After a brutal stretch of games against some of the toughest defenses in the league, the Atlanta Falcons finally return home this week to take on the San Diego Chargers. This week’s match-up features two high-powered offenses and two questionable defenses. That’s generally a recipe for success in fantasy football.
There are plenty of players on both sides of the ball that you should be interested in. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights.
QB Matt Ryan
Ryan is an elite fantasy QB this season, and has performed well even in bad match-ups. San Diego is a good match-up, doubly so at home. The Falcons should be back to scoring 30+ points a game, particularly against a secondary that is down it’s two best CBs. Start Ryan as an elite QB1 this week.
RB Devonta Freeman and RB Tevin Coleman
It’s rare that you can start two RBs from the same team every week and expect them both to produce, but that’s exactly what is happening with Freeman and Coleman. The Smang Brothers are both reliable fantasy assets, particularly in a game that could feature plenty of running. Freeman is a high-floor RB2, whereas Coleman is a high-ceiling flex play.
QB Phillip Rivers
While the Falcons defense has been playing better in recent weeks, they are still far from an elite unit. Atlanta is likely to put the Chargers behind early, leading to an ideal pass-heavy game script. Rivers commands a top-5 offense in San Diego, and should have a high floor this week.
RB Melvin Gordon
Gordon has been one of fantasy’s most consistent RBs this season. He is the goal line back and also catches plenty of passes out of the backfield. Atlanta has been stingy to RBs on the ground, but Gordon has scored a TD in 4 out of 6 games this season. Bank on him as a high-floor RB1 against the Falcons.
I had hoped that the Falcons would clarify their TE position by starting to feature Hooper more, but that hasn’t panned out. Instead, they’re using all three of their TEs and spreading the ball around. Unfortunately, that makes starting any of them a difficult proposition in fantasy.
Other Falcons WRs
While it was nice to see the Falcons pepper Sanu with targets against the Seahawks, I need to see more consistent usage before I recommend starting any of Gabriel (who’s likely out), Robinson, Sanu, or Hardy. If Gabriel misses time, Sanu might be worth a dart throw if you’re desperate.
TE Antonio Gates
Hunter Henry has clearly taken over the starting job, but Gates often sees the field in 2-TE situations. Unfortunately, that hasn’t translated into much production for Gates. He’s a TD or bust option and best, and you can likely find better options on the waiver wire.
The Chargers have been decimated by injuries at WR, losing Keenan Allen, Malcolm Floyd, and Stevie Johnson early in the season. Currently, they’ve got Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams, and Dontrelle Inman as their three main guys. The Falcons have managed to keep WRs in check for the most part, and none sees enough targets to be considered reliable. Benjamin is the best option, but he’s injured and may be sidelined.
Kevin’s Spicy Play of the Week
TE Hunter Henry
While the Falcons have managed to perform better against TEs over the past few weeks, they still aren’t great against them. Henry has been improving every week and is one of Rivers’ favorite red-zone targets. With a healthy share of the targets and red-zone looks coming his way, I like Henry as a high-upside TE play this week. If he’s still available on the waiver wire, go get him.
I hope you all crush your fantasy games this week. As always, feel free to @ me with any fantasy football or Falcons questions.