FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 6
2012
PIT at TEN (THU) *DET at PHI *MIN at WAS *STL at MIA
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
Grass
  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
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.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points OAK 20 11 27 13 21 32
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 12 21 1 20 1 7

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Derek Carr, OAK @KC 0000026022 ***
Traveling to KC on a short week is never ideal, but Carr gets fantasy's third worst defense of quarterbacks. The position has averaged the highest yards-per-catch figure and third most yards per game in the last five weeks when facing KC. Carr posted a 225-1-1 line in Week 6 against the Chiefs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Latavius Murray, OAK @KC 6003300000 ***
Unless he scores, Murray is hardly reliable for fantasy points. The Chiefs are more beatable through the air, and that's how Oakland's offense butters its bread. Murray is facing the eighth hardest matchup of the week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jalen Richard, OAK @KC 2001100000 ***
Richard sees limited work but does almost nothing with it. He has no fantasy worth in Week 14.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Amari Cooper, OAK @KC 006901000 ***
Cooper saw far more work in the last matchup with the Chiefs, as Marcus Peters followed Michael Crabtree around. The Raiders are playing as well as anyone, and KC has given up the second most fantasy points per contest in the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Seth Roberts, OAK @KC 003401000 ***
The matchup is ideal if you want to take a chance, but the last time these two played, Roberts caught only three of his six looks for just 29 yards. He has no value without finding the end zone.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, OAK @KC 005600000 ***
Marcus Peters eliminated Crabtree (2-10-0) in Week 6, so consider this projection to be on the optimistic side. Oakland has played extremely well on the road, but Arrowhead is a different demon. KC, overall, is the second worst defense of WRs in the last five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Clive Walford, OAK @KC 003300000 ***
Oakland doesn't consistently utilize the position enough to seriously consider Walford in any fantasy league.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Sebastian Janikowski, OAK @KC 2222 ***
KC has allowed the ninth most fantasy points, largely based on giving up the eighth highest average of field goal per game since Week 8.

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 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
QB Matt Schaub 190,2
WR Julio Jones 6-80,1
TE Jacob Tamme 5-40,1
PK Matt Bryant 2 FG 4 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.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 2 16 8 1 10 9
Preventing Fantasy Points OAK 29 30 23 26 29 1

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Matt Ryan, ATL @LA 10000026021 ***
In the last five games, quarterbacks have scored nine TDs through the air and one on the ground vs. the Rams. LA has made QBs work for their points: This D ranks 30th in yards per completion and 20th in points per play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Devonta Freeman, ATL @LA 5004400000 ***
LA has surrendered only two rushing TDs on 116 attempts in the last five weeks. The position has mustered to do damage through yardage totals, racking of the fifth most per game, to generate the fourth best matchup to exploit in PPR.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tevin Coleman, ATL @LA 2002100000 ***
The matchup is great, but the level of utility is questionable. The Falcons may choose to assault through the air as their preferred means of attack. Coleman is no more than a fringe flex start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Taylor Gabriel, ATL @LA 006801000 ***
Not only is the matchup great, but Julio Jones is dealing with turf toe. There could be more looks to go around. Gabriel has been a hot player in the last month, and he was still involved in last week's mild letdown effort. LA has allowed the 10th most wide receiver points per game since Week 8.

Update: Gabriel is a must-start with Mohamed Sanu ruled out, and Julio Jones a GTD after not practicing all week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julio Jones, ATL @LA 005600000 *
Despite a turf toe injury, Jones vows to play. It's a tough injury and could impact his ability to get off the line. Of course, with such a good matchup, he goes from being a phenomenal play to a great play. The Rams have allowed 38.7 WR points a game in PPR the last five weeks.

Update: Jones did not practice all week and is a game-time decision. Don't be surprised if he sits out Week 14.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Aldrick Robinson, ATL @LA 003300000 ***
Update: Robinson could see extra looks with the injuries to Mohamed Sanu and Julio Jones. He's not a worthy fantasy play in standard situations, however.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Austin Hooper, ATL @LA 003300000 ***
Trusting the rookie isn't a wise idea in this all-important week of fantasy action.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Bryant, ATL @LA 3322 ***
Kickers have averaged four combined kicking opportunities a game when facing the Rams over the last five weeks. Atlanta's offense could be slowed if Julio Jones' toe injury hampers him. Bryant has upside but is also risky.

WEEK 6
2012
PIT at TEN (THU) *DET at PHI *MIN at WAS *STL at MIA
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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