Welcome to the halfway point in the season. The Atlanta Falcons sit at 4-4, but the fantasy points have been fruitful all season for the majority of fantasy-relevant Falcons players. The Birds are riding a three-game win streak, and look to continue that success in Cleveland this weekend.
After back to back weeks of going 7/8, the column last week wasn’t as good but went a healthy 6/8 in terms of how close the advice was to actual player performance.
Let’s let the good times keep rolling this week.
Matt Ryan - Start
Unless you’re blessed with Patrick Mahomes on your fantasy roster (along with Ryan — in which case, lucky you), there’s no way you can bench Matt Ryan. He’s the QB2 in all of fantasy football, and has been putting up numbers that rival his 2016 MVP figures, all season.
The Browns are a middle of the pack team when it comes to points given up to opposing fantasy QBs, and Ryan looks poised to have another big game on Sunday.
Tevin Coleman - Start
OK Teco, I see you! An unexpected explosion against a Redskins team which is among the stingiest defenses against opposing fantasy RBs has Coleman back in the start category. Coleman totaled 156 yards from scrimmage and two receiving TDs against Washington’s vaunted defense.
This week, he gets to try his hand against a Browns team which gives up the fourth-most points to opposing fantasy RBs. Fire Coleman up as a high-end RB2 this week.
Julio Jones - Start
Jones leads the league in receiving yards per game, and finally scored his first TD of the season last week. Hopefully the floodgates now open and Jones goes on an unprecedented scoring run. He’s a WR1 in all formats.
Calvin Ridley - Start
Ridley also ended his mini touchdown draught by stepping on the gas pedal and getting away from all Washington defenders on a slant route last week. He now has seven scores on the season.
The Browns are in the top 10 in fantasy points allowed to opposing WRs, so Ridley should be in for another great afternoon with attention being drawn to Julio as usual. The Falcons’ rookie has been a touchdown-scoring machine, on pace for 14 TDs this year, and is poised to be a WR2 this week.
Mohamed Sanu - Start
Because the Browns are so bad at limiting points against opposing fantasy WRs, this is a week where all three fantasy-relevant Falcons WRs should get a look, especially with four teams on a bye week.
Sanu should draw some favorable single coverage in the slot, and should get back to scoring a healthy amount of points after being named the fantasy dud in back to back weeks.
Austin Hooper - Start
Yes, I’m telling you to start everyone here, but there’s a reason for that — the Cleveland Browns defense just isn’t very good (second-worst in the league to be exact), and the Falcons offense should have their way with them this weekend.
The Browns are in the top 10 in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing TEs as well, making Hooper a feasible option this week. Hooper has been hit or miss throughout this season, but the script coming into this game seems like a favorable one for the Stanford product.
Giorgio Tavecchio - Start
With Matt Bryant out once again, Giorgio Tavecchio will be fired up in Atlanta’s starting lineup, and should be fired up in your fantasy lineup as well. Atlanta’s offense is prolific enough to be a fantasy football oasis for the kicker position.
Tavecchio hasn’t missed a kick since signing on with the Falcons three weeks ago, and is most likely brimming with confidence at the moment. He’s demonstrated the ability to kick beyond 50 yards as well and he should get plenty of opportunity this week, as Atlanta’s offense figures to spend a lot of time in Browns territory.
Atlanta Falcons D/ST - Sit
The defense has looked a lot better these past two games than they have at any point since Week 1. However, they’ve still totaled just four and seven points, respectively, in those two games. Keep them off your roster until Deion Jones’ return at the very least.