Game Predictions & Player Projections - ATL vs TB

Game Predictions & Player Projections - ATL vs TB


Game Predictions & Player Projections - ATL vs TB


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Prediction: ATL 24, TB 27 (Line: ATL by 1)

UPDATE: Vincent Jackson was limited in the last two practices but is still expected to play. Charles Sims is listed as questionable and was limited in all practices but is also expected to be ready to go since Doug Martin remains out. Antone Smith is questionable with his neck injury and was limited this week but had a full practice on Friday. He should play though his role is always changing and yet never that much.

This is a rematch from week three when the Falcons demolished the Buccaneers 56-14 in what would prove to be their highpoint since they lost all five games since. The Buccaneers have only won one game and that was on the road in Pittsburgh. This is a coin flip because both teams are bad and not getting any better. The Falcons have not come within ten points of any road opponent.

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 21-22 17 CAR —–
9 BYE —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
ATL @ TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan 250,2
RB Devonta Freeman 20 2-10
WR Julio Jones 7-100,1
WR Mohamed Sanu 6-90,1
TE Levine Toilolo 2-20
PK Matt Bryant 1 FG 3 XP

Losing five in a row is wearing on the Falcons and losing by a single point to the Lions made it even worse since they had to stew about it over the bye. Problem is that the Falcons schedule is not getting any easier for a team that cannot win on the road and whose visitors are the Browns, Cardinals, Steelers and Panthers. The offense is far less effective than last year with no replacement for Tony Gonzalez, a rushing game that might be even worse and defenses loading up against Julio Jones.

QUARTERBACK : Matt Ryan remains solid enough for fantasy purposes with a score in every game but he’s not nearly the difference maker he was in 2013 even as the Falcons struggled that year as well. Ryan threw for more than on score only in one of the last four games and he’s topped 300 yards only once since the season opener. Ryan passed for 286 yards and three touchdowns in the first meeting with the Buccaneers.

RUNNING BACK : The only consistency in the Falcons backfield is that they are using four different running backs every week and ensuring that not one of them is productive and reliable enough to consider for a fantasy start. Steven Jackson managed 54 yards and a touchdown as well in the last meeting with the Buccaneers but on the road he’s averaging a lofty 38 rushing yards per game. Antone Smith now has gone two weeks since scoring and that meant starting him got you back ten yards and five yards over those games. Smith ran in a score and gained 50 yards in that first meeting with the Bucs. Devonta Freeman ends up with around half a dozen meaningless touches per week.

WIDE RECEIVER : Julio Jones caught nine passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns on the Bucs while Roddy White did not play. Harry Douglas filled in for him and while he scored he only gained 14 yards on two receptions. That was not only the best game of the year for Jones, it was also the last time he scored – six weeks ago. Jones was held to fewer than 70 yards for the last three weeks. White is back this time and has been better in road games than at home.

TIGHT END : No fantasy value.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Buccaneers at home are better but not all that much. They still allow a couple of passing scores to most opponents and their rushing defense is average at best. Figure on the Falcons still scoring well but not as big as that first meeting. The standard starts apply – Ryan, Jones and White. Steven Jackson makes for a decent bye week filler in this case since one of his best efforts of the year came in the last meeting.

Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 10 3 4 31 24 22
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 28 24 31 24 30 30

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1 CAR 14-20 10 ATL —–
2 STL 17-19 11 @WAS —–
3 @ATL 14-56 12 @CHI —–
4 @PIT 27-24 13 CIN —–
5 @NO 31-37 14 @DET —–
6 BAL 17-48 15 @CAR —–
7 BYE —– 16 GB —–
8 MIN 13-19 17 NO —–
9 @CLE 17-22  
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Charles Sims 20 2-30
WR Mike Evans 5-50,1
WR Vincent Jackson 4-50,1
WR Louis Murphy 2-20
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins 4-30

It isn’t that the Buccaneers cannot compete, it is just that they cannot score enough points at the end of games and lose by less than a touchdown. This week is the best shot for a victory on the remaining schedule. It it doesn’t happen here, it may very well not happen this year. This is the only remaining home game against a team with a losing record.

QUARTERBACK : The Bucs used both Josh McCown and Mike Glennon to gain 179 passing yards and one touchdown back in week three. Since then Glennon was the starter and threw for a couple of scores every week along with moderate to good yardage. But HC Lovie Smith wants to revert to Josh McCown this week if only to look like they are still trying. McCown never threw for more than 183 yards in his two starts.

RUNNING BACK : Charles Sims did not play last week despite rampant speculation coupled with wild optimism by those with bye week problems to fill. Doug Martin remains out with a bad ankle and that allowed Bobby Rainey to run for 87 yards on 19 carries. Sims is once again expected to play and should assume more of a third down role to Rainey’s job as the primary rusher. Rainey ran for 41 yards on 11 carries while Martin was out for the Falcons matchup. But he added 64 yards on seven catches. Sims first action in the NFL is not likely to be a heavy load despite the positive matchup. I’ll project for him but there’s no way to be certain how much he will be used or even what he’ll accomplish. His only advantage so far is that he’s the only Buccaneers running back that has not proven to be below average.

WIDE RECEIVER : Vincent Jackson scored in the first meeting with the Falcons but only gained 15 yards on two receptions. Mike Evans ended with 52 yards on four catches. Jackson has not accomplished much since other than a big game in New Orleans. He’s scored just twice all year and broken 100 yards only once. Evans comes off a big day when he caught seven passes for 124 yards and two scores in Cleveland. The rookie has scored four times over the most recent four games. Louis Murphy slipped from all fantasy relevance for the last three weeks with sub-15 yard games.

TIGHT END : Brandon Myers ended with 33 yards on five catches in the last meeting with the Falcons but he’s since been passed on the depth chart by the rookie Austin Sefarian-Jenkins who’s been as good as 58 yards in game though most recently he was held to just three yards on one catch in Cleveland.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The hard to call part of this is that the Bucs have to know this is as winnable as any game is going to get. If they follow their normal path, they’ll throw for average yardage and score twice like most opponents of the Falcons have. And they won’t score on a rushing touchdown which they have only managed twice all season. Rainey and Jackson are must starts this week and McCown and Evans could be justified as well. The Falcons rushing defense is especially weak and even worse when on the road. That gives a glimmer of hope to the rushing effort this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points TB 21 29 14 24 30 17
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 11 32 21 3 26 19

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