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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
QB Matt Schaub 210,1
WR Julio Jones 7-110,1
TE Jacob Tamme 1-10
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 @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 5003300000 ***
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 Julio Jones, ATL @LA 0061001000 ***
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.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Taylor Gabriel, ATL @LA 005601000 ***
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.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mohamed Sanu, ATL @LA 005600000 **
Sanu always sees single coverage and is good at exploiting it. The Rams have given up the 10th most points per game in PPR scoring, including allowing six TDs by wideouts in the last five games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Austin Hooper, ATL @LA 002200000 ***
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.

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

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 @TB 0000030031 ***
Shake off last week's dismal game. Don't count on an explosion from Brees versus the Bucs, whose defense is playing well over the last five weeks. This is fantasy's 15th best matchup, so almost perfectly neutral. This is the first meeting between these teams in 2016.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Mark Ingram, NO @TB 4003301000 ***
Ingram is the only playable back in New Orleans, and that is if you plug your nose. The Buccaneers have given up only one score on the last 99 rushing attempts faced, plus one receiving score on 18 grabs, helping rate this as the fourth hardest matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tim Hightower, NO @TB 2003200000 *
Hightower doesn't have much upside, and the matchup is daunting. Tampa Bay has been the fourth hardest against backs over the past five weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Travaris Cadet, NO @TB 004200000 *
Cadet is not a fantasy-worthy commodity in any format.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Thomas, NO @TB 005601000 ***
A foot injury hobbled Thomas in Wednesday's practice. Check his status Friday to be safe, but it doesn't sound serious. The Buccaneers present a low-end matchup that can give fantasy gamers some reason to pause, but the position has scored once every 10.4 grabs, so there is hope.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandin Cooks, NO @TB 007700000 ***
Tampa Bay is on fire entering this one and has been an interesting defense of wideouts along the way. Overall, it's the sixth worst in PPR, but the position has given up a touchdown a game over the last five, which translates to one every 10.4 catches.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Willie Snead IV, NO @TB 005400000 ***
Michael Thomas showed up with a sore foot Wednesday, which opens the door for Snead to have a larger role. Stay tuned. The matchup is a mixed bag, but receivers have scored once per game since Week 8 against the Bucs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Coby Fleener, NO @TB 005601000 ***
The Bucs have given up the sixth highest yardage average per game (69.4) but only two touchdowns on the last 27 catches, which is 18th. There is appeal here, since Tampa will be busy on the outside against a capable trio of receivers.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Wil Lutz, NO @TB 1033 ***
Kickers have averaged the fourth fewest kicking chances against the Bucs over the last five weeks. The position has made six of seven field goals and 10 extra points in that span.

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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