Greetings Falcoholics! Following a nice and relaxing bye week, our Atlanta Falcons are (hopefully) ready for action. The team is traveling down to Louisiana this week to take on our sworn enemy, the New Orleans Saints.
As mentioned above, the team was on a bye last week, so naturally there’s nothing to recap on the Falcons front. So let’s preview how the Falcons match up against the Saints in regards to fantasy football.
- Our MVP quarterback Matt Ryan sounds good to go for this weekend, and his fantasy owners are thrilled. In Ryan’s last two full games, he finished each with 40+ fantasy points. This week Ryan should be viewed as a mid-range QB1 as he takes on the Saints, who are currently allowing the 13th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
- I’m not saying to bench Devonta Freeman, but owners should limit their expectations this weekend. Statistically, the Saints are the toughest defense the run game will have faced to this point in 2019. The Saints are allowing the 4th least fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. Freeman should be useful however in PPR leagues, as the Falcons are expected to be playing from behind in this one.
- If you have Julio Jones, you’re obviously starting him. Calvin Ridley is interesting for an obvious reason, it’s the first time we’ll see how Ridley is used with Ryan back on the field since the team traded away Mohamed Sanu. Against the Seattle Seahawks, Ridley was efficient recording 4 receptions for 70 yards plus a 2-point conversion.
- Finally, if you have Austin Hooper, you’re also starting him. Hooper has shown this season that he’s a top-5 tight end, and his numbers back it up. Fantasy-speaking, Hooper has had 13.6+ points in every game since week 2. He’s also had a touchdown reception in three straight games.
NFL teams on a bye this week include the Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Washington and New England Patriots.
There’s a strong chance that you have some starters on a bye this week, so let’s look at some fill-in options for this week. I’ll include only players rostered in less than 50% of leagues. If you’re in need of a quarterback this week, your options are likely limited. In full desperation mode, I do like Mitchell Trubisky this week. I know he’s struggled a lot this season, but he’s facing the Detroit Lions who have allowed the 6th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and it’ll be by far the best matchup he’s had this season. I’m not saying Trubisky will get you 30+ but he should be good for around 20 points.
The free agent pool for running backs is very thin in most leagues. Surprisingly Lions’ running back J.D. McKissic is owned in only 17% of fantasy leagues. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because at one time McKissic was on the Falcons as a wide receiver. With the Lions’ starter Kerryon Johnson going to injured reserve, McKissic had 16.2 fantasy points last week and also had a receiving touchdown. He’s more useful in PPR leagues, and this week faces a Chicago Bears’ defense which has allowed the 8th most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Some additional players you should look at this weekend are WR Auden Tate (19%), WR Mecole Hardman (28%), WR Alex Erickson (11%), TE Mike Gesicki (28%) and RB Gus Edwards (8%).
Well that does it, folks. I wish everyone who took the time to read this the best of luck in their Week 10 fantasy matchups. If you have any fantasy questions for me, you can ask in the comments below or find me on Twitter at @EvanBirchfield. Remember, when it comes to fantasy football – always go with your gut!