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Falcons stud and dud from Week 1

A fun time was not had.

Philadelphia Eagles v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The more things change the more they stay the same. That is the case with the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1—they’ve now suffered four straight defeats—and that is the case with this article series, which makes its return for a fourth consecutive year.

The Falcons started their afternoon with a very promising first couple of offensive drives where they marched deep into Eagles territory before stalling out, as this team’s red zone demons seem to have resurfaced out of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium turf instead of being expelled with the departure of Dirk Koetter and the entrance of new head coach Arthur Smith.

Atlanta never put together a drive where they went more than 22 yards following their second field goal, punting six times, turning it over on downs twice, and not once snapping the ball in the opposing team’s territory. It was truly a brutal performance, and those who had Falcons players on their fantasy teams felt the brunt of it.

The way this article works is that it will highlight two Falcons players in each game — one who was a standout fantasy performer and one who did not live up to expectations.

Only fantasy relevant players will be featured in this series. A wide receiver at the end of the bench or a 4th string running back who isn’t on anybody’s fantasy team will not be looked at (not that the Falcons have that on their roster this season, as they only carries three RBs).

Expectations are of course always higher for players who were drafted earlier, so they will be under added scrutiny when dissecting fantasy performances.

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 pure statistics). Here is Atlanta’s fantasy stud and fantasy dud from Week 1’s defeat against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Fantasy Stud/Dud 2020 History:

Past Studs: Calvin Ridley (5) Younghoe Koo (4), Todd Gurley (4), Julio Jones, Matt Ryan

Past Duds: Matt Ryan (3), Calvin Ridley (2), Russell Gage (2), Brian Hill (2), Younghoe Koo (2), Todd Gurley (2) Hayden Hurst, Julio Jones

Yearly Fantasy Stud/Dud History:

Past Studs: Calvin Ridley, Matt Ryan, Austin Hooper

Past Duds: Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman, Mohamed Sanu

Fantasy Stud - Younghoe Koo

Stat Line - 2/2 20-29: 6.0 standard league/PPR points

Honestly, this was one of the first times in four years of writing this article series where I strongly considered putting nobody in this column. Nobody for the Falcons had a good fantasy performance, Koo included, but at least starting Younghoe Koo wouldn’t have completely handicapped someone’s fantasy team this week.

It seemed like Koo was in for a very productive fantasy afternoon, scoring all six of his points on those aforementioned first two drives of the day. He kicked sub-30 yard field goals at the end of each drive, demonstrating just how close the Falcons got without punching it into the end zone.

If the Birds continue struggling in the red zone, this could shape up to be another great season for last season’s number 1 ranked fantasy kicker.


Matt Ryan - 164 passing yards, 0 passing touchdowns, 2 carries, 8 rushing yards: 7.36 standard league/PPR points

I really could have put any number of players into this section, but it was Matt Ryan who had the worst stinker of the day.

Ryan only had 35 passing attempts despite the fact that the Falcons trailed for 51:17 of game time. The interior of the offensive line is a disaster and it seemed like Smith came into this game planning on using the run as a sort of shield to protect Ryan. When he did drop back, No. 2 scarcely had enough time to do much.

That doesn’t matter, however. The only thing looked at in the realm of fantasy football are the cold hard stats. And according to the stats, Ryan was the QB28 in fantasy through the conclusion of the Sunday games. If Derek Carr and Lamar Jackson each record more than 7.36 fantasy points on Monday Night Football, then Ryan will have scored fewer points this week than every other team’s primary quarterback except for Aaron Rodgers (who had his own disaster against New Orleans) and Andy Dalton.

While I don’t expect the performances moving forward to be this bad, Ryan is not a QB1 in any scoring format in fantasy this season. He’s nothing more than a bye week fill in or desperation streamer in the right matchup.