FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 10
2012
IND at JAC (THU) DEN at CAR *NYJ at SEA TEN at MIA
ATL at NO *DET at MIN OAK at BAL *KC at PIT (MON)
*BUF at NE *HOU at CHI *SD at TB Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at PHI NYG at CIN *STL at SF ARI, CLE, GB, WAS

Prediction: ATL 30, NO 24 (Line: ATL by 3)

Players to Watch: Julio Jones, Roddy White

The 9-0 Falcons head towards their second divisional game of the season. The 3-5 Saints are on a one game winning streak and sport the worst defense against quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. It is truly the FANTASY TRIFECT and all too rare. We may never again see this in our lifetimes. Thank you Bountygate. Or whatever. I have to stop before I start crying again.

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 19-13 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ATL @ NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan 10 300,2
RB Steven Jackson 40
RB Jacquizz Rodgers 30 4-30
WR Julio Jones 7-110,1
WR Roddy White 6-100,1
PK Matt Bryant 3 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The lone undefeated team may end up having to drop a trap game before too long because the schedule has only one winning record left to play and the Giants are the visitors in week 15. The Falcons are not overpowering anyone really, they are just a bit more balanced, make fewer mistakes and end up just good enough to always get the job done. Short of something unforeseen and catastrophic, the NFC will be going through Atlanta before the Superbowl.

Matt Ryan finally was held scoreless last week by the Cowboys but he still put up 342 passing yards with no turnovers. Ryan already passed for 17 touchdowns against only five interceptions and six of his games featured multiple touchdowns. He's thrown for over 300 yards in half his games so facing the #32 defense against quarterbacks is bound to be a very, very good thing.

Michael Turner comes off a solid effort against the Cowboys with 102 yards on 20 carries but that was with a 43-yard carry mixed in and he was no where near as productive on most carries as the totals suggest. That was his first good game since week five and mostly came on popping one long run that saw him caught before he could score.

Jacquizz Rodgers remains just change of pace and third downs with a few catches thrown in. Even against the Redskins and their weak secondary, Rodgers only had 12 total yards so facing the Saints doesn't necessarily mean decent numbers for Rodgers.

Tony Gonzalez was red hot when he started the season with four scores in the first five weeks but he's been held under 45 yards in each of the last three games and not scored. He is getting only five passes per game instead of the 10 or so he was thrown in earlier games.

This week will be all about Julio Jones and Roddy White. Jones scored in every road game so far and always turns in solid yardage. He was much less effective at home but then gained a season high 129 yards just last week when the Cowboys came to town. Jones should be a lock for a monster game here. Roddy White finally did not score at home last Sunday but still posted 118 yards on seven catches himself.

Like every week - anyone facing the Saints is a must start. This one should be lots of fun. The Falcons need to win divisional games anyway and the Saints have won the last three meetings and six of the last seven. Time for some payback.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 4 14 7 6 2 11
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 32 32 32 9 24 9

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Matt Ryan, ATL @MIN 0000026020 ***
Ryan has thrown three TDs in each of his first two home games, and he should have similar success against the Vikings. Despite stats that suggest they're stout against the pass, teams aren't forced to throw against Minnesota because they threaten no one offensively; also, facing the Rams' Hill/Davis combo and Tom Brady working with a big lead kept the numbers down as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Steven Jackson, ATL @MIN 501000000 **
Jackson will get the short-yardage shot(s); just don't look for him to be a great help in yardage leagues.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL @MIN 3002100000 ***
Rodgers heads up a three-headed committee that offers a change of pace to Steven Jackson. There's no reliable fantasy option amongst the three unless and until one emerges as the go-to S-Jax alternative.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julio Jones, ATL @MIN 007901000 ***
What's not to like about Jones' productivity thus far this year? No reason for it to come to an abrupt end here; while the Vikings have yet to allow a 100-yard receiver this season, they haven't faced much in the way of quality wideouts--and the best they've seen (Julian Edelman, Marques Colston) have scored.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Roddy White, ATL @MIN 004700000 ***
If he's healthy he's usable here, but best wait until the Falcons clear him to return to action.
Update: After practicing on a limited basis Wednesday and Thursday White practiced fully on Friday and is listed as probable. No reason to keep him on your fantasy bench.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Weems, ATL @MIN 004500000 ***
With Roddy White and Harry Douglas both nursing injuries Weems is the alternative to Julio Jones. There's no compelling reason to play him here, especially with Devin Hester swiping occasional snaps as well.
Update: White is back but Douglas questionable; there should be snaps for Weems, just not enough to make him fantasy relevant.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Levine Toilolo, ATL @MIN 002200000 ***
The Vikings historically struggle against tight ends, and with Chad Greenway a possible scratch there's even more reason to think that will be the case. Toilolo isn't a compelling fantasy option in and of himself, but if bye week issues have you scrambling it's a favorable matchup.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Bryant, ATL @MIN 2233 ***
Should be plenty of points on the Atlanta side of the ledger, which is usually good news for kickers.

