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Fantasy football preview: Week 8

Get prepared for your fantasy matchups!

David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hey Falcoholics! It’s time to talk fantasy football. Last week, the Atlanta Falcons lost in dramatic fashion to the Detroit Lions, worsening their record to 1-6. Although the playoffs are all but out of reach, we’re not halfway through the 2020 regular season. This week the Falcons play their second divisional game in 2020, again versus the Carolina Panthers.

QB Matt Ryan

If you look primarily at fantasy football, Matt Ryan has been one of the more inconsistent quarterbacks in 2020. This week, Ryan faces the Panthers again after scoring a season-worst 9.2 fantasy points against them in week 5. The Panthers defense is currently 5th toughest against opposing fantasy quarterbacks, so Ryan could struggle on Thursday night. I think what will help Ryan the most is having wide receiver Julio Jones active, which wasn’t the case in the first matchup, so he should be heading for a solid day.

RB Todd Gurley

Falcons running back Todd Gurley took a lot of flack this week for accidentally scoring a late touchdown which ultimately led to the Lions marching down field and winning the game. On the fantasy side of things, Gurley had his second-best fantasy day of the 2020 season against the Lions. His current best fantasy performance this year came against the very Panthers team that he faces on Thursday night. Gurley rushed 14 times for 121 yards and a touchdown the first time around, but will he repeat the performance?

The Panthers are currently the 3rd worst against opposing fantasy running backs, and with the volume Gurley has been getting lately, I don’t see why not. As of typing this, there’s projected to be a chance of rain on Thursday night, which would only help Gurley’s value as the team leans on the run game. We may even see some more Brian Hill if that’s the case.

WR’s Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley

As mentioned above, the Panthers are stingy against the pass and that doesn’t bode well for the Falcons’ wide receivers. Jones didn’t play in the first matchup, but Calvin Ridley did. Ridley actually did pretty well considering, hauling in 8 passes for 136 yards. Have to think his 10 targets won’t be as high, due to the return of Jones, but both remain must starts even in a tough matchup.

TE Hayden Hurst

In the last two games, tight end Hayden Hurst has scored 12+ fantasy points in each game. This week though, he faces a Panthers team that held him to 2.8 fantasy points, his lowest of the 2020 season. Given how thin and inconsistent the tight end position has been league-wide, it’s hard for me to recommend someone else. Even with the tricky matchup, Hurst remains a top-12 play this week.

Well that does it, folks. I wish everyone who took the time to read this the best of luck in their Week 8 fantasy matchups.