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 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

Prediction: ATL 27, DET 20 (Line: ATL by 4)

Players to Watch: Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones

This is the Saturday game at 8:30 P.M. so you can wrap presents and watch Calvin Johnson. The 12-2 Falcons are 5-2 on the road and have actually lost two of their last three away games including beating the Buccaneers by one point for their only win. What should keep the Falcons honest this week is that they still have not clinched the #1 seed which can happen after this game. The Lions are on a six game losing streak and are only 2-4 at home. They are now nothing more than a vehicle to get Calvin Johnson the single season receiving yard record. But they have two games remaining and only 182 yards left to gain.

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 34-0
7 BYE ----- 16 @DET -----
8 @PHI 30-17 17 TB -----
9 DAL 19-13 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ATL @ DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan 300,2
QB Matt Schaub 260,2
WR Julio Jones 5-100,1
PK Matt Bryant 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: Just one more win - or a loss by the 49ers - should secure that #1 seed and a bye in the first round along with all-important homefield status throughout the playoffs. The Falcons crushed the Giants last week and completely reversed the thinking that maybe they weren't the cream of the NFC. The Falcons don't have to win this game but if they do they can take it easy in the final week, get a week off to rest and heal up and then play at home all the way.

The fortunate part this week is that Matt Ryan typically has the biggest games when on the road. Four of his last five road trips resulted in 340+ yards and multiple touchdowns. Just as important is that Michael Turner has been horrible on the road. He's scored in each of the last five games but his last three away games all resulted in fewer than 20 rushing yards. The score is nice but there is never any yardage attached to it. His ten touchdowns over then different games may be fine if you are in a touchdown-only league but he's fallen off the map when it comes to yardage.

Roddy White was able to play last week despite the sore knee that limited him in practices. He played well over half of the offensive snaps but only came away with two receptions for 16 yards that came on five targets. Julio Jones not only scored at home for the first time all year but did it twice and gained 74 yards on six catches with only one more target than White had. The expectation is that White will bounce back this week though he's been the under performer in road games this year.

The Lions defense has been getting worse as the season goes and allowed 32 points per opponent on average over the last six weeks. This would be a nice spot for the Falcons to give a productive effort in the passing game so they can take it easy next week but the rushing effort has never done much away from home all year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 6 15 8 4 3 20
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 15 11 17 24 26 30

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Matt Ryan, ATL @NO 0000033011 ***
Who would have thought Matt Ryan to be the fantasy leader among QBs through two games? The matchups worked in his favor, no doubt, but this is a divisional tilt that may not be as friendly. Last week, the Giants struggled against the Saints. New York's entire offense has struggled for most of the summer, though. The next step is looking at historical results, which works in Ryan's favor a good deal. Ryan is a sound starter in most formats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Devonta Freeman, ATL @NO 8012200000 ***
New Orleans has given up three rushing touchdowns -- only one team has permitted more to running backs. Freeman is a PPR option, but New Orleans has done a good job against RBs in this department. The touch split severely limits Freeman's upside, so don't put too much weight into his RB2 potential.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tevin Coleman, ATL @NO 4013300000 ***
Coleman continues to be involved enough to deserve attention, and he's outplaying Devonta Freeman. Fringe lineup territory here for PPR owners, but a more stable start in standard-scoring formats. Coleman is a good bet for a rushing score against a defense that is fifth against fantasy backs. New Orleans has given up three rushing touchdowns -- only one team has permitted more to running backs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Julio Jones, ATL @NO 0061001000 ***
You know the rule: Never bench Julio. The Saints have given up the second most yards to wideouts but only one touchdown this year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Mohamed Sanu, ATL @NO 006900000 ***
A great matchup, plenty of targets, single coverage opposite an elite receiver ... what's not to like? New Orleans is the fifth easiest defense versus the position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Justin Hardy, ATL @NO 002200000 ***
Hardy caught a touchdown last week off a deflection and doesn't deserve fantasy ownership right now.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jacob Tamme, ATL @NO 004400000 ***
Tamme currently sits as the six best fantasy tight end through two games. He benefits greatly from the attention on Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman. While not explosive, PPR owners can consider him a fine play most weeks. This matchup is poor on paper, but it may be fake. New Orleans faced the Raiders and Giants -- not exactly tight end-friendly offenses.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Bryant, ATL @NO 2233 ***
New Orleans has given up the 13th most fantasy points to kickers (5-for-6 FGA, 2-for-2 XPA).

