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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 16
2010
CAR at PIT BAL at CLE TEN at KC *IND at OAK
*DAL at ARI DET at MIA SEA at TB NYG at GB
*NE at BUF *NYJ at CHI *MIN at PHI *SD at CIN
*UPDATED *SF at STL *WAS at JAC *HOU at DEN NO at ATL

Prediction: NO 27, ATL 23

This is a rematch of the week three game when the Falcons won 27-24 in New Orleans. The Falcons are on an eight game winning streak and even a loss here would not prevent them from winning the division. The Saints just need a win here or next week to lock up a wildcard. The previous matchup was when the Saints tied the score on the final play of regulation and then Garrett Hartley missed a 29-yard field goal on first-and-ten from the ATL 11-yard line. The Falcons then drove the field and got a 46-yard game winning field goal from Matt Bryant. That has to still hurt. This is the Monday night game and should be excellent.

New Orleans Saints (10-4)
Homefield: Superdome
Sportexe Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 MIN W 14-9 10 Bye -
2 @SF W 25-22 11 SEA W 34-19
3 ATL L 24-27 12 @DAL W 30-27
4 CAR W 16-14 13 @CIN W 34-30
5 @ARI L 20-30 14 STL W 31-13
6 @TB W 31-6 15 @BAL L 24-30
7 CLE L 17-30 16 @ATL --
8 PIT W 20-10 17 TB --
9 @CAR W 34-3 - - -
Saints Report | Statistics | Roster
NEW ORLEANS at ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees - - 320,3
RB Chris Ivory 30 - -
RB Reggie Bush 20 20 -
RB Pierre Thomas 20 10 -
TE Jimmy Graham - 30,1 -
WR Marques Colston - 60,1 -
WR Lance Moore - 70,1 -
WR Devery Henderson - 30 -
WR Robert Meachem - 50 -
PK Garrett Hartley 2 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Saints can make amends for that painful loss back in week three but Atlanta is 6-0 at home this year and the Saints rushing defense has collapsed at a very bad time. In fantasy terms it is great since no doubt Brees has to air it out but the defending NFL champs just ended a six game winning streak with a defense that got exposed by Ray Rice and now has to face Michael Turner who already had 114 yards in the first meeting.

QUARTERBACK: Drew Brees already has 4122 yards and 31 touchdowns with two games left to play. Brees passed for 365 yards and three scores in the previous meeting in week three and he's been on a tear in nearly every game this year with a rushing game that has been mediocre at best.

This is a huge game between two divisional rivals. Expect the best from Brees.

RUNNING BACKS: Chris Ivory was out last week because of his hamstring but he was a late scratch so he may be back this week. But the Saints were splitting up the backfield into three pieces with Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush included. The last meeting with the Falcons was when Thomas was originally injured this year.

The Falcons have not allowed a rushing score in Atlanta since week two and marginal rush yards at best. None of these backs are attractive plays this week. Even Julius Jones may show up.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Lance Moore had a career day in the last meeting with the Falcons when he caught six passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns while Marques Colston was held to only 25 yards on four catches in what has been his worst showing of the season. Moore has continued to shine with a total of eight touchdowns on the season though rarely with much yardage. Marques Colston has seven scores starting at mid-season and has been a far bigger factor than at the first of the year.

The bottom line is that I like two scores to end up in this unit but that gets split into four parts every week. I credit both Colston and Moore with scores as the most likely but the yardage is never that much here individually so when they do not score it results in a mediocre fantasy week. They are all a risk.

TIGHT ENDS: Jeremy Shockey had a season best eight catches for 78 yards and a score in the previous meeting but he has been far less productive in virtually every game since. Jimmy Graham has emerged as the go-to tight end in the offense and comes off a two touchdown game against the Ravens.

Graham won't have much yardage, but he is a decent risk for a score this week.

 

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 3 19 3 6 9 25
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 20 6 27 14 1 3
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) NO 17 -13 24 8 -8 -22


Atlanta Falcons (12-2)
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 W 34-18
7 CIN W 39-32 16 NO --
8 Bye - 17 CAR --
9 TB W 27-21 - - -
Falcons Report | Statistics | Roster
ATLANTA vs NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan - - 230,1
RB Michael Turner 110,1 - -
TE Tony Gonzalez - 50,1 -
WR Michael Jenkins - 30 -
WR Roddy White - 80 -
WR Harry Douglas - 30 -
PK Matt Bryant 3 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Falcons are on an eight game winning streak and their only losses were to division leaders. With only the visiting Panthers left in the final game, a win here locks up homefield throughout with the #1 seed and then week 17 can allow the scrubs to play the game while the starters sit out. The Saints are not going to go along willingly with the plan though and should have won that week three game.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Ryan has scored in every game since the opener and passed for 228 yards and two scores in New Orleans back in week three. But the Saints bring in their top ranked pass defense this week that has only allowed ten touchdowns in all of 2010. Ryan already had one of the better games against them last time.

This is a big game and the Falcons are going to focus on the run for the most part. Expect an average sort of game from Ryan against the #2 defense versus quarterbacks.

RUNNING BACKS: Michael Turner had one of his best games back in week three when he rushed for 114 yards on 30 carries and scored once in New Orleans and he even added two catches for 11 more yards. Turner has been on a scoring spree since mid-season with ten touchdowns since week seven.

The rush defense is the weakest part of this defense and one that allowed Ray Rice 233 total yards. Turner should be a lock for good yardage this week and at least one touchdown. If he can score twice, the Falcons will win the game.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Roddy White accounted for five catches for 69 yards and one score in the previous meeting with the Saints though Harry Douglas was the only other wideout with a catch and that was just one for one yard. The Saints have only allowed a total of four touchdowns to wide receivers all year. White scored last week in Seattle but that was his first since week ten. White is a must start from his potential alone but he'll do well enough to just get good yardage in this game. I like one passing score in this game and that should favor White the most, but the Saints defense has been outstanding in this area.

TIGHT ENDS: Tony Gonzalez had his best game of the year in the previous meeting with the Saints when he gained 110 yards on eight catches and scored once. He has been far less productive in yardage since that game but has five touchdowns on the season and the Saints secondary is weaker against tight ends.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 13 6 14 12 3 15
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 2 21 2 17 16 18
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) ATL -11 15 -12 5 13 3

WEEK 16
2010
CAR at PIT BAL at CLE TEN at KC IND at OAK
DAL at ARI DET at MIA SEA at TB NYG at GB
NE at BUF NYJ at CHI MIN at PHI SD at CIN
  SF at STL WAS at JAC HOU at DEN NO at ATL
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