What a gut-wrenching defeat for the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3, against the New Orleans Saints. The offense did its part, scoring a whopping 37 points, but the defense completely betrayed their efforts and dragged the whole team down.
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 3’s defeat against the New Orleans Saints.
Fantasy Stud/Dud 2018 History:
Past Studs: Julio Jones (1), Matt Ryan (1)
Past Duds: Devonta Freeman (1), Mohamed Sanu (1)
Stud - Calvin Ridley
Stat Line: 7 catches, 147 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns, 1 carry, 9 rushing yards: 33.50 standard league points, 39.50 PPR points
Following an impressive performance against the Carolina Panthers, Calvin Ridley was a “start” in this week’s start/sit column, but I don’t think anyone expected for him to explode the way he did. The rookie out of Alabama consistently abused the single coverage he got as a result of the Saints paying extra attention to Julio Jones.
Ridley had 130 receiving yards and two touchdowns, including a 75-yard score in the second quarter, by halftime. He drew a long pass interference penalty which set up his third receiving score of the game, in the third quarter. The Saints had no answer for Ridley, and it looks like the Falcons got themselves a gem at the end of the first round in the 2018 draft.
I would like to give an honorable mention shoutout to Matt Ryan, who had yet another outstanding game with a career high five touchdown passes. The nod goes to Ridley as this week’s stud because of how unexpected his performance was, but he was neck-and-neck with Ryan for consideration.
Atlanta Falcons D/ST: 1 sack, 0 interceptions, 0 forced fumbles, 43 points allowed, 534 yards allowed: -3 standard league points
Normally I wouldn’t put someone on the dud list if it’s obvious that nobody started them, (Last week, Mohamed Sanu went on the list as a default option because everyone else played up to expectations and he didn’t) but when a performance is so horrendous, then it leaves me no choice.
The Falcons’ defense was a dumpster fire in this one. They played scared, and looked petrified of Drew Brees, and that lost this game. One total sack was accounted for, and they didn’t come close to forcing any kind of a turnover. The Saints’ offense, meanwhile, looked like they were going through training drills throughout the entire second half.
The injury excuse is very prevalent and very real, but it only applies to a certain point. Under no circumstances should any team lose when their offense puts up 37 points.
At this point, if you opt to start the Falcons defense in fantasy football, then you deserve to lose your matchup.