Fantasy Player Projections

 
Falcons
Ford Field
Saturday , Dec. 22 | 08:30 PM EST (ESPN)
Lions
Pos.PlayerProjection
QBMatt Ryan

Matt Ryan

262 pass yards, 2 pass TDs

Ryan has been a fantasy finisher: a quarterback playing his best at the perfect time for fantasy owners. He has averaged 306 yards and thrown five touchdowns over the past two weeks and should continue his hot streak through Week 16 against a Lions team coming off six straight losses.

RBMichael Turner

Michael Turner

78 rush yards, rush TD, 1 rec, 4 rec yards

The numbers aren't pretty, but they have kept Turner in fantasy lineups. He has averaged 60.9 yards from scrimmage this season and has found the end zone in six of the past seven games. He should have one of his better games against a Lions defense giving up 4.6 yards per carry.

RBJacquizz Rodgers

Jacquizz Rodgers

23 rush yards, 2 rec, 16 rec yards

Rodgers is making a mess of his opportunity in Atlanta. He hasn't even matched Michael Turner's modest totals per carry, and he's been inconsistent as a receiver out of the backfield. He could see 15 touches this week, but it won't amount to much.

WRJulio Jones

Julio Jones

4 rec, 65 yards, rec TD

Jones has now caught four touchdowns over the past four games and appears primed to make a strong playoff push. No one from New York's secondary could touch him last week. It's doubtful anyone on the Lions can, either.

WRRoddy White

Roddy White

6 rec, 81 yards

White has been playing with a minor knee injury. He hasn't missed time and it shouldn't affect his performance against a secondary that had trouble with the likes of T.Y. Hilton and Donnie Avery only a few weeks ago.

TETony Gonzalez

Tony Gonzalez

5 rec, 58 yards, rec TD

The middle of the Lions' defense has been vulnerable in the second half of 2012, allowing a touchdown to an opposing tight end in four of the past six weeks.

KMatt Bryant

Matt Bryant

3 PATs, 2 FGs

Bryant is one of three NFL kickers with more than 35 field-goal attempts this season. He faces a point-friendly Lions defense this week: Detroit has allowed an average of 32.0 points during its recent six-game losing streak.

DEFENSE

2 INTs, 3 Sacks

Calvin Johnson will get his yards, but the rest of the Detroit offense is nothing for Atlanta to worry about. The Falcons could have a nice week, especially since Detroit has given up three defensive scores in the past two games.

Pos.PlayerProjection
QBMatthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford

302 pass yards, pass TD, 2 INTs

Stafford has been throwing a ton, averaging 50.5 attempts over the past four weeks, but that hasn't led to fantasy success. Over the same period he has thrown an equal number of touchdowns and interceptions (five apiece), and fantasy owners should be concerned about his ever-shrinking list of capable receivers.

RBMikel Leshoure

Mikel Leshoure

59 rush yards, rush TD, 2 rec, 9 rec yards

With Leshoure, you take the good with the bad. He has scored eight times, laregly in the second half of the season. But the yardage is minimal. The result is an average No. 3 back for fantasy owners.

RBJoique Bell

Joique Bell

27 rush yards, 3 rec, 34 rec yards

Last week, Bell's touches were limited in a game that ended up being a blowout. With another blowout on the horizon against the NFC's top seed, fantasy owners must expect another slow week from Bell.

WRCalvin Johnson

Calvin Johnson

7 rec, 115 yards, rec TD

We're not sure why opposing teams even bother trying to cover Johnson. The Lions have no one else healthy who warrants defensive attention, and yet Johnson continues to rack up 100-yard games (seven in a row). Johnson's fantasy success is inevitable.

WRKris Durham

Kris Durham

3 rec, 28 yards

Durham is seeing looks, just not making plays. Last week he caught one of five balls thrown to him for 14 yards. He's really a No. 5 receiver playing the role of No. 2 due to Detroit's rash of injuries.

TETony Scheffler

Tony Scheffler

4 rec, 47 yards

Brandon Pettigrew's high-ankle sprain will likely keep him out another week. Scheffler finished second on the team in every significant receiving category last week (seven targets) and yet wasn't worth a whole lot to fantasy owners.

KJason Hanson

Jason Hanson

2 PATs, FG

They don't make it easy for Hanson. The 42-year-old kicker has made a field goal of 40 or more yards in 11 of his 14 games this season, and his 21 attempts from 40-plus lead the league. He still has the leg, and he's still a viable fantasy starter.

DEFENSE

2 Sacks

The Detroit defense is probably not as bad as it looks on paper. Take last week for example: The unit gave up 24 points but just 196 yards of offense. Still, fantasy owners should avoid bad luck as much as bad talent.

 
 
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