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 TB 0000025021 ****
After facing second- and third-string QBs to start the season, the Bucs might be shocked to see Ryan. He's taken Tampa for 300 yards or multiple TDs in five of the last six meetings, including both last year; don't look for Lovie's Tampa-2 to fare much better.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Steven Jackson, ATL TB 601000000 ***
Jackson has been topping out around a dozen carries and 50 or so yards--hardly fantasy-helper numbers. You could expect an uptick against a decimated Bucs d-line that's held DeAngelo Williams and Zac Stacy to 72 and 71 yards, respectively, but you're still barely on the fringe of fantasy respectability, hoping for a pass interference call in the end zone to set you up for a one-yard fall into the end zone.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL TB 3001100000 ***
At best Rodgers is sharing the smaller half of the Falcons' backfield pie with the likes of Antone Smith and Devonta Freeman. And while Tampa's defensive front has been hit hard with injuries that's still not enough to suggest he'll be much of a fantasy helper this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julio Jones, ATL TB 0081101000 ***
Jones missed both ends of this season series last year, but he's scored or topped 100 yards (or both) in three of four career meetings with the Bucs and has scored or topped 100 yards in each game thus far this season. Sounds like a trend worth riding.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Roddy White, ATL TB 004500000 *
White has topped 75 yards against the Bucs just once in their past 16 meetings, and he hasn't hit that mark yet this season. He has, however, found the end zone and he scored the only time he faced Tampa Bay last season. He's clearly running as WR2 to Julio Jones, but this isn't a bad situation to be running WR2 in.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Harry Douglas, ATL TB 004400000 ***
Douglas blew up the Bucs with 6-134-1 and 7-149-1 last season, but Julio Jones missed both outings and Roddy White was available for just one. With both Falcons studs back Douglas is clearly the third wheel, so he's a fringe fantasy option at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Levine Toilolo, ATL TB 003200000 ****
Given Toilolo's role in this offense you'll need a TD to wring fantasy value out of him. It's something Tony Gonzalez couldn't pull off last year and it's not something you should bank on here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Bryant, ATL TB 3333 ****
Only two teams have allowed more field goal attempts thus far this year than the Bucs, so Bryant should have the opportunity to swing his leg this week.

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 MIN 0000031030 ***
The Vikings haven't given up much to opposing passing attacks thus far, but it's partly because they faced the Rams' backups and partly because the Patriots backed off when they rolled out to a big lead. Brees won't be as merciful.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Khiry Robinson, NO MIN 701000000 ****
With no Mark Ingram this week, Robinson should step into the bulk of the carries for the Saints' backfield. Though he may not get to the 25 carries Stevan Ridley had last week, something akin to the 101 and 1 Ridley dropped on the Vikings feels about right.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Pierre Thomas, NO MIN 3003200000 ***
Thomas could see an uptick in carries as well as his typical role in the passing game. Either alone would likely be enough to warrant starting against the Vikings; both makes Thomas an even better fantasy play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marques Colston, NO MIN 006901000 ***
If you can look past the goose egg Colston laid last week, he projects to be a solid fantasy play against the Vikings--especially if cornerback Xavier Rhodes is still nursing a groin injury.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandin Cooks, NO MIN 2006701000 ***
Cooks' speed is bound to give the suddenly blitz-happy Vikings fits; as an added bonus he's been steadily targeted so there's little in the way of downside here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Stills, NO MIN 003300000 ***
Just about every Saint should be in play fantasy-wise this week; the issue with Stills is that he hasn't staked out a consistent role in New Orleans' passing game so there's plenty of risk involved as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jimmy Graham, NO MIN 0071001000 ***
The Vikings kept Rob Gronkowski out of the end zone last week--with a little (a lot of?) help from a limited snap count. Graham is unlikely to suffer the same fate, and Minnesota is equally as unlikely to be able to contain him.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Shayne Graham, NO MIN 2244 ***
The Vikes have allowed multiple field goals in each game this season, and the Saints should give Graham plenty of opportunity to swing the leg this week. Even counting by ones he should be just fine fantasy-wise.

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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