The Falcons expectedly laid an egg on Monday night, in front of a national audience, against the Green Bay Packers. They only lost by 14 but it felt like so much more as it never really felt like the team was in it throughout the evening.
The offense moved the ball somewhat, despite putting up a low point total of 16. All I can say is, at least they didn’t blow another lead, and that’s the silver lining I’m hanging on to in this abomination of a season.
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 Green Bay Packers.
Fantasy Stud/Dud 2020 History:
Past Duds: Hayden Hurst, Julio Jones, Russell Gage
Fantasy Stud - Todd Gurley
Stat Line - 16 carries, 57 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 1 catch, 6 receiving yards: 18.3 standard league points; 19.3 PPR points
Gurley gets fantasy stud honors for the second consecutive week, and it was quite an easy choice this time around as he was Atlanta’s only player to find the end zone against the Packers. The two touchdowns made him a back end RB1 in all league formats.
Gurley continues to be a pretty consistent fantasy play based on his volume — he’s received at least 15 touches in each game through the quarter mark of the season. The good news is that his touches have been consistent no matter the game script and that he’s found the end zone four times rushing, which is tied for second in the league.
The bad news is that he hasn’t been very efficient at 3.9 yards per carry. Part of that is through no fault of his own, as offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter is maybe the most predictable play caller in the NFL, allowing opposing defenses to key in on stopping the run in obvious situations. However, that’s just the hand Gurley has been dealt as every running back is tied to his play caller.
The other issue with Koetter’s scheme is that the running back is rarely ever targeted in the passing game. Gurley has four receptions in four games, severely capping his ceiling in PPR leagues and lowering his floor in standard leagues. He has a nose for the end zone, but he may be a dud for fantasy owners come weeks when he doesn’t score. Consider Gurley a touchdown dependent RB2 moving forward.
Calvin Ridley - 0 catches, 0 receiving yards: 0.0 standard league points; 0.0 PPR points
Well, this is maybe the easiest dud performance I’ve ever had to pick out in all my time doing this article series. Ridley came into Week 4 as the WR1 in all of fantasy football, and he put up a goose egg on Monday night.
Ridley and Matt Ryan just couldn’t get on the same page at all from the first drive on. Facing Packers number one cornerback Jaire Alexander and dealing with an ankle injury, Ridley was held in check.
The Alabama alum had seen double digit targets in each of the first three games, but he had only five in this one. Ryan threw it Number 18’s way three times in the first two drives but then attempted just two more passes to him the rest of the evening.
There were two instances that had Ridley fantasy owners furious — the first was at the conclusion of Atlanta’s epic 20-play drive, where the receiver was wide open in the corner of the end zone and Ryan didn’t see him because he was being chased out of the pocket. The second was on a 4th and 10 near the end of the game where Ryan did throw it Ridley’s way in the end zone. However, that pass was slightly under-thrown, and that allowed Adrian Amos to make a superb play on the ball to break it up.
All 0s across the board is a doomsday type floor for Ridley where everything went wrong. Given better health moving forward, I would expect to see production from Ridley more in line with the first three weeks of the season as opposed to what we saw in Week 4.