The two biggest games of the season were the matchups against the New Orleans Saints over these past three weeks. This is where Raheem Morris had an opportunity to make the case for removal of the interim tag following this season, where the team had an opportunity to actually re-enter the playoff hunt, and more than anything where they had the chance to give the fanbase something to be happy about following their disgusting season as a whole.
The Falcons not only laid an egg in both matchups, but they even reached a new low in getting swept by a team that employed Taysom Hill as its starting quarterback. This season can’t end soon enough, and it’s telling when this is the third consecutive year where we’re saying that.
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 13’s defat against the New Orleans Saints.
Fantasy Stud/Dud 2020 History:
Past Duds: Calvin Ridley (2), Russell Gage (2), Brian Hill (2), Matt Ryan (2), Hayden Hurst, Julio Jones, Younghoe Koo
Fantasy Stud - Younghoe Koo
Stat Line - 1 PAT, 1/1 20-29, 1/1 30-39, 1/1 50+: 12.0 standard league/PPR points
This series might as well be re-named the Younghoe Koo fantasy appreciation article at this point. This is the third consecutive week in which Koo has been featured as Atlanta’s most impactful fantasy star, nailing another three field goals with perfection.
Koo was the number three scoring kicker in Week 13 through all of the Sunday games and is in line to have his third consecutive top 3 finish and fifth consecutive top 5 finish (not counting Week 10, when Atlanta had a bye week). He has provided an incredible boost to fantasy managers in the fantasy playoff chase.
The former Georgia Southern Kicker turned Alliance of American Football star turned NFL standout is an elite fantasy weapon. He leads the league in total field goals made, and leads all kickers in field goal conversion percentage among those who have attempted at least 20 FGs.
Moving forward, there’s no reason to believe that the blazing hot Koo will cool off any time soon. The Falcons still don’t know how to finish drives, and he routinely takes advantage of every opportunity provided. Younghoe Koo has all the makings of a league winner. He is the best kicker in fantasy football.
Todd Gurley: 8 carries, 16 rushing yards, 1 catch, 4 receiving yards: 2.0 standard league points; 3.0 PPR points
After missing last week’s game with an injury, Gurley did nothing to inspire confidence in a rejuvenated performance down the stretch upon his return.
Gurley has been an incredibly inefficient runner this season, averaging an ugly 3.58 yards per carry. That’s been masked in the fantasy community by his massive usage (Gurley was seventh in the league in carries coming into this week despite missing a game), and his touchdown scoring prowess (top 5 in the league in rushing TDs coming into this week). The points flowed as a result, but the good times may be over.
The University of Georgia alum has now recorded his two worst games from a yardage standpoint in his past two appearances, and the Falcons have been so ineffective in the red zone that they’ve now gone three consecutive games without scoring a rushing touchdown.
To make matters worse, Atlanta employed a full blown committee in Week 13 between Gurley, Brian Hill and Ito Smith, with Gurley being the most inefficient runner of the trio. Smith left early with an injury after leading the team in carries and may be unavailable moving forward, but it’s clear that the team doesn’t see Gurley as a player capable of being the bell cow running back anymore.
Fantasy owners who started the former Georgia Bulldog were burned this week, as it’s painfully clear that Gurley is no longer the auto-start he was earlier in the season. There’s always a chance that he can find the end zone in a game matchup, but the volatility and touchdown dependency make him way too risky of a start in the fantasy playoffs.