Game Predictions & Player Projections - DET vs ATL

Game Predictions & Player Projections - DET vs ATL


Game Predictions & Player Projections - DET vs ATL


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Prediction: DET 24, ATL 17 (Line: DET by 4)

Update: Reggie Bush is doubtful and hasn’t practiced since getting in a limited session on Wednesday; we’ve subbed Theo Riddick into his numbers. Officially the Lions are more optimistic about Calvin Johnson, who practiced on a limited basis all week and is listed as questionable, but Megatron’s track record thus far of playing hurt leaves fantasy owners wanting–to the point that waking up early Sunday to check his status probably won’t be worth the trouble. Detroit also has tight end issues, with Eric Ebron out and Brandon Pettigrew a game-time decision. Harry Douglas is questionable for Atlanta after a couple of limited practices this week; again, his numbers probably aren’t worth the early wake-up call.

Say what? Yes, this is a Sunday game but because it is played in England it will start at 9:30 A.M. on Sunday morning which is 1:30 P.M. their time. So you have the Lions flying all the way to England to play the Falcons who do not even get the advantage of a home game. This game concludes right after the others have just kicked off for the early round of games on Sunday. So you need to check your rosters on Saturday night if you have any questions about any Lions or Falcons on your roster. Chances are few on the west coast will be up at 6:30 A.M. to see their kickoff.

Detroit Lions

1 NYG 35-14 10 MIA —–
2 @CAR 7-24 11 @ARI —–
3 GB 19-7 12 @NE —–
4 @NYJ 24-17 13 CHI —–
5 BUF 14-17 14 TB —–
6 @MIN 17-3 15 MIN —–
7 NO 24-23 16 @CHI —–
8 @ATL —– 17 @GB —–
9 BYE —–  
News | Stats | Roster
DET @ ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford 250,1
RB Theo Riddick 20 6-40
WR Corey Fuller 2-40
WR Jeremy Kerley 3-40
WR Golden Tate 8-100,1
TE Brandon Pettigrew 3-20
PK Matt Prater 1 FG 3 XP

The 5-2 Lions are on a two game winning streak and this may be their softest matchup of the season. But to make it challenging, the Lions are still without several injured players and that almost lost them the game last week. This trip to England covers a long distance but at least the Lions will be on bye when they end and that gives players like Calvin Johnson almost two more weeks of recuperation.

QUARTERBACK : Matthew Stafford’s stats are down this year – no small thanks to missing Calvin Johnson – and he’s only passed for nine touchdowns over seven games. He’s still managed to throw for nearly 300 yards twice in games without the starting wideout but has yet to score more then twice via the pass.

RUNNING BACK : Joique Bell scored in the last two games but he’s been short of yardage in most. To his advantage, the Falcons cannot stop the run and that helps tremendously but Bell’s best effort of the year was only 74 rush yards on 18 carries in Minnesota. Reggie Bush returned after missing a week because of his ankle but it still limited him significantly in the win over the Saints. Even though he faced his old team, Bush only ran for ten yards on four carries. He should be at least incrementally better this week but Bell will be the primary back and biggest fantasy value.

WIDE RECEIVER : The early word is that HC Jim Caldwell believes that Calvin Johnson has a chance to play this week but that could just be coachspeak. Johnson’s ankle has been an issue since week four and with a bye waiting after the game, he may very well hold out one more game to get two more weeks of healing. Besides, the Lions should be able to handle the Falcons without him. Golden Tate turned in a season best 154 yards on ten catches with one score in the win over the Saints. That gives Tate 100+ yards in three of the last four games. Jeremy Ross and Corey Fuller both have one touchdown on the year but the only wideout of any note is Tate when Johnson is not there.

TIGHT END : There is no reliable fantasy value here anyway and the entire unit has just one touchdown caught by Eric Ebron. The rookie was out last week and may not play in this game either because of a hamstring strain. His absence made Brandon Pettigrew more productive than any other week this year. The Lions also just signed Kellen Davis as a sign that all still is not well with the tight ends. They remain outside fantasy relevance anyway.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: First off – start Bell. The Falcons are horrible against the run and already allowed 12 touchdowns to the position and numerous big yardage games. Bush could have better stats too but his ankle makes him a risk to rely on even in this sweet of a matchup. The Falcons are statistically good against the pass only because everyone would rather run 30 to 40 times on their defense. Stafford and Tate will be moderate plays here but the NFL does love a nice long pass or two for the Brits to enjoy and Tate is easily the most likely to catch and score on a deep pass.

Gaining Fantasy Points DET 16 16 11 27 30 2
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 11 32 17 6 27 22

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 7-29 16 @NO —–
8 DET —– 17 CAR —–
9 BYE —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
ATL vs DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan 270,1
RB Devonta Freeman 20 3-20
WR Julio Jones 6-80
WR Mohamed Sanu 5-80,1
PK Matt Bryant 1 FG 2 XP

The 2-5 Falcons are on a four game losing streak and none of those losses were by less than ten points. Even the Bears won by 14 points in Atlanta recently. It is even more unfair that the Falcons sacrificed a home game to travel to London. Injuries have been a problem again particularly to the offensive line. There is almost no rushing offense and the passing scheme is really about two wideouts and that is all. The bye awaits on the other side of this game and the Falcons need it to get healthy and back on track. But a road trip to Europe is not what this team needs right now.

QUARTERBACK : Matt Ryan began the year with ten scores over the first four weeks but since has been limited to only one touchdown per game though his yardage has remained high. Ryan still averages near 300 yards per game but is getting sacked up to five times and turning the ball over every week.

RUNNING BACK : It is bad enough that this is one of the least productive units in the NFL. But they further the folly by dividing up the workload over four different running backs. The best that Steve Jackson had all year was 14 carries against the Buccaneers and ever then he only gained 54 yards. There is no reliable fantasy value in any of these players. Antone Smith scored a long touchdown in five of the first six games but received nearly no other touches. Just when it seems he’s going to be consistent enough to risk for a fantasy start, Smith ended with only nine total yards last week. Devonta Freeman rarely turns in more than 30 total yards. None of these players are more than sheer desperation plays for a fantasy team.

WIDE RECEIVER : Harry Douglas is expected back this week from his foot injury but in his place Devin Hester was just as unproductive as Douglas was. The offense revolves around getting Julio Jones the ball but he’s had big games only against soft secondaries and has not scored since back in week three. Roddy White notched his first 100 yard game of the year in Baltimore with one score but he’s been mostly below 50 yards in other games. Either White or Jones must have a good game or the Falcons offense just plain stops.

TIGHT END : No fantasy value.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Lions have a very good defense and this week has much less preparation time considering it happens on the other side of the planet. The Lions have allowed more than one passing score only once and Ryan is stuck on a single score streak anyway. But the Lions also have a very good rushing defense to face the weak running of Jackson et al. London games can go off much differently than expected so an element of risk is involved with all players from both teams. But the Falcons have been so weak lately that facing one of the better defenses is not going to help turn them around. White and Jones are worth fantasy starts because of their potential but no other Falcons appear reliable or viable.

Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 9 3 3 31 25 16
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 1 12 4 12 7 18

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