The Huddle on Facebook Facebook   The Huddle on Twitter Twitter   The Huddle Mobile Mobile Welcome, Guest. You are not logged in.JOINHELP
HOME FANTASY DRAFT KIT IN SEASON ARTICLES NEWS STATS FORUMS TEAMS PLAYERS NFL DRAFT NFL ABOUT myHuddle

FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 7
2011
ATL at DET HOU at TEN * SD at NYJ BAL at JAC (mon)
CHI at TB * IND at NO * SEA at CLE Bye Week
DEN at MIA * KC at OAK * STL at DAL BUF, CIN, NE
*UPDATED GB at MIN * PIT at ARI WAS at CAR NYG, PHI, SF

Prediction: ATL 20, DET 27

Players to Watch: Maurice Morris

The Falcons leave home after beating the Panthers in a game where they finally played up to expectations. But the Falcons are only 1-2 in road games and the Lions come off their first loss of the year and should be pretty pissed after the way they let the 49ers take the game and then "dis" their coach.

Atlanta Falcons
Homefield: Georgia Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CHI 12-30 10 NO -
2 PHI 35-31 11 TEN -
3 @TB 13-16 12 MIN -
4 @SEA 30-28 13 @HOU -
5 GB 14-25 14 @CAR -
6 CAR 31-17 15 JAC -
7 @DET - 16 @NO -
8 Bye - 17 TB -
9 @IND - - - -
Falcons Report | Statistics | Roster
ATLANTA at DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan - - 230,1
RB Michael Turner 70,1 - -
TE Tony Gonzalez - 70,1 -
WR Roddy White - 80 -
WR Harry Douglas - 50 -
PK Matt Bryant 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The difference last week was two-fold. The Falcons played far better defense then they had in the first five games and they also had Michael Turner crank up the rushing effort to control the ball. The Falcons are still only 3-3 but are just one game back in the NFC South with a bye week on the other side of this game. The schedule is good the rest of the way and aside from two meetings with the Saints left to play, this matchup could be as tough as it gets.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Ryan played a "good enough" game against the Panthers but in fantasy terms it was troubling to see his third straight outing of only one touchdown and less than 170 yards in the last two games without full use of Julio Jones. Winning makes everything okay but Ryan is still not showing the ability to win any shootout when the running game falters which is more likely this week and in most every road game. Ryan did pass for 290+ yards in the only other two road efforts but both had Jones there.

The Lions defense has been much better this year and in Detroit have only allowed two passing scores total from the three visitors and never more than one per game. Jay Cutler has the most yardage against the Lions secondary and that was just 249 yards. Expect another sub-standard showing by Ryan this week.

RUNNING BACKS: Though Michael Turner comes off a season best game of 139 rushing yards and two touchdowns, the troubling part is that his last two road efforts only had him gaining 20 yards in Tampa Bay and 70 yards in Seattle against teams worse than the Lions. Turner has been good with scoring with six touchdowns so far but the Lions have only allowed two touchdowns by a running back against them. Turner is worthy of a start this week since both Matt Forte and Frank Gore topped 100 yards in Detroit recently but Turner has no role as a receiver and will do well enough to just get one touchdown.

WIDE RECEIVERS: It was disappointing to see Roddy White end the Panthers game with only two catches for 21 yards when Julio Jones was out and White was back to being the only decent wideout in the offense. But the success of the rushing game dug deeply into his stats as much as being covered and he only had five targets. That is bound to be up this week - guaranteed the targets will be far higher. But the Lions have only allowed two wideouts to score on them and no visiting wide receivers. White remains a decent start since he is a big part of the offense but he'll be hard pressed to score. A high volume of passes should get him decent yardage. Julio Jones is likely to miss this week and then use the bye to get completely healthy. Harry Douglas (2-57) is a moderate play in case you need a bye week filler who won't score but may have some yardage.

