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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 5
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday night
On Bye
CIN, MIN
Monday
OAK, PHI
*updated

Prediction: ATL 13, TEN 24

The Falcons finally feel that winning spirit thanks to hosting an injury ravaged Texans on Sunday but the Titans are 2-1 on the year with their only loss coming by two points to the Colts. Plus they have rested for the last week and are at home. The only thing interesting here is not who is going to win, but exactly how Vince Young does it this time. It's like a weekly murder mystery where you know the ending, just not how you are going to get there.

Atlanta Falcons (1-3)
Homefield: Georgia Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @MIN 3-24 +3 36
2 @JAC 7-13 +11 34.5
3 CAR 20-27 +4 37.5
4 HOU 26-16 +2.5 39.5
5 @TEN   +8 40
6 NYG 15-Oct MON 8:30 PM
7 @NO 21-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
8 BYE - - -
9 SF 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 @CAR 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 TB 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 IND 22-Nov THU 8:15 PM
13 @STL 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 NO 10-Dec MON 8:30 PM
15 @TB 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 @ARI 23-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
17 SEA 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
ATL at TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Joey Harrington     200,1
RB Warrick Dunn 50 20  
RB Jerious Norwood 30 20  
TE Alge Crumpler   50,1  
WR Joe Horn   20  
WR Michael Jenkins   40  
WR Roddy White   50  
PK Morten Andersen 1 XP 2 FG  
Pregame Notes: A couple of home games was just what the Falcons needed to score some points, make Joey Harrington look at least serviceable and to finally get that much needed victory. Their progress check comes this week when they hit the road again in search of their second touchdown away from Atlanta and the ever-elusive double digit score. The Falcons are showing improvement in the passing game as of late but the rest of the team still has major question marks.

Quarterback: The difference may be simply two home games versus two road games, or it may be just the natural improvement for a new offense or it is because Byron Leftwich is twiddling his thumbs waiting for Joey Harrington to screw up. Maybe all those reasons. But it is certainly profound the difference from the first two weeks when Harrington only threw for 200 yards per week with no scores and was sacked 13 times versus the last two weeks in the Georgia Dome where he had two scores in each game, averaged 290 yards per week and dropped to only three sacks in two weeks. Back on the road this week will be a better test since the offense is starting to come together and faces a decent defense in Tennessee.

Running Backs: The rushing game continues to be mired in mediocrity and the Falcons are sticking with the aging Warrick Dunn as the starter. He has carried 16 times per game on average with only around 50 yards to show for the effort. That's just an average gain of 3.5 yards. While coaches usually say each week that Jerious Norwood will be more involved, he never is and averages just seven carries per week for around 30 yards. He has run more effectively than Dunn though at a far lesser volume of carries. Dunn has the lone rushing score by this offense and the only offensive touchdown on the road this year. Dunn is being used more as a receiver this year with around four catches per week but never more than 26 receiving yards in a game. There just is no spark here despite the two home games.

Wide Receivers: The passing game has improved recently and brought along with it the wideouts for the first time since before Vick started playing for the Falcons. Roddy White already has one score and a 127 yard game this year and has averaged around five catches per week as the primary receiver. Joe Horn is the starter but has actually been even worse as the season goes with just one catch last week. But Michael Jenkins is currently cast as a rather tall slot receiver and comes off a two touchdown game last Sunday. He had six catches in each of the last two games and is starting to show up once again. At some point, it seems likely that the roles will change with Horn so ineffective but as in New Orleans last year, everything works better with him on the field doing very little.

Tight Ends: While Alge Crumpler is more than the average tight end, he is no longer the primary target for the quarterback in Atlanta and only has three catches last week. He has only scored once this season and only averages around 45 yards per game.

Match Against the Defense: The Titans have been very solid against the run this year and only have allowed running backs 55 rushing yards per game. Their ranking is skewed a little higher because Bush scored twice against them (but only had 15 yards). With the lackluster rushing attack of the Falcons, consider this as likely the worst showing yet for the Falcons running game.

Harrington is looking better but faces a secondary that has only given up two touchdowns in three games. Look for just one passing score here that should likely favor Crumpler the most. While Harrison and Wayne had games of 87 and 70 yards respectively against them, no other wideout has managed more than 68 yards and none have scored other than one long pass to John Broussard back in week one.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 20 24 15 10 21 29
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 4 3 6 16 4 4

 

Tennessee Titans (2-1)
Homefield: LP Field
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @JAC 13-10 +6.5 37.5
2 IND 20-22 +7 46
3 @NO 31-14 +4 45
4 BYE - - -
5 ATL   -8 40
6 @TB 14-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
7 @HOU 21-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
8 OAK 28-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
9 CAR 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 JAC 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 @DEN 19-Nov MON 8:30 PM
12 @CIN 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 HOU 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 SD 9-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
15 @KC 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 NYJ 23-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
17 @IND 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
TEN vs ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Vince Young 30,1   140,1
RB Chris Brown 40 10  
RB Lendale White 80,1 10  
TE Bo Scaife   30  
WR Brandon Jones   20  
WR Eric Moulds   20  
WR Roydell Williams   50,1  
PK Rob Bironas 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: While perhaps frustrating in fantasy terms, it's hard not to love the Titans in a pure football sense. Starting out with a win in Jacksonville followed by a two point loss to the Colts in week two, the Titans may have already faced their two worst games of the season until week 17 at Indianapolis which may be meaningless anyway. The defense has been surprisingly good and the offense remains Vince Young killing teams in all sorts of ways.

Quarterback: After three games played this season, Vince Young is not really convincing anyone that he is soon to become a top passer in the league since he has yet to exceed 184 yards in a game. But he has three passing scores on the year and tosses in at least five runs each week. More than anything statistical, he tends to just get the job done no matter how it happens.

Running Backs: The Chris Brown experience apparently is a one week only phenomena but LenDale White now has scored in each of the last two games though his rushing yardage leaves much to be desired. White has never carried for less than 15 times in a game and yet has yet to exceed 66 yards. He currently only has 180 yards on 50 carries for a 3.6 yard rushing average. He also has almost no role as a receiver in this offense.

Wide Receivers: The minimal passing numbers here have an obvious impact on the stats generated by a wideout.. Brandon Jones is coming on in the last two games with nine catches for 130 yards and a score in total - big time numbers for this offense. Roydell Williams also had a receiving score when he turned in 72 yards against the Colts but otherwise he's had no impact. Eric Moulds only accounted for a couple of catches per week with never more than 20 yards. Jones remains the lone fantasy relevant player here and only marginally so.

Tight Ends: After heavy reliance last year, Young has not thrown to his tight ends much in 2007 and Ben Troupe has yet to have even one catch. Bo Scaife has been little used but did turn in his first score of the season in New Orleans but even then only had three catches for 26 yards.

Match Against the Defense: The Falcons rush defense has been aided largely because they faced the poor rushing attacks of Jacksonville and Houston. Even Ron Dayne gained over four yards per carry against them and Foster ran for 122 yards on 20 carries. No doubt that will be the preferred course of the Titans this week so look for a solid to good game from Lendale White with a rushing touchdown here and even Chris Brown should turn in some better numbers as well.

Young faces a secondary that has always allowed at least one passing score each week and the grumpy DeAngelo Hall should keep Brandon Jones quiet this week. Look for the passing score to favor Roydell Williams this week the most but the passing yardage will be low as normal.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 27 22 29 25 27 22
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 15 20 9 24 22 26

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