With a record of 1-4, it may be hard to fathom that the Atlanta Falcons have anyone truly worth starting in Fantasy Football, but that is far from the case.
Despite the terrible record five games through the season, there are still must-starts on the Atlanta Falcons team that you cannot overlook this week in Fantasy Football.
The Atlanta Falcons make the trip to Arizona to face the Cardinals (1-3-1) who has a defense that is ripe for Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense to exploit. Let’s look at some key players that you should start this week and some players that should ride the bench this week.
Quarterback, Matt Ryan – Matt Ryan comes into week six ranking second in the league in passing yards (1,655) fourth in passing touchdowns (11) and first in passes attempted (222). Those numbers alone are enough to make Ryan a sure-starter, but add in the fact that the Cardinals rank twenty-fourth in passing yards allowed and twenty-ninth in passing touchdowns allowed, makes Matt Ryan’s ceiling for this week that much higher. Of course, Ryan’s major downfall is the fact that he has already mustered up seven interceptions on the year but if you look past that, Ryan is a definite starter for this week.
Wide receiver, Julio Jones – Through five games if you have Julio Jones on your team, start him. He has proven yet again that he is an elite receiver and continues to produce numbers every week. Jones has 44 receptions, 359 yards and four touchdowns on the year thus far.
Wide receiver, Calvin Ridley – Ridley can somewhat be a high-risk, high-reward fantasy receiver. Ridley started off the year strong but tapered off for a couple of weeks before picking up steam again last week. With the dismal Cardinals passing defense and his ability to produce explosive touchdowns, I look for Ridley to continue last week’s trend and end with a big game on Sunday.
Tight end, Austin Hooper – This year Austin Hooper is one of Matt Ryan’s favorite targets. Hooper is second on the team in targets (42) only behind Julio Jones. He has racked up two touchdowns and actually leads the team in receiving yards (363). The most notable stat, especially in PPR format leagues, is Hooper’s receptions (34). As Hooper remains to be one of the top tight ends in the league, he is a must-start this week.
Running back, Devonta Freeman – Freeman has just 187 rushing yards for the year and zero touchdowns. Regardless of the reasoning, he has not produced thus far. Until proven otherwise, I would keep Freeman on the bench. He may be poised for a breakout at some point during the season, but until that happens he just cannot be trusted. The only upside Freeman has right now is his twenty-two receptions, which can go well in PPR leagues, but the receptions don’t make up for the lack of running attack that is plaguing Freeman.
Running back, Ito Smith – Smith has 93 yards on 18 rushes this year and has seemed to prove that he is the most consistent on the backs, but he just doesn’t get the touches to show it. It seems that the Falcons coaching staff doesn’t want to give anyone other than Freeman a chance to prove themselves, so until Smith starts to get more touches, expect him to stay on the bench.
Wide receiver, Mohamed Sanu – Sanu has been a very consistent receiver this year and actually has more targets and receptions than Calvin Ridley. I feel as though Ridley and Jones will have a more explosive game this Sunday than Sanu, due to their ability to score touchdowns more consistently. Sanu is still a viable option of course, but for me, he sits on the bench this week.
Falcons D/ST – If you even have the Falcons defense on your team, shame on you.