Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

Prediction: OAK 17, ATL 34 (Line: ATL by 9.5)

Players to Watch: Darren McFadden, Roddy White

The 1-3 Raiders come off their bye having somehow only beaten the Steelers. Their only two trips away from home produced at total losing score of 19-72 and then have never came closer than 22 points to their opponent.

Oakland Raiders
Homefield: McAfee Coliseum
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SD 14-22 10 @BAL -----
2 @MIA 13-35 11 NO -----
3 PIT 34-31 12 @CIN -----
4 @DEN 6-37 13 CLE -----
5 BYE ----- 14 DEN -----
6 @ATL ----- 15 KC -----
7 JAC ----- 16 @CAR -----
8 @KC ----- 17 @SD -----
9 TB ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Marcel Reece 10 4-20
WR Michael Crabtree 5-70
PK Sebastian Janikowski 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The new offense and defense being installed in Oakland remains a work in progress though the results are disappointing no matter what qualifier or rationale is given. Carson Palmer's passing has been far more anemic than last season and aside from the fluke three touchdowns against the Steelers, he scored only twice over three games. His worst effort yet was in Denver two weeks back when he only passed for 202 yards and no touchdowns. Palmer was throwing well last year with tons of yards and some scores using the same cast of receivers. This year - just not working out nearly as well in OC Greg Knapp's new scheme.

Worse of all is that Darren McFadden has gone from an oft-injured and yet wildly productive back to just a healthy guy who does almost nothing every week. He racked up 113 yards and a score on the visiting Steelers but otherwise has never gained more than 34 rushing yards in any game. Even his role as a receiver has declined to just a single meaningless catch. It is not that Mike Goodson or Taiwan Jones are cutting into his action. Jones does not even have a touch this season.

McFadden is completely boxed in on almost every play. He joins a growing cast of disappointing running backs. At least last year you got five or six great games from him. Now he just muddles along and kills your weekly score. He has a chance this week against the only real weakness of the Falcons but if he flops yet again it will be hard to start him without heavy consideration each remaining week.

Darrius Heyward-Bey missed one game with a concussion but is expected back for this tilt. He only has one score on the year and no more than 43 yards in any game. Denarius Moore has been much more productive with around 50 to 60 yards when he plays but he too has just one score and with only four catches per week for maybe 60 yards, he is not doing anyone favors. The rest of the wide receivers are so much worse as to be just blockers.

Brandon Meyers seemed to be one of the few productive pieces of the offense when he opened the year with three games of around 60 yards or so but just when people relied on that happening, he only had one catch for 22 yards in the most recent game. And he still has never scored.

Overall - this offense has been lethargic and bumbling. Now they hit the road where they have been distinctly worse. Going to Atlanta is no time to be a bad road team.

Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 20 11 27 13 21 32
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 12 21 1 20 1 7

QB Derek Carr, OAK @TEN 0000026021 ***
Let's consider Carr's 169 and zero last week in Detroit an aberration; prior to that he'd posted three straight 300-yard games and four straight multiple touchdown outings. Tennessee isn't an overly favorable matchup but they shouldn't prevent Carr from getting back in the fantasy saddle this week.
RB Latavius Murray, OAK @TEN 6002100000 ***
RB TDs have been hard to come by against the Titans, but Murray should still get his yardage against a defense that's allowed five of the last six feature backs they've faced to amass at least 80 yards from scrimmage.
WR Michael Crabtree, OAK @TEN 006601000 ***
Maybe Crabtree is Oakland's WR1; maybe he's Amari Cooper's wingman. Either way he should get his against a Titans secondary that's allowed most WR1s to get theirs but quality WR2s--Donte Moncrief, Nate Washington, Willie Snead--to score or top 90 yards.
WR Amari Cooper, OAK @TEN 005700000 ***
For all intents and purposes consider Cooper the Raiders' WR1--in which case he'll follow in the footsteps of Allen Robinson (5-113), Brandin Cooks (4-73-1), DeAndre Hopkins (8-94-1), Julio Jones (9-92-1)... you get the picture. WR1s get it done against Tennessee, and Cooper is next man up.
WR Seth Roberts, OAK @TEN 003500000 ***
Roberts flashes from time to time, but the Titans haven't allowed three WRs to score in a game this year and only once have three topped 50 yards so his upside is limited.
TE Clive Walford, OAK @TEN 002301000 **
The Titans have allowed four TE TDs in the past three games; Walford has scored in two of the past three. Wouldn't be a stretch to see the rookie get into the end zone again this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Sebastian Janikowski, OAK @TEN 1122 ***
Should be business as usual for Seabass; unfortunately for Seabass and his fantasy owners, business as usual tops out in the high single digits.

