FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 2
2012
* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

Prediction: DEN 24, ATL 34 (Line: ATL by 3)

Players to watch: Jacob Tamme, Jacquizz Rodgers

Players Updated: Roddy White

This is going to be a great Monday night game. The Broncos took down the Steelers while Peyton Manning looked mostly back to form while the Falcons put the spank on the Chiefs in Kansas City. Both defenses played much better than 2011 and both offenses look very much improved. This has to favor the Falcons who always play better at home but the Broncos are not going to be pushover.

Denver Broncos
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PIT 31-19 10 @CAR -----
2 @ATL ----- 11 SD -----
3 HOU ----- 12 @KC -----
4 OAK ----- 13 TB -----
5 @NE ----- 14 @OAK -----
6 @SD ----- 15 @BAL -----
7 BYE ----- 16 CLE -----
8 NO ----- 17 KC -----
9 @CIN ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Emmanuel Sanders 3-40
WR Demaryius Thomas 5-90,1

Pregame Notes: So far John Elway looks like the smart guy because a nice home win over the Steelers erases the whole Tim Tebow thing. At least for now. Manning looks like the same quarterback with maybe a slight flutter to his passes. But they end up where they are aimed and Manning completed 19 of 26 for 253 yards and two scores with no turnovers. He looked pretty vintage in a good way.

Willis McGahee comes off a decent game of 16 runs for 64 yards but he never caught a pass and he watched Knowshon Moreno hawk his short touchdown on his five runs for only 13 yards. McGahee remains the primary back but he'll take an unwanted hit if Moreno continues to take touchdowns away without offering any real yardage to make him fantasy relevant. Manning knows what he is doing and he almost never relies on a running back as a receiver.

The debate about which receiver Manning would prefer has been answered and it ends up everyone was right. Both Eric Decker (5-54) and DeMaryius Thomas (5-110, TD) had a team high seven targets. Brandon Stokley and Matthew Willis figure in but not nearly enough to yield any fantasy value. Decker is a a possession type with a low yards per catch average while Thomas is lightning in a bottle looking for the homerun with every catch. Last week it was 88 yards for a score - reminiscent of the play that killed the Steelers in the playoffs.

Jacob Tamme reprised his role as favored tight end if only for the one week when he caught five passes for 43 yards and scored once. It's worth tracking to see if that continues or if Tamme fades against other teams.

The Broncos lose the homefield advantage which is more significant than most teams face and head to a site where the Falcons rarely lose a game. This will be a good test to see if Manning and company can keep up with the firepower of the Falcons.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 13 23 10 9 27 6
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 23 32 1 25 12 4

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Trevor Siemian, DEN @TB 0000026020 ***
The kid has it after all ... Week 3 was Siemian's coming-out party. Tampa Bay gives him a chance to prove it wasn't a fluke. This is the ninth best matchup, statistically speaking, and the Bucs have only one interception through three contests. Siemian is a viable starting play in all formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB C.J. Anderson, DEN @TB 7013200000 ***
Rumble, rumble. The Broncos get to ground and pound the Bucs into submission, or at least try. Tampa is the seventh lamest defense of the position, permitting three touchdowns and 27.7 PPR points per game to RBs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Demaryius Thomas, DEN @TB 0071001000 ***
Thomas draws the seventh easiest matchup for receivers -- one that has given up the most touchdowns of any team. He is a lineup lock in all formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Emmanuel Sanders, DEN @TB 006801000 ***
There isn't a team that has given up more touchdowns to wideouts than Tampa, and last week showed Broncos QB Trevor Siemian is ready for this league. Sanders is a must-play, as usual.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jeff Heuerman, DEN @TB 003300000 ***
After missing Week 3, Virgil Green is day to day. Heuerman is the next man up. Avoid him in fantasy leagues against Tampa Bay's stingy tight end defense. The Bucs haven't allowed 100 total yards or a score on the year.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Brandon McManus, DEN @TB 3333 ***
Tampa has allowed nine of 10 XPAs and all seven of the field goal kicks against them, "good" for a ranking of the seventh softest matchup for kickers.

