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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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Predictions Summary »  Player Rankings (Projections) »  myHuddle Projections by Team »  Projections Summary by Team »

WEEK 8 CAR at TB (THU) DAL at DET NYJ at CIN SEA at STL (MON)
ATL at ARI GB at MIN PIT at OAK On Bye:
BUF at NO MIA at NE SF at JAC BAL, CHI, HOU
*UPDATED CLE at KC NYG at PHI WAS at DEN IND, SD, TEN

Prediction: ATL 17, ARI 24 (Line: ARI by 2.5)

Players of Interest: Steven Jackson

Update: Rashard Mendenhall is doubtful on the injury report and not expected to play. Andre Ellington and Stepfan Taylor will split the workload. Steven Jackson is probable to play finally but is still not 100% from his hamstring. He'll likely be limited in the game. Jason Snelling has been ruled out with a bad ankle. Roddy White is also ruled out.

The Falcons rise to 2-6 after beating the winless Buccaneers and actually were able to compensate for missing half of their players. The 3-4 Cardinals are on a two game losing streak but are 2-1 at home. It is now week eight and the Falcons are going to play in only their third road game - and are 0-2 so far away from Atlanta.

1 @NO 17-23 10 SEA -
2 STL 31-24 11 @TB -
3 @MIA 23-27 12 NO -
4 NE 23-30 13 @BUF -
5 NYJ 28-30 14 @GB -
6 BYE WEEK 15 WAS -
7 TB 31-23 16 @SF -
8 @ARI - 17 CAR -
9 @CAR - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ATL @ ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan 260,2
RB Steven Jackson 50
RB Jacquizz Rodgers 20 5-50
WR Harry Douglas 4-50
WR Darius Johnson 3-30
TE Tony Gonzalez 9-110,2
PK Matt Bryant 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Falcons were able to hold off one of the worst teams in the NFL (which includes themselves) but the next nine weeks hold six road games and that doesn't bode well for a team that struggled in road venues back when they had all their players. The Falcons won't be favored in a game at least until week 15 against the Redskins. the win over the Bucs made everything seem like it was going to be okay but at home versus the Bucs is like an early Christmas gift.

QUARTERBACKS: Now that Julio Jones is gone and Roddy White is sidelined, Matt Ryan surprisingly played in his best game of the year when he passed for three touchdowns while gaining 273 yards against the Bucs. He's only thrown three interceptions all year but both road games held one each. Ryan now ends out on the road where his last game was a season worse 231 yards and two scores in Miami. Ryan seemed to take the loss of his starters in stride and even compensated for have Tony Gonzalez taken away. This week will be a bigger challenge on the road and not playing a 0-6 team.

RUNNING BACKS: HC Mike Smith said that Steven Jackson would start practicing on Wednesday after being out with a hamstring strain since week two. Reports last week were that he had a setback but the party line for now is that Jackson will be back and may even play this week. I will keep him from the projections until that is more apparent and he has been able to go through full practices.

The rushing effort has been terrible in his absence and the only value has been with Jacquizz Rodgers as a receiver. He comes off a season best eight catches for 46 yards and two scores as Ryan's dump-off buddy in recent games. Whenever Jackson returns to a full load, Rodgers will again lose all fantasy value. Of the three rushing and five receiving touchdowns by a running back, only one came in an away game and that was by Jason Snelling in Miami.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Taking an "everybody plays" approach, the Falcons threw passes to four different wideouts last week as they tried to compensate for the missing starters. Brian Robiskie had no catches, Darius Johnson only had two receptions for 24 yards and Drew Davis caught his only pass. Harry Douglas was not bothered by Darrelle Revis and left with seven catches for 149 yards and one touchdown. Roddy White's return is still undetermined and now the Falcons hit the road with only one wide receiver of any note.

TIGHT ENDS: The Buccaneers focused on doubling Tony Gonzalez at all times and held him to a season low two catches for only 30 yards. He was blanketed in the red zone and the Buccaneers dared the Falcons to hurt them with any other player which ended up to be Harold Douglas.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Cardinals are good against the run and even more so when at home where only Marshawn Lynch scored as a running back and no one else gained more than 39 rushing yards. Bringing in one of the weakest rushing games in the league isn't going to change anything and the only real value so far is when Rodgers catches the ball. No running back so far has gained more than 44 yards as a receiver.

