FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 3 KC at PHI (THU) CHI at PIT HOU at BAL SD at TEN
BUF at NYJ GB at CIN NYG at CAR STL at DAL
ARI at NO CLE at MIN IND at SF TB at NE
*UPDATED ATL at MIA DET at WAS JAC at SEA OAK at DEN (MON)

Prediction: ATL 20, MIA 24 (Line: MIA by 1)

Players of Interest: Lamar Miller

Update: Mike Wallace appeared on the injury report on Thursday with a groin injury that apparently happened in practice. He had a full day on Thursday and then limited on Friday though he appears fine. He is a Sunday morning check to see his status but nothing has been seen or said to suggest that he will not play.

Julio Jones and Roddy White are both listed as questionable like last week when Jones exploded and White did little. Until something material changes it, consider Jones as good to go again and White to be limited.

The Falcons are 1-1 and lost their only other road game in New Orleans. The Dolphins are... they are... wow. They are 2-0 and both were road games. This is their home opener. This game need to show if the Falcons are that bad or the Dolphins are that good. This is much more interesting than it seemed only two weeks ago.

1 @NO 17-23 10 SEA -
2 STL 31-24 11 @TB -
3 @MIA - 12 NO -
4 NE - 13 @BUF -
5 NYJ - 14 @GB -
6 BYE WEEK 15 WAS -
7 TB - 16 @SF -
8 @ARI - 17 CAR -
9 @CAR - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ATL @ MIA Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan 300,2
RB Jacquizz Rodgers 30 4-30
WR Harry Douglas 4-60
WR Julio Jones 8-100,1
WR Roddy White 3-30
PK Matt Bryant 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Two weeks in and the offense that seemed to have been upgraded so far has been no better than 2012 and maybe slightly worse. That is related to the schedule though and the fact that once again the Falcons seem to be a different team when they are at home than on the road. Now they face a very good defense with a banged up offense and that makes this one not nearly as no-brainer as it may have seemed using 2012 sensibilities.

QUARTERBACKS: Matt Ryan has been solid enough - both games over 300 yards and two scores in each. Despite injuries to both Roddy White and Steven Jackson, Ryan has been good enough to win games at least when he is at home. Playing in New Orleans he threw for 304 yards. He still has weapons in Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez and even Harry Douglas if called on.

RUNNING BACKS: In his first game against the Saints, Steven Jackson ran for 77 yards on 11 carries since the Falcons were trailing and needing to throw. He added five catches for 45 yards that week but at home he injured his thigh against his old team of the Rams and while he scored once as a receiver, he ended with only eight total yards. Jackson has already been ruled out for week three. Jacquizz Rodgers fills in though he was ineffective with only 17 yards on 11 carries last week. Jason Snelling should also assist but his role is just to catch a few passes. He has not had more than six carries for the last two years.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The question here is how much will Roddy White play? He played only about half of the offensive snaps last week and posted just three catches for 21 yards. He is still hampered by his high ankle sprain and just a decoy which you have to assume now until he has a full week of practice or shows up in a game healthy and productive. Julio Jones is more than holding his own with 7-76-1 against the Saints and then a monster 11-182-1 at home against the Rams. Harry Douglas fell to only 43 yards on four catches last week but can step it up as the occasion calls. Problem is that his production relies mostly on what White does or doesn't do.

TIGHT ENDS: Two weeks in and while Tony Gonzalez did score in the first game, he has still not topped 36 yards in a week. With Roddy White injured you would expect more and especially once Steven Jackson was hurt last week. But so far he has only managed to catch three or four passes for minimal yardage each game.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: This is tough because the Dolphins are in their home opener - you would expect a better showing than in their two road games so far. But the health of both Steven Jackson and Roddy White play a big role here especially since the Falcons are in an away game. The Fins have only allowed one passing score per game though both the Browns and Colts racked up around 300 yards each. Running backs have been only marginally successful against them but that all depends on Jackson. Until more information is known, Ryan, Jones and Gonzalez are still worthy starts and White/Jackson depend on how they heal this week. So far the only players to score via a reception on the Fins have both been tight ends.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Roddy White if he can play well and if not, then Harry Douglas needs to show up.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 9 5 7 20 20 20
Preventing Fantasy Points MIA 13 7 10 30 11 14

