It’s become an unnerving tradition for the Falcons to embarrass themselves on Thanksgiving Night against the Saints. Three turnovers, two missed kicks, and nine sacks allowed doomed the Falcons despite recovering two onside kicks.
The offense managed to move the ball, but broke down numerous times. Then, the sacks just mounted in the fourth quarter. It wasn’t a recipe for a great fantasy day overall.
There is a lot of great content available here at the Falcoholic, and I encourage you to check it out if you want some in-depth analysis. This article will look at things strictly from a fantasy football perspective (that means looking at nothing other than purely statistics). Here are Atlanta’s fantasy stud and fantasy dud from Week 12’s loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Fantasy Stud/Dud 2019 History:
Past Studs: Austin Hooper (3), Julio Jones (2), Matt Ryan (2), Calvin Ridley (2), Younghoe Koo (1), Atlanta Falcons D/ST (1)
Past Duds: Calvin Ridley (3), Matt Ryan (2) Devonta Freeman (1), Mohamed Sanu (1), Julio Jones (1), Mohamed Sanu (1), Matt Bryant (1), Brian Hill (1)
Fantasy Stud - Russell Gage
Stat Line - 5 catches, 52 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown: 11.20 standard league points; 16.20 PPR points
With word that Julio Jones was downgraded from a game-time decision to out, Russell Gage became a decent option for FLEX needy fantasy owners. Anyone who took a chance on the second year man out of LSU was rewarded for it.
Gage served as Ryan’s number two option behind Calvin Ridley, who also delivered a performance which lived up to expectations. The yardage numbers for Gage aren’t gaudy, but he was the beneficiary of a second half touchdown which made him a worthwhile start in any league.
Gage won’t have as much value when Jones and Austin Hooper return from injury to join Ridley in dominating the targets, but until that happens he has some value as a receiver Ryan is gaining more and more trust in.
Matt Ryan - 312 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 3 carries, 21 rushing yards, 1 lost fumble: 16.58 standard league/PPR points
It was a rough night for QB1, as Ryan was the fifth-highest scoring QB on a Thanksgiving slate which featured six teams (Taysom Hill and David Blough outscored him).
The offensive line let Ryan down all night, but he had some moments that were less than what we’ve come to expect of him — missing Ridley wide open in the end zone on fourth and goal and not sliding down after picking up the first down on the fumble were two which come to mind.
Ryan put up some extra yardage and a second touchdown pass in Atlanta’s fourth quarter comeback attempt to salvage what was a disaster of a fantasy performance up until then, but it was overall a disappointing stat line for those who put the Boston College alum in their starting lineups. Three turnovers lost Ryan seven total points (or more depending on your league’s scoring settings).
Ryan is becoming a shakier start as each week passes because of the uncertainty of the offensive line and injuries to his weapons. Things should get better when Hooper and Jones return, but don’t expect Ryan to win fantasy games seemingly by himself like he used to in years past.