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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 11
2012
MIA at BUF (THU) *CLE at DAL *NO at OAK TB at CAR
*ARI at ATL GB at DET NYJ at STL *CHI at SF (MON)
*BAL at PIT *IND at NE PHI at WAS Bye:
*UPDATED CIN at KC JAC at HOU *SD at DEN MIN, NYG, SEA, TEN

Prediction: ARI 14, ATL 27 (Line: ATL by 10)

Players Updated: Julio Jones, Michael Turner

Players to Watch: Julio Jones

The 4-5 Cardinals are on a five game losing free-fall while the 8-1 Falcons return home after their only loss on the year. With the offensive woes of the Cards, a trap game here seem impossible.

Arizona Cardinals
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SEA 20-16 10 BYE -----
2 @NE 20-18 11 @ATL -----
3 PHI 27-6 12 STL -----
4 MIA 24-21 13 @NYJ -----
5 @STL 3-17 14 @SEA -----
6 BUF 16-19 15 DET -----
7 @MIN 14-21 16 CHI -----
8 SF 3-24 17 @SF -----
9 @GB 17-31 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ARI @ ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer 300,2
RB Jonathan Dwyer 30,1 1-10
RB Rashard Mendenhall 50 1-10
WR Larry Fitzgerald 7-90,1
WR Michael Floyd 3-40
TE Rob Housler 4-50
PK Jay Feely 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Cardinals come off their bye still wondering how it all went so wrong so fast. Five losses in a row and chances are this could continue. If the visiting Rams win in week 12, the Cardinals may actually go from 4-0 to 4-12. the last five games failed to produce more than 17 points. That's not going to get it done in Atlanta.

Kevin Kolb has been out since week six and early reports have him missing this week as well. John Skelton's been solid with yardage in his three starts with each topping 260 yards but he's only thrown two scores in that time. The Cardinals only scored 10 passing touchdowns this year and three of those came in the Dolphins matchup. Skelton did throw for 262 yards and a score in Minnesota so he's had some impact on the road. Not enough of course, but some.

Beanie Wells is slated to return in week 12 and claims that he has really gotten healthy with the time off and vows to return with a vengeance. Not going to take too much to look better than what's been happening in his absence. LaRod Stephens-Howling scored in two of the last three games but only posted 38 total yards against the 49ers and 59 yards at Green Bay. When Wells returns, Stephens-Howling returns to the special teams role he's had his entire career.

Larry Fitzgerald scored for the fourth time this year but his stats are well short of expectations and not changing much with Skelton instead of Kolb. These last three weeks have only seen him with no more htan 74 yards and the trip to MInnesota was just 29 yards on four catches. Andre Roberts' improved in those three games with never fewer than 65 yards in a game. Overall - there are just two wideouts of any note on this team and the rushing game is even more broken than usual.

The problem here, besides the Cardinals having nearly no offense, is that the Falcons best strength goes against the Cardinals only strength - wide receivers. This game is a hope for trash time and garbage yards.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 19 32 10 24 29 12
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 14 24 4 27 2 3

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Carson Palmer, ARI SF 0000026021 ****
Palmer's 298 & 2 in the earlier meeting was the fourth-biggest game the Niners have allowed to a quarterback. However, he's had just one TD toss in each of the past three games, with declining yardage totals so he's a risky fantasy play at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Andre Ellington, ARI SF 4014300000 ****
Ellington scored in Arizona's earlier meeting with the Niners, but he's still playing second fiddle to Rashard Mendenhall in the touches category which makes him a risky play at best in this matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashard Mendenhall, ARI SF 500000000 ***
The Niners haven't allowed much in the way of RB TDs, but the last few (Steven Jackson, Marshawn Lynch, Jed Collins) have been the goal-line types Mendenhall has made a habit of this season. Not saying it will happen necessarily, but at least acknowledging there's a chance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI SF 0051001000 ****
Glimmers of hope after Larry's tough game against Richard Sherman last week. For starters, Fitz scored as part of a 6-117-1 outing the last time he faced San Francisco. Factor in the Niners giving up touchdowns to WR1s in back-to-back games and Fitz is at least back on the fantasy radar here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Floyd, ARI SF 005601000 ***
The Niners have allowed just three WR TDs in the past seven games, so while Floyd scored last week and scored in the earlier meeting with San Francisco he's still a risky fantasy play given that Larry Fitzgerald still sees most of the Cardinals' WR targets.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Ted Ginn, ARI SF 003500000 ***
Ginn is more of a deep threat and less likely to take over Steve Smith's role as the Panthers' go-to wideout should Smith sit this one out. That puts a limit on his upside this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Rob Housler, ARI SF 003300000 ***
If Housler weren't battling Jake Ballard and Jim Dray for looks on his own team, we'd be more optimistic about him taking advantage of a San Francisco defense that's allowed TE TDs in three straight games and a total of 228 yards to the position in that span.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Jay Feely, ARI SF 1133 ***
No team has given up fewer points to kickers than the Niners, and they held Feely to just a couple PATs in the earlier meeting. Both teams are still playing for something, but with points at a premium you'll want to get your kicks elsewhere.

