Game Predictions & Player Projections - TB vs. ATL

Game Predictions & Player Projections - TB vs. ATL


Game Predictions & Player Projections - TB vs. ATL


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Prediction: TB 20, ATL 31 (Line: ATL by 7)

This interdivisional contest pits the 2-4 Buccaneers with a 1-2 road record against the 6-1 Falcons who are unbeaten at home. The Falcons swept the Buccaneers in 2014. They won 56-14 at home and later 27-17 in Tampa Bay. While this should be a Falcons win, the Buccaneers will make it more interesting this year.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1 TEN 14-42 10 DAL ——
2 @NO 26-19 11 @PHI ——
3 @HOU 9-19 12 @IND ——
4 CAR 23-37 13 ATL ——
5 JAC 38-31 14 NO ——
6 BYE —— 15 @STL ——
7 @WAS 30-31 16 CHI ——
8 @ATL —— 17 @CAR ——
9 NYG ——  
News | Statistics | Roster
TB @ ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Jameis Winston 220,1
RB Doug Martin 80,1 4-40
RB Charles Sims 30 3-30
WR Donteea Dye 2-20,1
WR Mike Evans 7-110

The Falcons dropped a one-point loss last week in Washington but that made it three straight games that the opponent scored more than 30 points. This offense is getting better but cranking out 30+ points every week will be hard to expect. Doug Martin has rekindled the success of his rookie season and Mike Evans finally showed up in a big way. The only remaining problem is to get the defense to stop giving away 30+ points every week.

QUARTERBACK : Jameis Winston comes off his best game of the season with 297 passing yards and two scores in Washington. He has not thrown an interception for two weeks and is getting more efficient in his passes with 71% completions over the those same games. He still has yet to ever throw more than two touchdowns and hasn’t broken the 300 yard level quite yet but the rookie is slowly getting more productive and making fewer mistakes.

RUNNING BACK : Doug Martin is on a three streak of 100 yard rushing games and he scored four times though all came in home games. Still last week in Washington, Martin produced a season best 136 yards on 19 carries and added three receptions for 35 yards. There is still some meat left on the bone though because Charles Sims is taking ten or twelve runs per week and gaining over four yards per carry as well. Sims is a very low grade fantasy consideration but Martin’s string of successes makes him RB1 worthy despite having to share so much with Sims.

WIDE RECEIVER : Louis Murphy tore his ACL in the loss to the Redskins and is lost for the season. He’ll be replaced by the UDFA Donteea Dye whose first and only catch in the NFL was a seven-yard touchdown last Sunday. Vincent Jackson injured his knee in that game and could not finish. Pending practice reports, I’ll assume that he cannot play and update him if needed. With both Murphy and Jackson both eventually out, Mike Evans turned in his first monster game of the year when he caught eight passes for 164 yards and his first score. Evans had been languishing with sub-40 yard games before his breakout performance. Evans other good game was the 101 yards in Houston. As it works out, both were on the road and at home he’s never gained more than 42 yards this season.

TIGHT END : Austin Sefarian-Jenkins has been out since Week 2 when he injured his shoulder and has yet to return to practice. There is no fantasy value here since no tight end has scored or had more than a few carries for minor yardage.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Falcons have been very good against the pass this year and only given up eight touchdowns over six games to opposing quarterbacks.This matches the moderate production of Winston whose only chance of bigger stats would be if there is a lot of garbage time. The Falcons have been great against wide receivers though three have turned in 100+ yard efforts on them – and only those three since almost everyone else was held below 50 yards. Martin is a strong start here against a bad rush defense that already allowed 11 touchdowns to running backs though no 100 yard games. Evans is still worth a start but no one else on this offense is unless Jackson can play.

Gaining Fantasy Points TB 16 6 23 22 12 10
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 6 30 3 27 3 12

Atlanta Falcons

1 PHI 26-24 10 BYE ——
2 @NYG 24-20 11 IND ——
3 @DAL 39-28 12 MIN ——
4 HOU 48-21 13 @TB ——
5 WAS 25-19 14 @CAR ——
6 @NO 21-31 15 @JAC ——
7 @TEN 10-7 16 CAR ——
8 TB —— 17 NO ——
9 @SF ——  
News | Statistics | Roster
ATL vs TB Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan 260,3
RB Devonta Freeman 110,1 6-40,1
WR Julio Jones 6-90,1
WR Mohamed Sanu 4-50
PK Matt Bryant 1 FG 4 XP

The Falcons nearly lost their second game with a flat “mail-in” performance in Tennessee that only scored ten points. With only these Buccaneers and the 49ers left before the Week 10 bye, the Falcons should remain in striking distance to the Panthers who they face in Weeks 14 and 16. Hopefully they got rid of their annual trap game with the close win over the Titans.

QUARTERBACK : Matt Ryan scored in all but one game but still has not topped two touchdowns and has only one 300 yard game. That may continue since the rushing offense has become so dominating in games that Ryan is not asked to do nearly so much this year. His worst performances have been at home so far because the Falcons can just rely on Devonta Freeman to control the game.

RUNNING BACK : Though Devonta Freeman failed to score for the first time in six weeks, he still rushed for 116 yards on 25 carries at Tennessee and added just two catches for 14 yards. Freeman still handles nearly every touch by a running back each week and his only two home games as the starter resulted in 140+ total yards and a total of four touchdowns. That bodes well for this week with the Buccaneers coming to town.

WIDE RECEIVER : Leonard Hankerson injured his hamstring and is likely to miss this week. I will hold him out and while rookie Justin Hardy is slated to replace him, there is no sense yet to project for the fourth round pick out of East Carolina. He’s worth watching to see if the unlikely happens and he produces fantasy relevant stats from the start. Julio Jones scored in Tennessee but that was his first touchdown since Week 3 and more notably, his last two home games were only 38 and 67 yards because the rushing effort was so effective. With Hankerson out, Jones would be more involved as he was later in the Titans win. Jones has not broken 100 yards since Week 3 when Freeman had his breakout game.

TIGHT END : No fantasy value though Jacob Tamme had a freakish 94 yards in Week 5 when the Redskins visited. No tight end has scored for the Falcons in 2015 and almost never gain more than 20 yards in any game.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Buccaneers defense is weak all over and more so in road games. No reason why Matt Ryan shouldn’t throw for at least two scores and healthy yardage even if Freeman goes off yet again (which he should). The Falcons got their phone-in game out of the way last week. Look for a bounce back offensively with nice showings by Ryan, Freeman and Jones.

Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 21 1 11 28 22 9
Preventing Fantasy Points TB 29 14 28 14 13 26

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