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 @CIN 0000030021 ****
The Bengals allowed Joe Flacco to throw for 300 yards last week, while Ryan was throwing for 448. Also worth noting: Ryan has averaged 287 yards and two TDs over his last three seasons of games against the AFC, including 327 & 2 last year. So you have to like Matty Ice's chances of staying hot here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Steven Jackson, ATL @CIN 4001100000 ****
Jackson is still slated for the bulk of the workload, but four different backs handled the ball for Atlanta last weekend and Jackson may have been the least impressive of the quartet. Don't expect much against a pretty good Cincy run D.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL @CIN 3001100000 ***
Rodgers used a nifty spin move to get into the end zone last week; had the Falcons seen more of that the previous few seasons they might not have felt the need to draft Devonta Freeman. Throw Rodgers in the blender with three other Atlanta backs, none of whom project to find much fantasy success in Cincy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Devonta Freeman, ATL @CIN 2002100000 ***
Eventually we'll be recommending Freeman as a fantasy starter and you'll be wondering what took so long. Right now, however, he's in a cluster behind Steven Jackson and even Jaquizz Rodgers and Antone Smith--both of whom managed to score last week. High risk and the reward just isn't there yet, especially against the Bengals.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julio Jones, ATL @CIN 0061001000 ****
Outside of one long Steve Smith score the Bengals kept Baltimore's wideouts in check last week. Of course, Jones and Roddy White >>> Baltimore's Smiths and with Julio looking healthy he's an every-week starter regardless of foe.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Harry Douglas, ATL @CIN 002301000 **
Douglas and Devin Hester saw a somewhat surprising 13 targets in Week 1, and to their credit they parlayed those looks into 11 catches for 168 yards. Tough to bank on that production from the backup singers every week, however; wait for a more favorable matchup to work your way down the Falcons' receiver depth chart.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Roddy White, ATL @CIN 007800000 ***
White being the "other" receiver in Atlanta is like Duane Allman being the "other" guitar player in Derek and the Dominos. He also appears to be getting Tony Gonzalez's red zone looks, which only help his fantasy bottom line.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Levine Toilolo, ATL @CIN 005400000 ***
Don't look at what Dennis Pitta did to the Bengals last week and think Toilolo can replicate that productivity; Pitta saw almost a month's worth of Toilolo's targets in that game. And with Roddy White the more likely red zone recipient, Toilolo is a risky fantasy play at best.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Bryant, ATL @CIN 2222 ****
A 51-yarder to tie and a 52-yarder to win buys Bryant a lot of cache, both with the Falcons and with fantasy owners. With Atlanta's offense firing on all cylinders he belongs in a fantasy lineup on an every-week basis.

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 JAC 0000027011 ***
In theory this is a great offensive fit for RG3. And, in theory, this is an extremely favorable matchup against a defense that just gave up 322 and 2 to Philly. There's not a recent enough meeting between Gruden's Cincy offense and a Bradley-led Jaguars D to get another read on this matchup, so if you're a theory kind of gal you might like Griffin's fantasy upside this week. Hopefully you have a safer alternative.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS JAC 1101000000 ****
Alf certainly wasn't bad in his debut in the new offense, he just didn't get the volume of touches that made him a fantasy stud. Against a defense that let LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles split 145 yards and a score last week, he may not need that volume.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Roy Helu, WAS JAC 2003200000 ***
Once the bye weeks Helu's role as the Redskins change of pace guy will have fantasy value. Right now, however, only in deeper leagues.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS JAC 008901000 ***
Fears of a drop in Garçon's targets appear to have been premature; he carved out value in Week 1 and should do the same against a Jacksonville secondary that couldn't contain Jeremy Maclin last week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS JAC 006700000 ***
The good news is that DJax was targeted almost as frequently as Pierre Garçon; the bad news is, we expected him to do more explosive things with those touches. He'll get another chance against a Jaguars D that let Jeremy Maclin get behind them, so no need to hit the panic button just yet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Niles Paul, WAS JAC 004400000 ***
Paul may be listed as a wide receiver in some circles, but he'll be the Redskins' pass-catching tight end while Jordan Reed recovers from his latest injury. Paul's 4-86 in the opener led all Washington pass-catchers; you have to like his chances against Jaguars D fresh off surrendering 92 & 1 to Philly TEs.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS JAC 2222 ***
An offense that can't find the end zone isn't necessarily a bad thing, though Forbath and his fantasy owners wish the Redskins would get close a little more frequently.

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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