Another game, another defeat. It’s like clockwork for the 2020 Atlanta Falcons. This defeat is different in that it came in the form of a divisional matchup, so the season has officially started slipping away (though, we know that this season was over long ago).
Sitting at 0-5, the Falcons have given fans more excitement when looking at the draft standings than potential playoff standings. Even though the team has yet to taste victory, however, some of the Falcons players have hopefully helped you taste victory in your fantasy matchups.
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 is Atlanta’s fantasy stud and fantasy dud from Week 4’s defeat against the Carolina Panthers.
Fantasy Stud/Dud 2020 History:
Past Studs: Calvin Ridley (2), Todd Gurley (2)
Past Duds: Hayden Hurst, Julio Jones, Russell Gage, Calvin Ridley
Fantasy Stud - Todd Gurley
Stat Line - 14 carries, 121 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 4 catches, 29 receiving yards: 21.0 standard league points; 25.0 PPR points
Gurely has legitimately gotten better and better each of the past three weeks, and now becomes the first person in the history of this article series to win fantasy stud honors in three consecutive games.
The University of Georgia alum had his most efficient day rushing yet, averaging a splendid 8.6 yards per carry while finding the end zone for the fifth time in as many games. The Falcons love using him in the red zone, and that’s paid dividends for fantasy managers.
Gurley gets a consistent diet of at least 14 carries per game on the ground, but what was really promising was his four receptions, which matched the total number of receptions he had in the first four games combined. His ceiling in PPR leagues will elevate with more work in the passing game.
Todd Gurley has proven to be a very wise investment at that second to third round turn, where most fantasy players took him on average. He was the second-highest scoring running back in both standard and PPR leagues at the conclusion of the early games on Sunday.
Matt Ryan - 226 passing yards, 0 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 1 carry, -1 rushing yards: 6.94 standard league/PPR points
Matt Ryan has not looked sharp in the past three games by any means, as the Falcons are now in the midst of a grotesque streak of 29 consecutive drives without a passing touchdown.
Ryan struggled to move the ball down the field until the second half, and he had some serious miscues late in the fourth quarter — down 20-10 the Falcons capped off a 15-play drive with a field goal, but not until after Ryan missed a wide open Hayden Hurst in the end zone on two plays in a row (the first was an overthrow, the second time he didn’t see him).
On the very next drive, Ryan threw an egregious interception in the end zone from the five. Score on both of those plays and this game is salvaged for Number 2 from a fantasy perspective.
After starting the season off with two 23+ point games against the Seahawks and Cowboys, Ryan has scored fewer than 13 fantasy points in each of the past three games. You hope that the return of Julio Jones to the lineup will result in better days for Ryan moving forward. However, it’s clear that Todd Gurley is a much more serious to threat to scavenge goal line touchdowns than Devona Freeman was the past few years.