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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 17
2010
*MIA at NE OAK at KC *CHI at GB BUF at NYJ
*TB at NO TEN at IND *MIN at DET *SD at DEN
CAR at ATL JAC at HOU NYG at WAS *STL at SEA
*Updated *DAL at PHI *CIN at BAL *PIT at CLE ARI at SF

Prediction: CAR 0, ATL 27

The Panthers end the season already the worst record team and that is an honor they did earn. The Falcons need to win this in order to clinch the NFC South thanks to their loss last week to the Saints. If the Falcons cannot beat the visiting Panthers this week, they should be too embarrassed to show up in the playoffs. This is a replay of week 14 when the Falcons won 31-10 in Carolina.

Carolina Panthers (2-13)
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 L 10-31
6 Bye - 15 ARI W 19-12
7 SF W 23-20 16 @PIT L 3-27
8 @STL L 10-20 17 @ATL --
9 NO L 3-34   - -
Panthers Report | Statistics | Roster
CAROLINA at ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Jimmy Clausen - - 120
RB Jonathan Stewart 80 - -
WR Brandon LaFell - 30 -
WR Steve Smith - 30 -
WR David Gettis - 40 -
PK John Kasay 0 FG 0 XP -
Pregame Notes: This has been a disaster year for the Panthers and HC John Fox is sure to be a casualty in the days following this game. Losing Jake Delhomme was actually felt when Matt Moore was nothing better and then when he was lost, Jimmy Clausen proved that he is still on the start of a very long learning curve. DeAngelo Williams is on IR and has probably played his last for the Panthers. Steve Smith has been do ineffective for so long that it is hard to recall when he was a top five wideout in the league.

QUARTERBACK: Jimmy Clausen has removed any shred of offensive firepower from the passing game and though he has played in 11 games, he has only passed for two touchdowns and never more than 191 yards. In the previous meeting with the Falcons he passed for 107 yards and no scores.

This is the worst of the worst. No comparison to any other rookie quarterback.

RUNNING BACKS: Jonathan Stewart has taken over the primary role and should keep it next year with DeAngelo Williams expected to leave in free agency. Stewart has only scored two rushing touchdowns but had 133 rush yards in the first meeting with the Falcons and 137 yards against the Cardinals in week 15. But both were home games and Stewart should be less effective playing in Atlanta this week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The wideouts have accounted for only one touchdown since week eight and with Clausen at the helm there is no reason to consider any of these players. Steve Smith has not scored since week two and has never gained more than 85 yards in any game. In week 14, Smith rolled up two catches for 17 yards against the visiting Falcons. No reason to consider any for fantasy purposes.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CAR 32 16 31 29 30 22
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 18 5 27 15 1 3
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) CAR -14 -11 -4 -14 -29 -19


Atlanta Falcons (12-3)
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 L 14-17
8 Bye - 17 CAR --
9 TB W 27-21 - - -
Falcons Report | Statistics | Roster
ATLANTA vs CAR Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan - - 210,1
RB Michael Turner 100,2 - -
TE Tony Gonzalez - 40 -
WR Michael Jenkins - 40 -
WR Roddy White - 60,1 -
PK Matt Bryant 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Falcons were on an eight game winning streak until the visiting Saints beat them last week. The Falcons still get the division with a win here (or a Saints loss) and they can claim homefield advantage as well. Plenty of reasons to want to win this game. There is a slight chance if the Falcons get a big lead that they start to pull players from the game.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Ryan has put together a very solid season with a score in all but the season opener and 26 touchdowns against only eight interceptions. He has only lost two home games since joining the league last year. Ryan passed for 227 yards and one score in the first meeting with the Panthers and should do no worse this week.

RUNNING BACKS: Michael Turner has been banged up this year and while he has 11 rushing touchdowns and seven games over 100 rushing yards, he has not been above throwing in the occasional clunker. Turner had his best game of the year in Carolina when he gained 112 yards on 28 carries and scored three touchdowns. Could be a risk to see Jason Snelling replace him late but Turner should have no problem with posting decent numbers even if it is only through three quarters.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Roddy White has turned in a great year though more so in the first half of the season when he had four big games over 100 yards and scored five times. Since week eight, he had four touchdowns and just one game over 100 yards and that was back in week ten. White went four weeks without a score but has turned in a touchdown in each of the last two games.

White gained 49 yards on five receptions in the first game against the Panthers. The other wideouts have only accounted for a total of six scores and none have been reliable enough to consider for a fantasy start.

TIGHT ENDS: Though Tony Gonzalez scored once in the last Panthers game, he only had 28 yards on four catches and has been held to less than 50 yards in almost every game this year. Gonzo has tended to gain more yards at home but still he remains a step slower now during the twilight of his career.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 15 7 14 14 3 12
Preventing Fantasy Points CAR 3 27 3 27 29 32
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) ATL -12 20 -11 13 26 20

WEEK 17
2010
MIA at NE OAK at KC CHI at GB BUF at NYJ
TB at NO TEN at IND MIN at DET SD at DEN
CAR at ATL JAC at HOU NYG at WAS STL at SEA
  DAL at PHI CIN at BAL PIT at CLE ARI at SF
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