Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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*ARI at GB CHI at TEN *MIA at IND *PHI at NO (MON)
BAL at CLE *DAL at ATL MIN at SEA Bye:

Prediction: DAL 23, ATL 27 (Line: ATL by 4.5)

Players to Watch: Tony Romo, Michael Turner, Jacquizz Rodgers

Players Updated: DeMarco Murray, Felix Jones, Philip Tanner, Dez Bryant, Kevin Ogletree

The 3-4 Cowboys come off yet another tough loss and are only 1-2 in road games. The 7-0 Falcons just put the beat on the Eagles in Philly and are at home where they have never lost and yet never won by more than six points.

Dallas Cowboys
Homefield: Cowboys Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYG 24-17 10 @PHI -----
2 @SEA 7-27 11 CLE -----
3 TB 16-10 12 WAS -----
4 CHI 18-34 13 PHI -----
5 BYE ----- 14 @CIN -----
6 @BAL 29-31 15 PIT -----
7 @CAR 19-14 16 NO -----
8 NYG 24-29 17 @WAS -----
9 @ATL ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys dropped another game to the Giants and this time literally by about an inch when Dez Bryant's touchdown was ruled out. The loss sends the Cowboys back below .500 and already looking at very likely missing the playoffs again this year. The final schedule is easier and includes five home stands in the final seven weeks but then again they are only 1-2 at home anyway.

Tony Romo threw a personal best 62 passes for 437 yards against the Giants but only scored once via a pass and again as a runner. He also threw four interceptions and his first three came on each of the opening possessions that let the Giants build a 23-0 lead. Romo passes for good to great yardage every week but now twice has thrown more than three interceptions in a single game. He has only tossed six touchdowns over the last six games played.

DeMarco Murray may be back this week and the coaching staff wants him to return as soon as possible. Felix Jones has been the starter for two games now and only gained 63 yards on 28 carries including just 19 yards on 13 runs last week. Jones is banged up but his lack of production is more indicative of just what kind of runner he is. An injury risk every season, Jones is no lock to return next year.

Fantasy nirvana was accomplished last week when Jason Witten caught a franchise record 18 passes for 167 yards and somehow still did not score. That ties the #3 all-time most receptions in a game. Witten usually ends up with around six catches now that he has shaken off the rust starting in week four when he ended with 13 catches for 112 yards against the Bears. Perhaps notable is that both games were at home though they were also against two of the best defenses yet faced.

With so much passing last week both Dez Bryant (5-110) and Miles Austin (9-133) ended with big stats but Bryant still has just one game where he scored. Austin not only posted four touchdowns this year, three of those were in road efforts. Both wideouts have been more productive in recent games. Kevin Ogletree started his season with two scores and 114 yards on those Giants and now is full circle with no catches last week.

The Falcons are very good versus the pass with only seven touchdowns allowed and only once giving up more than 260 pass yards in the near trap game when the Raiders visited. But they have not faced really any top passing quarterbacks other than Peyton Manning but that was back in week two. Romo could still pass for big yardage but one score is right in line with what both teams usually have. The Falcons are decent against the run as well and the Cowboys come in with either a banged up Felix Jones or DeMarco Murray coming off his injury.

Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 11 24 9 7 18 28
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 12 22 3 14 2 6

QB Dak Prescott, DAL @IND 20100025010 ***
Dak has been a fantasy bright spot since the acquisition of Amari Cooper. He showed signs of life before the deal, too, and the third-year pro is coming off of his best game as an NFL quarterback. He threw for 455 yards and three TDs on 77.8 percent passing over a crazy 54 attempts. Since Week 6, Prescott has only two games with fewer than 21 fantasy points and three with more than 30.
RB Ezekiel Elliott, DAL @IND 8017500000 ***
Zeke faces a fairly strong defense of his position, but this unit can be exploited. Since Week 9, we are looking at almost a perfectly average opponent. The Colts have given up four scores over 112 carries in the last five weeks and two more TDs have come via 33 receptions. This looks like a good week for a diverse return on investment.
WR Michael Gallup, DAL @IND 003401000 ***
Gallup has 22 targets in the last three games, and while he hasn't scored since Week 7, the rookie has shown sign of life since Amari Cooper arrived to alleviate some pressure. Overall, Gallup isn't much of a playable option for conventional leagues, but he has shown enough to draw a deep dive in DFS.
WR Amari Cooper, DAL @IND 006700000 ***
Indianapolis has been among the league's tougher teams at slowing receivers, though most of the success has come against inferior competition. No one is hotter than Cooper of late. The former Raider is on a torrid pace and obviously belongs in all lineup configurations.
WR Cole Beasley, DAL @IND 005500000 ***
The volume hasn't been there in many weeks now, and Beasley hasn't scored since Week 7. He has fewer than 60 yards in seven straight contests and should be avoided in all formats.
TE Blake Jarwin, DAL @IND 003300000 ***
Jarwin exploded -- well, relatively speaking -- in Week 14, landing all seven of his targets but for just 56 yards. Either way, it was nice to see someone step up at the tight end position in an offensive system that is not afraid to utilize it. Indianapolis offer a favorable matchup that corresponds to his skill set. Since Week 9, the Colts have yielded the fourth-most receptions and yards, although it's the worst matchup for scoring touchdowns.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Brett Maher, DAL @IND 1133 ***
No writeup available

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 23-20 15 NYG -----
7 BYE ----- 16 @DET -----
8 @PHI 30-17 17 TB -----
9 DAL ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ATL vs DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan 10 280,2
QB Matt Schaub 250,2
WR Julio Jones 5-70
TE Logan Paulsen 3-40
PK Matt Bryant 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The only undefeated team in the league will no doubt stumble at least once but looking at the schedule it is hard to see where. The Falcons will be favored in every one of the remaining games and thanks to playing in the NFC South get to feast on some of the weaker teams in the league this year. The Falcons were barely winning games before the week seven bye but in that way that they were just not as motivated against weaker opponents and playing down to their level. Coming off the bye refreshed, they mopped up the Eagles in Philly. Atlanta will host the Conference Championship this year.

