Say it with me — a win is a win. No matter how ugly it was, it’s about 100x better to look back at the shortcomings following victory as opposed to defeat.
This fanbase did not deserve another 0-3 start to the season, which would have essentially buried the Falcons before the leaves started changing color. This would have been the third consecutive such season, and while it’s not outside the realm of possibility that this symbolic burial happens anyway, it won’t occur just yet.
There weren’t many offensive fireworks on this Week 3 afternoon, with both teams combining for a paltry 31 points. That’s not the best news for those who rostered and started Falcons players in fantasy, but there’s always a hero to be found.
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 are Atlanta’s fantasy stud and fantasy dud from Week 3’s victory against the New York Giants.
Fantasy Stud/Dud 2021 History:
Past Studs: Younghoe Koo (1), Cordarrelle Patterson (1)
Past Duds: Matt Ryan (1), Mike Davis (1)
Fantasy Stud - Cordarrelle Patterson
Stat Line - 7 carries, 20 rushing yards, 6 catches, 82 receiving yards: 10.20 standard league points; 16.20 PPR points
Last week, we welcomed Cordarrelle Patterson to fantasy relevance with a “stud” performance. This week, we welcome him to fantasy football consistency after he put together yet another starter-worthy performance.
While the touchdowns from last week weren’t there this time around, Patterson recorded over 100 yards from scrimmage for the first time since the 2014 season opener, when he did so in St. Louis against the Rams. The best part of this week’s performance is that fantasy managers were able to benefit from it, as CP was owned in less than 1% of NFL.com leagues during his Week 2 breakout, and was rostered in 47.5% of leagues this week.
Patterson’s carries have remained consistent at seven apiece in each of the first three games, while his receptions — and receiving yards — have steadily increased. His 82 receiving yards (28 of which started the game-winning drive on the last possession of the game) was the most he’s had in a game since December of the 2017 season (also against the Giants).
The Falcons once again operated with just two active running backs on the game day roster, as Patterson remained an integral part of the offense. His excellent fantasy play is by no means an accident or a coincidence. If he is on your league’s waiver wire, go get him.
Kyle Pitts - 2 catches, 35 receiving yards: 3.5 standard league points; 5.5 PPR points
The Kyle Pitts hype train was in full swing heading into the season after the University of Florida alum became the highest drafted tight end in NFL history this past spring. It was to the point where Pitts was being drafted with a fifth-round ADP, and was on average one of the first five tight ends off the board. Three games in and it hasn’t been worth it for those who made such a handsome investment in Atlanta’s unicorn.
The usage has for the most part not been there for Pitts three games in, and the targets have been trending in a negative direction — from eight in Week 1, to six in Week 2, to just three this past weekend. The touchdowns haven’t yet come either. It was even more painful for Pitts fantasy managers who watched as third-string tight end Lee Smith vultured a goal-line touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Pitts was a massive contributor to Atlanta’s comeback in the final frame. He secured a massive third down catch on Atlanta’s touchdown drive, drew the pass interference penalty in the end zone (also on third down) to set up Smith’s TD later on that same drive, and he got the Birds into field goal range with a 25-yard reception to set up Koo’s game-winning FG. However, he was without even a target until those final two drives.
If you have Pitts in your league, you’re starting him given how barren the TE position is in fantasy. He’ll continue growing into the offense over time as he continues to earn both Matt Ryan and Arthur Smith’s trust, but it’s unlikely that he’ll grow into a player worth that fifth-round ADP that it took to draft him.