Atlanta Falcons
Homefield: Georgia Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @KC 40-24 10 @NO -----
2 DEN ----- 11 ARI -----
3 @SD ----- 12 @TB -----
4 CAR ----- 13 NO -----
5 @WAS ----- 14 @CAR -----
6 OAK ----- 15 NYG -----
7 BYE ----- 16 @DET -----
8 @PHI ----- 17 TB -----
9 DAL ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ATL vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan 20 310,3
QB Matt Schaub 240,1
WR Julio Jones 7-100,1
WR Aldrick Robinson 5-70,1
TE Jacob Tamme 6-50,1
PK Matt Bryant 2 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: The Falcons entered 2012 as one of the teams most expected to become elite and so far the prediction is looking accurate. Posting 40 points on the Chiefs in Kansas City was impressive and yet allowing them to score 24 points may mean the best of all worlds. The Falcons are going to score lots of points and allow opponents to join in the shootout to the delight of every fantasy owner.

Matt Ryan passed for 299 yards and three scores with no turnovers and just one sack. The Falcons are well off with Roddy White (6-87), Julio Jones (6-108, 2 TD) and Tony Gonzalez (5-53, TD). Those three accounted for 23 of the targets and no other receiver had more than 32 yards last week. That's likely to hold true in almost all games because the trio of studs can get the job done in combination. It will be rare for any defense to handle even one or two of them, let alone all three. Julio Jones has all the marks of the newest elite receiver and a resident at the top of the rankings for years to come.

The rushing game - not so stellar. The offense is faster now and less reliant on any power rushing so the role of Michael Turner would be de-emphasized anyway. But Turner only gained 32 yards on 11 runs in a game where the Falcons had a huge lead. Jacquizz Rodgers did not fare much better as a runner with 22 yards on seven runs but he had two receptions for 13 more yards. Rodgers role could expand in games where the defense forces shorter throws but that is probably not going to happen in many home games and not against the Broncos. Turner is on the downside of his career and all reports that he has lost a step are hard to disprove. That means Rodgers role is bound to increase depending on his success as a receiver and runner. He is still the one to watch here since he will continue to develop as the season progresses.

The Broncos handled the Steelers rushing offense but it was not likely to be much anyway. This game is going to be won through the air and the trio of the Falcons in Atlanta will be a bigger challenge than the Steelers presented.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 1 30 5 7 2 12
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 18 5 18 19 14 11

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Matt Ryan, ATL CAR 0000024022 ***
Carolina ranks among the top defenses of quarterbacks, holding the position to just 592 yards and four touchdown passes in three games while picking off four balls. Ryan threw only one touchdown in two late-season games vs. Carolina in 2015.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tevin Coleman, ATL CAR 4014300000 ***
Coleman has arrived, folks! Sure, it was the Saints, but he has been gearing up all season. Carolina has ceded three touchdowns in total to RBs, good for 20.7 PPR points per game. Keep Coleman in the lineup despite the intimidating matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Devonta Freeman, ATL CAR 4004301000 ***
Freeman righted the ship last week with a big day against the Saints. Carolina's defense has given up 11 catches for 87 yards and a TD to running backs via the air. On the ground, the position has racked up 243 yards and two scores. Freeman is a sound PPR play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julio Jones, ATL CAR 004600000 *
Julio wasn't a factor last week and the Falcons still racked up point after point. Go figure. Jones had his way with Carolina in Week 16 last season, going for 178 on nine catches and scoring from 70 yards out.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mohamed Sanu, ATL CAR 003400000 ***
Sanu is banged up and considered day to day. Check back later in the week for an update.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jacob Tamme, ATL CAR 005601000 ***
Carolina's offensive love for the position is equally matched on defense. They lay down for enemy tight ends, giving up a 15-209-2 line through three weeks. Tamme is a fine flex or TE1 in PPR leagues.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Bryant, ATL CAR 3322 ***
Carolina has given up only four field goal attempts this year, but they haven't faced an offense as explosive as Atlanta's. Bryant is a fine play in all fantasy formats.

WEEK 2
2012
* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

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