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
RB Michael Turner 40,1
WR Harry Douglas 2-30
WR Devin Hester 2-20
WR Julio Jones 7-110,2
WR Roddy White 6-90
TE Tony Gonzalez 6-70,1
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 CAR 20000032020 ***
Ryan has 300-plus yards in four straight and averages 311 and 2 at home; Carolina has given up multiple TD tosses in six of seven on the road. So with the NFC South title on the line expect an upgrade over his 268 and 1 against the Panthers back in Week 11.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Devonta Freeman, ATL CAR 4012200000 **
Freeman was the quality guy--eight touches, 84 yards and a touchdown--while Jaquizz Rodgers handled the quantity last week after Steven Jackson left the game with an injury. He's a tough start against a Carolina defense that hasn't allowed an RB TD since Week 10, but he's been the most effective of what Atlanta has left in the backfield and looks to be the guy on the field in the passing game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL CAR 2003200000 ***
With Steven Jackson sidelined it was Rodgers who saw the largest share of carries, though he averaged less than three yards a carry. He'll likely find himself in a similar situation this week: a bevy of unproductive carries.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Steven Jackson, ATL CAR 00000000 *
Jackson left Atlanta's Week 16 game prematurely with an injury, and his status for the season finale is unknown.
Update: Officially Jackson is questionable, but he didn't practice all week so that may be optimistic.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julio Jones, ATL CAR 0081201000 ****
Jones has three straight 100-yard games, wrapped around the one game he missed due to injury, and he's scored in three of his last four as well. That string started after the Panthers held him to 59 yards in Week 11, but as hot as the Atlanta passing game--and Jones in particular--has been he's a must-start with the NFC South crown on the line.
Update: Jones practiced only on a limited basis Friday, and he's listed as questionable. With the NFC South on the line he'll likely find a way to play, and if he plays he needs to be in your lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Roddy White, ATL CAR 007701000 ***
White has touchdowns in four of his last six, including the earlier meeting with Carolina. It's also worth noting that secondary receivers seem to have success against the Panthers--among them Jordan Matthews, Davante Adams, Brandon Tate, Torrey Smith, and Chris Owusu.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Harry Douglas, ATL CAR 005600000 ***
Douglas is solid when playing the third wheel, but reliable for fantasy help only when either Julio Jones or Roddy White is sidelined. Since both are expected to play, you can find better fantasy options than Douglas this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Levine Toilolo, ATL CAR 002200000 ***
The Panthers have softened against tight ends over the second half of the season, but Toilolo has done nothing to warrant fantasy consideration.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Bryant, ATL CAR 2233 ***
Bryant is averaging 11 points per game over the past two months, a stretch that includes 13 against the Panthers in Carolina. Kicking for the NFC South title, indoors... you gotta like Bryant's chances here. Doesn't hurt that he's averaging a robust 12 points per game within his division.

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
TE Fred Davis 6-70,1

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 DAL 0000026011 ***
RG3 threw four TDs in his first game against the Cowboys, back in November 2012; in 57 attempts he hasn't thrown one since, though he did run for one in the back end of the 2012 series. Colt McCoy couldn't crack the Cowboys for a scoring strike (though he did run one in) in the earlier meeting this season; sensing a theme here? RG3 came close to a rushing score in Week 15, but he'll need one to be a fantasy factor this week--and he hasn't had one since that 2012 Week 17 game against Dallas.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS DAL 701000000 ***
Alf has scored in all five of his career meetings with the Cowboys, including a TD in the earlier meeting which, at 18-73-1, was actually his least productive effort against Dallas. The Cowboys have allowed seven RB TDs in the past five games, so Alf should have ample opportunity to extend his streak here--unless Darrel Young swipes his scores again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS DAL 0051101000 ****
Jackson dropped 136 yards on the Cowboys in the front end of this season series, but he hasn't caught a touchdown pass against them since December of 2010--and he's been in their division for years. Bank on the yardage--DJax just posted 126 on his former mates from Philadelphia last week--but don't count on a touchdown.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Roberts, WAS DAL 003500000 ***
The last time Roberts had fantasy value was right after the Redskins signed him to start opposite Pierre Garcon. Much has happened since then, none of it beneficial to Roberts' fantasy value.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS DAL 004500000 ***
Garcon has shown moderate signs of life, but his biggest outing came when DeSean Jackson was out of the lineup so when the Redskins are at full strength he's clearly a second banana. Look for a first banana before settling this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS DAL 005500000 ***
Reed split 67 yards with Niles Paul in the earlier matchup with Dallas, but he's made the tight end position his own over the past month. That makes him the most likely to take advantage of a Dallas defense that's allowed 10 TE TDs on the year as well as six games of 50-plus yards.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS DAL 2222 ****
Forbath has actually been adequate of late, if you're into something in the eight-point neighborhood. That seems to be the ceiling, however, so you can likely do better elsewhere.

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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