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

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

Players of Interest: Brandon Bolden

Update: Julio Jones is listed as questionable but is expected to play same as the last few weeks. Roddy White will play despite still being limited by his high ankle sprain. Steven Jackson remains out.

Now for a big mess. Brandon Bolden was limited in practice on Friday because of his knee and is questionable to play. He is considered likely to play but that is not certain and it is unknown how much he will play if he is active. Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola are reported to be playing or not playing depending on which source you want which of course is never actually New England who has a storied history of non-information and misinformation. The problem too is that these players are in a late game on Sunday night so you have very few options if they end up as inactive. I am leaving the projections as is but this is a week of many unanswered questions and risk for the mentioned Patriot players. And welcome to the rest of your the season.

Update #2: Amendola and Gronkowski are reported to have not traveled with the team to Atlanta and would obviously be considered out this week.

The Patriots are 3-0 but have yet to resemble their previous years and have no doubt benefited from a easier early part of the schedule. The Falcons fall to 1-2 after losing in Miami but return home where they always play much better. The Falcons cannot let a home game get by them and find themselves already two or three games behind the Saints.

1 @BUF 23-21 10 BYE WEEK
2 NYJ 13-10 11 @CAR -
3 TB 23-3 12 DEN -
4 @ATL - 13 @HOU -
5 @CIN - 14 CLE -
6 NO - 15 @MIA -
7 @NYJ - 16 @BAL -
8 MIA - 17 BUF -
9 PIT - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NE @ ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Tom Brady 260,2
RB LeGarrette Blount 40
RB Brandon Bolden 20 2-20
RB Stevan Ridley 50
WR Danny Amendola
WR Aaron Dobson 6-80,1
WR Julian Edelman 8-60
TE Rob Gronkowski
PK Stephen Gostkowski 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Hard to imagine that the Patriots only scored five touchdowns after three games and harder still that they are 3-0. That nice opening of the season is about to turn though with road games against the Falcons and Bengals then at home to host the good-again Saints. The offense maybe be getting better and there is a chance that Rob Gronkowski returns this week. But the the only other road game this year was a two point win in Buffalo against a bunch of rookies.

QUARTERBACKS: Tom Brady is a decent quarterback if you can somehow forget his previous 12 seasons. He does score every week and sometimes even twice. But he has yet to throw more than two scores and hasn't been north of 300 yards so far and that was against the easier part of the schedule. He's been openly frustrated with his inexperienced receivers but getting Gronkowski back should make a major difference.

RUNNING BACKS: After 2012 presented only one viable option at running back who was reliable and consistent, all that has been thrown out of the window this year. Stevan Ridley remains the primary runner who never catches a pass, has yet to score and who is getting reduced carries and doing less with each one anyway. Ridley only totals 36 carries for 121 yards on the season and is losing all value.

Brandon Bolden took his shot at replacing Shane Vereen and came away with 51 yards on three catches and five receptions for 49 yards against the Buccaneers. Just to make it worse, LeGarrette Blount ran 14 times for 65 yards last week as well. This is full blown committee that has not scored a touchdown anyway. If last week holds true - and there is almost zero reason to expect that - now Bolden is the best play because he catches the ball. It's just another nightmare backfield in New England. I'll project for all three backs as if there is a prayer of getting it right.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Danny Amendola has been out with a torn abductor muscle but has a shot to play this week. That will likely end up as a game time decision and it is the late game on Sunday so probably few options if he does not. I will assume that he doesn't and update as warranted. In his place Julian Edelman has been a poor man's Amendola (who is a poor man's Welker). The best development here was that Kenbrell Thompkins ran the correct routes and ended up with two touchdowns against the Buccaneers, but he still only ended with three catches for 41 yards and Amendola still has the only 100 yard receiving game for the Pats. Having Tom Brady throwing the ball can help only so much.

