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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 3
2011
ARI at SEA * DET at MIN * KC at SD NYJ at OAK
* ATL at TB GB at CHI MIA at CLE * PIT at IND
* BAL at STL * HOU at NO NE at BUF * SF at CIN
* UPDATED DEN at TEN JAC at CAR * NYG at PHI * WAS at DAL (mon)

Prediction: ATL 24 , TB 20

Players to Watch: Mike Williams

Update: Kellen Winslow is listed as questionable but is still expected to play after a full practice on Friday.

This stands to be a very good game with the Falcons coming off a win over the Eagles - but in Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers are 1-1 thanks to their comeback victory in Minnesota but the Falcons swept the Buccaneers last season, winning 27-21 at home and later 28-24 in Tampa Bay.

Atlanta Falcons
Homefield: Georgia Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CHI 12-30 10 NO -
2 PHI 35-31 11 TEN -
3 @TB - 12 MIN -
4 @SEA - 13 @HOU -
5 GB - 14 @CAR -
6 CAR - 15 JAC -
7 @DET - 16 @NO -
8 Bye - 17 TB -
9 @IND - - - -
Falcons Report | Statistics | Roster
ATLANTA at TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan - - 240,2
RB Michael Turner 90,1 20 -
TE Tony Gonzalez - 40 -
WR Julio Jones - 60 -
WR Roddy White - 70,1 -
WR Harry Douglas - 30 -
PK Matt Bryant 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: After opening the season with a flat showing in Chicago, the Falcons got back on track with a nice win over the visiting Falcons. This is a pivotal game in the NFC South and one that both teams need to win. But Matt Ryan is getting into top shape and the rushing game is ramping up. That should be just enough to get past the Buccaneers for the sixth straight time.

QUARTERBACK: After posting no scores in Chicago and yet 319 yards, Matt Ryan threw for 195 yards and four touchdowns against the Eagles. Ryan is taking more hits this year with nine sacks allowed already but he is working on incorporating all of his receivers into the game plan. The rookie Julio Jones has not been a big impact yet, but Ryan is trying to get him the ball.

Ryan passed for 205 yards and two scores in Tampa Bay last season. Matt Stafford passed for 305 yards and three scores there in the opener.

RUNNING BACKS: So far two games into the season and Michael Turner is on a roll. He had back-to-back 100+ yard games to start the year and has had a bit more work as a receiver this year as well. Turner has gained 214 yards on 31 carries to start the season for an average of 6.9 yards. That will win a few games.

Turner gained 88 yards and one score on 24 carries in Tampa Bay last time. He had 107 yards and two scores in the home meeting. The Bucs were really hurt by Adrian Peterson last week when he gained 120 rushing yards and scored twice.

Turner is not sharing the ball and has been an effective rusher on the road this season. He's a must start in leagues with no reception points.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Roddy White has not had the biggest start to his season. Expectations were higher than the 84 yards on 11 catches he has totaled to date but he did score once in the Eagles game and was effectively covered last week with Darrell Revis on most plays. Julio Jones has yet to have his breakout game though he is getting upwards of eight targets per game. Facing two very good defenses has played a big role in that. This week should be at least marginally better though the Buccaneers has an above average secondary as well.

White caught seven passes for 74 yards in Tampa Bay last year.

TIGHT ENDS: He may be in his twilight season but Tony Gonzalez was the reason why the Falcons beat the Eagles. He accounted for two touchdowns on his seven catches for 83 yards. He won't do that every game and Gonzalez only turned in 38 yards on three receptions in Tampa Bay last season. But Gonzo can produce when needed.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 16 5 26 4 26 10
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 11 26 17 20 23 8


Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Homefield: Raymond James Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DET 20-27 10 HOU -
2 @MIN 24-20 11 @GB -
3 ATL - 12 @TEN -
4 IND - 13 CAR -
5 @SF - 14 @JAC -
6 NO - 15 DAL -
7 CHI - 16 @CAR -
8 Bye - 17 @ATL -
9 @NO -      
Buccaneers Report | Statistics | Roster
TAMPA BAY vs ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Josh Freeman 20 - 240,1
RB LeGarrette Blount 90,1 - -
TE Kellen Winslow Jr. - 50 -
WR Preston Parker - 40 -
WR Mike Williams - 60,1 -
WR Dezmon Briscoe - 40 -
WR Arrelious Benn - 30 -
PK Conner Barth 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Buccaneers pulled off a comeback last week to help salvage their start to the season and the schedule is getting better looking than before since the Colts have packed it in already and they visit next week. This is a pivotal game since so far we have seen the Bucs struggle against the Lions and then look sharp against the Vikes if only late in the game. How they play against the division rival Falcons will set the tone for the season.

QUARTERBACK: After being a surprise last season, Josh Freeman has settled back to looking very average again with just one score and around 250 yards in each of the first two games. He is not running much either and has not offered anything more than average fantasy value. He's not worth starting until he begins to replicate the multiple touchdown games of last year.

Josh Freeman passed for 181 yards and one score when the Falcons visited last year.

RUNNING BACKS: The Buccaneers fortunes have ridden on LeGarrette Blount so far this year. Blount could only managed 15 yards on five carries in the opener but then bounced back in Minnesota with 71 yards on 13 runs with two touchdowns scored. He should have a decent game again on Sunday since the Falcons have already allowed the primary back of both opponents so far to exceed 100 total yards and both scored. Playing this in Tampa Bay will also help Blount to be a bigger factor in the game.

Blount rushed for 103 yards and a score when the Falcons showed up last season.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Mike Williams has been a big disappointment so far with only one touchdown and 50 yards in the opener and then just one catch for a four yard loss in Minnesota where they schemed to take him out of the picture. Williams only had four targets all day though and he did score once but it was called back on an unrelated penalty. Preston Parker had 98 yards on six catches last week from the slot but he is just subbing for Sammie Stroughter who is out with a foot injury. This unit has under performed so far and we're still waiting on Mike Williams to rekindle some of the same magic he had in 2010. Basically, Williams was the reason why Freeman was not just another average quarterback last year. Like he is this year so far.

Williams led the team with six catches for 68 yards and one score on the visiting Buccaneers last season.

TIGHT ENDS: While Kellen Winslow Jr. had no knee surgery in the offseason and claims to feel much better this year, the proof is not in his production. He had a great chance against a Vikings squad that always is kind to tight ends and yet only walked away with 44 yards on four catches. He is only averaging 55 yards per week and has yet to score.

Winslow only offered three catches for 26 yards against the Falcons last year. He only had 31 yards in the away game as well.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 21 23 20 16 16 20
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 26 24 23 12 26 31

WEEK 3
2011
ARI at SEA DET at MIN KC at SD NYJ at OAK
ATL at TB GB at CHI MIA at CLE PIT at IND
BAL at STL HOU at NO NE at BUF SF at CIN
  DEN at TEN JAC at CAR NYG at PHI WAS at DAL (mon)

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