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On face value, this is a rematch of the Patriots’ 28-3 comeback over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI. The reality is that there are not many players on either squad that were at that iconic game five years ago, which is the way of the NFL (Not For Long). Matt Ryan remembers for Atlanta but not many others, as even the coaching staff has turned over. The defense is now a 3-4 and only Grady Jarrett and Deion Jones overlapped.
Of course there is no Tom Brady, but New England has a lot more continuity. More than ten players are still on the squad, and the coaching staff has been stable as well. Key offensive linemen remain and defensive standouts Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy and Devin McCourty were there for the biggest SB comeback ever.
Our record for the Sunday five picks against the spread entering Week 11 is 27-22-1. The point is to use the Field View and SIC Score to assist in making your best fantasy/DFS/wagering decisions as ProFootballDoc is the FanDuel Injury Expert.
NEW ENGLAND -6.5 vs ATLANTA
The overall team, offense and defense SIC scores are relatively even, but a closer look shows a potential advantage. Since we’re now at mid-season, there are few surprises as the healthy and injured teams are well known by now. This is why we rely on delta (change from one week to the next) more at this time of the year.
Using this analysis, the Patriots trend the right way. They are almost nine points healthier on the SIC score scale this week, and the offense reaches the 90s with the return of Damien Harris and the offensive line getting healthier. Of course New England always has the double-digit cadre of players listed as questionable, but the reality is they should essentially all play.
The Falcons don’t have a lot of injuries, but they are on a downward health trend. Cordarrelle Patterson has been key at RB and WR but is listed as questionable. Our analysis of a high ankle sprain has him out for this short week. Steven Means is placed on IR as Dante Fowler comes back.
In the end, this will not be a revenge game for the Falcons. Based on health trajectory, the Patriots seem to be the ones on the rise and in position to cover the touchdown spread.