TIGHT ENDS: Like the other receivers, Tony Gonzalez had an off game against the Panthers but has been good for about 60+ yards in most every other game. He also scored once in each of the last two road trips which bodes well this weekend against a Lions team that has given up four scores to the position this year - more than wideouts have scored against them. The Lions did stuff Vernon Davis last week but figure on Roddy White being the main concern of the secondary.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 19 7 30 9 22 16
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 6 6 11 24 28 5


Detroit Lions
Homefield: Ford Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @TB 27-20 10 @CHI -
2 KC 48-3 11 CAR -
3 @MIN 26-23 12 GB -
4 @DAL 34-30 13 @NO -
5 CHI 24-13 14 MIN -
6 SF 19-25 15 @OAK -
7 ATL - 16 SD -
8 @DEN - 17 @GB -
9 Bye -      
Lions Report | Statistics | Roster
DETROIT vs ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford - - 300,3
RB Maurice Morris 40 10 -
TE Brandon Pettigrew - 40 -
WR Calvin Johnson - 130,2 -
WR Titus Young - 50,1 -
WR Nate Burleson - 50 -
PK Jason Hanson 2FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Lions lost a hard fought game and may have lost Jahvid Best to a concussion as well. But they are still 5-1 and just one game behind the Packers who they play in weeks 12 and 17. Compared to previous seasons, they could stop now and call the year a success. There are plenty of tough matchups still yet to come but at least these Lions are finally equipped to remain competitive.

QUARTERBACK: Matthew Stafford remains a top quarterback with 15 touchdowns on the season and never fewer than two in every game. His recent efforts were lighter on yardage because of the success of the rushing effort but that may not be the case this week since Best has a concussion. Stafford is on pace to throw for 4600 yards and 40 touchdowns. It's all working here this year.

The Falcons have been very inconsistent against quarterbacks but this plays out better as a home game since the Falcons gave up big stats to the Bears and Seahawks on the road. With a lesser rushing effort anyway, Stafford should be just as good as he always is and maybe a little better this week.

RUNNING BACKS: Unfortunately, Jahvid Best suffered a concussion in the 49ers game and is not certain to play here. Best has a history with the injury including in college which makes a speedy recovery a little less likely. I will assume that he is out and that Maurice Morris is the primary backup with help from Keiland Williams. Missing this week coupled with the bye could give Best plenty of time to get rid of the cobwebs until the next concussion.

The Lions have acquired Ronnie Brown in exchange for Jerome Harrison and an undisclosed 2013 draft pick. While Brown may have a showing this week I am not projecting for him yet and will liikely include him next week when he has a uniform and a playbook.

The Falcons defense has only allowed two rushing scores to running backs in the last four games and no runner has broken the 100 yard mark against the Falcons. That makes no back worthy of a fantasy start in this backfield. There could be a touchdown but no way of knowing who would end up with it.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Calvin Johnson finally had a game without any scores but he still gained 113 yards on seven catches so the worst you get from him is still outstanding. Nate Burleson finally caught a touchdown last week but rarely has more than a couple of catches and 30 yards. Titus Young has been especially quiet for the last three games but might step up more if the running effort is worse this week.

The Falcons have not met many good passing teams other than Green Bar who had 222 yards split between Greg Jennings and James Jones in Atlanta. Johnson is always a great starter and I like Young a little more this week against a secondary that has been kinder to slot receivers on occasion.

TIGHT ENDS: Brandon Pettigrew has been a big part of the passing game even if his yardage has not been that high. He scored in the last two games but never had more than 40 yards in those efforts and the Falcons come in having allowed only one score to a tight end this year. Pettigrew is worth a start in a reception points league since he has averaged seven catches over the last four games but he is less likely to score this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 6 14 5 8 4 8
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 27 13 25 10 17 17

WEEK 7
2011
ATL at DET HOU at TEN SD at NYJ BAL at JAC (mon)
CHI at TB IND at NO SEA at CLE Bye Week
DEN at MIA KC at OAK STL at DAL BUF, CIN, NE
  GB at MIN PIT at ARI WAS at CAR NYG, PHI, SF

a d v e r t i s e m e n t