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 @NO 0000027030 ***
The last time Ryan saw the Saints he put up 448 yards and three TDs--and it's only the second-biggest game New Orleans has allowed to an opposing QB. In fact, four quarterbacks have topped 30 fantasy points against the Saints. Heck, the deposed Jay Cutler threw two TDs against them last week. Ryan has four straight games with multiple scoring strikes and an average of 362 and 2 in his last three trips to the Big Easy; what's not to like?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Steven Jackson, ATL @NO 5001100000 ***
Jackson's numbers have declined in each of his three games as a Falcon, culminating with his 12-52 back in Week 1. And while the Saints have been softer of late against the run, Jackson has been delivering a steady supply of Jackson-like games--especially on the road: 16-50, 17-41, 16-81, 8-22, 13-37, 13-49, 11-46. Those are not the lotto-winning numbers to plug into your fantasy lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Harry Douglas, ATL @NO 006901000 ***
Douglas delivered 69 yards as a third wheel in the earlier matchup, so he's usable even if Julio Jones plays. And if Jones can't go... well, you saw last week's 10-131 for yourself.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Roddy White, ATL @NO 007801000 ***
White has taken a back seat to Julio Jones, both against the Saints and in general. However, he did score in the earlier meeting with New Orleans this year and has scored in each of the past two games. He's not quite 1A again, but he's a solid secondary option worthy of a fantasy start in a game that projects to fill plenty of fantasy mugs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Devin Hester, ATL @NO 003401000 ***
Hester had 99 yards against the Saints in his Atlanta debut, and 85 and a score last week with Julio Jones out. Tough to bank on Atlanta going four deep at receiver again, but if Jones can't go Hester climbs onto the fantasy radar.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julio Jones, ATL @NO 00000000 *
If Jones is deemed ready he's worth the risk against a Saints secondary that's allowed more WR TDs than all but five other teams; something about the 116 yards he had against New Orleans in the opener, or the 42 targets and 26-516-3 he posted the past three games he played.
Update: Jones didn't practice for a second straight week; last week that meant no game, and while he's listed as questionable Atlanta's top beat writer seems to think it means another week without Julio in the lineup. The plan is for him to test his hip on Saturday, so maybe we'll know a little earlier than game time regarding his availability.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Bryant, ATL @NO 1133 ***
Bryant kicked his way to 13 points the last time he faced the Saints, and he's averaged better than 10 points per game over the past six. New Orleans gave up back-to-back-to-back double-digit games to kickers before encountering the feeble Bears last week. With the Vegas line set at a lofty 56 for this one, expect fireworks--and plenty of opportunities for Bryant.

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 Robert Griffin III, WAS PHI 30000026021 ***
If there were any team Jay Gruden were forced to play RG3 against, the Eagles might be the best possible option. In four career meetings RG3 has thrown multiple TDs four times, a total of 10 touchdowns against four INTs, averaging 272 yards per game with another 40 rushing yards per game to boot. You'd take those numbers from RG3, right? He wasn't that far off last week against the Giants with 236 & 1 plus 46 rushing, and with Philly as the second-most fantasy friendly defense against quarterbacks an uptick is to be expected. RG3 is playing for somebody's job, be it in DC or elsewhere, and the Eagles are a perfect foil for him to make some noise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS PHI 8001100000 ***
The Redskins have gotten away from running Morris 20 times a game, perhaps because they've dropped the last three games by an average of 18 points per game. He carried 23 times for 77 yards in the earlier meeting with Philly and you have to think the game plan calls for heavy doses of Alf. As an added bonus, any read options carry the threat of an RG3 run, which in the past has opened lanes for Morris. Think of those previous game numbers as a baseline, with room to move upwards.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS PHI 005901000 **
You think DJax is motivated? Now even his own coach is talking smack about him. He put up 117 and a touch on the Eagles in the earlier meeting, and with RG3 throwing deep he should get a few extra chances to put the torch to his former squad. Revenge is a dish best served in the fantasy bowl.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS PHI 005701000 **
Garcon seems to be more of a Colt McCoy favorite than an RG3 favorite, though after seeing what Garcon did to the Eagles back in Week 3 (11-138-1) maybe he'll reconsider. It's a risk, as Garcon has been a bit player most of the season, but there's some upside if RG3 is willing to reacquaint himself with Pierre.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS PHI 005500000 ***
Philly has allowed only one TE TD on the year, but two tight ends have topped 100 yards and another two--including Niles Paul back in Week 3, before Reed was back from injury--topped 65 yards. He'd be more of a yardage play than a TD play, but there's some upside to Reed this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS PHI 2111 ***
Blame RG3: With other quarterbacks Forbath is averaging better than seven points per game; in games in which RG3 took the bulk of the snaps, he's averaging 4.6. He tallied 10 for the Kirk Cousins-led Redskins against Philly earlier this year, but don't get your hopes up for the rematch.

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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