NFC South Week 7

The Saints are on bye after a disappointing loss to the Patriots….Atlanta is coming off bye without their best offensive player…..Carolina gets to face the Rams after they ran over Houston…..and Tampa goes home to face the Falcons….let’s get right into it.

Falcons at Bucs

Matt Ryan loses his best offensive weapon in Julio Jones and Roddy White is more banged up – then he gets to go into Tampa to face a stout Bucs pass defense. He has been decent this year, but without Julio and Roddy (and the absence of any real running game) defenses only have to really focus on Tony Gonzalez and then Matt Ryan turns into just another guy. I don’t like his chances this week, though his defense just gave up a ton of points to Geno and the Jets, so there’s a chance he may have to pass a lot this week. Volume can add up to tons of points but can also lead to a lot of INTs. Risky play this week in my books. Looking to Mike Glennon, he had a decent stat line for fantasy purposes but the Eagles defense is awful. Not that the Falcons pass defense is much better, but I feel like the Bucs will try and get their run game going. By doing so, they’ll obviously be trying to control the game and the clock to keep Matty Ice off the field. Moral of the story is, you’re not starting Mike Glennon unless you play in a 32 team league.

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Going to running backs, the Atlanta backfield is pretty cloudy. Steven Jackson might be back this week, but you’ll have to monitor reports. Even if he is, Tampa is 13th against the run and have only given up 1 rushing TD all year. Rodgers and Snelling each had carries last week and the Falcons only ran the ball 21 times  against the Jets. I think the Falcons are going to use all 3 (if Jackson returns) but they can’t run the ball well anyways, so I don’t like starting these guys. Doug Martin I feel is going to get a ton of carries in this game but Atlanta is 6th against the run. I think some of that is chalked up to being able to pass a ton on the secondary. Muscle Hamster could break out in this game against a bad defensive Falcons unit. Plus if you have him, you have to play your studs, even if Doug hasn’t been much of a stud this year.

I think this is a week to sit Roddy White – if he plays at all. Revis could be on him all game. I would look to a better option because the TB pass rush is very solid and the Falcons line is not –  Matt Ryan is going to be running for his life all game. I’m looking for a better option, if he even plays. Harry Douglas is an interesting player this week – he will get a lot more work with focus on Gonzo and Julio out for the year. In a deeper league he may have a good game purely because of volume. I expect him to get a ton of targets, but remember this Bucs defense shut down the Saints offense in week 2. Tony Gonzalez should also get a ton of work, but I expect the Falcons to focus a lot on shutting him down because of Julio and Roddy being absent. The Bucs are average against the pass (16th on a yards per game basis) but they are giving up less than 2 TDs per game.

Vincent Jackson showed last week why he was a high round pick, though Mike Williams was out. Vincent Jackson is a must start this week against a terrible Atlanta pass defense – they are 25th against the pass and have given up 10 TDs in their 5 games so far this season. If Tampa Mike manages to play this week, I like him a lot too. Monitor the injury reports to see if he practices during the week. Both guys can have good weeks against this defense – come on, if the Jets can do it, the Bucs can too.

Rams at Panthers

Cam Newton finally had one of his huge games last week. I’m expecting that again this week – the Rams are 18th against the pass and 31st against the run. Since Cam can use his arm and his legs to beat you, this is an especially good match up since the Rams can’t stop either. I could see him putting up another game of 30+ points.

Brandon LaFell strikes again! It was on a huge passing play of 79 yards, so I’ll continue to say that I don’t think he’s worth starting week in and week out. This is another good match up for the receivers as I mentioned before. If you’re decimated by injuries or the bye week and there aren’t a ton of options, he could be a big upside but very risky play. Steve Smith found the end zone but didn’t do much other than that. I think he will be more involved this week but I think he’s more of a WR3. Cam looks like he wants to move the ball around to different players and get everyone involved. He did lead the team in targets which is a good sign. Him and Greg Olsen are the guys you want to start on this offense. Olsen was involved on a minor basis last week, but I don’t think that’s a cause for concern just yet. Against the Rams I think he has a good game and bounces back for you this week.

DeAngelo Williams obviously got the lion’s share of the carries, but he didn’t get either of the short rushing TDs. That is obviously a trend to look at moving forward and a cause for concern. He will have to bust off a long run to get into the end zone and be fantasy relevant. He did get involved in the passing game which is a great sign for his owners, but he’s nothing more than a low end RB2 the rest of the season. Stewart may be coming back soon and Newton continues to run the ball here and there which erodes Williams’ value.

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