Game Predictions & Player Projections - ATL vs CIN

Game Predictions & Player Projections - ATL vs CIN

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Game Predictions & Player Projections - ATL vs CIN

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Prediction: ATL 20, CIN 30 (Line: CIN by 5.5)

Players to Watch: Jeremy Hill

The Falcons start the season with a win over the Saints but now hit the road where they were only 1-7 last year and historically play much worse away from home. The Bengals come off a solid win in Baltimore and the defending AFC North champ was 8-0 at home last season. Strongly in favor of the Bengals here.

Atlanta Falcons

1 NO 37-34 10 @TB —–
2 @CIN —– 11 @CAR —–
3 TB —– 12 CLE —–
4 @MIN —– 13 ARI —–
5 @NYG —– 14 @GB —–
6 CHI —– 15 PIT —–
7 @BAL —– 16 @NO —–
8 DET —– 17 CAR —–
9 BYE —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
ATL @ CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan 300,2
RB Devonta Freeman 20 2-10
WR Julio Jones 6-100,1
WR Mohamed Sanu 4-50
TE Levine Toilolo 5-40
PK Matt Bryant 2 FG 2 XP

Last year’s nightmare of a season makes it harder to remember how good the Atlanta offense can be. Last week against a very good Saints defense, the Falcons went off with the most passing yards of any team in the season opener. This week is likely the toughest matchup until the week nine bye so even if they lose, better matchups are up next. What needs to be answered most this week though is if the defense is that good against an unfamiliar opponent and more so – on the road? After one week though, fantasy owners with Falcons on their teams are far happier than the same set last season.

In good news, LT Jake Matthews had a MRI on his ankle that showed only minor damage and he could be back as early as this week.

QUARTERBACK : Matt Ryan turned in a remarkable season in 2013 considering how injury-depleted his offense was. Now with the wide receiver healthy again, he passed for a league best 448 yards and three touchdowns against the Saints. No turnovers and just one sack. The loss of Tony Gonzalez will matter but so far his production is just distributed between Levine Toilolo and the wide receivers.

RUNNING BACK : Steven Jackson only ran 12 times to gain 52 yards and caught one pass for no gain. That’s no way to merit a fantasy start and it was at home perhaps as healthy as he will be all season. The Falcons opted to run Jacquizz Rodgers six times to gain 34 yards and one score while the rookie Devonta Freeman was limited to two catches and two carries. Even Antone Smith showed up for one catch (57-yard touchdown). Ongoing, Jackson is in a timeshare and the only change is if Freeman cuts into Rodgers workload. That is likely but apparently not to happen quickly. Freeman is worth watching and owning, but as a rookie, he’ll need to earn more carries and catches. Rodgers has already proven to be inadequate but he knows the playbook and blocks better for now.

WIDE RECEIVER : Julio Jones is back from his foot surgery and looked great on his seven catches for 116 yards. Roddy White turned in a score on his five receptions for 72 yards and as a new wrinkle, Ryan used both his #3 and #4 wideouts. Harry Douglas (6-69) turned in a better than average game and even Devin Hester ended up with 99 yards on five catches. That all worked against the Saints last week but Hester in particular is not likely to see much more action.

TIGHT END : Levine Toilolo is no Tony Gonzalez, but he still scored in his first start and ended with thee catches for 19 yards. That’s not enough to merit fantasy consideration but he is still a weapon that Ryan can use.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Back at home, expect the Bengals defense to play tougher than they did in in Baltimore. But this is a better offense than the Ravens as well. The rushing attack here is split up and less effective and that ensures that no running back looks like an attractive start this week in a road game. Ryan is a moderate to good start and Jones/White are back to being every week starters regardless of matchup. Have to really like the matchup of Julio Jones on Terrence Newman.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 1 6 1 17 4 20
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 21 12 26 23 28 1

Cincinnati Bengals

1 @BAL 23-16 10 CLE —–
2 ATL —– 11 @NO —–
3 TEN —– 12 @HOU —–
4 BYE —– 13 @TB —–
5 @NE —– 14 PIT —–
6 CAR —– 15 @CLE —–
7 @IND —– 16 DEN —–
8 BAL —– 17 @PIT —–
9 JAC —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
CIN vs ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton 280,1
RB Giovani Bernard 90,1 5-40
RB Jeremy Hill 30,1
WR A.J. Green 6-120,1
PK Mike Nugent 3 FG 3 XP

Hue Jackson’s first game as the offensive coordinator notched a road win and now face two home games before the early bye. The intended return to a more run-heavy rushing attack hasn’t happened yet with 38 pass plays to only 18 rushes by the running backs but it was a road game against a familiar opponent. So far the offense has lost nothing from last year and a visiting Falcons team should promote more scoring this week.

QUARTERBACK : Andy Dalton turned in 301 yards and one score last week with no turnovers or sacks. This should be another week where the Bengals will find more success passing and in particular to the wide receivers. Two home games in a row should help Dalton get back to multiple touchdown passes in a game.

RUNNING BACK : Jeremy Hill was impressive in preseason and slated to become part of a much-used backfield committee. Did not happen. Giovani Bernard ran for 48 yards on 14 carries and added 62 yards on his six receptions but Hill only showed up for four carries and was on the field for only ten plays. Hue Jackson spoke with Hill after the game to tell him his role would be growing going forward. Until Hill shows up with a double digit touch game, he needs to remain on fantasy benches. Bernard is getting more work and remains a true dual threat.

WIDE RECEIVER : A.J. Green started 2014 with a bang when he turned in six catches for 131 yards and one touchdown. No other receiver gained more than 36 yards other than Bernard. Mohamed Sanu once again looked great in camp and preseason but only managed four receptions for 36 yards in Baltimore. With Tyler Eifert out injured, the wide receivers need to be more involved this week. Marvin Jones remains out for at least three more weeks.

TIGHT END : Tyler Eifert dislocated his elbow and will miss at least a few weeks. That makes Jermaine Gresham back to being more than a blocking tight end and lowers the weapons that Dalton can rely on. Fantasy value was only marginal with Eifert and now no longer exists.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Falcons won a shoot-out with the Saints and that bodes well for this week and the Bengals. They gave up three touchdowns and a 4.6 yard rushing average to the Saints backfield and that was on top of 333 passing yards and a score. The Saints defense is not bad but is on the road and the Bengals home opener will see an even better effort from the offense. Dalton is a moderate start. Bernard and Green are must-starts and even more so in the game where both should record big production. The Saints will game plan against Green but so does every other defense.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 17 25 10 21 1 10
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 20 32 24 17 7 10

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