Hey Falcoholics! It’s time to talk fantasy football. Last week, the Atlanta Falcons won their first game of the 2020 season against the Minnesota Vikings, improving their record to 1-5. They face an important matchup with the Detroit Lions this week, as since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, only three teams that have starter 1-5 have gone on to make the playoffs.
Before we look at this weekend’s game against the Lions, let’s review week 6.
Julio Jones had his best game of the season, scoring twice and catch 8 passes. After being absent and limited at practices throughout the week, if Jones is active he should remain in your lineup. Todd Gurley failed to get going against the 16th ranked Vikings run defense, having 20 carries for 47 yards. Gurley’s next two games are against vulnerable rushing attacks so keep him in your lineup.
After being dropped in many leagues following a 9-point fantasy day in week 5, Matt Ryan answered back by having his best fantasy day of the season in week 6. Ryan had 371 passing yards and four touchdowns, which was good for 43.35 fantasy points.
Falcons vs. Lions
As mentioned above, Ryan bounced back last week and should have another quality game on Sunday against the Lions. The Lions are currently allowing the 10th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. I predict Ryan will have another 3+ touchdown day in week 7.
After struggling on 20 carries last week, Gurley should have an easier path to the endzone in week 7. He has a great matchup this week as the Lions have allowed 4.9 yards per carry in 2020, and allowed the 6th most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. Gurley should also get some more passing game usage in a game with high-scoring potential. One player I would lower my expectations on is Hayden Hurst. Hurst had a great fantasy day last Sunday, but this week faces a Lions team allowing the 2nd fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends. I predict he’ll have a 4 receptions, 40 yards type day.
On the Lions side of things, T.J. Hockenson should have a solid day against the Falcons. The Falcons have struggled mightily this season against tight ends, and Hockenson is my favorite play to go off this weekend. If you need a quarterback fill-in, Matthew Stafford should also do well as the Falcons, even in victory, have allowed opposing quarterbacks to thrive. Stafford should do well against a Falcons defense that’s allowing the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
Looking at players currently available in 50% or more fantasy leagues, there’s some quality finds this week. With running back Joe Mixon out for the Cincinnati Bengals, Giovani Bernard needs to be added in all leagues. He has the potential of easily being a top-10 running back this week, and at the time of typing this, is only rostered in 31% of leagues.
If you’re in need of a wide receiver, I’d look at Corey Davis of the Tennessee Titans, who is finally returning from an injury. With A.J. Brown banged up, Davis did well in three games this season having 11+ fantasy points in each. Another wide receiver to look at is New Orleans Saints’ Tre’Quan Smith. With Michael Thomas likely to miss the game and the team placing Emmanuel Sanders on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Smith could get plenty of volume. Finally, if you need a fill-in quarterback this week, Jacksonville Jaguars’ Gardner Minshew isn’t a terrible choice. He’s averaging 44 passing attempts over the last five games and has 20+ fantasy points in the last three games.
Well that does it, folks. I wish everyone who took the time to read this the best of luck in their Week 7 fantasy matchups. Every week I’ll be doing a fantasy football preview, so send me some questions before every Thursday and I’ll answer them here. You can ask in the comments below or on Twitter at @EvanBirchfield.