Because of that, the list of recommended plays for the week is a little shorter than usual, but with the fantasy playoffs closing in, I hope this is helpful to you.
WR Julio Jones
He had an unusually quiet game a week ago, but that's all the more reason to expect him to bounce back to typical Julio levels. Start him with confidence against a suspect Buccaneers secondary that just got lit up by Matt Hasselbeck.
WR Mike Evans
With Vincent Jackson a little banged up, Evans is probably going to dominate targets, and he's a tough assignment. If Jalen Collins draws him, in particular, he's probably got a couple of big gains in him, and
RB Devonta Freeman
If he's back, he's a locked-and-loaded top running back, even if his 21 carry, 88 yard day against Tampa last time was one of his more middling performances of the season. I'm expecting the Falcons to run better and pass less this time around.
TE Jacob Tamme
The Buccaneers don't do a good job of defending tight ends at all, Tamme is one of the better performers at a weak position, and Leonard Hankerson may be out again versus Tampa Bay. He's in my lineup.
In a pinch, of course. Neither is worth starting as a top-end unit this week, but I fully expect this game to
QB Matt Ryan
Maybe finally taking Matt Ryan off my start list will light a fire under him. Despite a ton of appetizing matchups, Ryan has rarely delivered for his fantasy owners this season, and since I expect this to be yet another low-scoring game, I don't recommend starting him. If you're waffling, do keep in mind he had one of his best games against Tampa Bay last time around, though.
QB Jameis Winston
Winston's the better fantasy play, but I think you can find better options. The Falcons' defense has mostly kept opposing quarterbacks to mediocre days, WInston had 177 yards and one touchdown the last time these two teams met, and I don't expect him to suddenly blow up in this one.
RB Doug Martin
The Falcons will be smarting from Adrian Peterson's 150-plus yard day, and while Martin is a talented player, he's not Peterson. Expect the Falcons to hold him well under 100 yards, though those in scoring-only formats may want to grab him in case he picks up a goal line tote or two.
WR Vincent Jackson
This may be one that blows up in my face, but I just don't think V-Jax is headed for a big day against Atlanta.
All Other Atlanta WRs
This is a no-brainer, unless you like rolling the dice with guys who haven't gotten over 60 receiving yards in a game since Week 1.