Game Predictions & Player Projections - CLE vs ATL

Game Predictions & Player Projections - CLE vs ATL


Game Predictions & Player Projections - CLE vs ATL

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Prediction: CLE 27, ATL 20 (Line: ATL by 3)

UPDATE: Jordan Cameron is out this week because of his concussion. Jim Dray will fill in.

The 6-4 Browns are only a half game out of first place in the AFC North but are 2-2 in road games. The 4-6 Falcons are somehow at the top of the NFC South and on a two game winning streak. The difference maker here is that the Falcons are the worst team at stopping running backs and the Browns love to run.

Oh… and Josh Gordon is baaaaaccck. Hopefully for a while.

Cleveland Browns

1 @PIT 27-30 10 @CIN 24-3
2 NO 26-24 11 HOU 7-23
3 BAL 21-23 12 @ATL —–
4 BYE —– 13 @BUF —–
5 @TEN 29-28 14 IND —–
6 PIT 31-10 15 CIN —–
7 @JAC 6-24 16 @CAR —–
8 OAK 23-13 17 @BAL —–
9 TB 22-17  
News | Statistics | Roster
CLE @ ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Robert Griffin III 200,1
QB Josh McCown 10 270,2
RB Isaiah Crowell 80,1 2-10
WR Taylor Gabriel 3-40
WR Josh Gordon 5-80,1
WR Andrew Hawkins 5-60

Pregame Notes: The addition of Josh Gordon is hard to understate assuming he returns in the same shape and form he had in 2013 when he led the NFL with 1646 yards in only 14 games. And in every league out there, some team owner is not only giddy with excitement but now realizes just how long 11 weeks really is. Gordon did nothing to get teams to their playoffs but he can certainly contribute to them staying there. The difference now is that the Browns have an actual rushing game to rely on as well.

QUARTERBACK : Brian Hoyer lasted long enough to get to work with Josh Gordon and chances are good that the effect will be positive and ensure that Johnny what’s-his-name remains a legend instead of an actual player this year. Hoyer’s performances lately have been uneven and he even failed to throw a score in two of the last five games. But he’s topped 300 yards twice in the last three weeks thanks to home games against the Bucs and Texans.

RUNNING BACK : The backfield rotation keeps changing but HC Mike Pettine said that Ben Tate was third on the depth chart and after his two runs for a net nine-yard loss last week. And then he cut him. Terrance West was the starter in week ten with 94 yards on 26 runs and a score in Cincinnati but was then demoted against the Texans to only five runs for 12 yards while Isaiah Crowell ran 14 times for 61 yards. Crowell did lose a fumble so we’ll see how that folds into this week. The assumption is that both West and Crowell share and that Crowell again takes the lead.

WIDE RECEIVER : Josh Gordon is back and now he and he’ll return to the split end spot. This could be very interesting since last year Gordon excelled because the Browns really had no one else that contributed. Not a running back or a wideout. Now Andrew Hawkins is a factor nearly every week and scored in two of the last three games. Taylor Gabriel is the speedy rookie who topped 85 yards in two of the last three games and grows into a bigger role every week. Now Gordon returns and that makes the Browns even more dangerous.

But one dose of reality. Maybe Gordon doesn’t get 14 targets every week this time because the Browns have other options. And other receivers may actually be open.

TIGHT END : Jordan Cameron missed week 11 with a concussion but there is hope that he may return for this week. I will assume that he can play and update as that is either justified or is in question. Cameron has been only a minor player this year anyway and his presence or absence is not that significant.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Falcons defense is at home but they are still one of the worst in the league at stopping the run. They’ve already allowed 13 touchdowns to the position and they haven’t even faced that many decent running backs. All teams tend to throw one or two touchdowns on the Falcons who are weak against wide receivers as well. Both West and Crowell are worth considering though their usage is a coin flip on the sideline. Gordon is facing a weak secondary and is no doubt ready to return. He’s worth starting from potential alone. Hoyer is still a risk for more than moderate yardage here.

Gaining Fantasy Points CLE 30 19 12 20 18 14
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 18 32 24 7 24 13

Atlanta Falcons

1 NO 37-34 10 @TB 27-17
2 @CIN 10-24 11 @CAR 19-17
3 TB 56-14 12 CLE —–
4 @MIN 28-41 13 ARI —–
5 @NYG 20-30 14 @GB —–
6 CHI 13-27 15 PIT —–
7 @BAL 7-29 16 @NO —–
8 DET 21-22 17 CAR —–
9 BYE —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
ATL vs CLE Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan 230,1
WR Julio Jones 6-60
WR Mohamed Sanu 5-60,1
TE Levine Toilolo 2-30
PK Matt Bryant 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Falcons have a real chance of winning the NFC South since all the teams are so bad this year it all comes down to whatever interdivisional record exists. They are already 4-0 so far with the season ending with a trip to New Orleans and then hosting the Panthers. There are only two road games left as well so this week doesn’t matter so much as the two final meetings with the Saints and Panthers.

QUARTERBACK : Matt Ryan is rock solid with a touchdown every week but he’s scored more than one only once in the last six weeks and the yardage has remained well below 300 since week five. Ryan is still good but he’s just not producing the yards or the scores of previous seasons.

RUNNING BACK : Antone Smith landed on injured reserve from a broken leg and his five touchdowns are still more than any other running back here. The same rotation exists that limits all runners to marginal stats but at least Steven Jackson scored in two of the last three games. He’s also logged only four touchdowns all year and topped 60 yards in a week just once. Devonta Freeman throws in around six touches per week but has just one touchdown all year. Jacquizz Rodgers us even less used but still takes several short throws. I’ll project just for Jackson and even he’s a marginal play each week.

WIDE RECEIVER : What ever happened to Julio Jones? Through week five he was his normal red hot self with three touchdowns and three games over 100 yards. But he hasn’t scored since week three. He had only one game with more than 70 yards in the last five weeks. He gained 119 yards in Tampa Bay recently but otherwise has been a very marginal fantasy start. Roddy White is enjoying a better year with five touchdowns and three is just the last four games. His yardage tends to end up around 70 each week and that is clearly as good as it gets with the Falcons currently. No other receivers matter and therein lies one of the problems. The Falcons only present two wideouts to cover and that is all a defense has to worry about.

TIGHT END : No fantasy value though they could use a receiving tight end again.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The problem is that the Browns have a good pass defense and have never allowed more than two passing scores. They’ve allowed only 14 passing scores in ten games and only rarely more than 200 passing yards. They’ve been worse against the run but the Falcons have never done much on the ground all year. Ryan remains an iffy play each week for more than one score and moderate yardage. Jackson has a shot at a score but he’s never had much yardage anyway. Julio Jones has disappointed for over a month and now draws Joe Haden. White is still the more likely one to score.

Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 12 5 5 31 14 17
Preventing Fantasy Points CLE 6 17 14 10 15 1

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