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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

Prediction: BUF 6, ATL 17

The Bills stumble down to Atlanta with their 3-4 road record and are only one of four AFC teams that have no shot at the playoffs. The Falcons are 7-7 and still theoretically in the playoff hunt which could end this weekend. The Falcons are 5-2 in home games this year.

Buffalo Bills (5-9)
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @NE 24-25 +10.5 47
2 TB 33-20 -4 41
3 NO 7-27 +5.5 52.5
4 @MIA 10-38 -2.5 37
5 CLE 3-6 -6 40.5
6 @NYJ 16-13 +9.5 37
7 @CAR 20-9 +7 37
8 HOU 10-31 -3.5 42
9 BYE - - -
10 @TEN 17-41 +9 41
11 @JAC 15-18 +9 41
12 MIA 31-14 +3.5 38
13 NYJ 13-19 +3.5 37
14 @KC 16-10 -1 38
15 NE 10-17 +6.5 41.5
16 @ATL - +8 41.5
17 IND - - -
BUF at ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Brian Brohm     150
RB Marshawn Lynch 30 10  
RB Fred Jackson 60 20  
WR Lee Evans   40  
WR Terrell Owens   40  
WR Josh Reed   30  
PK Rian Lindell 2 FG    
Pregame Notes: The Bills have lost a coach along the way and Terrell Owens is already dialing up his real estate agent to get ready for the next move. The offense for the Bills has posted more than 17 points only twice in the last 12 weeks and now the quarterback situation takes yet another turn thanks to injury. There are still jobs to win for next year but a new coaching staff will re-evaluate everyone anyway. These next two games are not likely to change anything.

Quarterback: Trent Edwards was placed on injured reserve ending his season and Ryan Fitzpatrick has injured his ankle and looks likely to miss this week. That means that Brian Brohm steps up as the starter for the first time. The Bills as a team only have 12 passing scores on the season and now Brohm takes the helm.

The Falcons have a bad secondary with no arguments. Over half of the road opponents score more than once via the pass and half of all games end up with around 300 yards or more allowed. Brohm is obviously a huge risk on a very bad offense, consider him untouchable in fantasy terms.

Running Backs: The a sharing rotation here diminishes all possible fantasy value for an offense that has only managed four rushing touchdowns this season and just one game over 100 rushing yards before Marshawn Lynch rejoined the team. Fred Jackson has been solid in yardage in most games though and does have three to five catches per week as well. He's not winning anyone their league but provides at least minor fantasy value each game, more so in a points per reception league.

Lynch only shows up now against really weak opponents and even then his contribution is less than a fantasy starter should have. So far Jackson averages 60 rush yards per game while Lynch is right around 40. One guy alone would get about 100 yards. Not going to happen on this team at least not this year.

The Falcons rush defense has been far better than on the road. Only two players have ran in a score in Atlanta and none had rushed for more than 79 yards. With the split here, both runners are poor starts this week.

Wide Receivers: Lee Evans comes off his sixth touchdown of the season but his yardage rarely exceeds 50 yards and he ends most games with one or two catches. Terrell Owens is winding down his Bills career with two or three catches per week but he has scored three times over the last five games even if the yardage has remained below 32 yards per game for three weeks now.

The switch to Brian Brohm is just more risk for this unit. The Falcons have only allowed three wideouts to score in Atlanta and that makes relying on Evans or Owens hard to do despite what seemed like a decent matchup. Expect moderate yardage at most from this unknown situation.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value.

Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 27 28 25 31 16 14
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 30 22 23 29 15 10

Atlanta Falcons (7-7)
Homefield: Georgia Dome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 MIA 19-7 -4 43.5
2 CAR 28-20 -6 43
3 @NE 10-26 +4 44.5
4 BYE -    
5 @SF 45-10 +2.5 41
6 CHI 21-14 -3 45.5
7 @DAL 21-37 +5 47.5
8 @NO 27-35 +10 54
9 WAS 31-17 -10 41
10 @CAR 19-28 -1 43.5
11 @NYG 31-34 +7 46
12 TB 20-17 -12 46
13 PHI 7-34 +4 43.5
14 NO 23-26 +10 50.5
15 @NYJ 10-7 +5.5 36.5
16 BUF - -8 41.5
17 @TB - - -
ATL vs BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan     170,1
RB Jason Snelling 80,1 20  
TE Tony Gonzalez   60,1  
WR Michael Jenkins   40  
WR Roddy White   50  
WR Eric Weems   20  
PK Matt Bryant 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The win in New York was a huge surprise and mainly since it came by shutting down their offense. Of course the Falcons lost five of the previous six road games but the win kept them at least in a theoretical contention for the playoffs which should likely end this week. The final week in Tampa Bay would be a tough one to win with Michael Turner no doubt sidelined.

Quarterback: Matt Ryan returned to play with his turf toe still bothering him and was sore after the win over the Jets. He passed for a only 152 yards and one score but had no turnovers. Ryan will start again this week but will be playing in pain and his mobility will be limited. He has extended his strong to eight consecutive games with at least one score.

The Bills have been very good against the pass though to some degree because opponents prefer to beat up on the #32 ranked rushing defense. Ryan has a chance for one score here but no opponent has done more in the last 13 games against the Bills .Expect another minimal fantasy game from Ryan.

Running Backs: Michael Turner has a high ankle sprain that saw him miss week 11 and try to return in week 12 when he just reaggravated the injury after 12 carries and missed the next two games. Then he tried coming back last week and lasted just one run before once again reaggravating the ankle. The Falcons have not shut him down yet for reasons unclear to all. I assume Turner is done for the year.

That leaves Jason Snelling back as the primary runner. And facing the worst rushing defense in the league is a very nice time to get the starting nod. The Bills have allowed 12 rushing touchdowns over their seven road games this year and each opponent has rushed for very nice yardage and a score. No reason to expect Snelling to have a bad game here. He will share with Jerious Norwood which will cap his yardage but should score once.

Basically, the visiting Bills is as good as it gets for running backs.

Wide Receivers: Roddy White was predictably held in check by Darrelle Revis last week but his eight receiving scores leads the team and all other wideouts account for only three touchdowns this year. Michael Jenkins has been solid with yardage in most home games though. If anything is going to happen with this unit, it goes to White.

The Bills have been outstanding against wideouts but mostly because of how teams prefer to run against them. They have only allowed six touchdowns to the position for the entire season and only Randy Moss went over the 100 yard mark against them. Expect a moderate game here by White in yardage and likely no score.

Tight Ends: Tony Gonzalez has been very consistent with around 70 yards in most games and he had the lone touchdown in New York. The one passing score here favors Gonzalez slightly since either he or White account for 14 of 16 passing touchdowns.

Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 18 11 21 5 22 27
Preventing Fantasy Points BUF 2 32 2 11 14 26

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