Atlanta Falcons
Homefield: Georgia Dome
  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 24-17 14 @CAR -----
6 OAK ----- 15 NYG -----
7 BYE ----- 16 @DET -----
8 @PHI ----- 17 TB -----
9 DAL ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ATL vs OAK Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan 300,3
WR Leonard Hankerson 5-60
WR Julio Jones 6-80,1
WR Roddy White 6-80,1
TE Tony Moeaki 1-10
TE Jacob Tamme 5-40,1
PK Matt Bryant 2 FG 4 XP
PK Shayne Graham 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Falcons are one of only two unbeaten teams left and this home game should get them to the bye week intact. But three of the wins came by a touchdown or less and against the visiting Panthers it was just a two point win probably thanks to a late Cam Newton fumble. While NFL East opponents remain on the upcoming schedule, this is still one of the easiest slate of games in the league and one that actually looks easier once we have a better idea what teams are like this year. Anything short of home field advantage throughout the playoffs is going to be a disappointment and a bit of a surprise at this point.

Matt Ryan has still thrown multiple touchdowns in every game and had healthy yardage as well. He's not had an off week yet and ranks near the top of all fantasy league scoring. Ryan scored 13 times through the air against only three interceptions. He rarely even hit in most games.

Michael Turner has enjoyed his season so far with a touchdown in each of the last four games but only one effort that netted him over 100 total yards. Turner should be fresh down the stretch thanks to only rushing the ball about 16 times per week. He's no fantasy god but offers valuable consistent production every week. Jacquizz Rodgers has been mostly a minimal contributor and is not busy enough to merit a fantasy start.

Tony Gonzalez is singing his swan song but it is drowning out everyone else. He's currently the top tight end in fantasy with four touchdowns and 39 catches for 388 yards. He is everything you thought you were getting when you grabbed Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham only you could have waited about five more rounds to net Gonzo.

Back at home means that Roddy White gets to score and have the big game. In two games in Atlanta, he has 16 catches for 271 yards and three touchdowns. In three away games, he only had 15 receptions for 210 yards and no scores. He did this last year. Apparently it is a secret agreement with Julio Jones who does the exact opposite. Jones caught 21 passes for 269 yards and four touchdowns but then only five receptions for 44 yards and no scores at home. Seriously - same thing last year. No need to explain it, just accept it as wonderfully consistent.

The Raiders present a defense weak enough in all areas that the fear is the Falcons let down and do not take the game nearly as serious as they should. They know they can win this. Even if they start in the fourth quarter, they can win this. Hopefully with only a bye the next week they take advantage of all the weaknesses of the Raiders defense.

Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 2 16 8 1 10 9
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 29 30 23 26 29 1

QB Matt Ryan, ATL MIN 0000027011 ***
Quarterbacks facing the Vikings have ranked with that week's top 10 exactly once all season--David Carr checked in at number 9 in Week 10. So put your expectations for Matty Ryan on ice.
RB Tevin Coleman, ATL MIN 6012100000 *
Coleman likely gets the carries with Devonta Freeman still in concussion protocol, but it's not a great week to do so against a Minnesota defense that's allowed only four RB TDs on the year.
WR Julio Jones, ATL MIN 0091201000 ***
The good news is that heavily targeted wideouts have success against Minnesota; the six WRs with at least 10 balls thrown their way have produced an average of 9-102-1, and four of the six have been of the big-bodied ilk a la Jones. So respect the matchup, but don't put Julio on the sidelines because of it.
WR Leonard Hankerson, ATL MIN 000500000 *
Only once all season have two wideouts found the end zone against Minnesota in the same game, and the best yardage output by a secondary receiver is Emmanuel Sanders' 68 back in Week 4. No need to reach here.

Update: Hankerson has been ruled out of this week's game.
WR Roddy White, ATL MIN 002200000 ***
White has been a fantasy afterthought all season; that's unlikely to change against a Vikings defense that allows WR1s to get theirs but holds other wideouts in check.
TE Jacob Tamme, ATL MIN 005600000 **
Tamme's targets tumbled with the return of Leonard Hankerson last week, and a Vikings defense that's allowed only one TE TD in the past month--with no tight end topping 46 yards in that span--isn't going to help Tamme get more looks.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Shayne Graham, ATL MIN 0102 ***
Update: Graham will take over Atlanta's kicking duties this week with Matt Bryant out due to a quad injury.

BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

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