FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Follow Follow @DMDorey
 

Predictions Summary »  Player Rankings (Projections) »  myHuddle Projections by Team »  Projections Summary by Team »

WEEK 15
2012
CIN at PHI (THU) *GB at CHI *MIN at STL *SF at NE
CAR at SD IND at HOU *NYG at ATL TB at NO
DEN at BAL *JAC at MIA *PIT at DAL *WAS at CLE
*Updated *DET at ARI KC at OAK *SEA at BUF *NYJ at TEN (MON)

Prediction: NYG 17, ATL 27 (Line: ATL by 1 )

Players Updated: Roddy White, Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks, David Wilson

Players to Watch: Roddy White, David Wilson, Jacquizz Rodgers

This should be one of the best games of the weekend and one with playoff implications. The 8-5 Giants come off a monster win over the Saints but are only 3-3 on the road. The 11-2 Falcons are coming off an upset loss to the Panthers but are a perfect 6-0 at home.

New York Giants
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DAL 17-24 10 @CIN 13-31
2 TB 41-34 11 BYE -----
3 @CAR 36-7 12 GB 38-10
4 @PHI 17-19 13 @WAS 16-17
5 CLE 41-27 14 NO 52-27
6 @SF 26-3 15 @ATL -----
7 WAS 27-23 16 @BAL -----
8 @DAL 29-24 17 PHI -----
9 PIT 20-24 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYG @ ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 280,1
RB Peyton Hillis 20 4-20
RB Rashad Jennings
WR Victor Cruz 6-80
WR Mario Manningham 2-20
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Giants put the whoop on the Saints last week but lost their last two road games in Washington and Cincinnati. Eli Manning comes off a season high four touchdown passes but the question about his "tired arm" are not yet all answered. Manning not only threw only one touchdown and 280 yards on the weak Redskins secondary, he's totaled only five passing touchdowns over his six road games this year. All of his big games came at home against weak teams. This week will be a big test and one that he needs to win since the Giants are only one game ahead of the Cowboys and Redskins in the NFC East. A game in Baltimore next week won't likely be much easier.

Ahmad Bradshaw is playing with a sore knee and had to leave the Saints game to have it looked at. He returned later but was little used thanks to the success of David Wilson who gained 100 yards and two scores on just 13 carries and even notched a third on a kick return touchdown. One caveat here - the Saints were on the road with one of the worst rushing defenses in the NFL. This week will be a far bigger test and Bradshaw will return to his primary role health willing. Bradshaw is a far better blocker on pass downs and the split between the two runners will be something dictated by in game situations and if Bradshaw can remain on the field. That means risk for a fantasy team.

Victor Cruz "tweaked" his shoulder last week but is not expected to be limited in any way. He is on a two game streak of 100 yard games and commands as many passes as Hakeem Nicks but does more with them. Nicks is playing with a sore knee but was able to score on the Saints. He maxes out around 70 yards and only then against soft secondaries. Nicks scored in two of the last three games but all three of his touchdowns were at home this year.

Martellus Bennett scored in each of the last two games and almost had a second touchdown against the Saints. More germane here, he was good for five catches and 82 yards with one score in the last road trip to Washington. This is the sort of game where the Giants need to bring it all together and make a step towards defending their title. Problem is that the Falcons at home are very good and the Giants on the road have been less formidable.

Nicks may get the benefit of an injured and maybe absent Asante Samuel.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 20 8 9 19 1 7
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 8 25 6 19 9 6

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Eli Manning, NYG ARI 0000020012 ***
Eli's last multiple touchdown game came in Week 12 of last season against Dallas. His last multiple TD outing against a legit defense... wait, do the Eagles count? No? Okay, his last multiple TD outing against a legit defense came in Week 14 of 2012. And the new offense... it isn't helping.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG ARI 6015300000 ****
Jennings' 50 receiving yards in Week 1 was a welcome bonus--and a necessary one if he's to carve out any fantasy value this week, as the Cards held a decent San Diego ground game to 2.1 yards per carry. Also good for Jennings: the Giants' passing game is so gawd-awful right now they have to give him 15-plus carries even if they're trailing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Victor Cruz, NYG ARI 004500000 ***
You can't fault Victor's frustration, but if he didn't see this coming he may have been the only one. It will take time for the new offense to take in New York; until it does--and especially if Patrick Peterson opts to throw a blanket over Cruz this week--he's a difficult at best fantasy start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jerrel Jernigan, NYG ARI 003300000 ***
Of course Jerrel Jernigan was the Giants' most targeted wideout in Week 1. Seeing as none of San Diego's receivers mustered more than 50 yards, you should probably lower your already-stooping expectations for Jernigan this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rueben Randle, NYG ARI 002300000 ***
The good news is that Randle likely won't draw Patrick Peterson; the bad news is that it's still Eli Manning throwing the ball in his general direction.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Larry Donnell, NYG ARI 006601000 **
Donnell is no Antonio Gates, but he could play one this week. Donnell was Eli Manning's go-to guy in Week 1, while Gates found the seams in Arizona's defense to the tune of 6-81. What faint hope there is for the Giants' passing game likely runs through Donnell.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG ARI 2222 ***
It's a good news/bad news situation for Brown--good that the Giants can't make it to the end zone, bad that they struggle to get Brown into range. Wait until the Giants work out the kinks in their offense before banking on him for fantasy help; it could be a while.

