Game Predictions & Player Projections - LA vs. TB

David Dorey, @DMDorey

Prediction: LA 10, TB 20 (Line: TB by 4.5)

UPDATE: Doug Martin is out for three weeks because of his hamstring strain and Charles Sims and Jacquizz Rodgers will share the workload while he is gone. Austin Seferian-Jenkins was waived today by the Bucs after a DUI arrest. I removed him from the ranking and increased Cameron Brate who becomes the primary tight end.

The Rams are 1-1 thanks to an unexplained advantage they have each time they meet the Seahawks but they also are the lowest scoring team in the NFL by a significant margin with only three field goals on the season. The 1-1 Buccaneers come off their spanking in Arizona but are in their home opener. This is likely to be lower scoring but the homefield advantage should be enough. The last time the Rams left Los Angeles they were shut out by the 49ers.

The Rams beat the Buccaneers 31-23 last year.

Los Angeles Rams

1 @SF 0-28 10 @NYJ ---
2 SEA 9-3 11 MIA ---
3 @TB --- 12 @NO ---
4 @ARI --- 13 @NE ---
5 BUF --- 14 ATL ---
6 @DET --- 15 @SEA ---
7 NYG --- 16 SF ---
8 BYE --- 17 ARI ---
9 CAR ---      
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass

Pregame Notes: Well. How about that defense? The Rams enter Week 3 still in search of a touchdown even though they are 1-1 on the season. Todd Gurley is not rushing like last year and the passing effort is even more anemic than 2015 which seemed impossible. The fantasy value is being entirely stripped from this team other than the defense. And that already was only Gurley. The Rams head east still searching for any points in a road game.

QUARTERBACK : Case Keenum was named the starter this week because it needed formality since he averages about 170 yards per week, never scores and has two interceptions. HC Jeff Fisher pointed out that Keenum needs to improve though he failed to mention exactly what he was going to use to get any better.

RUNNING BACK : Todd Gurley's fantasy value has taken a tremendous hit with no relief in sight. Despite this being the same offense and personnel as last year, Gurley is facing stacked defenses. He is often met by defenders before he can get the handoff. The defense has no respect for the pass and is stacking the line so much that they might as well drag out equipment boxes and line them up across the field. Gurley is one of the most talented backs in the NFL and has 98 yards on 36 carries for a lofty 2.7 yard per carry average.

WIDE RECEIVER : To his credit, Kenny Britt does have a team high ten catches for 161 yards as the only receiver of any note. Tavon Austin signed six-year, $56 million contract in August so that he could have nine catches for 63 yards. That's less than eight yards per catch and lower than most tight ends.

TIGHT END : Lance Kendricks had a freakish 61 yards on four catches last week but his 15 yards on two receptions in San Francisco was far more reflective of his usual contribution.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: No need to waste bandwidth. The only fantasy start ever here is Todd Gurley and he is going against a defense that has not allowed more than 54 yards to any rusher. Gurley could always break a long one but he'll have to leap over the equipment boxes that are in the way. Consider Gurley an RB3 only because of his upside. Maybe they totally forgot to pack up the offense when they moved to Los Angeles.

Gaining Fantasy Points LA 32 30 32 26 27 27
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 27 27 23 13 28 30

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1 @ATL 31-24 10 CHI ---
2 @ARI 7-40 11 @KC ---
3 LA --- 12 SEA ---
4 DEN --- 13 @SD ---
5 @CAR --- 14 NO ---
6 BYE --- 15 @DAL ---
7 @SF --- 16 @NO ---
8 OAK --- 17 CAR ---
9 ATL ---      
News | Statistics | Roster
TB vs LAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 20 240,1
QB Jameis Winston 10,1 240,1
RB Jacquizz Rodgers 20 3-20
WR Mike Evans 6-60,1
WR Adam Humphries 4-50
WR DeSean Jackson 4-60
TE Cameron Brate 5-40
PK Cairo Santos 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Buccaneers get their first home game and are currently touring all the great defenses in the NFL. Jameis Winston only needed one week to go from the top to the bottom of the quarterbacks and Doug Martin appears likely to miss this week with a hamstring strain. Mike Evans remains the only part that consistently works but finally getting to play in Tampa Bay should make a big difference.

QUARTERBACK : Jameis Winston fell back to only 243 yards and one score in Arizona and worse yet he was intercepted four times and lost a fumble. This is another good defense he will face but at least he'll have some hometown cheering. Winston has yet to run for more than nine yards in any game.

RUNNING BACK : Doug Martin tweaked his hamstring and was due for an MRI. The results were not known at this writing but I will update this later in the week. It would be nice to play at home finally but I will assume that Charles Sims takes over the primary rusher role while still offering third down receptions. The Buccaneers still have not rushed in a touchdown yet and Sims only has 33 yards on his 13 carries this year.

WIDE RECEIVER : Mike Evans scored in both games so far and averages around 80 yards. Vincent Jackson is still as unproductive as he was last year with only six catches for 62 in total. Adam Humphries is a surprise with 67 yards on six catches last week but that was a function of the two starters being covered by the Cardinals and allowing throws to the slot receiver. Evans has been the only reliable wideout this year.

TIGHT END : There is no reliability here. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins scored last week but he only caught three passes for 44 yards over the last two weeks. Cameron Brate logs three catches for minimal yardage each week.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Rams have only allowed one passing score but that was just facing the 49ers and the inexplicably bad Seahawks passing offenses. They've allowed three rushing scores but Martin is out and Sims has not been effective as a rusher. This could be a nice spot to see Winston run in a touchdown. He should manage a passing score as well but the Rams defense has been solid. The lack of rushing success should also depress passing stats.

Evans is an every-week starter but Winston is likely to have only a moderate game here. Martin would have been a good start but Sims is risky for more than moderate yardage.

Gaining Fantasy Points TB 17 21 13 8 30 29
Preventing Fantasy Points LA 7 22 6 14 4 12

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