6. Matt Bryant and the Defense
The Kicker: Matt Bryant (3-3 PAT, 1-1 20-29, 1-1 30-39, 1-1 40-49, 0-1 50+: 12.00 points)
Matt Bryant was as reliable as ever in this one, converting on every single kick inside 50 yards.
Atlanta’s offensive struggles, and stall-outs in San Diego territory, led to plenty of opportunities for the kicker: who converted on his first three field goals of the game.
Then came the 58-yard attempt to try and win the game as time expired, which just went off the upright. Considering the circumstances, that was an incredibly difficult kick to make, and Bryant should not be blamed at all for not making it. It was his first miss of the season.
Analysis: Matt Bryant continues to be one of the elite fantasy options at the kicker position this season. Keep him locked and loaded for the potential shoot-out against the Green Bay Packers, in the Georgia Dome, next week.
The Defense (4 sacks, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery, 1 touchdown, 33 points allowed: 13.00)
It was a very good fantasy day for the Atlanta Falcons defense, despite the high point total given up. In the first half, the defense looked like it would put up absolutely elite numbers this week.
Vic Beasley registered 2.0 of the team’s 4 sacks (Vic is now at 6.5 for the season — fourth in the NFL), and he also forced a fumble, while Deion Jones almost took an interception back for a touchdown on San Diego’s second drive of the game. Adrian Clayborn recovered the aforementioned forced fumble for a touchdown, on a play which got the defense 10 extra fantasy points.
The 33 points given up brought the defense’s fantasy point total back down to earth, however. The 3rd and longs which QB Philip Rivers converted in the second half were absolute back-breakers.
Analysis: This game actually brings Atlanta’s defensive ranking in fantasy up to 12th. However, I’m still not ready to pull the trigger on the defense as a streaming option, at least not against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.