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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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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
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

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 DET 0000027011 ***
It's been a month since Ryan tossed multiple scores, and this date with a Detroit defense that begrudgingly gave Drew Brees two TDs last week but has otherwise kept the vaunted Saints in check doesn't project to do him any favors.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Steven Jackson, ATL DET 4011100000 *
Jackson is barely startable in a favorable matchup; against a Detroit defense that hasn't allowed a rushing score since Week 4 or a 100-yard rusher all season, there's nothing to like at all.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Antone Smith, ATL DET 2003300000 ***
Still a lottery ticket of a fantasy helper, and last week he failed to cash out. Limited touches and a tough defense make that the more likely outcome again this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Devonta Freeman, ATL DET 2003200000 **
Freeman's share of the workload is increasing, but against a tough D like Detroit's it'll take more than a share to make some fantasy noise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Roddy White, ATL DET 005701000 **
Detroit gave up multiple 100-yard receivers last week, while White posted his first triple-digit yardage outing of the season. While he's still WR2 to Julio Jones, he's a strong WR2 and a viable fantasy option this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julio Jones, ATL DET 006700000 ****
Jones remains an every-week fantasy starter, even against a tough defense like Detroit's; just dial back the expectations a bit.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Harry Douglas, ATL DET 005600000 **
Douglas is an iffy play injury wise and a lousy play otherwise against a Detroit defense that isn't allowing much to opposing receivers let alone secondary targets.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Bryant, ATL DET 1122 ****
Bryant hasn't scored double-digit points since Week 1, and a date with the top defense in the league isn't likely to help matters.

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)

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