Game Predictions & Player Projections - ATL vs BAL

Game Predictions & Player Projections - ATL vs BAL


Game Predictions & Player Projections - ATL vs BAL


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Prediction: ATL 10, BAL 27 (Line: BAL by 7)

The 2-4 Falcons are on a three game losing streak that includes a 0-3 mark away from home. The 4-2 Ravens are a half game behind the Bengals and just dismantled the Buccaneers last week after going up 35-0 by the start of the second quarter.

Atlanta Falcons

1 NO 37-34 10 @TB —–
2 @CIN 10-24 11 @CAR —–
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 —– 16 @NO —–
8 DET —– 17 CAR —–
9 BYE —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
ATL @ BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan 290,1
RB Devonta Freeman 10 3-20
WR Devin Hester 2-30
WR Julio Jones 7-80,1
WR Mohamed Sanu 5-70
TE Levine Toilolo 2-20
PK Matt Bryant 1 FG 1 XP

That whole “The Falcons are back!” stuff a month ago maybe was premature. Matt Ryan fell off his productive pace while the defense struggles to hold opponents below 27 points. The rushing support is almost non-existent and the passing effort has shrunk until it is little more than pitch and catch with Julio Jones. On the road to face a good defense is hardly a place to look for improvement.

QUARTERBACK : While Matt Ryan scores in every game, he’s been at single touchdowns for the last two weeks and only the game situation has forced him to throw for very healthy yardage each week because he is tossing 40+ passes in most games. As the season progresses, he is becoming more sensitive to the quality of his opponent’s defense instead of dictating the game himself. He’s been a very safe bet for 250+ yards and at least one score and more if the secondary is weak.

RUNNING BACK : Amazingly the four man rotation continues and there’s hardly enough work here to make even one player fantasy relevant. Steven Jackson scored twice this year but his best game was only 54 rushing yards against the visiting Buccaneers. Antone Smith scored in five of the six games but his six touches last week was a season best. Every week he has a handful of catches and receptions and does little other than breaking one for a 40+ yard touchdown. Every week. He is the most consistent scoring running back in the NFL and yet had just 13 carries and ten catches over six games. Smith was noticed by the coaching staff who promised to use him more. That means six touches per game instead of five.

WIDE RECEIVER : Roddy White started the season with a few touchdowns and 70 yard efforts but in the last two weeks was limited to only five catches for 66 yards combined. Julio Jones is the only consistently productive wideout if only because he gets about a dozen targets every game. He fell to just 68 yards on four catches in the loss to the Bears which is troubling since it was at home. But he remains the best bet for any fantasy points on this entire offense. It is rare that anyone else ever tops 50 yards in a game. Devin Hester played the #3 role last week against his old team and only managed one catch for 23 yards.

TIGHT END : No fantasy value for Levine Toilolo.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: This is a problem. The Ravens played in three home games already and only allowed two passing scores total. The yardage has been as high as 301 yards but only one score and this was from Andy Dalton, Ben Roethlisberger and Cam Newton combined. The notion that anyone is going to catch fire from the rushing effort in Baltimore is unfounded since the Ravens have yet to allow a rushing score there or any runner to top 59 yards and this rush unit for the Falcons so far has been abject mediocrity plus one long play from Antone Smith each week. If Smith can score another 40 yard touchdown for the sixth of seven games, they should just make him the every down running back and force the rest of the backfield to learn how to play defense.

Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 5 2 2 31 16 15
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 10 5 29 7 11 5

Baltimore Ravens

1 CIN 16-23 10 TEN —–
2 PIT 26-6 11 BYE —–
3 @CLE 23-21 12 @NO —–
4 CAR 38-10 13 SD —–
5 @IND 13-20 14 @MIA —–
6 @TB 48-17 15 JAC —–
7 ATL —– 16 @HOU —–
8 @CIN —– 17 CLE —–
9 @PIT —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
BAL vs ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco 270,2
RB Justin Forsett 60 4-30,1
RB Trent Richardson 40 4-30
WR Steve Smith 6-100,1
WR Mike Wallace 5-60,1
TE Benjamin Watson 3-40
PK Justin Tucker 2 FG 3 XP

The win over the Buccaneers was so complete and dominating that it has to spawn a fear that the Ravens come out flat this week at home against a team they know they can beat. The Ravens are running the ball well enough that they have too many good running backs. The addition of Steve Smith makes the passing effort better than any season in recent history. The Ravens also could be caught looking ahead since the play in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh in the two following weeks. Then again, their last two home games were won by a combined 64-16.

QUARTERBACK : After suffering his first non-scoring game in the loss to the Colts, Joe Flacco turned it around nicely when he passed for 306 yards and five touchdowns in a game that maybe could have provided him double that much. Flacco had his five scores by the second quarter and the Ravens mercifully coasted the rest of the game. The positive here is that his best games have usually been at home but it depends on the mood of the team this week.

RUNNING BACK : Now that all the pieces are back and healthy again, the backfield is a split affair between Bernard Pierce (15-32, TD) and Justin Forsett (14-111) and with Lorenzo Taliaferro (2-29) being shoved back to the sideline for almost the entire game. And the win over the Buccaneers had plenty of carries to share but they elected to use Pierce and Forsett instead of giving the rookie some playing time. Ongoing, projections will be only for Pierce and Forsett until their rotations change.

WIDE RECEIVER : Torrey Smith was able to get in on the fun in Florida when he caught four passes for 51 yards and two scores in Tampa Bay but he’s scored in only one other game and never had more than 53 yards in a week. Steve Smith (5-110, TD) always shows up in good or bad games and leads the team with four receiving touchdowns and four 100 yard games. No other wideouts matter because lately they have not needed to do much.

TIGHT END : Owen Daniels scored in only one game this year and even with Dennis Pitta out, he’s still only good for maybe 40 yards each week. No fantasy value.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Falcons have been statistically good against the pass but mainly because they are so bad versus the run. Their defense allowed 12 rushing scores over just six games played and seven players gained over 90 total yards on them. Both Forsett and Pierce are must starts this week. Matt Forte racked up 157 yards and two scores just last week against them. Fortunately too that the defense is weak against wide receivers and four players have topped 100 yards on them. Flacco and Smith are good starts but may end up limited with the Ravens looking past this game into the next two weeks. Smith is too inconsistent to merit a start even in a game like this.

Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 12 6 14 14 6 26
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 12 32 18 2 23 19

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