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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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Game Predictions Summary

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WEEK 5
2010
*TB at CIN GB at WAS *STL at DET *PHI at SF
*ATL at CLE JAC at BUF *NO at ARI *MIN at NYJ
*NYG at HOU *DEN at BAL *SD at OAK MIA, NE
*UPDATED *KC at IND *CHI at CAR TEN at DAL PIT, SEA

Prediction: ATL 20, CLE 19

Update: Peyton Hillis is listed as questionable and was held out of practices on Friday to rest his thigh strain. He is still expected to play this week but be aware his thigh is worse than initially thought so check for actives on Sunday morning just to be sure.

The Falcons are 3-1 and on a three game winning streak. The Browns are 1-3 having finally won a game thanks to the Bengals. This being played in Cleveland will help and the Falcons are no big road team. But it is most common for a bad team to beat a divisional foe. The Falcons should manage a win here despite their historic road struggles outside their division.

Atlanta Falcons (3-1)
Homefield: Georgia Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @PIT L 9-15 10 BAL --
2 ARI W 41-7 11 @STL --
3 @NO W 27-24 12 GB --
4 SF W 16-14 13 @TB --
5 @CLE -- 14 @CAR --
6 @PHI -- 15 @SEA --
7 CIN -- 16 NO --
8 Bye - 17 CAR --
9 TB -- - - -
Falcons Report | Statistics | Roster
ATLANTA at CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan - - 260,2
RB Michael Turner 80 - -
TE Tony Gonzalez - 50 -
WR Michael Jenkins - 30 -
WR Roddy White - 120,2 -
WR Harry Douglas - 40 -
PK Matt Bryant 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Falcons outlasted the 49ers who came very close to a win in Atlanta. Now the Falcons embark on a two week road trip to Cleveland and then Philly. The offense has Turner back and may see Michael Jenkins return which actually helps the rushing game more than the passing attack. The schedule is not the easiest but the Falcons have been playing well enough to tie with the Saints for the NFC South lead.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Ryan makes for a decent fantasy quarterback since he has never had less than 225 yards and had thrown for at least one score in every game since the opener in Pittsburgh. He has six scores against only three interceptions but offers almost no rushing yards. Ryan hasn't been a top quarterback in any week but he's never one of the worst.

This week he faces the Browns who have allowed seven passing scores this year and as many as 371 pass yards. What plays most is that the Browns have been very good against the run and that forces opponents to throw more. Expect a good game by Ryan that could be his best of the season thus far.

RUNNING BACKS: Michael Turner has been banged up this year but has not missed a game. He also only has one effort of more than 75 rushing yards and just one touchdown on the season. He had an unusual three receptions for 28 yards against the 49ers but generally has no catches. Turner is only averaging 3.8 yards and only once had more than 16 carries in a game. As his owners can attest, he is starting painfully slow but that is partially related to his injury and schedule. Jason Snelling has been in decline since week two when he took over for Turner.

The Browns have been very good against the run and not given away a touchdown on a rush this season. No runner has generated more than 83 rush yards on the Browns as well. Expect just another moderate showing by Turner who has been disappointing.

WIDE RECEIVERS: There's really no reason to cover any other wideout besides Roddy White who was shut down for three quarters against the 49ers but still ended with seven receptions for 104 yards. He also was targeted on one pass that was intercepted and ran down the defender and stripped him of the ball, likely saving the game for the Falcons. Harry Douglas finally got a touchdown with his three catches for 59 yards but could lose work this week to Michael Jenkins who may return from a shoulder injury.

Other than the rare score, White accounts for almost all touchdowns from this unit and a huge chunk of the yardage. The Browns are weakest against the pass and this is the defense that allowed Anquan Boldin three touchdowns and Terrell Owens to record ten catches for 222 yards. White is a must start this week and should have a nice game.

TIGHT ENDS: Tony Gonzalez had a big effort in week three when he collected eight catches for 110 yards and a score in New Orleans but only managed 41 yards on seven receptions when the 49ers came to town last Sunday. Gonzalez has been better on the road and will be relied on more this week. Expect a decent game here with likely no score.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 12 6 14 15 1 13
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 22 5 27 7 21 12
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) ATL 10 -1 13 -8 20 -1


Cleveland Browns (1-3)
Homefield: Cleveland Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @TB L 14-17 10 NYJ --
2 KC L 14-16 11 @JAC --
3 @BAL L 17-24 12 CAR --
4 CIN W 23-20 13 @MIA --
5 ATL -- 14 @BUF --
6 @PIT -- 15 @CIN --
7 @NO -- 16 BAL --
8 Bye - 17 PIT --
9 NE -- - - -
Browns Report | Statistics | Roster
CLEVELAND vs ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Delhomme - - 180,1
RB Peyton Hillis 90,1 30 -
TE Ben Watson - 30,1 -
WR Mohamed Massaquoi - 40 -
WR Josh Cribs - 20 -
WR Chansi Stuckey - 30 -
PK Phil Dawson 2 XP 1 FG -

Pregame Notes: The Browns finally get a win thanks mostly to the defense that has been underrated.. Jake Delhomme may return and Peyton Hillis has emerged as a decent back for two weeks at least. The team still runs short on receiver talent and that will continue to haunt them now and in the brutal two road games before the bye.

QUARTERBACK: Considering the talent on this offense, Seneca Wallace did a good job throwing for one touchdown in each of the three games that he started against only two interceptions and four sacks. But Jake Delhomme returned for limited practice last week and is expected to take back the reins this week after missing three games with a bad ankle.

The Falcons secondary has played well but only in the three home games. On the road they have only faced the Saints which bears no resemblance to this team. So far there has been no reason to ever expect anything beyond a mediocre showing of maybe one score and 200 yards or so.

RUNNING BACKS: Hard to say why it continues to work but Peyton Hillis has not only completely taken over as the primary runner here, but Jerome Harrison was never even given one carry last week despite suiting up. Hillis has scored in each game this year and turned in two straight 100+ yards efforts against the Ravens and Bengals. He also provides at least a minor role as a receiver as well. The big old white boy from Arkansas may not last all year with his tendency to run over everything but he's proven to be a nice surprise so far.

The Falcons have been a bit weaker on the road and it is getting pretty hard to bet against Hillis. Consider him a safe bet for a moderate game and the one score that he has always produced.

WIDE RECEIVERS: There is never a reason to start one of these wideouts. Mohamed Massaquoi has one catch for nine yards over the last two games and Chansi Stuckey has a season high of 56 yards. Josh Cribs managed over 70 total yards in two games and then less than 30 in the others. The tight ends do more on this team. Just walk on past these guys who must be on your waiver wire.

The return by Delhomme could help but no wideout had more than 46 yards in the one week he started.

TIGHT ENDS: The return to Delhomme could shift the yardage from Ben Watson back to Evan Moore as it did in week one but Watson has been the lone consistency in the passing game for the last three weeks. Moore just caught a score against the Bengals and he had a season best 87 yards on three catches in the opener with Delhomme. Too early to expect that to be reliable but worth watching in case Delhomme clearly favors Moore or Watson over the other.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 28 12 29 9 25 25
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 8 17 12 21 5 6
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) CLE -20 5 -17 12 -20 -19

WEEK 5
2010
TB at CIN GB at WAS STL at DET PHI at SF
ATL at CLE JAC at BUF NO at ARI MIN at NYJ
NYG at HOU DEN at BAL SD at OAK MIA, NE
  KC at IND CHI at CAR TEN at DAL PIT, SEA
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