Greetings, Falcoholics! The Atlanta Falcons got off to a rough start last week, falling at home to the Philadelphia Eagles 6-32. This obviously didn’t translate well to the fantasy football world, as practically every Falcons’ player finished below their projected fantasy outcome. Although it seems unlikely, hopefully things change in Week 2 as the team travels south and faces the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their first divisional matchup of the 2021 season.
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.
Falcons vs. Buccaneers
For those that started quarterback Matt Ryan last week, it was certainly a let down. Ryan faced what was expected to be a below average pass defense and walked away with 7.36 fantasy points. Underwhelming to say the least. In Week 2, Ryan will face a Bucs’ secondary which struggled last week and will be without standout corner Sean Murphy-Bunting. With that being said, I wouldn’t recommend starting Ryan in anything other than extremely deep leagues.
You never want to overreact following one game, but the Falcons’ offensive line was abysmal against the Eagles defensive front, and now they will face arguably a just as tough if not tougher front with the Buccaneers. I hope I’m wrong, but realistically I can’t see a situation where I’d feel comfortable starting Ryan this week.
It probably won’t get any easier in the run game either, as the Buccaneers allowed only 3.3 yards per carry against the Dallas Cowboys. We finally got to see how the Falcons’ run game usage would shake out, and although Mike Davis received 15 carries, it was Cordarrelle Patterson who appeared as the more productive runner overall. Considering where you probably took Davis, I can’t blame you for starting him this week, but I would limit expectations. It’s possible that this backfield will become more of a committee as the season progresses, especially if Patterson receives more carries and Wayne Gallman avoids being a healthy scratch.
We were all excited to finally see Kyle Pitts and what he could bring to this offense. Instead, we got to see four receptions for 31 yards, and a noticeable absence in the red zone. I’m not going to panic after one week, but I’m really hoping to see Pitts utilized in the red zone. Considering how thin the tight end position is overall, Pitts should remain a starter in all fantasy formats. Calvin Ridley remains a starter in all leagues, while Russell Gage, who was rostered in nearly 50% of leagues ahead of Week 1, can be dropped following a lackluster two targets and no catches.
That about does it for the Week 2 fantasy football preview. Again, if you have any questions heading into next weekends game against the New York Giants, be sure to submit them on Twitter 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!