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Falcons and Panthers to start in this critical week of fantasy football

There are some good options here, but few are from the Falcons.

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I am basically dead in the water in every single fantasy league, a product of unfortunate injuries and a couple of boneheaded lineup decisions. You should definitely take fantasy advice from me, in other words.

Here's your guide to who to sit and start this week in fantasy as you attempt to wrap up a playoff berth.

Start

QB Cam Newton

Even if he doesn't have a great game passing, he's going to run roughshod over a defense that can't stop lesser, slower quarterbacks from scrambling for long gains. If he doesn't have a hand in every single offensive Panthers score, I'll be surprised.

RB Devonta Freeman

He's too talented, and this line too effective at run blocking, to be bottled up much longer. Expect him to score in this one, and expect him to turn in a solid day even against a very intimidating Carolina team.

WR Julio Jones

Even though Josh Norman is his nightmare matchup, you can't sit him. Julio's too talented, and all it takes is one or two long gains and/or a touchdown to salvage his fantasy day.

TE Greg Olson

He's going to tear this defense to shreds.

Panthers Defense

I think the Falcons' offense will revive a bit, even though there's zero evidence up to this point to suggest otherwise, but the Panthers should be good for sacks, perhaps a turnover or two, and a relatively modest point total. I'd give them a shot.

Sit

QB Matt Ryan

You wouldn't start him even if I told you to. It's a bad matchup for a scuffling quarterback, and if he's going to get back on track, chances are it won't be this week.

RB Jonathan Stewart

The Falcons have allowed two straight 100 yard performances on the ground, so you might think they're slipping. I believe it's a blip on the radar, though, and that Stewart will be fairly well-contained in this one. Newton's going to vulture his rushing touchdowns, anyways, I'd bet.

Falcons Receivers and Tight Ends

I hate to be so down on the entire group, but there's just not enough upside here to trust your last week of fantasy to. Nobody here is a good bet to get more than 60 yards, and Freem and Julio are the only ones who are LIKELY to score touchdowns. If you want to roll the dice with fantasy machine Nick Williams, though, be my guest.

Falcons Defense

They may have a triumph in them, sure, but they never get sacks, and Cam Newton is likely to run for enough yardage to make this a poor play.