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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 9
2012
KC at SD (THU) CAR at WAS *DET at JAC TB at OAK
*ARI at GB CHI at TEN *MIA at IND *PHI at NO (MON)
BAL at CLE *DAL at ATL MIN at SEA Bye:
*UPDATED *BUF at HOU DEN at CIN *PIT at NYG NE , NYJ, SF, STL

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
RealGrass
  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
RB Darren McFadden 50,1 4-30
RB Alfred Morris 80,1
WR Dez Bryant 4-60
TE Jason Witten 6-70,1
PK Dan Bailey 3 FG 2 XP
PK Mike Nugent 1 FG 2 XP

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.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 11 24 9 7 18 28
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 12 22 3 14 2 6

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Dak Prescott, DAL LAC 30000021011 ***
Regardless of LT Tyron Smith's status, Prescott is a dicey call for Week 12. It's a short week, and the Chargers have some momentum. Gamers should look elsewhere, if possible, since we are free of bye weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, DAL LAC 10011100000 ***
This is the fifth-best matchup in non-PPR (2nd in PPR). Most of the work has come via the passing game, which isn't exactly Morris' thing. Maybe he can add a few screen passes to inflate an already sound projection. At any rate, LA has given up only two rushing TDs over the past 86 totes by RBs (17th).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dez Bryant, DAL LAC 005801000 **
Bryant is seeing the looks and failing to generate meaningful fantasy production. The matchup likely won't redeem this, either, as the Chargers have surrendered a mere touchdown over the past 47 catches. This is the fifth-hardest opponent in PPR and fourth-worst in standard.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Terrance Williams, DAL LAC 004400000 ***
Williams is doing almost nothing with a reasonable target volume. The Chargers are too tough of a matchup to chance this being the week he makes the most of his looks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Cole Beasley, DAL LAC 004300000 ***
Beasley has been ineffective for fantasy purposes most of this year and half of last season. Avoid him with this difficult matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jason Witten, DAL LAC 002200000 ***
Witten has been erratic and has a mediocre matchup for catches and yardage. However, LA has permitted only one TD over the past 19 grabs by tight ends.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Dan Bailey, DAL LAC 3322 ***
Bailey has a good chance of returning this week. If he doesn't go again, Mike Nugent will continue to handle the duties. Los Angeles rates in the bottom half of the league while giving up the ninth-most field goal attempts.

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 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
WR Andre Roberts 5-60
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?

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 3 17 7 4 3 8
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 2 13 4 8 20 31

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Matt Ryan, ATL TB 0000028020 ***
Ryan dismantled Tampa Bay last year in both contests, going for 25.7 fantasy points in Week 1 and 33.2 two months later. They haven't played yet in 2017. This is one of the more neutral matchups, though mismatches can be found on the outside.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tevin Coleman, ATL TB 8011100000 ***
The Bucs have given up the 10th-most fantasy points per game in either format, mostly fueled by allowing rushing touchdowns with the 6th-highest ease. Coleman was pretty good in his lone meeting last year with the Bucs, posting nearly 17 PPR points.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Devonta Freeman, ATL TB 00000000 *
Freeman still hasn't cleared the concussion protocol as of Wednesday and is in jeopardy of missing another game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julio Jones, ATL TB 0081101000 ***
Jones averaged nearly 20 PPR points a game in two games last year against the Bucs. Wideouts have gone for 12 receptions, 161.8 yards and a TD per outing since Week 6.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mohamed Sanu, ATL TB 003401000 ***
Sanu is on a heater and was a valuable fantasy play last year vs. the Buccaneers as he posted lines of 5-80-1 and 5-74-0. This is a positive-leaning matchup against a defense giving up a TD per game over the last five.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Taylor Gabriel, ATL TB 003500000 ***
Gabriel is too erratic to warrant a fantasy play in any format.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Austin Hooper, ATL TB 006600000 **
One of the last 19 receptions by tight ends went into the end zone against the Bucs. Hooper is a fringe play with some upside.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Bryant, ATL TB 3333 ***
This is as even of a matchup as one is likely to find for kickers. Tampa has given up the 14th-highest average of combined field goals (16th) and extra points (12th).

WEEK 9
2012
KC at SD (THU) CAR at WAS *DET at JAC TB at OAK
*ARI at GB CHI at TEN *MIA at IND *PHI at NO (MON)
BAL at CLE *DAL at ATL MIN at SEA Bye:
*UPDATED *BUF at HOU DEN at CIN *PIT at NYG NE , NYJ, SF, STL

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