The Atlanta Falcons play at home? Who knew? It'll be nice to see them return to the Georgia Dome
after a year fighting overseas for the first time since Week 6.
Which Falcons are the ones to start in fantasy this week? I'm glad you asked. Let's look at their matchup with the Browns, along with a few other promising plays around the league.
Matt Ryan: He's now the QB11 for the year in standard scoring formats. Not exactly the season we were hoping from Ryan as fantasy owners, but like we've discussed in the past, it's not all his fault (queue the Good Will Hunting scene).
Ryan only has one multi-touchdown game in his past six starts. Despite back-to-back promising matchups, Ryan averaged 243.5 yards and one touchdown in his last two games. The Browns allow the sixth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Joe Haden has turned his season around, locking down everyone in recent weeks. It's not a great matchup for Ryan, but the return to the Georgia Dome helps.
I still think Ryan finishes among the 10-15 range at his position. He's only $7,600 on Fanduel, so that's worth taking a shot with in head-to-head and 50/50 formats.
Steven Jackson: Cleveland ranks No. 30 in rush yards allowed per game (142.1). Alfred Blue rushed for 156 yards on 36 carries against the Browns in Week 11. Are we giving the green light to Jackson?
The veteran looks like a good flex play for Week 12. Cleveland hasn't allowed a rushing touchdown since Week 7, but running backs average 4.5 yards per carry against this defense. Jackson is also $6,400 on FanDuel, the 24th-most expensive running back. Not a great start for guaranteed prize pools (GPP), but a smart move for other entries.
Julio Jones and Roddy White: Jones hasn't scored since Week 3. I can't believe the drought is ongoing, but he has seen 11 targets in each of his last two games. He'll face the aforementioned Haden, who is only giving up 39 yards per game in coverage in his last five starts. Is it crazy to sit Jones? Probably. At $8,000 on FanDuel he's still a value play. Haden and Jones both move around, so it's not going to be a 1-on-1 matchup all afternoon.
White continues to ride his hot streak. He's scored in three of the last four games. A WR2 in most formats, I'm also big on his $7,300 price. He might see Haden for part of the game, but White is seeing a lot of end-zone targets and given his recent performances, I feel good about his chances again.
Browns players worth starting
Isaiah Crowell: Only $5,500 on FanDuel. He's been named the starter for Week 12. He and West might both be worth starting with Ben Tate out of the picture.
Josh Gordon: Quarterbacks have an 86.3 passer rating when targeting Desmond Trufant. Gordon will likely see plenty of the second-year cornerback. The hype around Gordon is easy to get lost in after waiting to see him play for 12 weeks, but the Browns want to limit his snaps to an extent, and he hasn't played a game since last year. I'm still starting him in most 12-team leagues. At $7,800 on FanDuel, though, I'm not sure I'm taking that chance. If he does have a down week, look for that price to be a premium in Week 13.
Other value plays around the league
Josh McCown: Facing the most generous defense to opposing quarterbacks, McCown's $7,500 price actually makes him worth starting. In yearly leagues, I'd be fine streaming him over guys like Matthew Stafford or Russell Wilson.
Anquan Boldin: He's seeing 8.3 targets per game, and now he'll face a Washington defense that was just torched by Mike Evans. At $6,800 I'm happy to pay that price for Boldin and Michael Crabtree.
Tre Mason and Jerick McKinnon: Both running backs have middle-of-the-road matchups, but at $5,600, I don't know how you can pass them up in GPPs. Mason is coming off a huge game against the Broncos. Matt Asiata is out for the Vikings. Ben Tate just showed up in Minnesota, so I expect McKinnon to handle the majority of the workload.
Larry Donnell: He already post seven receptions for 90 yards against the Cowboys earlier this season. Now at $5,500, he's one of the few tight ends I'd consider a value play.