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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 17
2011
BAL at CIN * DAL at NYG * NYJ at MIA SF at STL
* BUF at NE DET at GB PIT at CLE TB at ATL
CAR at NO * IND at JAC * SD at OAK * TEN at HOU
* UPDATED CHI at MIN * KC at DEN SEA at ARI * WAS at PHI

Prediction: TB 10, ATL 20

This could be a strange game since the Falcons have already clinched the wild card and have nothing to play for this week. And yet they face the visiting Buccaneers who beat them 16-13 in week three in a game that now looks astounding. The Bucs are on a nine game losing streak. The Falcons will win this but may have plenty of time to rest players in the game anyway.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Homefield: Raymond James Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DET 20-27 10 HOU 9-37
2 @MIN 24-20 11 @GB 26-35
3 ATL 16-13 12 @TEN 17-23
4 IND 24-17 13 CAR 19-38
5 @SF 3-48 14 @JAC 14-41
6 NO 26-20 15 DAL 15-31
7 CHI 18-24 16 @CAR 16-48
8 Bye - 17 @ATL -
9 @NO 16-27      
Buccaneers Report | Statistics | Roster
TAMPA BAY at ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Josh Freeman - - 190,1
RB LeGarrette Blount 40 - -
TE Kellen Winslow Jr. - 30 -
WR Preston Parker - 30 -
WR Mike Williams - 40 -
WR Dezmon Briscoe - 20,1 -
WR Arrelious Benn - 30 -
PK Conner Barth 1 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: Nine game losing streak. That says it all. The Buccaneers have scored 14+ points in almost every game but the lack of any defense dooms every game. The expectation is, of course, for the head coach Raheem Morris to be fired next week. This team never improved as the season progressed and in most areas became worse.

QUARTERBACK: Josh Freeman ends the year with only 14 touchdowns against 19 interceptions which is a free fall from 2010 when he scored 25 times with just six interceptions. Freeman took a major step backwards this year and he is on a four game streak of losing a fumble. Freeman passed for 180 yards and two interceptions in the first meeting with the Falcons but did run in a score.

On the road, no reason to hope for more than one touchdown and even that is likely trash time.

RUNNING BACKS: What to make of LeGarrette Blount? He was a nice find in 2010 and then this year never materialized into the complete back that was planned for and expected. He had marginal success in some games and broke 100 rushing yards three times but the last month has been oddly missing. Against the visiting Panthers he only managed 19 yards on 11 carries. Last week he only was on the field for seven plays and carried twice for 11 yards. Granted there will be new coaches next year, but Blount's resume is not looking good.

Blount rushed for 81 yards on 24 carries against the Falcons in the game with the highest workload of the year. He's unreliable now and should not be started.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This group still awaits anyone to step up and be "the man" Mike Williams showed great promise last year but has just three touchdowns on the year and never broke 100 yards in any game. Arrelious Benn shows minor flashes against weak defenses but usually nothing beyond mediocre. Dezmon Briscoe has three touchdowns over the last five games and yet never more than 36 yards.

Bottom line - no starter from this group. Williams only gained 43 yards on five catches in the home meeting with the Falcons. No reason to expect more here.

TIGHT ENDS: This entire team has been a disappointment but Kellen Winslow Jr. may be the biggest with only two touchdowns and rarely more than 40 yards per game. He only managed 20 yards on two catches in the first meeting.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 15 30 23 21 22 25
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 17 4 16 14 9 8


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 10-17
5 GB 14-25 14 @CAR 31-23
6 CAR 31-17 15 JAC 14-14
7 @DET 23-16 16 @NO -
8 Bye - 17 TB -
9 @IND 31-7 - - -
Falcons Report | Statistics | Roster
ATLANTA vs TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan - - 240,2
RB Michael Turner 50 - -
TE Tony Gonzalez - 50 -
WR Julio Jones - 80,1 -
WR Roddy White - 80,1 -
WR Harry Douglas - 40 -
PK Matt Bryant 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: HC Mike Smith claims that he will play all the starters in this game that does not matter and will not change anything. That is against a horrible team on a nine game losing streak. That is played at home against a team that is 1-6 on the road. Sure, there is every reason to subject starters to injury in this game... Not. Regardless what they say, the chance that some players sit out at least late in the game has to exist and in particular for Matt Ryan and Michael Turner for the two positions most at risk for being injured. The entire effort here will be in question and anything beyond a simple win would not make much sense.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Ryan has scored in 14 straight games with high yardage in most since midseason. Ryan passed for 330 yards and one score in Tampa Bay but this week he is a risk to expect a big game. It could happen - sure. But it doesn't have to and staying on the field too long is the real risk.

Safest bet - expect only moderate stats from Ryan regardless what the coaches say. He could still do plenty of damage in just one half on this defense.

RUNNING BACKS: Michael Turner is nursing a sore groin and has not turned in a 100+ yard rushing effort in five weeks. He has only scored once in that time and has just not been as effective. Turner's worst game of the year was surprisingly in Tampa Bay when he only gained 20 yards on 11 runs. The Falcons have nothing to win in this game so using Michael Turner with a slightly sore groin too much does not make a lot of sense. The safest assumption is more Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers in a game the Falcons know they can win.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The last meeting with the Buccaneers went well for Roddy White (9-140) and Julio Jones (6-115) though neither scored. White is on a four game scoring streak as he ends the year on a red hot note. JOnes has three scores over just the last two games as this duo continues to impress. Both players are must starts and even in a game such as this, they should do well no matter who the quarterback is. The yardage is not likely as high but both should turn in a good game here at the least.

TIGHT ENDS: Tony Gonzalez is winding down his career on a very strong note. Going into the final game, he has already caught 79 passes for 867 yards and seven touchdowns - his best year as a Falcon. Gonzo only caught two passes for 18 yards in the first meeting with the Bucs but scored once. He's as much a risk to take it easy in the game as anyone.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 9 13 7 7 14 19
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 29 32 19 24 25 28

WEEK 17
2011
BAL at CIN DAL at NYG NYJ at MIA SF at STL
BUF at NE DET at GB PIT at CLE TB at ATL
CAR at NO IND at JAC SD at OAK TEN at HOU
  CHI at MIN KC at DEN SEA at ARI WAS at PHI

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