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
OAK @ ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Schaub 190,2
RB Darren McFadden 100,1 6-40
RB Marcel Reece 10 4-20
WR James Jones 4-60,1
WR Denarius Moore 5-60,1
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 ARI 0000022011 ***
Every QB to face the Cards has thrown for at least 238 yards this year; the last two have each topped 350, with multiple touchdowns. Carr comes off the biggest fantasy outing of his brief career, and with the Raiders likely playing from behind no reason he can't put up enough garbage time numbers to capitalize fantasy-wise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren McFadden, OAK ARI 5002100000 ****
The Cards haven't allowed an opposing back to top 65 yards this season, have given up only three RB TDs all year, and are holding foes to a less-than-impressive 3.1 yards per carry. More carries or no, tough to trust McFadden with a fantasy start here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Maurice Jones-Drew, OAK ARI 300000000 *****
MJD is now playing second fiddle to Darren McFadden. In a less than favorable matchup with a defense allowing barely three yards per carry, no reason to reach for him for fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR James Jones, OAK ARI 006701000 ***
The Cards have allowed multiple wideouts to score and/or top 100 yards in each of the past three games, so even if Jones is now running WR2 to Andre Holmes he's still a viable fantasy option this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Holmes, OAK ARI 004500000 ***
Big targets and long-ball threats have had success against the Cards this season, and Holmes fits both of those descriptions. He's also the most targeted Raider and a solid bet to be a big-time fantasy helper for the third consecutive week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brice Butler, OAK ARI 003200000 ***
Butler showed well last week, but he remains a secondary option in the Oakland passing game and it's too early to ask Derek Carr to consistently feed that many mouths.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Mychal Rivera, OAK ARI 002100000 ****
It's a favorable matchup for the position, as Arizona has allowed a TE TD or at least 80 yards to the position in four of five games this year. That said, it would take a leap of faith to start Rivera when the cumulative tight end production for the Raiders this season amounts to one good game for Jimmy Graham (119 yards, 1 TD). Upside, but plenty of risk as well.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Sebastian Janikowski, OAK ARI 2211 ***
SeaBass has more games without a field goal (four) than actual field goals (three) this season. That should tell you more than enough.

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
RB Steven Jackson 60 4-20
RB Jacquizz Rodgers 40 4-30
WR Harry Douglas 2-20
WR Julio Jones 6-80,1
WR Roddy White 6-80,1
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 @BAL 0000029012 ***
Baltimore has allowed back-to-back 300-yard passing games and four this season of 290 or more, plus multiple TDs to each of the past two QBs they've faced. Sounds like a softer non-dome landing than many expect for Ryan on the road; he'll be just fine this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Antone Smith, ATL @BAL 1004400000 ****
The 2014 season's ultimate big-play threat has scored in every game in which he's received three or more touches. Just because you've hit the lottery before, however, doesn't necessarily mean you'll hit it again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Steven Jackson, ATL @BAL 3002100000 *****
Only one team's running backs have found the end zone against the Ravens, and that took a commitment to the run Atlanta has demonstrated only in the 56-14 blowout win over Tampa Bay. As they're unlikely to run the Ravens by 40 points in Baltimore, Jackson won't see enough touches to be fantasy relevant this week given his limited productivity with said touches.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Devonta Freeman, ATL @BAL 1003200000 *****
Freeman is still fighting an uphill battle for touches and can't be banked on as a fantasy helper just yet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julio Jones, ATL @BAL 007801000 ****
High volume targets find success against the Ravens, and there's little question Jones is a high-volume target. The twin TDs by Tampa's wideouts last week suggest Atlanta's dynamic duo should find at least a modicum of success in Baltimore.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Roddy White, ATL @BAL 005400000 ****
White is definitely running WR2 to Julio Jones; moreover, his yardage is capping well shy of triple digits so he'll need the TD to be a major fantasy factor. Tampa Bay's wideouts scored twice on the Ravens last week so it's not an impossibility, but it's at least an unlikelihood.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Devin Hester, ATL @BAL 002300000 ****
Hester's a better play in more favorable matchups. This isn't one, so he's relegated to the "one big play" pile with Antone Smith--and right now Smith is doing it better.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Levine Toilolo, ATL @BAL 002200000 *****
Since scoring in Week 1 Toilolo has a total of 84 yards and zero scores. He's no Tony Gonzalez; then again, few are. And a matchup with a Baltimore defense that hasn't let a TE top 60 yards this season and surrendered only one TE TD on the year isn't about to make him look like Tony G, either.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Bryant, ATL @BAL 1111 ***
Bryant's been slightly above average, which is disappointing given the talent on Atlanta's offense. The Ravens have been a mild damper on opposing kickers, so keep your expectations in check here.

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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