The Falcons bounced back from a rather embarrassed afternoon on Sunday with a primetime victory against a division rival on Thursday night. Atlanta exorcised some demons from a few days earlier when the defense stepped up and made a play following yet another terrible situational awareness play by Todd Gurley.
The Birds moved the ball well and a few players made sure their fantasy owner got out to a good start in their matchups this week.
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 8’s victory against the Carolina Panthers.
Fantasy Stud/Dud 2020 History:
Past Duds: Hayden Hurst, Julio Jones, Russell Gage, Calvin Ridley, Matt Ryan, Brian Hill, Younghoe Koo
Fantasy Stud - Younghoe Koo
Stat Line - 1/2 PAT, 2/2 20-29, 2/2 30-39: 13.0 Standard League/PPR points
This was a back and forth decision between Koo and Julio Jones. Jones put up more points in both standard and PPR leagues, but when looking at those points coming against the backdrop of their positional value Koo’s score looks a little more valuable.
Jones’ 20.7 PPR points haven’t been good enough to finish in the top 5 for WRs all season, while Koo’s 13 points has been a top five score for a kicker in five of seven weeks this season.
Last week, Koo was featured in the dud part of this column because of a lack of opportunities afforded to him (two extra points, no field goal attempts). I advised readers who were starting the Georgia Southern alum to stick with him as those outlier games happen to every kicker. This week, he had the opportunity to kick four field goals and, while none of them were particularly long, he converted on those chances and gave fantasy owners who had him in lineups a wonderful start to Week 8.
Koo has temporarily overtaken Randy Bullock and Rodrigo Blankenship for the top scoring spot among kickers (though he has now played in one game more than Bullock and two games more than Blankenship), showcasing his elite level of play this season. He’s gone 42-46 on field goal attempts since joining the Falcons midway through last season and remains an elite option at the position regardless of matchup, due to both consistency and Atlanta’s high powered offense which hasn’t had any issues moving the ball.
Calvin Ridley - 3 catches, 42 receiving yards: 4.2 Standard League points; 7.2 PPR points
It’s not Calvin Ridley’s fault that he produced an underwhelming stat-line on Thursday night, as he exited in the first half with an ankle injury which ended his game prematurely. However, fantasy football is all about the final stat-line produced, no matter what the circumstances may be.
Ridley came into Week 8 with the third-most PPR points among fantasy wide receivers, and he was absolutely neck and neck with Tyler Lockett and Deandre Hopkins (0.3 points behind Lockett and 2.5 points behind Hopkins). He looked on his way to putting up a respectable point total again on Thursday Night, and he was even wide open in the end zone but wasn’t looked at by Matt Ryan at one point in the first half, but the injury resulted in his second-lowest total output of the season.
Ridley’s injury will be one to monitor moving forward. X-Rays indicate that the injury is not considered serious. With a bye week coming up after next week’s clash with the Broncos, Ridley may be in position to miss no more than one game (if that). Thanks to a long week leading up to that game, the Alabama alum will have three full weeks to heal before Week 10 if he is held out next Sunday.
Ridley will remain an elite option upon his return. Thursday night’s low point total was obviously just bad luck.