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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 15
2010
SF at SD *CLE at CIN *KC at STL *DEN at OAK
BUF at MIA *JAC at IND ARI at CAR NYJ at PIT
*PHI at NYG HOU at TEN DET at TB *GB at NE
*UPDATED *WAS at DAL *NO at BAL ATL at SEA *CHI at MIN

Prediction: ATL 27, SEA 23

The Falcons are tied for the best record in the NFL though only with a 5-2 road record. The Seahawks are 4-2 at home and come off a whooping by the 49ers.

Atlanta Falcons (11-2)
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 W 31-10
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 SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan - - 240,2
RB Michael Turner 100,1 10 -
TE Tony Gonzalez - 40,1 -
WR Michael Jenkins - 30 -
WR Roddy White - 80,1 -
WR Harry Douglas - 40 -
PK Matt Bryant 2 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Falcons are in good shape to keep the #1 seed for the NFC playoffs with a two game lead over other division winners and a one game lead over the Saints. The only remaining game of note is against the visiting Saints next week and then week 17 against the Panthers doesn't matter if Atlanta wins. But the Falcons are undefeated at home and are likely to be playing there in the Championship game.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Ryan has scored in every game since the season opener though his pass yards have been on the decline in the last month while Michael Turner has been running well and taking over games. On the road, Ryan tends to have lesser stats though always that one or two scores and around 200 or so yards. That could see an uptick this week with the Seahawks secondary one of the weakest in the league and that has allowed eight different opponents to throw for multiple touchdowns.

If Ryan doesn't have high yardage here like virtually every other quarterback, it will be because Turner has a big game.

RUNNING BACKS: The deeper into the season it gets, the better that Michael Turner is running. He comes off a three touchdown game last week in Carolina and has scored ten times in the last seven games. He has already broken 100 rushing yards in seven games this year. The Seahawks have one of the weakest rushing defenses as well so expect nothing less than a good game here by Turner that could become a monster game. The only limitation here on Turner is if the Falcons get a good lead and then rest him later in the game to save him for next week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: While he has been solid in yardage, Roddy White has not scored since week 10. After rolling up seven scores, he has not been in the endzone during these weeks of Michael Turner taking over and even Tony Gonzalez has scored more than White. The other wideouts here have no reliable fantasy value and White remains a must start player every week. Look for a score this week where Dwayne Bowe had three touchdowns and #1 wideouts always do well.

TIGHT ENDS: This is likely his swan song but Tony Gonzalez remains a solid tight end even if his yardage rarely tops 50 yards in any game. But he has scored twice in the last three weeks and now faces a defense that Vernon Davis had a big game against last week. The Seahawks have faced very few good tight ends and pretty much all of them scored.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 14 6 16 11 2 18
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 27 28 30 11 20 23
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) ATL 13 22 14 0 18 5


Seattle Seahawks (6-7)
Homefield: Qwest Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SF W 31-6 10 @ARI W 36-18
2 @DEN L 14-31 11 @NO L 19-34
3 SD W 27-20 12 KC L 24-42
4 @STL L 3-20 13 CAR W 31-14
5 Bye - 14 @SF L 21-40
6 @CHI W 23-20 15 ATL --
7 ARI W 22-10 16 @TB --
8 @OAK L 3-33 17 STL --
9 NYG L 7-41 - - -
Seahawks Report | Statistics | Roster
SEATTLE vs ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck - - 260,2
RB Justin Forsett 20 20 -
RB Marshawn Lynch 30 20 -
TE John Carlson - 10 -
WR Mike Williams - 100,1 -
WR Ben Obomanu - 80,1 -
PK Olindo Mare 3 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The beauty of playing in the NFC West is that you can be tied for first place with a 6-7 record. The Seahawks face a tough final stretch with the Falcons here and then traveling to Tampa Bay before finally facing the Rams in Seattle for what may be all the marbles in the NFC West. Chances are though at 6-9 the Seahawks will no longer be in contention.

QUARTERBACK: Granted, the Seahawks have lost three of their last four games but at least Matt Hasselbeck has been producing his best fantasy stats of the season. Four of his last five games have been over 280 passing yards and he has even tossed a couple of scores in two recent games. Considering the likelihood that the rushing game is going nowhere for about the 14th game in a row, Hasselbeck will need to pass this week and should be getting back both his starting wideouts.

The Falcons secondary is average at best and Hasselbeck should have some success throwing even if it is in trash time.

RUNNING BACKS: There is no fantasy value here. Marshawn Lynch had his freakish three touchdown game against the Panthers but otherwise has been good for only mediocre yardage at best. Justin Forsett shows up only against the weakest of the defenses and the Falcons are top 5 against the position. No need to consider this week. Maybe next year if they play the Panthers again.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The good news is that HC Pete Carroll expects both starting wideouts back this week. Mike Williams has been out with a sprained ankle since week 11 but has been the main weapon for Hasselbeck with three games over 100 yards this year. Ben Obomanu cut his hand badly two weeks ago and sat out the 49ers game but is expected to return as well. He was coming on well with three scores in four games before the injury. I will assume both are playing without limitation.

Considering that the Seahawks will have to throw and the weakest part of the Falcons defense is against wide receivers, consider both Obomanu and Williams as decent plays this week with a chance for either to score and get good yardage. With Deon Butler on IR with a broken leg, there are no other real alternatives for Hasselbeck.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 26 31 13 26 15 8
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 21 4 29 17 1 3
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) SEA -5 -27 16 -9 -14 -5

WEEK 15
2010
SF at SD CLE at CIN KC at STL DEN at OAK
BUF at MIA JAC at IND ARI at CAR NYJ at PIT
PHI at NYG HOU at TEN DET at TB GB at NE
  WAS at DAL NO at BAL ATL at SEA CHI at MIN
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