Game Predictions & Player Projections - TB VS ATL

Game Predictions & Player Projections - TB VS ATL

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Game Predictions & Player Projections - TB VS ATL

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Prediction: TB 20, ATL 30 (Line: ATL by 6.5)

UPDATE: Several reports have Doug Martin unlikely to play and to be very limited if he can suit up. Based on that I am removing Martin from the projections because of the risk. There is still a question about Roddy White playing with conflicting reports so make sure you check pregame to see if he is active. His hamstring has him questionable but he did play much of last year when he was injured. Then again, he did not play very well.

The 0-2 Buccaneers are perfecting how to lose close games and now face their first road venue. The 1-1 Falcons lost in Cincinnati but their only other home game was when they beat the Saints. This should be a solid win for the Falcons but could end up with nice points since neither team features a decent defense. This will be the Thursday night game.

These teams swapped home wins last year. The Falcons won 31-23 in week seven in Atlanta.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1 CAR 14-20 10 ATL —–
2 STL 17-19 11 @WAS —–
3 @ATL —– 12 @CHI —–
4 @PIT —– 13 CIN —–
5 @NO —– 14 @DET —–
6 BAL —– 15 @CAR —–
7 BYE —– 16 GB —–
8 MIN —– 17 NO —–
9 @CLE —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Doug Martin
WR Mike Evans 5-60
WR Vincent Jackson 5-70,1
TE Brandon Myers 4-30

For a team that invested in the passing game with their NFL draft picks, the returns are not showing up yet. That’s going to hurt these next three weeks as the team goes on three straight road games and historically the defense is much worse away from Tampa Bay. This team has not created any fantasy stars this year and has even depressed the stats of players like Vincent Jackson. Was aging journey-man Josh McCown a good pick to become a starter again? That is a fair question that may not answer well.

QUARTERBACK : The Bucs have not asked Josh McCown to pass much with only 66 throws over the first two weeks but he’s ended up around 180 yards in each despite losing both games. He tossed two scores against the Panthers and yet none against the Rams though he rushed in two touchdowns to rob Bobby Rainey. There is a whole lot of nothing happening with the receivers and that all points back to McCown.

Mike Glennon passed for 256 yards and two scores in Atlanta last year.

RUNNING BACK : Doug Martin missed last week with a sprained knee but is expected to play on Thursday. He was stopped by the Panthers with only nine yards on nine carries and even Bobby Rainey only gained 12 yards on four runs then. Rainey would come to life against the Rams when he rushed for 144 yards on 22 runs. Martin returns as the primary back but Rainey has likely bought at least a little more playing time if not at least an earlier entrance into the game should Martin struggle again this week.

The Bucs gained 92 yards on 25 yards running in Atlanta last year.

WIDE RECEIVER : Not good. The normally productive Vincent Jackson only averages four catches for 43 yards this year and still has not scored. The hot rookie Mike Evans rings in almost exactly the same. McCown is killing the fantasy value of all the receivers. The only score caught by a wideout was Chris Owusu who had no receptions last week. This remains a fantasy wasteland.

Vincent Jackson caught ten passes for 138 yards and two scores in Atlanta last season. He managed ten catches for 165 yards and a score in the second game as well.

TIGHT END : Austin Seferian-Jenkins is likely to miss this week with a foot sprain and Brandon Myers only totaled eight catches for 74 yards after two games. No fantasy value here either.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: At least this is the weakest defense the Bucs have faced this year though it will be on the road for the first time. The Falcons have allowed two passing touchdowns so there is some hope here. Mostly the rushing effort should improve against the #32 defense against running backs. They have allowed five rushing touchdowns and well over 100 rush yards per week this year. Consider Jackson as a risky but upside start and both Martin and even Rainey should be worth starting. in both previous games, two different running backs ran in scores on them.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points TB 10 20 30 19 30 25
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 14 32 21 14 18 18

Atlanta Falcons

1 NO 37-34 10 @TB —–
2 @CIN 10-24 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 vs TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan 250,2
WR Julio Jones 8-110,1
WR Mohamed Sanu 4-50
TE Levine Toilolo 3-20
PK Matt Bryant 3 FG 3 XP

The loss to the Bengals was at least non-conference and this week the Falcons get a chance to go up 2-0 on the NFC South division. Once again the Falcons looked much better at home than they did on the road and that should repeat here against a familiar and weaker opponent. Three of the next four games will be away from Atlanta so the Falcons need to get a win anywhere they can. They could not have asked for a better Thursday night opponent.

QUARTERBACK : After his monster week one showing with 448 yards and three touchdowns, Matt Ryan only managed 231 yards and one score in Cincinnati along with an uncharacteristic three interceptions. Back at home he’ll return to stat padding. Ryan passed for 273 yards and three scores on the visiting Buccaneers last year.

RUNNING BACK : The Falcons remain stuck on the rotational backfield that limits Steven Jackson to only a dozen runs per game and then mostly mixes in Jacquizz Rodgers. Devonta Freeman was never given a carry last week even though he will prove to be much better than Rodgers after the coaches are more confident that he can play and block as needed. For now this is a marginal backfield that splits up the work too much to produce a valuable fantasy back. They even used Atone Smith for a 54-yard touchdown catch in the opener.

WIDE RECEIVER : Julio Jones is back as as good as ever. He’s caught seven passes in each game and currently totals 204 receiving yards with one score. Roddy White has one touchdown as well though lesser yardage. White has been hampered by a hamstring strain but HC Mike Smith indicated that White is expected to play. There is a chance he could be a game time decision so check on his pregame status if yo need him. Harry Douglas remains the #3 but less productive since they are also trotting out Devin Hester for some work.

TIGHT END : Aside from the one score in the opener, Levine Toilolo has no fantasy relevance and currently totals only five catches for 32 yards on the year.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Tampa Bay defense has played well in many ways but were at home against two teams that already had offensive problems long before than played the Bucs. A home game on Thursday night also brings out the bigger efforts by most players as well. This is by far the best offense to face the Bucs. Matt Ryan may be better than either Derek Anders or Austin Davis. Start Ryan, Jones and White (if he starts). Consider Jackson as a flex play at best thanks to the split backfield.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 2 13 1 26 13 29
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 8 4 15 24 27 20

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