In my weekly article series talking about the implications of a Falcons win or loss, I talked about how incredibly fickle the NFL is. Some weeks you have ups, some weeks you downs, and within any given week a fanbase’s feelings regarding an entire season could change. Following a huge win in Tampa, the Falcons now follow it up with a stinker in Tennessee against a quarterback making his debut.
Ironically, Atlanta ended its streak of three straight 400-yard games but scored more points this week than they had at any point when getting that yardage. Both points and yardage seemed to be at a premium in the first half, but things were seemingly unlocked after halftime when Taylor Heinicke took over in relief of Desmond Ridder.
With the fantasy season carrying on, it seems as if you’ll never know what you may get with this Falcons offense. The hope is that something eventually clicks, but we’re close to the halfway point and time will begin running out.
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 8’s defeat against the Tennessee Titans.
Fantasy Stud/Dud 2023 History:
Past Studs: Bijan Robinson (2), Tyler Allgeier (1), Kyle Pitts (1), Desmond Ridder (1), Drake London (1), Younghoe Koo (1)
Past Duds: Drake London (2), Kyle Pitts (2), Tyler Allgeier (1), Younghoe Koo (1), Bijan Robinson
Fantasy Stud - Bijan Robinson
Stat Line: 11 carries, 62 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown: 12.2 standard league/PPR points
There was no funny business around Bijan Robinson this week, after he got just one touch in Tampa due to a headache which the public was not informed about until halftime. Robinson was back to his old self, tallying 5.6 yards per carry and scoring the first rushing touchdown of his career (he has two more scores but both were receiving).
Robinson had his most efficient game running the ball since Week 4 against the Jaguars, and his lack of more touches was due to the fact that the Falcons were trailing for most of the afternoon.
It should be noted as well that Tyler Allgeier got just three fewer touches as this split continues. Allgeier’s presence will continue to cap Bijan’s fantasy ceiling, but he remains a strong low end RB1 moving forward thanks to Atlanta’s reliance on the rushing attack.
Desmond Ridder: 71 passing yards, 3 carries, 26 rushing yards, 1 lost fumble: 2.44 standard league/PPR points
Ridder garnered some superflex and 2 QB league consideration thanks to three straight weeks of good yardage output in what should have all been multi-touchdown games had it not been for a dreadful fumble at the goal line in Tampa. This week, he came crashing back to earth very hard in what should have been a light matchup against Tennessee’s pass funneling defense.
Ridder, in turn, looked absolutely helpless. Following a field goal on an initial drive which the Falcons started at Tennessee’s 28-yard-line thanks to a fumble recovery, Atlanta never even managed to get the ball to midfield in six other first half drives, one of which ended with yet another Ridder turnover — that marks his league leading 12th of the season.
Worse yet for Ridder is that Taylor Heinicke took over as the quarterback in the second half and led the offense to 20 points, looking much better. Arthur Smith confirmed that Ridder would remain the starter next week, but it remains to be seen just how much more patience the former Cincinnati Bearcat will be afforded.
I would advise against starting Ridder in any league format, as he has shown that while he can put together decent fantasy performances, the floor can be absolutely catastrophic.