It seems as if the Falcons are suffering more and more detrimental losses as the weeks go by, at this point — they’ve lost two straight to the Browns and Cowboys but it feels like 10 straight at this point.
The offense wasn’t great for the most part last week, scoring just one touchdown and being held to less than 20 total points. The column bounced back last week, going 6/8 in terms of how close the advice was to actual player performance.
Let’s see if we can be thankful for another strong day at the office this week.
Matt Ryan - Start
This past weekend, Matt Ryan had his first non-QB1 performance since Week 1 (finishing outside the top 12 scoring QBs), and was the first “miss” of the season as far as the column is concerned. He was held to below 300 total yards and just one touchdown against a Dallas defense which hounded him all afternoon.
Look for Ryan to bounce back against a Saints team which he lit up for 374 yards and five touchdowns earlier in the season. The Falcons will most likely have to pass the ball a lot to keep up with New Orleans’ rampant offense this Thursday.
Tevin Coleman - Start
One of the major adjustments made by offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian during the bye week has been an emphasis to try and get Tevin Coleman more involved in the passing game. While it hasn’t culminated in major receiving yards yet, it significantly raises his fantasy floor.
Coleman flourished in his limited opportunities against the Cowboys but figures to be in for a tough evening against New Orleans’ number one ranked rushing defense. You can’t bench someone getting as many touches as Tevin Coleman, however, especially with the team looking to get him more involved as a receiver.
Julio Jones - Start
Julio Jones still leads the league in receiving yards and he’s now caught a touchdown pass in three straight games. Fire him up as a WR1 in all formats.
Calvin Ridley - Start
There’s no sugarcoating it — Ridley has been awful these past two weeks, earning the fantasy dud (dis)honor in both of Atlanta’s losses. There is hope in this Thanksgiving matchup, however.
Ridley completely gashed the Saints for 146 receiving yards and three touchdowns in the Week 3 matchup. While we shouldn’t expect to see exactly that kind of dominance again, he’s positioned to have another good game against New Orleans. Maybe the achilles heel of the Saints’ defense is their cornerback depth beyond Marshon Lattimore, and it will be those subpar corners who will be covering Ridley on Thursday.
Mohamed Sanu - Sit
Sanu has been falling off of the fantasy map in recent weeks, putting up four straight sit-worthy performances after his four straight starter-worthy performances right before that.
With the expectation that Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley both have big games, there may not be too many yards left over for Sanu to benefit from.
Austin Hooper - Sit
Austin Hooper was trusted as a fantasy starter last week (and was listed as a “start” in last week’s column) and he failed to deliver, totaling just 27 yards.
Things will be even tougher for the Stanford man this week, as he goes up against a Saints defense which gives up the third fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Hooper had just 23 yards in the Week 3 defeat to New Orleans, despite the fact that the Falcons’ offense scored 37 points. It would be best to look elsewhere at the tight end position this week.
Matt Bryant - Start
Bryant came back from injury last week and didn’t miss a beat, going 4-4 on field goal attempts and 5-5 on all of his kicks. He was named the fantasy stud in his return and should get plenty of opportunities in what figures to be a Thanksgiving shootout.
Bryant is a must-start in all formats this week and so is Saints kicker Wil Lutz. It’ll be that type of game on Thursday Night.
Atlanta Falcons D/ST
There’s a chance that Deion Jones may return this week, and that will be a boost to the defense, but come on, there’s no way you should be starting any defense against the New Orleans Saints.