New Orleans Saints
Homefield: Superdome
Sportexe Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 WAS 32-40 10 ATL -----
2 @CAR 27-35 11 @OAK -----
3 KC 24-27 12 SF -----
4 @GB 27-28 13 @ATL -----
5 SD 31-24 14 @NYG -----
6 BYE ----- 15 TB -----
7 @TB 35-28 16 @DAL -----
8 @DEN 14-34 17 CAR -----
9 PHI 28-13 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NO vs ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 300,3
RB Mark Ingram 30 2-10
RB Pierre Thomas 30 3-20
WR Marques Colston 6-80,1
WR Robert Meachem 2-20
TE Jimmy Graham 5-50,1
PK Shayne Graham 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Saints finally had a bona fide, real win by a comfortable margin and the opponent did not score their season high for once. Then again, the 99-yard interception return kept this from being 21-20. The Saints at home against a weak team still can get it done. The defense is not going to hold much of anyone at bay but at least Brees and company can outscore a bad team by now. That does not apply to the 8-0 Falcons.

Drew Brees was a little light in yardage these last two weeks but he has scored at least twice in every game this season and currently owns 22 passing touchdowns. He is a must start who will be playing at home against the team that let him throw for 307 yards and four touchdowns the last time they visited New Orleans. This is a big game for the Saints and one that they'll be up for knowing the Falcons have sort of replaced them this year.

Darren Sproles remains out but his departure did nothing to reduce the committee in the backfield. They just moved Chris Ivory up and gave him ten carries to gain 48 yards and one score. Mark Ingram gained 44 yards on seven runs and had a season best two catches for 23 yards. Pierre Thomas still had his normal six runs for 44 yards and two catches for 26 yards. The Saints refuse to let any individual back have much fantasy value. All you can expect is marginal yardage and maybe a score every now and then. They love their mix-n-match backfield.

Jimmy Graham is completely over his sprained ankle with a score and 60+ yards in each of the last two games. He is the only Saints player that always gets double digit targets every week.

The wideouts are more limited this year. Marques Colston is more used than in the past with six touchdowns on the season and two games over 100 yards. Lance Moore hasn't scored since week three but still usually posts 60+ yards. The wideouts are really limited to just the two now instead of the three or four in years past.

This week the Falcons should grab a lead and force the Saints to throw. The worst thing that can happen is the score remains close and the Saints use their trio of running backs to keep the game score lower. Nah - this is the worst defense. That just won't happen.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 1 7 5 8 29 21
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 11 22 3 15 2 4

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Drew Brees, NO @DAL 0000032040 ***
Brees has been merely okay by Brees standards, but facing a defense that just gave up a hat trick to Austin Davis you have to think he can ratchet that up a notch on Sunday night.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Khiry Robinson, NO @DAL 500000000 ***
Teams really haven't tried to run against the Cowboys--no back has more than 16 attempts or 67 yards--and with Robinson sharing the workload with Pierre Thomas you can't bank on him for much more than the usual fringe fantasy contribution.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Pierre Thomas, NO @DAL 3003200000 ***
The plus side to Thomas is his contributions in the passing game; doesn't hurt that he also swiped a goal line score from Khiry Robinson last week. It's a good matchup but not so good as to elevate Thomas from his usual place amongst the fringe fantasy contributors.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandin Cooks, NO @DAL 007801000 ***
Cooks has been the Saints' most targeted wideout in all three games this season, so he's the most likely of this unit to post helpful fantasy numbers.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Stills, NO @DAL 002301000 ***
Stills remains a peripheral contributor to this offense. It's a somewhat favorable matchup, maybe even enough to make Stills a viable fantasy option with six teams on the bye.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marques Colston, NO @DAL 004600000 ****
New Orleans' passing game hasn't been as explosive as usual, so numbers for the wideouts have been somewhat subdued. If you usually start Colston there's no reason not to do so here, but don't go out of your way to do so.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jimmy Graham, NO @DAL 00101202000 ****
The Cowboys have been an extremely favorable matchup for opposing tight ends--and now they face the best in the business. Should be a banner evening for Graham.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Shayne Graham, NO @DAL 2244 ***
Diminished returns for Graham, and the Cowboys haven't served up a ton of opportunities for opposing kickers. That said, there should be plenty of points scored here so assuming Graham isn't shanking PATs he should be a fantasy helper.

WEEK 10
2012
IND at JAC (THU) DEN at CAR *NYJ at SEA TEN at MIA
ATL at NO *DET at MIN OAK at BAL *KC at PIT (MON)
*BUF at NE *HOU at CHI *SD at TB Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at PHI NYG at CIN *STL at SF ARI, CLE, GB, WAS

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