FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 5
2012
ARI at STL (THU) CHI at JAC MIA at CIN *TEN at MIN
ATL at WAS *CLE at NYG PHI at PIT *HOU at NYJ (MON)
BAL at KC *DEN at NE *SD at NO Bye:
*Updated BUF at SF GB at IND SEA at CAR DAL, DET, OAK, TB

Prediction: ATL 34, WAS 27(Line: ATL by 3)

Players to Watch: Leonard Hankerson

The unbeaten Falcons hit the road where they have actually played better so far. The 2-2 Redskins return home where they last lost to the Bengals. The difference in this game is that the Falcons have a balanced offense and a very good defense. The Skins rank dead last against the pass and Ryan already has 11 passing touchdowns. The Falcons will fall soon enough but the offense has been scoring well against better defenses. Should be a nice game for fantasy owners.

Atlanta Falcons
Homefield: Georgia Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @KC 40-24 10 @NO -----
2 DEN 27-21 11 ARI -----
3 @SD 27-3 12 @TB -----
4 CAR 30-28 13 NO -----
5 @WAS ----- 14 @CAR -----
6 OAK ----- 15 NYG -----
7 BYE ----- 16 @DET -----
8 @PHI ----- 17 TB -----
9 DAL ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ATL @ WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan 300,3
RB Steven Jackson 70 2-10
RB Jacquizz Rodgers 20 5-40
WR Harry Douglas 2-30
WR Devin Hester 2-20
WR Julio Jones 7-110,2
WR Roddy White 6-90
PK Matt Bryant 2 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: The Falcons are not winning big each week but they are winning. Scoring at least 27 points in every game is a big help and the passing game has never been better in Atlanta. Matt Ryan is currently a top fantasy quarterback as well thanks to passing for high yardage and usually three touchdowns every week. Ryan averages 290 passing yards per week and now is going against the worst secondary in the NFL.

Michael Turner has scored in each of the last three games and after posting 80 rushing yards in San Diego against his old team, he ran for 103 yards on 13 carries in Carolina and added the ultra-rare 60-yard touchdown catch. Aside from that one reception, Turner only has five catches for nine yards over the four weeks. He is only used for 17 touches or less each week which is going to keep him healthy and fresh.

Jacquizz Rodgers has not been much for rushing yardage but has nine catches for 75 yards and a score over the last two games as the Falcons seek to diversify the offense. Rodgers is getting six to ten carries per week but not doing much with them.

Tony Gonzalez had his first game without a touchdown but still caught five passes for 50 yards against the Panthers. He has caught at least five passes in every game and is winding down his career with another big year.

The wideouts did this last year and once again beyond all reason, they follow the same trend. Roddy White is unstoppable - at home. In Atlanta, White has two games that have totaled 16 catches for 271 yards and three touchdowns. Away from home, he only has 11 receptions for 143 yards and no touchdowns. Julio Jones only had one catch for 30 yards last week and he has the opposite trend. At home for two games, he only had five catches for 44 yards and no scores. Away from Atlanta, Jones caught 11 passes for 175 yards and three touchdowns.If both wideouts would get in synch, the Falcons would post obscene points. Then again, this way one wideout always scores and has a big game each week. It is oddly and yet perfectly consistent and it happened last year as well.

Turner should have a down game this week against a defense that has not allowed more than 83 yards to any runner and only two touchdowns. But Ryan goes against the worst secondary and should light up the scoreboard and the box scores. Just probably without Roddy White doing much this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 2 13 9 2 6 10
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 32 7 32 28 21 3

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Matt Ryan, ATL DET 0000027011 ***
It's been a month since Ryan tossed multiple scores, and this date with a Detroit defense that begrudgingly gave Drew Brees two TDs last week but has otherwise kept the vaunted Saints in check doesn't project to do him any favors.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Steven Jackson, ATL DET 4011100000 *
Jackson is barely startable in a favorable matchup; against a Detroit defense that hasn't allowed a rushing score since Week 4 or a 100-yard rusher all season, there's nothing to like at all.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Antone Smith, ATL DET 2003300000 ***
Still a lottery ticket of a fantasy helper, and last week he failed to cash out. Limited touches and a tough defense make that the more likely outcome again this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Devonta Freeman, ATL DET 2003200000 **
Freeman's share of the workload is increasing, but against a tough D like Detroit's it'll take more than a share to make some fantasy noise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Roddy White, ATL DET 005701000 **
Detroit gave up multiple 100-yard receivers last week, while White posted his first triple-digit yardage outing of the season. While he's still WR2 to Julio Jones, he's a strong WR2 and a viable fantasy option this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julio Jones, ATL DET 006700000 ****
Jones remains an every-week fantasy starter, even against a tough defense like Detroit's; just dial back the expectations a bit.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Harry Douglas, ATL DET 005600000 **
Douglas is an iffy play injury wise and a lousy play otherwise against a Detroit defense that isn't allowing much to opposing receivers let alone secondary targets.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Bryant, ATL DET 1122 ****
Bryant hasn't scored double-digit points since Week 1, and a date with the top defense in the league isn't likely to help matters.