Matt Ryan is enjoying his best season by a big margin. He's already passed for 17 touchdowns and topped 250 pass yards in almost every game. He's only thrown six interceptions and scores at least twice in each week. With the rushing offense looking even worse than the first of the season, no reason to expect less than stellar results from future games as well. He faces literally no top secondaries the rest of the way.

Michael Turner is fading already. With only one game of more than 80 rushing yards, he already has been mostly mediocre and was even worse in recent weeks with never more than 64 total yards in a game. Sign of the times - Jacquizz Rodgers ran eight times for 60 yards and caught five passes for 20 more yards. Turner only gained 58 yards on 24 runes and is stuck at just one catch per game. Turner is not being phased out per se, but Rodgers is looking like the more productive change of pace guy likely to start filling at least an incrementally bigger role. The rushing offense is the only weakness of the Falcons. A 7-0 team generally has more than just three rushing touchdowns from the running backs after seven games.

Tony Gonzalez started the year red hot but has cooled for at least the last two games where he was held to fewer than 45 yards in each. Gonzo scored four times so far and even posted two efforts of more than 90 yards but both came in road games.

True to form, Julio Jones not only scored in Philly, but he produced his best game yet with 123 yards on five receptions and one score. That makes five touchdowns on the year with at least one in every road venue. And zero at home where he has yet to gain more than 63 yards. Roddy White, true to form, did not score last week and comes off his worst game of the year. But at home he scored four times in three games with never less than 72 yards. No scores on the road and though he does generate moderate to good yardage even away from Atlanta. The duo did the same thing last year until finally just scoring all the time at the end of the year.

Harry Douglas missed last week with ankle and knee injuries and was replaced by Drew Davis who scored in Philly during his two passes. No reason to expect fantasy value out of the fourth best receiving option in Atlanta though.

The Cowboys come in with a very good secondary that only once allowed more than one touchdown. But the Cowboys are also good against the run and that should only encourage Ryan to throw more. I like a defensive score in this game. With Tony Romo showing up, how could you not?

Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 3 17 7 4 3 8
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 2 13 4 8 20 31

QB Matt Ryan, ATL ARI 0000026020 ***
Just the Bills have been tougher on QBs in 2018. Arizona has given up a few fantasy-worthy starts, though. Philip Rivers went for 25.3 points in Week 12. Kirk Cousins managed 23.1 in Week 6, and C.J. Beathard exploded for 32.2 the week before. Jared Goff, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Mitchell Trubisky and Patrick Mahomes all were held below 23 points. Ryan is better used in two-QB situations but can be a low-end QB1 in a pinch.
RB Tevin Coleman, ATL ARI 5003201000 ***
This projection is giving him the benefit of the doubt, so gamers with better options should reconsider. The matchup is good, though, one of the best in football, in fact. Coleman has just 16 carries for 53 yards over the last two weeks, adding only two receptions for -1 yard in that time. Ito Smith saw more work last week, too. Coleman has the third-best matchup of 2018 staring him down, providing hope for a bigger day than we've seen of late.
RB Ito Smith, ATL ARI 4002200000 ***
Smith's utilization jumped up last week to 11 carries, plus he added three receptions on four looks. Still, it all amounted to 74 yards and no touchdowns. The Cardinals have yielded the third-most fantasy points per game this year, including 156.8 offensive yards a game and six rushing scores in the past five outings. Smith has fringe appeal but is about as risky of a back with a good matchup as you'll find.

Update: The curious case of Ito Smith ... he was listed as limited Wednesday with a back ailment and then went full in Thursday's session before appearing as limited again Friday with a knee added to the equation. Check the inactives to be safe.
WR Julio Jones, ATL ARI 006801000 ***
Jones rebounded nicely from a disappearing act against the Ravens in Week 13, going for 106 yards and two scores on eight grabs vs. the Packers. He now has five scores in his last six games after just one in his last 14 (including playoffs). Jones remains just about the only bright spot in this offense. Arizona has been strong most of the year vs. WRs but still has given up several large outputs, especially in the last five weeks. Big-name receivers have played like it.
WR Calvin Ridley, ATL ARI 003500000 ***
Since Week 9's bye, Arizona has given up per-team high scores of 32.7 PPR (Tyreek Hill), 10.9 (Brandon LaFell), 20.2 (Keenan Allen), 23.3 (Davante Adams) and 5.7 (Bruce Ellington). Ridley is a risky WR3 or flex in most scenarios and could benefit from the added coverage paid to Julio Jones, although it hasn't exactly translated as such in recent games for the rookie with just one TD in the last five outings.
WR Mohamed Sanu, ATL ARI 004400000 ***
Sanu reappeared last week but sill is no better than a deep-league PPR gamble. The Cardinals have been awfully good against wideouts, but all of the attention paid to Julio Jones naturally opens up looks for Sanu.
TE Austin Hooper, ATL ARI 005400000 ***
Facing a defense that has allowed only one touchdown to TEs in the last five games, spanning 24 receptions, Hooper is a poor start. The Cardinals have given up only three scores on the year and rank as the seventh-toughest matchup in Week 15. Play Hooper only if you have no better choices.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Bryant, ATL ARI 2222 ***
No writeup available

*ARI at GB CHI at TEN *MIA at IND *PHI at NO (MON)
BAL at CLE *DAL at ATL MIN at SEA Bye:

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