Game Predictions & Player Projections - ARI vs ATL

Game Predictions & Player Projections - ARI vs ATL


Game Predictions & Player Projections - ARI vs ATL


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Prediction: ARI 23, ATL 16 (Line: ARI by 2.5)

UPDATE: Roddy White did not practice this week because of a sore ankle but HC Mike Smith said he was confident that White could play. Larry Fitzgerald was only able to participate in a couple of limited practices and is listed as questionable and he is a game time decision. I am changing the projections to reflect the risk on both wideouts.

The 9-2 Cardinals are only 3-2 on the road and playing without a few starters last week made them look very mortal. But the 4-7 Falcons have struggled all year and are only 2-3 at home this year. The Cardinals won 27-13 when the Falcons visited last year.

Arizona Cardinals

1 SD 18-17 10 STL 31-14
2 @NYG 25-14 11 DET 14-6
3 SF 23-14 12 @SEA 3-19
4 BYE —— 13 @ATL —–
5 @DEN 20-41 14 KC —–
6 WAS 30-20 15 @STL —–
7 @OAK 24-13 16 SEA —–
8 PHI 24-20 17 @SF —–
9 @DAL 29-17  
News | Statistics | Roster
ARI @ ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Stanton 250,1
RB Andre Ellington 90,1 5-40
RB Chris Johnson 30 2-10
WR Jaron Brown 3-30
WR John Brown 5-70
WR Larry Fitzgerald
WR Michael Floyd 5-70,1
TE Jermaine Gresham 3-30
PK Chandler Catanzaro 3 FG 2 XP

Bad sign for the future when the Cardinals without Carson Palmer could only manage one field goal in Seattle. With a 9-2 record, chances are good that the Cardinals are playing in January but this will be the easiest week left on the schedule that gets tough at the end right when the Cardinals offense is struggling. The homefield advantage is no longer as daunting since only two of the remaining six games are in Arizona and they go against the Chiefs and Seahawks.

QUARTERBACK : Drew Stanton was decent enough when he passed for 306 yards and two scores against the visiting Lions in week 11 for his first start since Carson Palmer was lost for the season. But against the Seahawks last week, Stanton only managed 14 of 26 for 149 yards and one interception. He’s played in a total of six games this year but has never scored a touchdown in an away game. He hasn’t even topped 170 passing yards in a road game.

RUNNING BACK : While Andre Ellington remains a fantasy option, that is more because he adds four or five catches each week. His rushing totals are down in recent weeks and he has remained below 45 rush yards for the last three games that included two home venues. The concern is that the loss of Palmer means less focus by he defenses on the pass and more on Ellington. What doesn’t help are nothing but good defenses after this week. The Falcons will present the best matchup for Ellington over any remaining game by a large margin.

WIDE RECEIVER : Larry Fitzgerald missed last week with a sprained knee and is no lock to play this week as well. He had a Grade 2 MCL sprain that has been slow to heal. Fitzgerald was having a revival season with Palmer but has been far less productive when playing with Stanton anyway. He scored twice with Palmer as the starter and averaged around 100 yards per game but only produced about 45 yards per game with Stanton. Michael Floyd comes off his second game of the year where he failed to register any catches.

I will assume that Fitzgerald misses this week and update as needed. In his place last week, John Brown ended with 61 yards on three catches.

TIGHT END : No fantasy value.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Atlanta is the worst against running backs and that opens the door for a big game by Ellington at least potentially. He should end with 100+ total yards and has a good chance to score against a defense that already allowed 15 scores to the position this year. This is a chance for Michael Floyd to have a decent game against one of the worst secondaries that has already given up eight different 100 yard games to receivers along with at least one score per opponent. Ellington is a strong play and Floyd is a low end risk but with much upside here. No other Cardinals are likely to be fantasy factors.

Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 23 19 15 28 18 6
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 18 32 26 4 27 13

Atlanta Falcons

1 NO 37-34 10 @TB 27-17
2 @CIN 10-24 11 @CAR 19-17
3 TB 56-14 12 CLE 24-26
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 vs ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan 250,1
WR Julio Jones 6-80,1
WR Mohamed Sanu 5-60
TE Jacob Tamme 3-20,1
TE Levine Toilolo 2-20
PK Matt Bryant 3 FG 1 XP

As a sign of just how different this season has been, the Falcons won their last two road games and lost their last three home games. The Falcons defense has been one of the worst all season and that’s only going to get worse with the Cardinals, Packers and Steelers up next. There’s been no improvement made this year and the passing effort has become nothing more than two players. Whenever a decent secondary shows up like this week, the Falcons cannot compete.

QUARTERBACK : Matt Ryan started the season with plenty of scores and yards but has since cooled to posting just one score in five of the last seven games and remaining below the 300 yard mark in the last six. Ryan always scores but he’s gone from being a difference maker to being just an average fantasy play every week.

RUNNING BACK : All combined the running backs total well for the Falcons but since they use up to four different players, there is no one decent fantasy play. Steven Jackson is better this year with five touchdowns on the year but he’s only averaged 46 yards per game and now goes against the #1 defense against running backs. Jacquizz Rodgers and Devonta Freeman still contribute every week up to eight touches each but never enough to merit any fantasy consideration.

WIDE RECEIVER : Julio Jones comes off his best game in the last two months when he gained 68 yards on five catches and scored for the first time since week three. Jones still has topped 70 yards just once over the last six weeks. Roddy White has been far more productive and leads the team with five touchdowns. He’s remained well above 70 yards in four of the last five weeks. Harry Douglas rarely catches more than two short passes each game.

TIGHT END : No fantasy value.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Bad news for Jackson with the Cards sporting the best run defense in the league. Patrick Peterson will draw Julio Jones who has been marginally productive anyway. The one score trend of Ryan correlates well to what the Cardinals typically allow and that leaves him as just a marginal start this week. White is still a must play and is in the best situation of any Falcon player this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 12 5 4 31 17 18
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 12 1 17 29 9 5

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