 

1 @CLE 23-10 10 @TB -
2 @IND 24-20 11 SD -
3 ATL - 12 CAR -
4 @NO - 13 @NYJ -
5 BAL - 14 @PIT -
6 BYE WEEK 15 NE -
7 BUF - 16 @BUF -
8 @NE - 17 NYJ -
9 CIN - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
MIA vs ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Ryan Tannehill 290,1
RB Lamar Miller 70,1 2-10
RB Knowshon Moreno 70,1 3-20
RB Daniel Thomas 20 2-10
WR Brandon Gibson 3-20
WR Brian Hartline 5-70
WR Mike Wallace 5-70,1
TE Charles Clay 5-40
PK Caleb Sturgis 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: So far the Dolphins have to be the biggest surprise since they have won twice on the road and only now get a home game. The defense has been outstanding with only 15 points per week allowed on average. The offense has yet to be explosive but so far has seen at least one player go off for a big game each week. Now with only one road game over the next four weeks, the Fins can either show they are for real and a threat (finally) in the AFC East. Or they can fade as they have done in the past.

QUARTERBACKS: Ryan Tannehill has been better than last year with two games posting over 270 yards each but he still has just one touchdown pass per game. Still the increase in yardage is a big help, especially considering the marginal help the running effort has given. Tannehill ends the year with a very tough slate of games but his schedule remains lighter than most for the next month or two.

RUNNING BACKS: Week one was a disaster with neither running back showing that he belonged in the backfield. But in Indianapolis, Lamar Miller posted 69 rush yards and a score on 14 carries. Charles Clay is the fullback and H-back who has become the tight end since Dustin Keller was lost for the season. He has caught five passes in each game and totaled 109 yards just last week. He also scored once from the one yard line in the first carry of his career.

This remains a committee and Daniel Thomas is getting eight carries per week regardless of how little he does with them. Now that Clay has been a goal line back, Miller is even less reliable. Clay is usually listed as a running back in most leagues but could be a tight end or even an H-back if it is that detailed.

WIDE RECEIVERS: At least Tannehill is making better use of his wideouts this year and all three have managed to produce one good game (and only one). Brandon Gibson was better in Cleveland with 77 yards on seven catches but then flopped with one catch last week. Brian Hartline started out with a bang when he collected nine receptions for 114 yard s and a score but then cooled off with 5-68-0 last week. Mike Wallace had a single catch in his opener but a concerted effort was made against the Colts to include Wallace who responded with an impressive nine catches for 115 yards and a score.

They have all been very good. They have all been bad. And in the span of just two weeks makes them continue to be risky starts until they establish consistency.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: So far the Falcons have given up right at 350 pass yards both games and at least two touchdowns in each. The biggest success the Fins are going to have will be via the pass to the wideouts. The Falcons have yet to allow any runner to top 43 yards on them though the Rams and Saints are not exactly great rushing teams. Atlanta always play worse on the road and this is the home opener for the Fins. While there is no bona fide star here, in a pinch you can consider Tannehill, MIller, and Wallace. Their risk is mitigated by this being their first home stand.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Would still like to see more from the rushing effort of Lamar Miller to at least grab a bigger share of the committee approach. Atlanta has been tough against the run but Miller is at home.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIA 20 4 10 32 12 14
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 26 19 28 20 24 6

WEEK 3 KC at PHI (THU) CHI at PIT HOU at BAL SD at TEN
BUF at NYJ GB at CIN NYG at CAR STL at DAL
ARI at NO CLE at MIN IND at SF TB at NE
*UPDATED ATL at MIA DET at WAS JAC at SEA OAK at DEN (MON)


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