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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 13
2011
PHI at SEA (thu) CIN at PIT * GB at NYG * OAK at MIA
* ATL at HOU DAL at ARI * IND at NE * STL at SF
BAL at CLE * DEN at MIN KC at CHI TEN at BUF
* Updated * CAR at TB * DET at NO NYJ at WAS SD at JAC (mon)

Prediction: ATL 24, HOU 13

Players to Watch: T.J. Yates

Update : Both Michael Turner and Julio Jones were held out of practices and then returned for limited work on Friday. They are listed as questionable but are both expected to play. Check inactive to make completely sure but it appears they were mostly being rested for the game.

The Falcons are one game behind the Saints and still in the thick of the wild card race at the least. They are 3-2 on the road though and travel to Houston where the 8-3 Texans are two games up in the AFC South and 4-1 at home. Then again, that was when they had a quarterback. And a backup quarterback.

Atlanta Falcons
Homefield: Georgia Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CHI 12-30 10 NO 23-26
2 PHI 35-31 11 TEN 23-17
3 @TB 13-16 12 MIN 24-14
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 31-7 - - -
Falcons Report | Statistics | Roster
ATLANTA at HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan - - 230,2
RB Michael Turner 80,1 10 -
TE Tony Gonzalez - 60,1 -
WR Julio Jones - 50 -
WR Roddy White - 50,1 -
WR Harry Douglas - 40 -
PK Matt Bryant 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Falcons are on a five game winning streak if you ignore the loss to the Saints and are playing well enough to likely win the first wild card. The remaining schedule only has the Saints in week 16 but the game is in New Orleans so all the Falcons can do is win now and hope the Saints stumble - doesn't look very likely. Facing the Texans this week is a stroke of great luck with their quarterback issues. That should help keep the game score lower this week for both teams.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Ryan has been money this season with at least one score in every game since the season opener and for the past month, he's been even more effective. In the last four games he threw nine touchdowns total but three were at home and the lone road trip went to Indianapolis.

This week he faces the Texans who have been great against the pass and allowed just 11 passing scores but the Texans have faced a motley crew of offenses so far and the only good passer was Drew Brees who posted 370 yards and three touchdowns. Ryan should be a safe bet for one score and decent yardage but he could do better - the Texans are not quite as good against the pass as they seem. Then again - they have no quarterback.

RUNNING BACKS: Michael Turner is enjoying a solid season with eight touchdowns and five efforts topping 100 rushing yards. He still has only one catch per week and even Jacquizz Rodgers does little as a receiver. Turner has been good for right around 20 carries each week and scored more often than not.

The Texans have only allowed five touchdowns to running backs and at home no runner has gained more than 63 yards but this week could see a higher volume of carries by Turner if the Falcons can keep any control of Arian Foster while the rookie quarterback struggles. Turner is a must start every week and could actually have a decent game here.

WIDE RECEIVERS: All hands are back on deck. Julio Jones returned last week but after drawing an offensive interference penalty on a long pass, he never had another thrown his way. Harry Douglas scored for the first time this year but he has rarely been a factor in previous weeks and especially on the road. Roddy White finally lit up the scoreboard with a touchdown on his ten catches for 120 yards and that makes back-to-back big games while at home.

The Texans have been great against wideouts and mostly because they have faced so very few decent ones. At home they have only seen IND, PIT, OAK, JAC and CLE. And yet still allowed five touchdowns to the position and two 100 yard efforts. The problem is deciding if Jones is going to rush back in since his three 100 yard games were all on the road. White is a must start but Douglas and Jones are still bigger risks this week.

TIGHT ENDS: Forget the high ranking of the Texans against tight ends the only decent one they faced was Jimmy Graham who scored and gained 100 yards. Tony Gonzalez scored in three of the last four games and turned in around 70 yards in each. He remains a good start this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 9 8 16 7 14 27
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 4 5 7 3 8 1


Houston Texans
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 IND 34-7 10 @TB 37-9
2 @MIA 23-13 11 Bye -
3 @NO 33-40 12 @JAC 20-13
4 PIT 17-10 13 ATL -
5 OAK 20-25 14 @CIN -
6 @BAL 14-29 15 CAR -
7 @TEN 41-7 16 @IND -
8 JAC 24-14 17 TEN -
9 CLE 30-12      
Texans Report | Statistics | Roster
HOUSTON vs ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB T.J. Yates - - 160
RB Arian Foster 80,1 30 -
RB Ben Tate 30 - -
TE Joel Dreesen - 10 -
TE Owen Daniels - 20 -
WR Andre' Johnson - 40 -
WR Kevin Walter - 30 -
WR Jacoby Jones - 30 -
PK Neil Rackers 2 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Texans outstanding season is now in jeopardy with the third string rookie quarterback taking over. The defense remains one of the better ones in the league though in part from facing some weaker teams. And the rushing offense has been the #1 unit in the NFL. How much that remains enough will start to unfold this week. Unfortunately these next two weeks will be very tough matchups.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Leinart only lasted for 13 passes before cracking his collarbone and now landing on injured reserve. That means the 5th round draft pick from North Carolina gets his unplanned chance to lead the team. T.J. Yates filled in after Leinart was gone and completed 8 of 15 for 70 yards in Jacksonville but has not participated in any other games this year. He brings an obvious unknown to the offense and what has to be considered a downgrade. Defenses were already keyed on stopping the run - will they disregard the pass all together now?

The Texans will hunt for a veteran at least to backup Yates but for this week it is all up to the rookie. No reason to take any fantasy chances here.

RUNNING BACKS: The more interesting part about Yates is if he will still rely on Arian Foster as a receiver? While Foster turned in seven catches for 24 yards in Jacksonville, only two receptions for six total ya4rds came from Yates who passed 15 times and was much more involved targeting Andre Johnson. It would seem reasonable to assume a dump off pass to Foster would be easier for a quarterback but not if the defense is keying on and following Foster on every play.

The Falcons are outstanding against the run and have never allowed more than 95 rushing yards to any runner and just four backs have scored on them via a rush. Foster is a must start regardless but he is facing the #2 defense against the position. Foster's fortunes this week are harder to predict.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Andre' Johnson's return after missing eight weeks only ended with two catches for 22 yards and his ongoing value takes a major hit now with an untested and raw rookie quarterback at the helm. None of these receivers have offered much production all year let alone any consistency. Johnson has to be viewed as a low grade fantasy start until there is some proof that Yates or any of his successor's can get the ball to Johnson enough to matter.

TIGHT ENDS: Same dealio - Joel Dreesen caught a score last week but it was from Matt Leinart. Owen Daniels had 31 yards on four catches which is a near mirror of his last three straight games anyway. No fantasy value here for now.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 20 1 30 3 8 6
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 22 2 27 8 17 10

WEEK 13
2011
PHI at SEA (thu) CIN at PIT GB at NYG OAK at MIA
ATL at HOU DAL at ARI IND at NE STL at SF
BAL at CLE DEN at MIN KC at CHI TEN at BUF
  CAR at TB DET at NO NYJ at WAS SD at JAC (mon)

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