Greetings, Falcoholics! The 2021 regular season is officially here. Fantasy leagues have drafted, matchups are set and now it’s time to prepare for this weekends games. The Atlanta Falcons will host the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
Throughout the season, every Friday, we will be previewing the fantasy matchups and who you may want to consider starting and also benching. Additionally, if you have any fantasy questions you’d like answered, you can submit them every week.
With that, let’s get started.
Eagles vs. Falcons
Starting off, let’s look at the running backs because they probably have the most uncertainty in this game. Mike Davis is the clear starter, but analysts have questioned how much volume he will receive and how much Cordarrelle Patterson and newly signed Wayne Gallman will play into the backfield situation.
Currently, we just don’t know. We have nothing to go off of. With that being said, I like Davis. After he expected to start 2020 as a backup, Davis was quickly thrown into the starting lineup due to a season-long injury by Christian McCaffrey. He went on to finish 12th in fantasy points for running backs and finished with 8 total touchdowns on the season. Although I have questions about how the offensive line will hold up this week against a tough Eagles’ front, if you have Davis you should start him. I’m predicting 95 total yards and a touchdown. Unless you’re in a 16+ team league, Patterson and Gallman should remain benched.
You know to start Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts no matter what, but what about Russell Gage? The Eagles don’t have a great secondary and Gage is the WR2 (or WR3 depending on how Pitts is used) so he should see plenty of volume. If desperate, Gage is a solid flex play considering he will likely occupy the slot often and be a short-yardage passing option for Matt Ryan. I’ll guess 5 catches for 60 yards on Sunday for Gage. Pitts should dominate in his first career NFL game as the Eagles’ linebackers are their weak spot. I’m going to say 7 catches, 80 yards and a touchdown for Pitts.
Speaking of Ryan, who is currently available in 26% of fantasy leagues, I expect more of the same. Ryan probably won’t win you your matchup this week, but also he won’t be the reason you lose. He’s a safe play and should have a solid 200+ yardage and 2-3 passing touchdowns kind of day. Considering his recent ADP, that’s solid.
That about does it for Week 1. Again, if you have any questions heading into next weekends game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, be sure to message me on Twitter (@EvanBirchfield) or by email (TheFalcoholicEvan@yahoo.com) and I’ll be sure to include it in next week’s article.
As I say every year, when it comes to fantasy football – always go with your gut!