Atlanta Falcons
Homefield: Georgia Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @KC 40-24 10 @NO 27-31
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 vs ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan 260,2
RB Steven Jackson 60,1 2-20
RB Jacquizz Rodgers 30 5-30
WR Julio Jones 5-80
WR Roddy White 6-80,1
TE Tony Gonzalez 5-60,1
PK Matt Bryant 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: It was bound to happen eventually and it is not like the Saints don't already have a comfortable three game lead. It was hard to see where a loss was going to happen because the Falcons schedule is so easy that only eventual malaise allowed the loss.

Matt Ryan has been a near lock to score multiple touchdowns each week and he comes off a season best 411 yards in New Orleans. He's averaged 308 yards each week and generally plays bigger the tougher the matchup. The incoming Cards don't sport much offense but they have a decent defense that will make the Falcons work for the win. As good as the Cardinals have been versus the run, Ryan will need to pass to finish out this game in the win column.

Michael Turner comes off a horrible showing with only 15 yards on 13 runs in New Orleans and he's been pretty bad in three of the last four games that say him remain below 60 yards. Jacquizz Rodgers has offered some help as the third down back but overall this rushing attack is only getting worse as the season progresses. Turner should remain fresh later in the year because he doesn't hardly have to run at all each game. He just takes the handoff and tries to fall throught the offensive line.

Tony Gonzalez lulled them to sleep with three straight games with just 42 yards or less and no scores but then turned in 11 receptions for 122 yards and two scores last week. The oddity about Gonzo is that hels scored five times this year and four went in road games. His top three yardage games were also away from Atlanta.

The fantasy world held their breath when Julio Jones left the Saints game with a knee problem but he return later in the second half and ended with four catches for 75 yards. There has been no talk at all about the knee and since he returned to the game, he's expected to be completely fine again this week. Roddy White is usually the star at home but comes off a 114 yard effort in New Orleans.

The Cardinals defense has been top ten in most categories but their woeful offense is no help and the Falcons at home after a loss should be even better than the last few weeks.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 3 17 6 2 3 16
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 8 6 18 2 11 26

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Matt Ryan, ATL CAR 0000028011 ***
Ryan threw for 219 & 1 in the earlier meeting with the Panthers, but that was in Carolina. Then again, venue hasn't mattered much to the Panthers, who have allowed only one multiple passing TD game all season. Ryan just took the 49ers for 348 & 2 in San Francisco so all is not lost, but with Carolina playing for a playoff spot it's tough to see Ryan having much success here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Steven Jackson, ATL CAR 5003200000 ***
Jackson has six touchdowns in his last four games--a little late for those looking to him as a fantasy RB1 or even RB2 back on draft day, but you take what you can get. However, He mustered just 57 yards (and no TDs) on 13 carries in the earlier meeting with Carolina and is unlikely to dent a Panthers defense that's given up one RB rushing TD in the past 11 games and four RB TDs all year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Roddy White, ATL CAR 005600000 ***
White has seen double-digit targets in three of the last four games, resulting in some old-school Roddy White numbers: 12-141-1, 8-74, 10-143. He didn't play in the earlier meeting with Carolina, but he had 100-plus yards and a score in both ends of last season's series and has scored in three straight against the Panthers. While his prognosis is less optimistic against a Carolina defense that's allowed just three WR TDs in the past 13 games, at least there's a chance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Drew Davis, ATL CAR 002300000 ***
Davis had a brief moment when both Julio Jones and Roddy White were out of the lineup and he was wingman to Harry Douglas. Jones is back, the matchup is tough, and Davis goes back in the bargain bin.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Harry Douglas, ATL CAR 003300000 ***
Douglas had 82 yards in the earlier matchup with Carolina--a pretty good WR game against the Panthers--but he's been relatively quiet the past month while Roddy White has returned to WR1 status in Atlanta so keep your expectations in check.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Tony Gonzalez, ATL CAR 0091201000 *****
Gonzo had 6-81-1 in the earlier matchup with Carolina; now he's scored in four straight and catches the Panthers having given up 239 yards and four TDs to the position in just the past three outings. Maybe the season didn't go quite as Gonzo had hoped, but he's certainly closing his Canton-worthy career with a flourish.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Bryant, ATL CAR 2211 ***
Bryant has one double-digit effort in the past three months and posted just four points in the earlier meeting with Carolina. The Panthers are playing for something, the Falcons are not; unlikely this ends well for Bryant.

WEEK 11
2012
MIA at BUF (THU) *CLE at DAL *NO at OAK TB at CAR
*ARI at ATL GB at DET NYJ at STL *CHI at SF (MON)
*BAL at PIT *IND at NE PHI at WAS Bye:
*UPDATED CIN at KC JAC at HOU *SD at DEN MIN, NYG, SEA, TEN

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