FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 13 GB at DET (THU) ATL at BUF JAC at CLE STL at SF
OAK at DAL (THU) CHI at MIN MIA at NYJ TB at CAR
PIT at BAL (THU) CIN at SD NE at HOU TEN at IND
*UPDATED ARI at PHI DEN at KC NYG at WAS NO at SEA (MON)

 

Prediction: ATL 17, BUF 31 (Line: BUF by 3.5)

The 2-9 Falcons continue their five game losing streak and are 0-5 whenever they leave Atlanta. The 4-7 Bills are 3-3 in home games and come off their bye. The Bills are not nearly good enough to try to mail-in a win here so a trap game is even less likely.

1 @NO 17-23 10 SEA 10-33
2 STL 31-24 11 @TB 28-41
3 @MIA 23-27 12 NO 13-17
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 13-27 17 CAR -
9 @CAR 10-34 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ATL @ BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan 250,2
RB Steven Jackson 50 2-20
RB Jacquizz Rodgers 20 3-30
WR Harry Douglas 5-90,1
WR Roddy White 4-50
PK Matt Bryant 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Falcons lose most of their games but forecasting how they lose them is hard. Most teams only play so hard against them and their four point loss to the Saints by no means indicates they are getting better. There is still an outside chance for a win when the Redskins show up in week 15 but all these remaining road games are going to make them look even worse.

QUARTERBACKS: The futility is not improving. Matt Ryan turned in his first game without any scores in the loss to the Saints and that makes it a total of five touchdown passes over the last five games against nine interceptions. Ryan is getting almost no help from his line or his receivers. Aside from the Redskins game in week 15, his season is ending with a whimper.

RUNNING BACKS: The lone improvement against the Saints was Steven Jackson rushing for 63 yards on 16 carries and scoring one touchdown. It was his first rushing score this year. That was also the most rushing attempts to date but hitting the road three times in the next month is almost certain to make last week the aberration and not a new trend. He's still barely worthy of being a RB3 and facing better defenses away from home is certain to decrease his stats. Jacquizz Rodgers only had five touches in the game. The more Jackson, the less Rodgers and there isn't enough for one person anyway.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Darius Johnson received eight targets in the Saints loss and caught six for 67 yards. That was more a function of the defense they were facing and Johnson was stuck with one and two catch games in previous weeks. Harry Douglas is still the primary receiver and he's been worth around 80 yards in almost every game for the last six weeks. Roddy White is reported to be healthier and healthier but only caught two passes last week for 24 yards. Aside from his one touchdown against the Buccaneers, he's been devoid of any fantasy value and remains far too big of a risk to merit any consideration.

TIGHT ENDS: Tony Gonzalez still receives the lion's share of coverage and scored just once in the last seven weeks. He's been a marginal start for over a month though he was able to last score in the game in Carolina. He's marginally good enough that you have to start him every week but spends far too many weeks with under 50 yards.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Bills are weak against the pass but less so when at home where they have held opponents to less than two passing scores on average and the yardage rarely goes that high. Considering the challenges of the offense, there is no great turn around to happen here. The Bills are only average against running backs but have held them to only three rushing scores all year and the Falcons bring in one of the weaker units anyway. The matchup seems inviting but expecting anything more than a moderate game from Ryan, Jackson, White or Douglas is hard to justify. Douglas looks to be in the best spot for decent stats and is the strongest start.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 16 7 15 8 25 32
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 17 6 29 4 25 22

 

1 NE 21-23 10 @PIT 10-23
2 CAR 24-23 11 NYJ 37-14
3 @NYJ 20-27 12 BYE WEEK
4 BAL 23-20 13 ATL -
5 @CLE 24-37 14 @TB -
6 CIN 24-27 15 @JAC -
7 @MIA 23-21 16 MIA -
8 @NO 17-35 17 @NE -
9 KC 13-23 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
BUF vs ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB EJ Manuel 10 240,2
RB Fred Jackson 50,1 4-20
RB C.J. Spiller 60 2-10
WR Marquise Goodwin 3-60,1
WR Robert Woods 4-50
TE Scott Chandler 3-20
PK Dan Carpenter 1 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: The Bills are hitting a nice stretch of the schedule with the Falcons, Buccaneers and Jaguars up next and while that won't be enough to get them into the playoffs it will serve up some nice fantasy points right when owners need them the most. There's no new player development and the rushing effort remains surprisingly ineffective. But at least Manuel is back and playing well again.

QUARTERBACKS: E.J. Manuel played the last two games and scored in each. He ended with 245 yards and two scores against the Jets when both starting wideouts were out injured. That's not only impressive and beats expectations, it makes the next three weeks very interesting since the Bills have such a light schedule playing ATL, @TB and @JAC. His rookie season has been nothing that special and he missed five weeks with a knee injury but should be ending on a higher note.

RUNNING BACKS: C.J. Spiller has not been on the injury report for a few weeks and yet his production continues to disappoint. His last two games played only gained 29 yards on 21 carries combined. He's only scored once all year and aside from the one long run in Kansas City, he's been below fantasy relevance almost every week. And when he is bad, it is really bad. Four times he failed to gain even 35 total yards in a game. Fred Jackson is far more reliable and productive though only his receiving yardage helps to make him worth a fantasy start. Jackson scored seven times this season so far and ends up with more than 70 total yards in most games.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Steve Johnson and Robert Woods both missed the week 11 matchup with the Jets but should play this week. Johnson was hampered by a groin strain and Woods nursed a sprained ankle and the bye week came at a good time to get them healthy. Both T.J. Graham (2-74, TD) and Marquise Goodwin (6-81, TD) were nice surprises against the Jets but return to their normal roles again. After running through a number of good secondaries, this stretch of light games will be good for both starting wideouts.

TIGHT ENDS: Scott Chandler is never more than a marginal play though the lighter matchups coming up could help him slightly. He's still not worth a start regardless of the matchup.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: This is pretty good. Great in fact. The Falcons have never allowed fewer than two touchdowns per opposing quarterback and healthy yardage is there for teams that don't want to roll up big rushing stats. The Falcons have allowed three runners to top 140 yards on them and this will be the weakest rush defense that the Bill have left on their schedule. If Spiller can have a big game - and so far that has been impossible - it would be here. Whatever he does in this game is going to be as good as it gets whatever that ends up meaning. The Falcons are weak where ever you want them to be so opponents really vary in how they beat them. This makes Johnson and Jackson as good starts and Manuel, Woods, Goodwin and Chandler marginal only because of their in consistency. Notable is that Goodwin scored in each of the last three home games.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 29 9 26 24 12 9
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 25 23 26 13 32 14

WEEK 13 GB at DET (THU) ATL at BUF JAC at CLE STL at SF
OAK at DAL (THU) CHI at MIN MIA at NYJ TB at CAR
PIT at BAL (THU) CIN at SD NE at HOU TEN at IND
*UPDATED ARI at PHI DEN at KC NYG at WAS NO at SEA (MON)

 



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