Washington Redskins
Homefield: FedEx Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NO 40-32 10 BYE -----
2 @STL 28-31 11 PHI -----
3 CIN 31-38 12 @DAL -----
4 @TB 24-22 13 NYG -----
5 ATL ----- 14 BAL -----
6 MIN ----- 15 @CLE -----
7 @NYG ----- 16 @PHI -----
8 @PIT ----- 17 DAL -----
9 CAR ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
WAS vs ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Robert Griffin III 80,1 220,1
RB Alfred Morris 90,1
WR Pierre Garcon 3-40
WR Leonard Hankerson 5-70
WR DeSean Jackson 5-80,1
WR Andre Roberts 4-40,1

Pregame Notes: The Redskins feature the current highest scoring fantasy quarterback (thanks to rushing yards and scores) and yet the defense is so bad that every week turns into a shootout. Robert Griffin III is the new Cam Newton with four rushing touchdowns and at least 40 rushing yards in every game. He has also thrown four touchdowns and exceeded 300 passing yards twice. Just as impressive - he has only one interception this year. RG3 has clearly upgraded the entire offense even if the defense is handing out points like Hallowen candy.

Alfred Morris has done the unthinkable so far. He has remained the primary back with nearly no interference from any other back. Roy Helu landed on injured reserve and Evan Royster has been shoved back under his rock. Morris is the man and doing good things with the opportunity. He has never gained fewer than 78 yards and has four rushing touchdowns on the season for the NFL lead. He has no role as a receiver but has been so productive as a runner that he is a must start every week. Ryan Grant has been added to the backfield depth but this remains all Morris.

Fred Davis still has not scored but has 160 yards on 11 catches over the last two games and remains a producvtive piece of the passing offense. His role should increase in games like this where the opponent has a good defense.

Aldrick Robinson was lost last week when he suffered a concussion before the game when he was accidentally run over by a team mate. But Pierre Garcon was able to return after a two game absence and while he only had one catch for 20 yards, he suffered no setbacks to his still somewhat undefined foot injury (turf toe is suspected). Leonard Hankerson has been good for about 60 yards each week and is the only consistently productive wideout. He is the only fantasy play here this week and even that is a risk against a good secondary.

The run will work this week against a defense that already had allowed six rushing scores and yet only four passing touchdowns. That plays right into the strengths of the Redskins and just last week the Panthers almost beat the Falcons with a big rushing effort from Cam Newton.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 1 14 15 19 14 4
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 13 24 1 19 2 4

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Colt McCoy, WAS @DAL 0000020012 ***
McCoy's last fantasy-relevant start came... well, guess it depends on your definition of "fantasy-relevant". 151 and 2 back on November 27, 2011? 215 and 2 in October of that same season, or 350 and 1 the week before that? Suffice it to say it's been a while and the options are few. No reason to think McCoy offers much to fantasy owners this week as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS @DAL 500000000 ****
Morris has faced the Cowboys four times, producing at least 80 yards and a touchdown in each matchup. Different offense, though with Colt McCoy at the helm you can expect the Redskins to lean heavily on their ground game. That worked well for Arian Foster against the Cowboys but not so much for any other back they've faced, so chill your expectations accordingly for Morris.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS @DAL 005600000 **
Colt McCoy's presence under center likely flips the Redskins' receiving corps from long ball to possession game, which plays to Pierre's strengths. Of course, it may not even matter against a Dallas defense that's allowed just two WR TDs over the past month--both to Odell Beckham last week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS @DAL 004500000 **
Jackson is a deep threat without a deep ball quarterback, which makes him an extremely risky fantasy start in what is already a difficult matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Roberts, WAS @DAL 004400000 **
Roberts' lone advantage would come as a possession type if the Redskins use DeSean Jackson to stretch the field. Given the tough matchup and change at quarterback, you can find more compelling fantasy options elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS @DAL 007801000 **
Reed should see plenty of love from short-armed quarterback Colt McCoy in what looks to be a favorable matchup against a Dallas D that's already allowed seven TE TDs and four different tight ends to top 75 yards against them. So long as Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen don't steal too many targets, Reed remains a safe and solid fantasy option.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS @DAL 3311 **
Forbath had double-digit points in both ends of last season's series, but this is an improved Dallas defense--and an offense with Colt McCoy at the helm.

WEEK 5
2012
ARI at STL (THU) CHI at JAC MIA at CIN *TEN at MIN
ATL at WAS *CLE at NYG PHI at PIT *HOU at NYJ (MON)
BAL at KC *DEN at NE *SD at NO Bye:
*Updated BUF at SF GB at IND SEA at CAR DAL, DET, OAK, TB

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