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
WR Devin Hester 2-20
WR Julio Jones 7-110,2
WR Roddy White 6-90
TE Tony Moeaki 3-30
TE Jacob Tamme 4-40,1
PK Matt Bryant 2 FG 4 XP
PK Shayne Graham 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 NO 0000030020 ***
Ten of the last 11 quarterbacks to face the Saints have thrown multiple touchdowns, with seven of them also topping 300 yards. So if you've been waiting for a quality fantasy effort from Ryan--because he hasn't thrown multiple touchdowns since Week 11--this may be your chance. Something along the lines of his 295 and 2 from the earlier meeting wouldn't surprise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Devonta Freeman, ATL NO 8016501000 ***
Freeman rolled up 156 yards from scrimmage and scored twice in the earlier meeting with New Orleans. He's regaining his touches and his productivity since coming back from injury, topping 90 combo yards in the three games he's received 20-plus touches and scoring in each of the last two. Over the past eight games the Saints are giving up 191 combo yards and a touchdown to opposing backs; slot Freeman for the lion's share of those numbers.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julio Jones, ATL NO 0091201000 ***
The Saints haven't had an answer for any receiver of not this season, especially of late as they've surrendered 11 WR TDs in the past month. Julio was "limited" to 6-93 in the previous meeting; that feels like a baseline here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Roddy White, ATL NO 004500000 ***
White scored in the earlier meeting with New Orleans and last week notched his most productive game since Week 1 with 67 yards. With the Saints giving up multiple WR TDs in three of the last four games--and 573 WR yards over that span--there may be enough for one last fantasy hurrah for White.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jacob Tamme, ATL NO 003200000 ***
While on the surface the matchup is attractive, the Saints haven't allowed a TE TD in a month; besides, Tamme has been too lightly used over the past month to warrant fantasy attention.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Shayne Graham, ATL NO 1133 ***
Bryant bad before
This game has highest O/U
Graham good this time

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
RB Pierre Thomas 20 2-20
WR Pierre Garcon 3-40
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 Kirk Cousins, WAS @DAL 0000018000 *
Cousins finally shook off the road woes with last week's 365 and 4 in Philly, but the Cowboys haven't allowed a 300-yard passer since Drew Brees in Week 4--or a 300-yard passer in Dallas since Drew Brees in Week 4 of last year. Dallas has also held four of five and eight of 10 quarterbacks to one or zero TDs, so you may not like this week's Cousins nearly as much as previous versions.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS @DAL 7011100000 ***
With Matt Jones sidelined Morris has a clearer path to carries; against a Cowboys defense that's given up 426 rushing yards the past three games--at better than five yards a carry--that volume leads to fantasy opportunity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jamison Crowder, WAS @DAL 004500000 ***
Whatever fantasy relevance Crowder had departed when DeSean Jackson returned to the lineup, and the Cowboys don't give up nearly enough to wideouts to dig this deep into the depth chart.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS @DAL 003400000 ***
Since DJax arrived in DC Garcon has been an afterthought against the Cowboys--three games of 54 yards or less with no TDs, a far cry from his 11-144-1 in his last DJax-free meeting with the Cowboys. He's still a wingman, and wingmen have been largely quiet against Dallas.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS @DAL 002300000 *
In three games as a Redskin Jackson has produced lines of 6-80-1, 2-86-1 and 6-136 against the Cowboys. Don't expect big numbers against a Dalls defense that hasn't allowed a 100-yard receiver since Week 10 and just three WR TDs in that six-game span, but WR1s have been checking in consistently in the 70-80 yard range so there's a baseline with upside for DJax.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS @DAL 002300000 *
Reed has been unstoppable of late, with 25 catches 333 yards and five TDs in the past three games. Prior to that run Dallas held him to 3-33, easily his worst fantasy game of the season. Can the Cowboys do it again? Only one TE has topped 50 yards against them in the past eight games and only two tight ends have scored in that span, so temper expectations accordingly.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dustin Hopkins, WAS @DAL 2111 ***
Nothing to play for,
so settling for field goals
not such a bad thing

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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