Game Predictions & Player Projections - HOU vs. ATL

Game Predictions & Player Projections - HOU vs. ATL


Game Predictions & Player Projections - HOU vs. ATL

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Prediction: HOU 17, ATL 23 (Line: ATL by 6.5)

UPDATE: Arian Foster is a game time decision. If he is active, then he is worth starting but they’ll make the determination before the game. Check inactives but even if he plays, it is a risk to assume he has no rust and will jump into a full load again.

The 1-2 Texans come off their first win and the offense is just waiting for Arian Foster to return and take over. The 3-0 Falcons return home after their huge comeback win in Dallas and are home for just the second time. Bottom line here – the Texans have yet to score more than 20 points and the Falcons average around 30 points per week.

Houston Texans

1 KC 20-27 10 @CIN ——
2 @CAR 17-24 11 NYJ ——
3 TB 19-9 12 NO ——
4 @ATL —— 13 @BUF ——
5 IND —— 14 NE ——
6 @JAC —— 15 @IND ——
7 @MIA —— 16 @TEN ——
8 TEN —— 17 JAC ——
9 BYE ——  
News | Statistics | Roster
HOU @ ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Brandon Weeden 210,1
RB Alfred Blue 70,1 1-10
RB Jonathan Grimes 10 5-40
RB Lamar Miller 50 3-20
WR DeAndre Hopkins 7-90,1
WR Cecil Shorts 5-40
PK Nick Novak 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The offense has struggled this year and Ryan Mallett has not been the solution. But a concerted effort plus the Buccaneers visiting allowed the rushing effort to finally bear fruit if only for one game. The second season of Bill O’Brien’s new offense hasn’t looked any better than 2014 though the return of Arian Foster is sure to help. The Texans signed Nick Novak this week after Randy Bullock missed two extra points and one field goal last week.

QUARTERBACK : Ryan Mallett remains stuck at one touchdown games with average yardage but at least he’s maintained DeAndre Hopkins stats even if no one else has mattered much. He is a work in progress and was more effective when the Texans could run last week. He’s still far from offering any fantasy value.

RUNNING BACK : Arian Foster may be close to returning from his groin injury and there is a chance he may suit up this week against a very suspect rushing defense. He’s already been back to practice and his status will be clearer later in the week. I will assume that he does not play and update as needed.

The Texans finally had success running the ball when Alfred Blue gained 139 yards on 31 carries in the win over the Buccaneers. That was the first time that any runner topped 42 yards in a game this year. Jonathan Grimes remains the pass catching back while no other back offers more than one catch per game. Foster will be an obvious upgrade but he’s not going to turn around the offense by himself.

WIDE RECEIVER : DeAndre Hopkins comes off another fine game with eight catches for 101 yards and one score but that presents a bad scenario – he’s blowing up in home games and then offering only moderate yardage in road games. And he’s facing a good secondary this week. Nate Washington started the year with a 105 yard effort but has since regressed to marginal stats every week. Hopkins owns the only touchdown catches by a wideout this season and presents the only reliable fantasy start… at least when he is at home.

TIGHT END : No fantasy value.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Falcons secondary is not as good as their ranking might suggest but then again – the Texans are nothing more than Hopkins when they throw. Where the Falcons have failed is against the run. They already gave up seven touchdowns to running backs but are at home where they limited the Eagles to only 63 rushing yards. There is no change here – Hopkins is a must start from his upside alone though this will be a test to see if he can handle being on the road or not. Blue is a moderate yet risky play if Foster doesn’t play. This would be a nice debut for Foster if he can make it to the field.

Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 14 21 10 26 21 31
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 10 32 4 15 13 2

Atlanta Falcons

1 PHI 26-24 10 BYE ——
2 @NYG 24-20 11 IND ——
3 @DAL 39-28 12 MIN ——
4 HOU —— 13 @TB ——
5 WAS —— 14 @CAR ——
6 @NO —— 15 @JAC ——
7 @TEN —— 16 CAR ——
8 TB —— 17 NO ——
9 @SF ——  
News | Statistics | Roster
ATL vs HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan 260,2
RB Tevin Coleman
RB Devonta Freeman 50 5-30
WR Julio Jones 10-130,1
TE Jacob Tamme 2-30
PK Matt Bryant 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The Falcons survived a scare in Dallas to remain unbeaten. They now hit a stretch of games that will be the softest part of their schedule and one that may deliver them to their Week 10 bye with a perfect record or at least close to it. Matt Ryan and Julio become the NFL leading connection now that Ben Roethlisberger is sidelined for a month or more. Dan Quinn’s new defense has far bigger tests down the road but it is obvious that improvements have been made in pass defense. Owning a rushing offense that has already scored five times is also an upgrade.

QUARTERBACK : Matt Ryan returns home this week and while he has not scored more than twice in any game, his yardage has been rock solid with no games producing less than 285 passing yards. The only concern here is that Jones has been so dominating that no other receivers are contributing much. That cannot last if the Falcons intend to reach and succeed in the playoffs.

RUNNING BACK : Tevin Coleman picked the wrong game to miss with sore ribs. After opening the season with 80 yards on 20 carries, Coleman already scored once and had nine carries for 32 yards in New York. But a rib injury kept him out and may still be an issue. In his place, Devonta Freeman went from a complement to turning in a career best 30 carries for 141 yards and three touchdowns in Dallas in a game where he turned almost unstoppable in the second half. For a bit of perspective on how big a jump that was, consider that Freeman’s previous best rushing effort was only 38 yards. That’s 18 bad games and one very good one. Freeman only had two career touchdowns going into the Week 3 contest.

Now the depth charts show Freeman as the lead runner at least for now. But he’s already proven not up to the full-time role last year – that is why the Falcons drafted Coleman. I will hold Coleman out of the projections this week until better information is available that Coleman is likely to play and have a meaningful role.

WIDE RECEIVER : Julio Jones is having a nice start to the season. He’s on a pace to end with 177 catches for 2346 yards and 21 touchdowns. While that would be ridiculous, so far it actually looks like it could be possible. Jones already has four touchdowns and has yet to gain fewer than 135 yards in any game. Roddy White has been entirely phased out in favor of Leonard Hankerson. White had only one pass thrown to him in Week 2 and none in Week 3. Hankerson turned in six catches for 77 yards and a score in New York against the Giants but otherwise remains well short of fantasy consideration.

While fantasy owners are not going to complain, the pace and proportion of targets for Jones simply cannot continue. But looking at the schedule, there are no top defenses that they will face. Even the Cowboys just allowed 164 yards and two scores.

TIGHT END : No fantasy value.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Texans have been very good against the run and limited every opponent to no rushing scores and no more than around 70 rush yards. That will give Freeman a tougher opponent this week. But the Texans have not faced any big time passing offense let alone one of the elite wideouts. Julio Jones will move around the offense constantly looking for batter matchups as well. Consider Ryan and Jones as must starts and Freeman and Hankerson as risk plays with upside.

Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 10 5 3 27 6 24
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 27 8 7 25 14 12

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