I think this would be a week to start any Atlanta Falcons player that you have…..or at least the relevant ones. Matt Ryan plays great at home, which will only benefit the rest of his team. Super Geno (haha) heads into Carolina to take on Super Cam and the mad Panthers after their crushing loss at the hands of the Saints last week. Nice matchup of the bay teams, as the 49ers head into Tampa which could be a defensive struggle. And of course the Saints get lucky with an indoor road game against the lowly Rams which could benefit any team that starts a Saints player.
Washington at Atlanta
If you somehow rode Matt Ryan to this point in the playoffs, well done. He has an outstanding match up this week and I think he could finish around the QB5 level this week. I would definitely recommend starting him this week. They are currently the 27th ranked defense in stopping the pass and they have given up 25 TDs through the air this year. Matt Ryan is going to eat this week.
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Oh they can’t stop the pass so they must be good at stopping the run right? WRONG! Well, actually they give up 4.1 yards per carry on the ground, good for 15th in the league. So they’re not great but they’re not terrible either. Given that I think the Falcons are going to move the ball up and down the field, I love Steven Jackson this week as well. I think he will get a ton of carries and more than likely a short score.
DeAngelo Hall should match up with Roddy White, but given how Roddy has played the past couple of weeks, I think Atlanta will try and feed him the ball, moving him around the field to get him away from Hall who is Washington’s best DB. I like Roddy this week, I like Harry Douglas this week, heck I even like Tony G this week! Well, Gonzo has scored the past two weeks and I think this could continue. Harry Douglas had a down week, but they’ll be back in their home dome against a weak defense, so I’m thinking he gets back to seeing over 8 targets and catching more of those throws.
San Francisco at Tampa Bay
San Francisco has been playing excellent on defense as of late. Due to that, I do not like Mike Glennon. Not that you were going to start him over many QBs, but this week especially is not good for him.
I can’t recommend Bobby Rainey this week either. This defense shut down Zac Stacy who had been running wild the previous few games before taking them on. They held Marshawn Lynch to under 75 yards and he always has their number! In fact, San Fran has not given up 100 yards rushing to a running back all season!
Vincent Jackson is the only player in the receiving corps worth a start. A very tough match up this week, but there’s no way you have a better option than him for this week. He’s gotten you here more than likely, ride it out. Ride the roller coaster and hope that Glennon the Giraffe has enough time to throw a couple deep bombs to him.
New York Jets at Carolina
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This Jets defense has given up 2 passing TDs in each of the past two games. I think that’s a good sign for Cam Newton who is probably mad after getting crushed in prime time by the Saints. They game up those TDs to two QBs who in my books are less talented than Cam Newton – McGloin and Tannehill. Also, I don’t see Carolina having much of a run game since the Jets are excellent against the run, so I think Super Cam may take that into his own hands.
As I’ve said the past few weeks, tough to start any of the Panthers RBs, even if Stewart is out. The Jets are solid against the run and its clearly a running back by committee. Yuck.
Steve Smith had a late TD last week against the Saints which salvaged his fantasy day. Tough to trust him here, but him and Greg Olsen are the only guys worth a start on this team. They were 1 and 2 in targets and receptions last week and no other pass catcher had more than 2 receptions last week. Steve Smith may be a WR3 this week with WR2 upside. Hopefully he is that kind of player on your team, or you may be in trouble. As for Greg Olsen, he had 8 receptions for 40 yards, so he gets a bump in value in PPR. If he scores (2 of the last 4 games he has a TD) he will obviously have a nice game. In PPR I still think he’s a good play regardless of him scoring, but for him to be worth it in standard, he has to score. Good thing about TEs is that most of the other TEs are similar to him (outside of Julius/Graham of course).
New Orleans at St. Louis
Start Drew Brees. Carson Palmer had a nice game last week, but I think he didn’t have the game he could have because Arizona ran the ball so well. Brees is going to pass and pass a lot. Of course there’s no way you’re sitting Brees basically ever anyways.
Apparently the Saints like to spread the carries around just as much as they like to spread the throws around. St. Louis is not the run defense that Carolina is, plus I think the Saints will control this game from the beginning. They are on the road yes, but they are still indoors. Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles in PPR I think are going to be solid plays this week. Both had down weeks, but I think I will chalk that up to how that game played out. Don’t think Mark Ingram is a very good option unless you play in a super deep league, he could get some work later in the game if the Saints are up big after halftime.
So…..I missed on Colston last week. Thing about him is that its tough to predict when those games will happen with him. I think he could have another good week against a weak St. Louis defense. My guess is that they’re going to focus on Graham/Sproles, leaving things open for Colston. Obviously you’re starting Jimmy Graham, no matter how much the Rams want to try and shut him down. It seems like the only one that could do it was Aqib Talib and Graham left that game early. The other WRs you can’t really start or trust because Brees throws it all over the place after his favourite targets.