Atlanta Falcons
Homefield: Georgia Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @KC 40-24 10 @NO 27-31
2 DEN 27-21 11 ARI 23-19
3 @SD 27-3 12 @TB 24-23
4 CAR 30-28 13 NO 23-13
5 @WAS 24-17 14 @CAR 20-30
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 NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan 300,2
RB Steven Jackson 70,1 2-10
RB Jacquizz Rodgers 40 4-30,1
WR Julio Jones 6-90,1
WR Roddy White 5-80
PK Matt Bryant 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: It was all going so well too. The Falcons once again had problems with the Panthers who they beat only 30-28 at home in week four. But last week in Carolina smacked of a trap game with the Falcons and the Falcons couldn't catch up. Back at home this week against a division leading Giants and the Falcons should be plenty focused. The final two games are not that easy - at Detroit and then hosting the Buccaneers but a win here goes a long way to making at least the final week immaterial.

Aside from the loss to the Saints, Matt Ryan has thrown over 300 yards in each of his last six games but his passing scores are down with only four touchdowns over the last four games. He's solid enough thanks to the high yardage but has not been the difference maker that he was in the first half of the season thanks to a lack of scoring.

Michael Turner is on a four game scoring streak though his yardage has been almost nonexistent in road games. Turner only gets about a dozen carries per game now and almost never catches any passes. His entire fantasy worth is in those weekly short touchdown runs. Jacquizz Rodgers is mixed in as both a receiver and a runner but only offers moderate yardage at best in most weeks.

Tony Gonzalez is playing out his swan song about 60 yards per week but likes to score when the Saints show up. Otherwise he has not seen the endzone in the last two months.

This game hinges on the play of the wide receivers which fortunate since the Falcons have a great tandem and the Giants are one of the weakest teams against the position, particularly on the road. The last time they visited a team with two good wide receivers (Dallas), they gave up 100 yard games to both players. White was on a two game slide but last week posted a season best nine catches for 117 yards and a score in Carolina. Julio Jones still has not scored at home and yet has five touchdowns in away games.

If the Falcons cannot win this by a touchdown or more, they probably peaked too early in the year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 9 16 10 4 3 14
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 25 4 30 10 12 4

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Matt Ryan, ATL @CIN 0000030021 ****
The Bengals allowed Joe Flacco to throw for 300 yards last week, while Ryan was throwing for 448. Also worth noting: Ryan has averaged 287 yards and two TDs over his last three seasons of games against the AFC, including 327 & 2 last year. So you have to like Matty Ice's chances of staying hot here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Steven Jackson, ATL @CIN 4001100000 ****
Jackson is still slated for the bulk of the workload, but four different backs handled the ball for Atlanta last weekend and Jackson may have been the least impressive of the quartet. Don't expect much against a pretty good Cincy run D.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL @CIN 3001100000 ***
Rodgers used a nifty spin move to get into the end zone last week; had the Falcons seen more of that the previous few seasons they might not have felt the need to draft Devonta Freeman. Throw Rodgers in the blender with three other Atlanta backs, none of whom project to find much fantasy success in Cincy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Devonta Freeman, ATL @CIN 2002100000 ***
Eventually we'll be recommending Freeman as a fantasy starter and you'll be wondering what took so long. Right now, however, he's in a cluster behind Steven Jackson and even Jaquizz Rodgers and Antone Smith--both of whom managed to score last week. High risk and the reward just isn't there yet, especially against the Bengals.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julio Jones, ATL @CIN 0061001000 ****
Outside of one long Steve Smith score the Bengals kept Baltimore's wideouts in check last week. Of course, Jones and Roddy White >>> Baltimore's Smiths and with Julio looking healthy he's an every-week starter regardless of foe.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Harry Douglas, ATL @CIN 002301000 **
Douglas and Devin Hester saw a somewhat surprising 13 targets in Week 1, and to their credit they parlayed those looks into 11 catches for 168 yards. Tough to bank on that production from the backup singers every week, however; wait for a more favorable matchup to work your way down the Falcons' receiver depth chart.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Roddy White, ATL @CIN 007800000 ***
White being the "other" receiver in Atlanta is like Duane Allman being the "other" guitar player in Derek and the Dominos. He also appears to be getting Tony Gonzalez's red zone looks, which only help his fantasy bottom line.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Levine Toilolo, ATL @CIN 005400000 ***
Don't look at what Dennis Pitta did to the Bengals last week and think Toilolo can replicate that productivity; Pitta saw almost a month's worth of Toilolo's targets in that game. And with Roddy White the more likely red zone recipient, Toilolo is a risky fantasy play at best.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Bryant, ATL @CIN 2222 ****
A 51-yarder to tie and a 52-yarder to win buys Bryant a lot of cache, both with the Falcons and with fantasy owners. With Atlanta's offense firing on all cylinders he belongs in a fantasy lineup on an every-week basis.

WEEK 15
2012
CIN at PHI (THU) *GB at CHI *MIN at STL *SF at NE
CAR at SD IND at HOU *NYG at ATL TB at NO
DEN at BAL *JAC at MIA *PIT at DAL *WAS at CLE
*Updated *DET at ARI KC at OAK *SEA at BUF *NYJ at TEN (MON)

a d v e r t i s e m e n t