Detroit Lions
Homefield: Ford Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 STL 27-23 10 @MIN 24-34
2 @SF 19-27 11 GB 20-24
3 @TEN 41-44 12 HOU 31-34
4 MIN 13-20 13 IND 33-35
5 BYE ----- 14 @GB 20-27
6 @PHI 26-23 15 @ARI 10-38
7 @CHI 7-13 16 ATL -----
8 SEA 28-24 17 CHI -----
9 @JAC 31-14 ----- ----- -----
News | Stats | Roster
DET vs ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford 270,1
WR Anquan Boldin 5-70,1
WR Marvin Jones Jr. 2-20
WR Golden Tate 3-50
TE Brandon Pettigrew
PK Matt Prater 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Lions are on a six game slide and while it was bad with so many close losses - getting waxed by the Cardinals was almost unimaginable. The good part is that the final two games are at home but against teams with winning records. There's a chance that the Lions could catch the Falcons on a down week following their big home win over the Giants but the Detroit defense hasn't stopped anyone.

Matt Stafford went flat last week in Arizona but he's usually much less productive in away games. At home he's typically turned in 300+ yards and multiple touchdowns. Against the Texans he threw for 441 yards and two scores and 352 yards and three touchdowns on the Seahawks so it is not so much about the quality of the defense.

Mikel Leshoure is back at home where he scored in each of the last three games there but he rarely has more than 60 rush yards and has almost no role as a receiver. He plays like Michael Turner only with fewer touchdowns and marginally better yardage.

The only thing that matters anymore is getting the record for Calvin Johnson who currently needs just 182 yards to surpass Jerry Rice's 1,848 yards set back in 1995. Breaking 2,000 remains out of reach for a wideout but Johnson has to be a lock to reach the mark with only 92 yards per game needed. He's currently on a seven game streak of 100+ yard efforts and is getting upwards of 20 targets per game. It is the only gift the Lions can give their fans and it will happen in a home game.

On the road after a blowout win at home, have to assume the Falcons defense is not going to be nearly so dominating this week. But on this team all that means is throwing 20 times to Calvin Johnson and letting Leshoure score on a short run when Megatron gets tackled inside the 5-yard line.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 7 13 6 6 5 27
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 11 23 3 20 9 4

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Matthew Stafford, DET @GB 0000028011 ***
Stafford travels to Green Bay, where he has historically failed to produce strong fantasy numbers. He has one game in his last four trips with more than two passing touchdowns and none with more than 300 yards. That said, Detroit lost Ameer Abdullah and likes to throw a ton of passes. The Packers looked mediocre vs. Sam Bradford without cornerback Sam Shields. Play Stafford only if you must.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Theo Riddick, DET @GB 3006400000 ***
More work for Riddick is ahead, although it may not matter too much. He's not a good running back, particularly inside, and Detroit's coaching staff knows it. He'll be used in space and as a receiver out of the backfield. Green Bay has stifled running backs so far this year, good for the second best defense of PPR backs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Dwayne Washington, DET @GB 300000000 *
No Ameer Abdullah should mean much more of the rookie. The 6-foot-2, 226-pounder brings 4.44 speed to the table. He's leggy and not very elusive, with a penchant for putting the ball on the turf. This matchup (second toughest) isn't a great place to find your first NFL start, and fantasy owners should respond accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marvin Jones Jr., DET @GB 006900000 ***
Jones has overtaken Golden Tate as Matt Stafford's primary target and is even seeing more playing time. The stats agree, too, for fantasy purposes. Green Bay presents a lousy matchup when their top cornerback, Sam Shields, is on the field. His Week 3 status is uncertain. If Shields sits, Jones safely becomes a WR1 in PPR and a WR2 in standard scoring. Bump those numbers down a tier for each if Shields goes.

Update: Shields has been ruled out for Week 3, making Jones that much better of a play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Golden Tate, DET @GB 004500000 ***
Let's forget Week 2 happened ... Tate caught only two of nine targets and finished with 13 yards. That's not likely to happen again In his two full seasons with Detroit, he has snagged 69 percent of his targets. Give him the benefit of the doubt. Green Bay isn't going to be a friendly matchup, though, unless you're a PPR owner willing to accept Tate as a flex who may not crack double figures.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Anquan Boldin, DET @GB 003300000 ***
Detroit loves three-wide sets, as illustrated by Boldin being one of a Lions trio to play at least 85 percent of the offensive snaps in Week 2. That kind of time, coupled with attention on Golden Tate, makes Boldin playable in PPR formats as a flier.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Eric Ebron, DET @GB 006501000 ***
Ten receptions, 143 yards and a pair of touchdowns allowed ... Green Bay stinks at defending Ebron's position through two games. He's a quality start in any format and a good bet for seeing the end zone.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Prater, DET @GB 2211 ***
Kickers have gone 4-for-4 from both field goal range and extra point kicks against Green Bay, which is only 19th in three-point tries allowed.

WEEK 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

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