Just two more weeks and this horrible season will finally come to an end. The Falcons wanted to channel themselves from earlier in the season in this week’s defeat, blowing a 17-0 halftime lead in a second half where the defense couldn’t stop a nosebleed and the offense repeatedly stalled out.
The good news is that the offense was far more competent in this contest than they were last week, spelling success for fantasy managers who were relying on many of the fantasy relevant Falcons in their lineups.
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 15’s defeat against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Fantasy Stud/Dud 2020 History:
Past Duds: Matt Ryan (3), Calvin Ridley (2), Russell Gage (2), Brian Hill (2), Hayden Hurst, Julio Jones, Younghoe Koo, Todd Gurley
Fantasy Stud - Calvin Ridley
Stat Line - 10 catches, 163 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown: 22.30 standard league points; 32.30 PPR points
Calvin Ridley has officially hit the same level he had maintained throughout the first few weeks of the season, when he was the WR1 in all of fantasy football. Following a bit of a midseason lull during which he dealt with some injury concerns and failed to record 70 yards in three consecutive weeks, Ridley has returned to fantasy glory.
Not only did the University of Alabama man help his fantasy managers in their first week of the fantasy playoffs last week, but he then turned around and had an even better performance this week. Ridley set a season high with 163 receiving yards, and his 32.3 PPR point outing was his second best of the season (he had 33.9 points in Week 1). He came close to getting a second touchdown as well but was denied by an outstanding defensive play by Antoine Winfield in the second half.
As of the conclusion of Sunday’s games, Ridley is the Week 15 WR1 in fantasy. If that holds through the Monday Night Football game, it will mark the second WR1 weekly finish of the season for Ridley, as well as his fourth top 3 finish and second consecutive finish in the top 3.
Ridley had a gargantuan 14 targets and 28.5% target share this week with Julio Jones still missing from the lineup. Ridley will have a chance to put a bow on one of the more legendary fantasy playoff performances from a wide receiver in recent memory.
Todd Gurley: 1 carry, -1 rushing yard, 2 catches, 15 receiving yards: 1.4 standard league points; 3.4 PPR points
It’s been a tale of two seasons for Todd Gurley, with the bye week serving as the line that separates those seasons. Before the bye, Gurley had nine rushing touchdowns and was a bell cow who registered seven double digit fantasy performances in nine games. Since the bye week, he has scored 15.4 total points in four games. His points per game average before the bye week was 15.03. Since the bye it’s been 3.85.
The downward trend culminated with Gurley’s fantasy production falling completely off a cliff this week. The coaching staff has clearly lost all faith in Gurley’s rushing ability as his carries since the bye week have progressively dwindled going from 8 to 8 to 6 and finally to 1 this week. The -1 rushing yards and 14 total yards from scrimmage are both season lows.
Gurley no longer gets the opportunities to be trusted in any way. He has been displaced at the top of the depth chart by Ito Smith, with Brian Hill continuing to serve as the backup. You can drop the former Georgia Bulldog in all formats.