Through mid-September, the Falcons sit in the very unenviable 0-2 position that the media loves to declare as a death sentence regarding a team’s playoff hopes. With the addition of the 17th game this season and the third wildcard spot last season, that death sentence feels a bit more farfetched and exaggerated.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a good spot to be in, but the hole doesn’t seem as deep as some like to make it seem (the conversation will be much different if the Birds lose to the Giants next week, however).
Atlanta dropped its second consecutive game to start the season, and it was one which everyone expected them to lose, in Tampa against the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers.
There were at least far more positives to take from this performance than there were in Week 1. The Falcons looked competitive into the fourth quarter and they actually put some points on the board. As you all know, this article series is all about stats, touchdowns and fantasy points.
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 2’s defeat against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Fantasy Stud/Dud 2021 History:
Past Studs: Younghoe Koo (1)
Past Duds: Matt Ryan (1)
Fantasy Stud - Cordarrelle Patterson
Stat Line - 7 carries, 11 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 5 catches, 58 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown: 18.90 standard league points; 23.90 PPR points
The Falcons opted to make Wayne Gallman inactive once again this week, rolling with just two running backs on the depth chart like in Week 1. As a pure runner, Patterson didn’t do much from a yardage standpoint — just 11 yards on seven carries, with 10 of those yards coming on one run.
That one 10-yard run was Atlanta’s first touchdown of the season, however, and it was just the beginning for the electric Patterson. He was Atlanta’s third leading receiver with 58 receiving yards, serving as Matt Ryan’s sparkplug out of the backfield, and scoring a touchdown through the air as well (off a nifty one handed snag, no less!).
It could’ve been an even bigger day for the Tennessee alum, had his toe not just barely grazed the white painted grass of the field of play’s boundary on what looked at first like a 46-yard touchdown catch and run. Nonetheless, even without that score, Patterson registered as the overall RB3 in PPR leagues through the conclusion of Sunday’s games, scoring fewer points than only Derrick Henry and Christian McCaffrey.
Arthur Smith knows what he has with Patterson and he’s scheming up ways to get the ball into Cordarrelle’s hands because of the playmaking ability. Patterson was only rostered in 0.5% of NFL.com leagues heading into Week 2, so he should be a nice waiver wire add this week.
Mike Davis - 9 carries, 38 rushing yards, 7 catches, 25 receiving yards: 6.30 standard league points; 13.30 PPR points
The other running back on Atlanta’s roster who suited up, and the one who started, didn’t have such a great fantasy day.
While the seven catches somewhat salvaged Davis’ value in PPR leagues, he just did not do enough with his touches for fantasy managers this week, and it was not a good sign that it was Patterson who was heavily involved on the red zone plays.
Davis’ ADP was somewhere around the 4th-5th round (depending on league structure and size), meaning that he was generally taken to be an RB2. It will take a bit more than sub-70 yards and no touchdowns to justify that selection, and it should worry fantasy managers that Patterson is not only getting around as many touches as Davis but that he’s also doing much more with them. The good news is that he doesn’t have to face the Buccaneers again this coming Sunday, so hopefully he’ll enjoy a better fantasy day in Week 3.