The Falcons bounced back in a big way following last Thursday’s disappointment, with a 31-24 victory over the Carolina Panthers in a key divisional matchup. The offense woke up and scored four touchdowns in this one, repeatedly converting on each of their red zone trips.
We have a lot of fantastic content analyzing the game here at The Falcoholic, but in this article, we’ll look at things strictly from a fantasy football perspective. Let’s look at Atlanta’s top fantasy performer and biggest fantasy disappointment from Week 2’s victory against the Carolina Panthers.
Fantasy Stud/Dud 2018 History:
Past Studs: Julio Jones (1)
Past Duds: Devonta Freeman (1)
Stud - Matt Ryan
Stat Line: 272 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 4 carries, 18 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns: 30.68 standard league/PPR points
Matt Ryan was a problem for the Panthers in this one; you could even say that he was as dangerous as a White Walker. In my start/sit column this week, I underestimated a couple of Falcons receivers, and didn’t really “hit” on as many players as I had hoped; one thing I did get right, however, was advising Matt Ryan fantasy owners to put him in their lineups this week.
Ryan had an incredible bounceback game after getting scrutinized (justifiably so) for the past 10 days. He repeatedly sliced and diced a good Carolina defense up and down the field, utilizing eight different pass catchers. It was a vintage 2016 season performance.
What was even more encouraging to see was four red zone touchdowns out of four attempts. Ryan accounted for all of those touchdowns, finding Calvin Ridley and Austin Hooper through the air, and rushing for the other two. A QB sneak from the 1-yard line and a gutsy 8-yard scamper left the Panthers in awe.
This is the first game in which Ryan has accounted for three or more touchdowns (both rushing and passing) since that 2016 season. With how well offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian utilized him and his pass catchers, in play action especially, this may be a positive sign of things to come.
Dud - Mohamed Sanu
Mohamed Sanu: 2 catches, 19 receiving yards, 1 carry, -4 rushing yards: 1.5 standard league points, 3.5 PPR points
Mohamed Sanu may not have been in most people’s fantasy lineups (he’s owned in just 53.1% of NFL.com fantasy leagues, and started in even fewer), but with how good everyone else was this week, Sanu is the dud almost by default.
The Rutgers product was nearly invisible in this one, much like he was in Week 1. The emergence of Calvin Ridley, as well as a productive game from Austin Hooper, left Sanu to settle for little more than scraps on a day when the Birds were on fire when in the red zone.
Sanu was held to just two catches in this one, and went for under 20 yards once again. His lone rush came out of a wildcat formation on 3rd-and-short and resulted in a loss with the defense seeing the run coming from a mile away.
An added emphasis on getting Ridley involved is great for the Falcons but dangerous for Sanu’s fantasy prospects moving forward. He may no longer be one of Matt Ryan’s go-to targets when Julio Jones is double teamed.