Where this game pivots is in the passing. The Cards allow a couple of scores per quarterback and healthy yardage for those who want it, Better yet, the Cardinals allowed eight touchdowns to tight ends along with three who gained over 100 yards. Gonzo may be limited by a defense that doesn't have a lot else to do but he still makes for a must-play against a bad team versus tight ends. Patrick Peterson would naturally match on Roddy White but since he is out it would be the rotation of no-name wideouts. Where the Cards elect to use Peterson will have a big bearing. He could shadow Douglas or help out with Gonzalez. Or he could just own the left side and allow everyone else to focus on the two main Falcon receivers.

WHAT TO WATCH: The Falcons seemed to compensate for missing players last week in an easy home game but this week will be key to what to expect over the rest of the season and the many road games.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 6 8 16 7 18 25
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 22 8 5 32 17 25

 

1 @STL 24-27 10 HOU -
2 DET 25-21 11 @JAC -
3 @NO 7-31 12 IND -
4 @TB 13-10 13 @PHI -
5 CAR 22-6 14 STL -
6 @SF 20-32 15 @TEN -
7 SEA 22-34 16 @SEA -
8 ATL - 17 SF -
9 BYE WEEK ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ARI vs ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Carson Palmer 270,2
RB Andre Ellington 40,1 4-30
RB Rashard Mendenhall
WR Larry Fitzgerald 5-60,1
WR Michael Floyd 5-90,1
WR Ted Ginn 2-40
TE Rob Housler 3-40
PK Jay Feely 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The 3-4 Cardinals are on a two game losing streak and worse yet - against divisional rivals Seattle and San Francisco. The defense that was so great this year just allowed 66 points over those games. The good news here is that the next two matchups go against the Falcons and Texans both as visitors. Both teams are reeling with mounting losses and the next road game heads to Jacksonville where all things are possible. In the end it doesn't matter since the Cards will do well enough to end .500 and those final two games against the Seahawks and 49ers again will be plenty to insure the season doesn't end on a positive note.

QUARTERBACKS: There's no disagreement here - everyone is disappointed with what Carson Palmer brought to the team. He's only thrown eight touchdowns in seven games and never topped 300 yards since the season opener. Palmer was actually more productive in Oakland working with much less. Larry Fitzgerald playing injured doesn't help but fingers are starting to point to an unimaginative offense ran by first-year OC Harold Goodwin.

RUNNING BACKS: Andre Ellington finally had a bad game with only 13 yards against the Seahawks but Rashard Mendenhall only managed 22 yards on 13 runs though he scored on a one-yard run after the Cards recovered a fumble near the goal line. This is one of the worst rushing attacks in the NFL all season though this week could see an uptick with the weak Falcons showing up.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Take away the 75-yard catch and run for a score in week six and Larry Fitzgerald's been a surprising bust again this year. Since the season opener he only scored in two games - both on the road - and only once had more than 68 yards. Michael Floyd is consistently mediocre but at least is turning in five catches or so each week. He is incrementally better but only scored once and never tops 90 yards. This should be the strongest part of the offense and it is the most productive. But that doesn't equate to much fantasy value usually. Fitzgerald is playing through a hamstring strain and should be better this week. The Cards have also gone through a spate of tough defenses.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value though Rob Housler turned in a surprising 53 yards on seven catches versus the Seahawks. He only totaled 68 yards on the entire year up to that point.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Six games into the season and the Falcons allowed 14 touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks and over 300 yards in about half of them. The Falcons rushing defense has been solid allowing only two rushing touchdowns and never more than 64 rushing yards by anyone. The Cardinals are hardly bringing a decent rushing attack anyway. Palmer gets one of his easiest matchups of the year against a very bad and injured secondary. Fitzgerald's health will be his biggest limitation. Palmer, Fitzgerald and even Michael Floyd carry some fantasy value this week and are worth considering. Check late practices to ensure that there have been no setbacks for Fitzgerald.

WHAT TO WATCH: Palmer suffered through a lot of decent defenses so far but this week is probably about as good as it will get all year, assuming Fitzgerald is not still a problem.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 29 19 21 29 24 12
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 28 9 29 22 32 1

WEEK 8 CAR at TB (THU) DAL at DET NYJ at CIN SEA at STL (MON)
ATL at ARI GB at MIN PIT at OAK On Bye:
BUF at NO MIA at NE SF at JAC BAL, CHI, HOU
*UPDATED CLE at KC NYG at PHI WAS at DEN IND, SD, TEN


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