Game Predictions & Player Projections - ATL vs NO

Game Predictions & Player Projections - ATL vs NO


Game Predictions & Player Projections - ATL vs NO

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Prediction: ATL 24, NO 34 (Line: NO by 7)

UPDATE: Julio Jones has not practiced this week and will be a game time decision. I am taking him out of the projections because of the risk that he won’t play.

This is a replay of the season opener when the Falcons won 37-34. The 5-9 Falcons are only one game behind the 6-8 Saints and there is the 5-8-1 Panthers in the middle as well. The Falcons have their destiny in their own hands since they play both the Saints and Panthers to end the year. But assuming the Saints can win in Tampa Bay in week 17, this game is for the NFC South. And then they lose in the first round of the playoffs.

Atlanta Falcons

1 NO 37-34 10 @TB 27-17
2 @CIN 10-24 11 @CAR 19-17
3 TB 56-14 12 CLE 24-26
4 @MIN 28-41 13 ARI 29-18
5 @NYG 20-30 14 @GB 37-43
6 CHI 13-27 15 PIT 20-27
7 @BAL 7-29 16 @NO —–
8 DET 21-22 17 CAR —–
9 BYE —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
ATL @ NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan 270,3
WR Devin Hester 3-40,1
WR Julio Jones
WR Mohamed Sanu 3-30
PK Matt Bryant 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Falcons have a shot at this but as always are less formidable away from home where they are just 2-5. The Atlanta defense has been the weak spot this year but the same is true for the Saints so this should end up as another shootout. The chance that Julio Jones may miss this week too makes a win far more difficult.

QUARTERBACK : Matt Ryan already threw for 27 scores and topped 300 yards five times. He opened the year with 448 yards and three scores against the Saints and has been solid all year with at least one score and good yardage. This is a Saints game – forget the other stats.

RUNNING BACK : The Falcons like their three-headed committee that ensures no one ever has much fantasy value. Steven Jackson scored six times this year but was held to 52 yards on 12 runs in the opener. Devonta Freeman bounces around 20 yards per game and Jacquizz Rodgers has even less. Jackson has been the only value here and that is with marginal yardage and about a 50/50 chance of a score. Rodgers did score his only touchdown in the season opener but his six runs for 34 yards were both season highs.

WIDE RECEIVER : In the opener against the Saints, Julio Jones (7-116), Roddy White (5-72, TD), Devin Hester (5-99) and Harry Douglas (6-69) all turned in nice stats. Since then Hester disappeared all year until just last week when he gained 85 yards on five catches and one score versus the Steelers and Douglas ended with 10 receptions for 131 yards as both were covering for Julio Jones who was inactive with a hip injury. Roddy White scored seven times this year and 70 yards is around his average. Jones leads the team in all categories and even came off a career best 259 yards in Green Bay when he was injured. Jones is no lock to play this week. His status will depend on how he practices. I will assume that he cannot play and add him back in if he can go. He never practiced last week. Douglas is a solid replacement for Jones.

TIGHT END : No fantasy value but Levine Toilolo caught a touchdown in that first meeting with the Saints but only one more since then. He averages a hefty 16 yards per game.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Saints defense at home has been much better than the season opener in Atlanta and most teams end up with only moderate yardage and a few scores. The Saints are weak against the run but only Jackson stands to benefit and he only had 52 yards back in Atlanta. Game situation could force passing more as well. The definite starts here are Ryan, White, Jones (if he plays) and maybe Douglas who becomes a must start if Jones cannot go. Play daily? Consider adding Douglas if Jones is held out.

Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 7 12 1 32 10 26
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 29 30 25 7 29 19

New Orleans Saints

1 @ATL 34-37 10 SF 24-27
2 @CLE 24-26 11 CIN 10-27
3 MIN 20-9 12 BAL 27-34
4 @DAL 17-38 13 @PIT 35-32
5 TB 37-31 14 CAR 10-41
6 BYE —– 15 @CHI 31-15
7 @DET 23-24 16 ATL —–
8 GB 44-23 17 @TB —–
9 @CAR 29-10  
News | Statistics | Roster
NO vs ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 270,2
RB Mark Ingram 110,2 2-10
TE Coby Fleener 5-60,1
PK Kai Forbath 1 FG 1 XP
PK Josh Scobee 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Saints had no problems taking down the Bears and the path is laid out for them to secure the NFC South with a win here and then sweep up in Tampa Bay. At least a win this week will give the Saints a .500 home record.

QUARTERBACK : Drew Brees kicked off the year with 333 yards and one score in Atlanta and he’s turned in a typical year since with 31 touchdowns and ten games with 290 + yards. But he’s thrown for a single score in a few games when the rushing offense took over which is possible here and really preferable. Brees has the potential of 400 yards in every game but doesn’t always need that.

RUNNING BACK : In the season opener in Atlanta, Khiry Robinson ran for 28 yards and one score on six catties but he’s just a relief back now. Pierre Thomas ran for 31 yards and caught six passes for 58 yards in Atlanta. He remains the receiving back. Mark Ingram started the year with 13 runs for 60 yards and two touchdowns. He totals seven scores so far and had four 100 yard efforts. He’ll face the #32 defense at home this week.

WIDE RECEIVER : Since Brandin Cooks left after week 11, Marques Colston has been more involved and caught a score in three of the last four games. Colston pulled down five passes for 110 yards in the opener while Cooks debuted with seven receptions for 77 yards and one score. Kenny Stills replaced Cooks and scored twice recently and even had a monster 162 yard effort in Pittsburgh.

TIGHT END : Jimmy Graham started the year out with eight receptions for 82 yards in Atlanta. His production lags last season but he still has nine scores already. His yardage is less than previous seasons though and at home he’s been averaging more around 50 yards per game.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Falcons on the road are an even worse defense. They regularly allow two of three passing scores and high yardage. But wait – there’s more! The Falcons are the worse against running backs. They’ve already allowed 21 scores to the position and three to start the year against the Saints. This should be a very big game for Ingram. Brees, Colston and Graham are starters as well and even Stills has some appeal. But running the ball means controlling the game and keeping Matt Ryan on the sideline.

Gaining Fantasy Points NO 4 3 12 3 17 31
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 19 32 29 3 27 15

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