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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

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

Prediction: ATL 24, IND 23

Update: Joseph Addai has been at full practices this week until Friday when he was rested. He is expected to play but will share the load in his first game back from his hamstring strain.

The Falcons draw their "bye with benefits" by going to Indy to face the 0-8 Colts. The Falcons are fresh off their real bye having last beaten the Lions in Detroit. As always, this game is a big win unless they try to mail it in. Hosting the Saints next week may not help.

Atlanta Falcons
Homefield: Georgia Dome
  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 23-16 16 @NO -
8 Bye - 17 TB -
9 @IND - - - -
Falcons Report | Statistics | Roster
ATLANTA at IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan - - 250,1
RB Michael Turner 90,2 - -
TE Tony Gonzalez - 50 -
WR Julio Jones - 80 -
WR Roddy White - 60,1 -
WR Harry Douglas - 40 -
PK Matt Bryant 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Falcons are only a half game out of first in the NFC South and have won their last two games. The loss by the Saints last week means that next week hosting them is for first place in the division and that could end up with a lack luster effort here. So far the Colts are still respected enough that teams still prepare to play them well but at some point that will end. But the Falcons have three straight home games coming up and should take down the Colts without much worry, especially if Julio Jones is able to play.

QUARTERBACK: It isn't that Matt Ryan has been bad. He has scored in each of the last six games and even added a rushing score in both of the last two games. But the last five weeks he has only thrown for one score. For a year that was anticipated to be a step up for Ryan, he's been nothing more than an average quarterback. Gaining Julio Jones only shifted yardage and scores away from Roddy White. And once Jones left injured, Ryan has not passed for more than 218 yards.

Ryan tweaked his ankle before the bye but should be healed up.

Ryan is on a five game streak of one touchdown efforts and that matches up to what the Colts normally allow. No reason to assume Ryan goes nuts in Indy this week.

RUNNING BACKS: The Falcons lost Ovie Mughelli for the rest of the year because of a knee injury and now have to find a new lead blocker for Michael Turner. The impact of Mughelli's loss will not be that big this week but will be telling in future games. Turner has been outstanding aside from the Tampa Bay game and has scored six touchdowns and topped 100 rushing yards four times this year. He has no role as a receiver but has been consistently productive as a runner which no doubt shows up this week.

The Colts are generally weaker against the run and Turner has been even better in recent games. Expect at least one score and decent yardage here that could end up as a very nice game with a couple of scores.

Jacquizz Rodgers is the third down back but only gets one to three touches in most game. He has not been a fantasy factor. The Falcons signed full back Mike Cox to replace Ovie Mughelli but that just sounds like some prank over the loud speakers. Cox last played for the Chiefs.

WIDE RECEIVERS : Julio Jones has been out since injuring his hamstring in week five but may be back this week after practicing on Monday. There is optimism that he might but we won't know until full practices this week. Jones was coming off two straight games with over 110 yards when he was injured though he still has not scored this year. I will assume that he can practice and update as needed. Roddy White has been a big disappointment as a top drafted fantasy wideout who has only three touchdowns and just one game over 78 yards. Two of his scores came once Jones was out. What is worse is that those three touchdowns by White are the only ones by any Falcons wideout this year.

Have to like the passing score to end up here since the Colts have given up 12 touchdowns to the position this year. Three different receivers even had two touchdowns on them. Jones is certainly due for his first NFL score but may not be 100% if he even plays. That makes White again the most likely to score this week.

TIGHT ENDS: It may be his final season, but at least Tony Gonzalez is making the best of it and leads the team with four receiving touchdowns, He has not scored since Jones left but has been good for around 50 yards or more in most games. Gonzalez is still a good play this week but most tight ends do very little against the Colts if only because the running backs and wideouts have nice success anyway.

Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 16 9 22 10 20 20
Preventing Fantasy Points IND 22 32 29 8 30 26

Indianapolis Colts
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @HOU 7-34 10 JAC -
2 CLE 19-27 11 Bye -
3 PIT 20-23 12 CAR -
4 @TB 17-24 13 @NE -
5 KC 24-28 14 @BAL -
6 @CIN 17-27 15 TEN -
7 @NO 7-62 16 HOU -
8 @TEN 10-27 17 @JAC -
9 ATL -      
Colts Report | Statistics | Roster
QB Curtis Painter - - 250,1
RB Delone Carter 30,1 - -
RB Joseph Addai 40 10 -
TE Dallas Clark - 40 -
WR Reggie Wayne - 70 -
WR Austin Collie - 40 -
WR Pierre Garcon - 50,1 -
PK Adam Vinatieri 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: After being beaten 62-7, anything looks like progress. The Colts were never really in the Titans game but losing by 17 points makes it seem a lot less "high school" than what happened in New Orleans. For what it is worth, the Colts have lost by six points or less in their three previous home games and the offense does seem to be marginally improving if only during trash time.

QUARTERBACK: The last three road games were murder on Painter who totaled only one touchdown against four interceptions over those weeks. This will be only the second home game for Painter who last had his best games of the year in those initial starts. Everyone has caught on to Painter by now and the Falcons secondary is at least average. Figure Painter to throw for one score for the first time in three weeks and while he could toss two it is too hard to rely on.

RUNNING BACKS: While Joseph Addai dressed and was active for the Titans game, he never played and later said he would only have gone in if one of the two runners were injured. That suggests that Addai should be better this week and play but practice reports will be needed to see if his hamstring is well enough to allow him to play.

Delone Carter has been a decent fill-in for Addai but he still shares carries with Donald Brown. Somehow this unit has managed to score in each of the last three games. The split here ensures that no one is going to have a big game and while they could score again, that could end up with any of the three runners.

The Falcons have been really good against the run. Hard to rely on any of these runners for anything more than some marginal yardage.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Sadly no changes to this unit in the last month. Reggie Wayne still has not scored since the opener and ends up with around 60 yards almost every week. Pierre Garcon has cooled from his four scores in two games to now just turning in around 50 yards per game if that. Austin Collie has never been anything more than a 40 yard receiver. No wideout has caught a touchdown since week five.

This is a home game and the wideouts are way overdue to score.. The Falcons have allowed eight scores to the position and nearly one per week. The score could go anywhere of course but I'll hand it to Garcon more as a placeholder.

TIGHT ENDS: Dallas Clark is still plenty risky to rely on but at least he has 130 yards over the last two games and scored once. The scary part for this week is that his last two home games totaled only three catches for 19 yards. While he could show up with good stats this week, best to let him show up at home first before bothering with a fantasy start. The Falcons have been very good against the position anyway with no touchdowns allowed in the last seven weeks.

Gaining Fantasy Points IND 30 32 19 24 28 31
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 26 14 24 11 26 15

BAL at PIT GB at SD SEA at DAL CHI at PHI (mon)
CIN at TEN MIA at KC SF at WAS Bye Week

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