cannot slow down even an average offense. It doesn’t help that there was rampant talk about trading away Doug Martin or Vincent Jackson as a sign that the team officials have admitted to themselves that this is a lost year.

QUARTERBACK : Mike Glennon was on a three game stretch of two-touchdown games but fell back to only a single score on the Vikings along with just 171 passing yards. Troublesome too is being sacked five times in each of the last two games. He’s good enough to get you a score every week but never more than two. The more even the game appears, the more likely that Glennon actually does worse. The better teams allow him trash time for yards and scores.

RUNNING BACK : Charles Sims is eligible to be activated for this week but is not certain to have it happen. Sims has missed a lot of football and a lot of practicing with the team and is not likely to just step into a big role. Doug Martin got to hear his name mentioned as trade bait that was never taken. But HC Lovie Smith then says that Martin needs more touches to be productive. This is a committee backfield that also includes Bobby Rainey. Sims was drafted by the currently coaching regime but was only a third rounder in a year considered bad for running backs while Martin was drafted at the end of the first round and gained 1926 total yards as a rookie.

There is nothing straightforward about this backfield other than they have been largely disappointing all year. I’ll project for Martin and Cunningham and update as any changes occur. All combined this backfield has only scored three times this year and just once has any runner gained more than 45 yards in any game.

WIDE RECEIVER : Vincent Jackson’s name was dangled about as a potential trade but nothing materialized. Jackson’s season is his worst so far with only two scores and just one game over 66 yards. Louis Murphy leads the team with three touchdowns even though he wasn’t signed until week four. Mike Evans is the most consistent with around 60 yards in every game and two touchdowns on the season. This still pales compared to expectations of Jackson and the second best rookie wideout from the NFL draft.

TIGHT END : No fantasy value. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins scored for the first time in the loss to the Vikings but he also lost the fumble responsible for the overtime loss.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Browns allow one passing score per opponent but rarely more and Glennon is nothing special in a road game. The weakness with their defense is against the run which seven different running backs scoring on them but in Cleveland none have broken 100 rush yards. Joe Haden should draw Mike Evans though that could change and the outlook for any of the receivers is limited every week anyway. This could be a good chance for Martin to get a rushing score and some moderate yardage depending on what the staff does with their backfield rotation.

Gaining Fantasy Points TB 22 27 22 22 29 18
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 16 26 19 15 16 2

Cleveland Browns

1 @PIT 27-30 10 @CIN —–
2 NO 26-24 11 HOU —–
3 BAL 21-23 12 @ATL —–
4 BYE —– 13 @BUF —–
5 @TEN 29-28 14 IND —–
6 PIT 31-10 15 CIN —–
7 @JAC 6-24 16 @CAR —–
8 OAK 23-13 17 @BAL —–
9 TB —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
CLE vs TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Austin Davis 180,1
QB Robert Griffin III 30 260,2
WR Taylor Gabriel 3-50
WR Andrew Hawkins 7-90,1

Pregame Notes: The Browns took down the Raiders to avoid losing to a winless team for a second week in a row. The offense is not producing nearly enough and that pressure has caused the backfield to reorder the depth chart several times and even called into question if Brian Hoyer needs to take a time out and let the media circus fire up again. This is the softest matchup left on the schedule so whatever the offense can do will be as good as it gets short of a trap game.

QUARTERBACK : Brian Hoyer seemed adequate enough until the coaching staff realized that one touchdown every week along with marginal yardage is not winning a lot of games. In fairness, Hoyer certainly has been tasked with running an offense that is short of weapons. He remains the starter and should look good this week but the schedule gets tougher with five remaining road games. He might actually want to hand the reins over to Johnny Manziel by week 13.

RUNNING BACK : The ever-changing rotation now features Ben Tate as the starter that who is turning in sub-three yard averages every game. But at least Tate scored in two of the last three weeks. The offensive line injuries had an obvious impact on the rushing offense and not the least was losing Alex Mack as the center. Isaiah Crowell is now getting just one carry per game thanks to fumbling twice in the Steelers game. Terrance West is taking a half dozen carries but doing nothing with them. He only gained 19 yards on 12 carries over the last two games. Tate remains the only fantasy play here but his yardage has taken a massive hit and his only value is if he scores a short touchdown.

WIDE RECEIVER : This unit will need to step up if Jordan Cameron remains out with a concussion for any length of time. Andrew Hawkins shows up nicely when facing a weak defense – say like the Buccaneers – but has been handled in road games in the past. He’s been solid at the 80 yard mark and even scored for the first time just last week. Taylor Gabriel is slowly seeing more work and while he has yet to score, he already topped 80 yards in two games. Miles Austin just tags along with 40 yards or so every week. Hawkins is the only reasonable fantasy play of these wideouts and there is plenty of room to fit Josh Gordon in when he returns.

TIGHT END : Jordan Cameron received a concussion in the win over the Raiders and is likely to remain out this week. He’d be replaced by Jim Dray but the step down there is significant and the Browns lose a major cog in the offense with Cameron out.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: This is where life gets good. The Buccaneers defense is bad at everything. Every position is in the bottom five in the NFL. That makes Ben Tate a good start this week and Andrew Hawkins a very attractive start considering that Cameron is probably out. Gabriel and even West could end up with fantasy relevant stats but the risk is too big to merit a start.

Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 31 19 13 17 17 15
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 28 28 30 29 29 30

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