A potentially fantasy-friendly match-up looms on Monday Night Football, with the Falcons and Seahawks set to clash in what should be a very entertaining primetime match-up. It isn’t likely to be a huge game in terms of point totals, but it should be a competitive contest with lots of back-and-forth between two pretty balanced teams.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at who you should consider starting or sitting during Monday Night Football. As this is a Monday game, it’s wise to have a player from one of these two teams sitting on your bench this week in case of an emergency injury.
RB Tevin Coleman
With Coleman assuming the entire starting role, he immediately vaults into nearly must-start status as an RB1 for every week that Freeman is out. The Falcons clearly trust Coleman at the goal line, and he’s a threat to take just about any play to the house with his electric speed. That marriage of talent and workload make Coleman a great play this week, even in a difficult match-up with the Seahawks.
WR Mohamed Sanu
You’re already starting Julio Jones—particularly with Sherman out of the game—but that loss may also indirectly benefit Sanu, who is now going to see the #3 CB of the Seahawks. Sanu is a high-floor WR3 that Ryan loves to pepper with targets, and I like the idea of him matching up with Jeremy Lane or an off-the-street Byron Maxwell. Sanu also has a decent shot of catching a TD, making him a good option in PPR leagues and a middling one in standard.
TE Austin Hooper
Hooper has been assuming a bigger role in the offense every week, and it seems like the Falcons are making a concerted effort to get him the ball in the red-zone. He’s been getting enough targets and TDs to warrant a spot as a low-end TE1 in an abysmal TE season. With Kam Chancellor more than likely out of the lineup, Hooper has a chance to put up decent numbers against an injury-riddled Seattle defense.
QB Russell Wilson
One of the most electric QBs in fantasy and in real life, Wilson has been a tremendous fantasy starter this season. The Falcons aren’t the juicy QB match-up they once were, but you’ll still roll with Wilson as a QB1 this week. Seattle’s running game has been abysmal outside of Wilson, and that rushing ability also gives him a high-floor. Expect a good fantasy performance from Wilson on Monday night.
TE Jimmy Graham
One of the few dependable options at TE this season, Graham has clearly assumed the role of primary red-zone target in the Seattle offense. The scary thing is, if not for some pretty bad drops, Graham could have easily been posting even better numbers over the last several weeks. Start Graham with confidence as a high-level TE1, even in a tough match-up against the Falcons.
WR Doug Baldwin
Baldwin has been one of the most reliable WR1s in fantasy this season, and I don’t expect that to change on Monday. He hasn’t quite given you the ceiling of Antonio Brown, but he’s a near-lock to get you 12-15 points every single week in PPR leagues. The risk is that the Falcons’ pass rush has another dominant outing and stifles the deep passing game, but I’m still confident in Baldwin this week.
Other Falcons WRs
We go through this every week, and nothing has changed for me yet. Gabriel is getting to the point where you might consider putting him in your lineup as a boom/bust dart throw, but nobody else here really deserves consideration. Justin Hardy, Andre Roberts, Marvin Hall...just avoid this situation entirely.
The Seahawks have been pretty awful on the ground in 2017. To make matters worse for fantasy, they refuse to commit to a starter at RB or even a dependable committee. That means that Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy, and J.D. McKissic are all likely to see action against Atlanta—it’s just impossible to know which one, if any, will get enough usage to merit a fantasy start. I’d avoid the situation entirely unless you’re desperate.
Kevin’s Spicy Play of the Week
WR Paul Richardson
Richardson has been a very boom/bust fantasy player in 2017, with a few strong games to his name and plenty of weak ones as well. But, he’s a guy that regularly seems to make circus catches, and he only needs one long pass to justify a start as a FLEX player. The Falcons have fared better against WR1s than WR2s in 2017, so there’s a chance for a good day for Richardson against Atlanta with the bulk of the coverage going to Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham. If you need an emergency FLEX this week, you could get lucky with Richardson.
Good luck in your leagues this week. As always, if you have any fantasy questions, feel free to send them to me on Twitter @FalcoholicKevin.