Some losses just leave you speechless. Atlanta losing at home against a Minnesota Vikings team that just lost its starting quarterback for the year, was already without its All-Pro wide receiver, and who then lost their backup QB in the middle of the game and had to roll with a guy who didn’t take a single snap in practice this week falls into that category.
This was such a confusing game. The defense sort of did its job but not enough — a safety, four sacks, two forced turnovers, but countless missed sacks which resulted in touchdown scoring drives — and let up 31 points. The offense put up points, but they sputtered so many times, leaving everyone unsatisfied. Overall, this is a defeat which has left the fanbase questioning the season and Arthur Smith (if they weren’t already).
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 9’s defeat against the Minnesota Vikings.
Fantasy Stud/Dud 2023 History:
Past Studs: Bijan Robinson (3), 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 (1), Desmond Ridder (1)
Fantasy Stud - Jonnu Smith
Stat Line: 5 catches, 100 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown: 16.0 standard league points; 21.0 PPR points
I imagined that Jonnu Smith would have some sort of a fantasy impact as a sleeper at the tight end position this season, but I don’t think anybody was expecting him to have more fantasy points than Kyle Pitts at this point. Smith had a team high five receptions on a team high of six targets, a game high 100 receiving yards, and scored Atlanta’s only touchdown through the air.
The big play was a beautifully executed screen pass in the third quarter where Jonnu received a convoy of blocks from the right side of the offensive line and went 60 yards for Atlanta’s longest touchdown of the season thus far. His day could’ve been even better as he received an end around touch from the 1-yard-line earlier in the game that he couldn’t punch in.
Jonnu should really be rostered in all leagues at this point, currently surprising everyone as the overall TE10 on the season. Taylor Heinicke, who was already named the starter for next week, looked his way often. I would consider starting Jonnu Smith if you’re feeling frisky and aren’t working with one of the elite options at the position.
Bijan Robinson: 11 carries, 51 rushing yards, 2 catches, 8 receiving yards, 1 fumble lost: 2.9 standard league points; 5.9 PPR points
I don’t think anybody can explain Arthur Smith’s lack of usage regarding Bijan Robinson, after the Falcons invested at top 10 pick in him this past draft (this is actually the same thing we’ve been saying about Kyle Pitts for two years now). Despite being more efficient, and the better player overall, he was out touched by Tyler Allgeier 14-13 in this one, including 4-0 in the red zone.
To be completely fair, Bijan did not help himself at all with a lost fumble inside his own territory, which directly led to a Vikings touchdown, but the usage has been a theme all season. Allgeier has thus far out-carried Robinson inside the opponent’s 10-yard-line 10-2, and continues to split touches at a near even pace. Fumble aside, it’s not for a lack of efficiency either, as Bijan is top 10 in the league in yards per carry with a spry 5.0 average.
Robinson is not paying off as a worthy return on investment at the first round average draft position that it took to secure him this past August, and his fantasy upside is capped by Allgeier’s presence. He looks more like a high end RB2 as opposed to the surefire elite RB1 that he was projected to be.