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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 14
2010
IND at TEN *NE at CHI *TB at WAS *KC at SD
*CIN at PIT *CLE at BUF *SEA at SF DEN at ARI
ATL at CAR *NYG at MIN STL at NO PHI at DAL
*Updated GB at DET OAK at JAC MIA at NYJ *BAL at HOU

Prediction: ATL 23, CAR 10

The win in Tampa Bay last week gives the Falcons a 10-2 record and a firm hold on the #1 seed in the NFC. The Falcons are now 4-2 on the road and go to face the undisputed worst record in the league since the Panthers are only 1-11 and 1-5 at home. This would be a huge upset if the Panthers pulled it off.

The Falcons won 34-21 when they hosted the Panthers last year.

Atlanta Falcons (10-2)
Homefield: Georgia Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @PIT L 9-15 10 BAL W 26-21
2 ARI W 41-7 11 @STL W 34-17
3 @NO W 27-24 12 GB W 20-17
4 SF W 16-14 13 @TB W 28-24
5 @CLE W 20-10 14 @CAR --
6 @PHI L 17-31 15 @SEA --
7 CIN W 39-32 16 NO --
8 Bye - 17 CAR --
9 TB W 27-21 - - -
Falcons Report | Statistics | Roster
ATLANTA at CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan - - 220,1
RB Michael Turner 110,1 10 -
TE Tony Gonzalez - 50 -
WR Michael Jenkins - 40 -
WR Roddy White - 70,1 -
WR Harry Douglas - 40 -
PK Matt Bryant 3 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Falcons are well on their way to hosting throughout the playoffs and that is exactly what the rest of the NFC does not want. They are far better in Atlanta than on the road but in fairness they have been better in recent away games. All that is left now is two games against the Panthers, one matchup in Seattle and hosting the Saints. The Falcons will likely be favored in all four games.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Ryan scored in every game so far and currently has 21 passing touchdowns on the season. He has been consistent in throwing for over 200 yards in road games though he has not logged more than two touchdowns in any of those matchups. Ryan only passed for 224 yards and one score in Carolina last year.

The Panthers have been above average against the pass again this year and most teams just run the ball on them. Figure Ryan for average passing stats here but he could be better - he just won't need to.

RUNNING BACKS : Michael Turner has always been an excellent play against the Buccaneers and had over 100 rush yards in both matchups last season and a score in the home meeting. And these Panthers are decidedly worse this year with eight touchdowns allowed to visiting backs already. Turner has been on a roll lately with scores in five of the last six games so expect a solid showing here. He'll likely fall short of a monster game but should be a lock for a good game.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Michael Jenkins comes off his first score of the year but he still only had 30 yards on three catches and is really nothing more than a good blocker split out wide. Roddy White has been mostly quiet for three weeks now without any score and never more than 83 yards in a game but he scored once against the Panthers last year and had a best game of 98 yards on seven catches in their matchup in Carolina. White is still a must-start every week anyway and he has a nice shot at a score and decent yardage this week. No other Falcons wideout is reliable.

TIGHT ENDS: Tony Gonzalez suffered a left ankle sprain in the Buccaneers game and only turned in three catches for 38 yards. Gonzo has been much less productive this year with only one score in the last six games and only once gaining more than 51 yards in those games. Gonzalez turned in 67 yards on six catches in Carolina last year and had a score on seven catches for 71 yards in the home game. The Panthers are one of the lowest ranked defenses against tight ends and Gonzalez would have a great game against them if he were healthy and maybe two years younger but by now you have to assume a moderate game at best.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 12 8 13 11 2 19
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 5 27 3 29 29 32
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) ATL -7 19 -10 18 27 13


Carolina Panthers (1-11)
Homefield: Bank of America Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NYG L 18-31 10 @TB L 16-31
2 TB L 7-20 11 BAL L 13-37
3 CIN L 7-20 12 @CLE L 23-24
4 @NO L 14-16 13 @SEA L 14-31
5 CHI L 6-23 14 ATL --
6 Bye - 15 ARI --
7 SF W 23-20 16 @PIT --
8 @STL L 10-20 17 @ATL --
9 NO L 3-34   - -
Panthers Report | Statistics | Roster
CAROLINA vs ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Jimmy Clausen - - 170
RB Mike Goodson 40 40 -
RB Jonathan Stewart 80,1 - -
WR Brandon LaFell - 30 -
WR Steve Smith - 50 -
WR David Gettis - 40 -
PK John Kasay 1 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Panthers looked like a real team for the first half of the Seattle game before succumbing to yet another thrashing. They lost by a point the previous week. It happens all sorts of ways but it always happens. The good news here is that the Cardinals visit next week and there is the only chance the Panthers have of a second win.

QUARTERBACK: Jimmy Clausen could be a lot worse, he only throws one interception per game and has been better than 150 yards almost every time. But he has yet to pass for more than 195 yards and worse still - he only has one touchdown in his 200 passes thrown. Matt Moore was no gem but at least he scored five touchdowns. There has been no passing touchdowns since week eight.

The Falcons have not been that great against the pass this year but this is the #32 passing offense in the NFL.

RUNNING BACKS: Mike Goodson sprained the AC joint in his shoulder last week but may be okay to play. Jonathan Stewart has taken over the primary role with 21 carries for 92 yards and one score against the visiting Seahawks last week. Stewart rushed for 98 yards on just 12 carries the previous week in Cleveland and is running better now than any other time this season. I will assume that Goodson can play without limitation. He has scored in each of the last two weeks.

The Falcons have one of the top ranked rushing defenses in the league and have only allowed three rushing scores this season and only three runners topped 100 rushing yards on them. Stewart should post decent stats this week but won't have a big game. If there is any touchdowns scored, Stewart is the most likely so I will credit him. But there is always the chance of no touchdowns and Stewart only scored twice all year.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This has been a wasteland since Clausen took over. Brandon LaFell and David Gettis both bang around 40 yards per game and Steve Smith has been little more than a glorified tight end with no game more than 47 yards since week eight. The problem is not that the Panthers have been so hard pressed to score via the pass, it is that they have been so many games with ample trash time at the end and yet still have never had a decent game.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 32 19 29 29 29 20
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 23 2 30 19 1 4
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) CAR -9 -17 1 -10 -28 -16

WEEK 14
2010
IND at TEN NE at CHI TB at WAS KC at SD
CIN at PIT CLE at BUF SEA at SF DEN at ARI
ATL at CAR NYG at MIN STL at NO PHI at DAL
  GB at DET OAK at JAC MIA at NYJ BAL at HOU
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