TIGHT ENDS: It seems inconceivable that the Patriots have gone from being the #1 tight end team for the last two years to suddenly being the #32 team. But with only three passes for 36 yards from all tight ends combined over the three games played means that Rob Gronkowski has an inordinate amount of job security. He is tentatively expected to play this week but what shape he'll be in cannot be known after missing all team activities and the preseason while he healed his back.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Falcons have been great against the run so far and held opponents under 100 rush yards in every game while permitting just one rushing score. Then again, the Saints, Rams and Dolphins are not the best rushing offenses. Neither are the Patriots on the road. Where this game is waged is via the pass and the Falcons have allowed at least two scores to each opposing quarterback and over 350 yards to both Drew Brees and Sam Bradford. Jimmy Graham was held to only 45 yards and one score as the best tight end so Gronkowski may not return with a bang if he does play. But the wideouts should have a better game here against a softer secondary. The Pats backfield is hard to recommend give the three players though Bolden may be the slightly better play if he is the receiver again. Brady, Edelman and Thompkins are all worth a start as would Amendola if he can play.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: The backfield will hopefully sort itself out but there is no guarantee. If we can get two weeks of Brandon Bolden as the pass catcher, he becomes the better play of the three.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NE 27 21 4 32 2 21
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 26 21 26 17 23 3

 

1 @NO 17-23 10 SEA -
2 STL 31-24 11 @TB -
3 @MIA 23-27 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 vs NE Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan 290,2
RB Jacquizz Rodgers 50 2-10
WR Harry Douglas 4-60
WR Julio Jones 10-120,1
PK Matt Bryant 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The road has not been kind to the Falcons who once again play like two separate teams depending on if they are home or away. The good news to their 1-2 start is that their next five games will likely see them favored and a chance to get back into the race. Eventually Roddy White will get over his high ankle sprain and Steven Jackson returns. But they do not have to wait until then. They have to figure it out this week or risk creating an impossible deficit to make up in the standings.

QUARTERBACKS: The Falcons have faced three good defenses and Matt Ryan still throws for two touchdowns every week and averages around 300 yards per week. He's a solid play each week regardless of White or Jackson's injuries and playing at home should be yet another nice set of stats.

RUNNING BACKS: Steven Jackson remains out with what is now termed a hamstring strain instead if a thigh injury. His absence was not a problem last week with Jacquizz Rodgers running for 86 yards on 18 carries and Jason Snelling adding 53 yards on 11 runs and a touchdown on his 58 yards on four receptions. Splitting up the workload has meant the overall effort remains as good as if Jackson was still there.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Roddy White is still dealing with his high ankle sprain and after three weeks, he has a total of only seven catches for 56 yards working mainly as the decoy. He's still at least a week or more away from returning to form. Julio Jones has been plenty enough all year with his last two weeks sporting over nine catches in each and at least 115 yards. He's dominated the box score despite being clearly the guy to worry about. Harry Douglas is back to being the slot guy you never have to think about because he only gets a few catches per week.

TIGHT ENDS: Though the Falcons could use Tony Gonzalez to show up more with White so limited, he has been very quiet in every game so far. He scored in the season opener but otherwise is stuck at four catch games with under 40 yards in each. If he doesn't pick it up soon, he pretty sure to go out with a whimper instead of a bang.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Pats rank highly against the pass but not to worry. That all happened against E.J. Manuel, Geno Smith and then Josh Freeman. Sort of the trifecta of inexperience or ineffectiveness. Really none of the previous games are a decent measure of what to expect here since they were against divisional foes sporting very young and inexperienced rosters or the Buccaneers who are swirling clockwise down in Florida. No reason to bench Ryan or Jones. Both Snelling and Rodgers could be flex considerations and Gonzalez should start because you probably haven't got anyone better.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: The Pats defense is hard to define given their first three games. Rodgers and Snelling need to continue their success in replacing Jackson.`

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 10 3 12 16 16 22
Preventing Fantasy Points NE 2 12 2 3 5 14

WEEK 4 SF at STL (THU) CIN at CLE NYG at KC SEA at HOU
PIT at MIN (London) IND at JAC PHI at DEN WAS at OAK
CHI at DET NE at ATL BAL at BUF MIA at NO (MON)
*UPDATED ARI at TB DAL at SD NYJ at TEN On Bye: CAR, GB


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