Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints, 8:30 PM
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome – New Orleans, LA
Weather Forecast: Indoors
Gametime Temperature: 78°F
Probability of Precipitation: 0%
Wind Impact: NONE – at 0 MPH
- OUT – LB De’Vondre Campbell (ankle), LB Paul Worrilow (groin)
- QUESTIONABLE – WR Julio Jones (calf)
- OUT – T Terron Armstead (knee), CB Delvin Breaux (fibula)
- QUESTIONABLE – DT Tyeler Davison (shoulder, foot), LB Dannell Ellerbe (quadricep), TE Josh Hill (ankle), DE Cameron Jordan (knee), WR Willie Snead (toe), S Kenny Vaccaro (ankle)
Matt Ryan completed 26-of-34 passes for 396 yards with three touchdowns and an interception in the Falcons’ Week 2 win against the Raiders. Through two games Ryan has completed 53-of-73 passes (72.6 percent) for 730 yards with five touchdowns to just one interception, which was a poor pass thrown behind Jacob Tamme in the end zone last Sunday at Oakland. The Falcons are in New Orleans on Monday night taking on a Saints team that owns fantasy’s last-ranked defense versus quarterbacks.
In what should be a shootout between the division rivals, Ryan ranks as our QB5 for Week 3 and makes for an excellent streaming option.
Devonta Freeman rushed 17 times for 93 yards in the Falcons’ Week 2 win over the Raiders, but wasn’t targeted in the passing game. Freeman ran well, flashing the same patience and burst that made him a fantasy star last season while operating in Kyle Shanahan’s outside-zone running scheme. That said, Tevin Coleman finished with 14 touches so while Freeman remains Atlanta’s No. 1 back, this is a clear committee.
The good news is that on Monday night the Falcons will play the Saints, who own fantasy’s No. 31-ranked defenses versus running backs. The bad news is that Coleman will continue to carve into Freeman’s opportunities moving forward. Ranked as our RB12 for Week 3, view Freeman as a low-end RB1 in PPR formats and a mid-range RB2 in standard leagues.
Tevin Coleman rushed 12 times for 46 yards and a touchdown while also catching two passes for 25 yards in the Falcons’ Week 2 win over the Raiders. Matt Ryan targeted Coleman on another red-zone pass attempt in the second half but the ball ricocheted off Coleman and straight into the air. Fortunately for the Falcons, receiver Justin Hardy snagged the ball in between defenders and came down with an improbable touchdown.
Devonta Freeman (17) had more touches than Coleman (14), but the latter finished with more fantasy points on the afternoon. Playing in a clear committee and seeing plenty of opportunities in both the running and passing game, Coleman is officially on the fantasy radar moving forward.
Ranked as our RB23 in PPR formats and our RB25 in standard leagues for Week 3, view Coleman as a flex option against a Saints team that owns fantasy’s No. 31 defense versus RBs on Monday night.
Julio Jones caught all five of his targets for 106 yards with a touchdown in the Falcons’ Week 2 upset of the Raiders. The score came on a 21-yard pass from Matt Ryan late in the first quarter that gave the Falcons a 10-7 lead. The pair also connected on a 46-yard pass early in the fourth quarter, which set up a Justin Hardy touchdown to give Atlanta the lead for good.
Unfortunately, Jones also suffered a calf strain during the win and missed the Falcons’ final drive. Coach Dan Quinn has been optimistic about the injury and reports from Atlanta suggest that the calf bruise is only minor. Jones was held out of practice on Thursday and Friday, but should return at least on a limited basis Saturday before the Falcons head to New Orleans to play the Saints on Monday night.
Assuming Jones doesn’t suffer a setback, he’s a must-start against a Saints team that owns fantasy’s No. 27-ranked defense versus wide receivers. Jones is our No. 1 WR for Week 3.
Following a big Week 1 performance against the Bucs, Mohamed Sanu had a quiet Week 2 in which he caught 3-of-5 targets for 19 yards in the Falcons’ victory over the Raiders. Atlanta rushed for 4.8 yards per carry and with Matt Ryan using the middle of the field to target Jacob Tamme eight times, Sanu became an afterthought in the Falcons’ offense. (He finished behind Tamme and tied with Julio Jones for targets.)
Sanu was also held out of practice on Thursday due to an ankle injury and was limited on Friday. He should be fine ahead of Monday night’s game in New Orleans, where the Falcons will visit a Saints team that ranks as fantasy’s No. 27 defense against wide receivers. Ranked as our WR36 for Week 3, view Sanu as a flex option only, although he could become a sneaky start if Julio Jones (ankle, calf) winds up re-tweaking one of his multiple injuries during the game.
Jacob Tamme caught five passes for 75 yards and a touchdown in the Falcons’ Week 2 win over the Raiders. He was targeted a team-high eight times, although yardage-wise he finished third behind Julio Jones (5-106-1) and rookie tight end Austin Hooper (3-84-0).
The Falcons play the Saints on Monday night and New Orleans owns fantasy’s last-ranked defense versus tight ends, so Tamme has an opportunity for another solid game. Ranked as our TE9, view Tamme as a solid streaming option for Week 3.
New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees completed 29-of-44 passes for 263 yards with one touchdown in the Saints’ Week 2 loss to the Giants. It was an underwhelming performance in a game that had an over/under of 52.5 points at kickoff. Brees didn’t throw his first touchdown until early in the fourth quarter when he hit Willie Snead on a 17-yard scoring play. Even though the numbers disappointed Brees owners, he should bounce back on Monday night when the Saints host the Falcons. Atlanta currently owns the No. 6 fantasy pass defense but the Falcons have no pass rush and usually have troubling slowing down Brees. In 2015, the Saints’ QB completed 62-of-81 pass attempts for 635 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions versus the Falcons.
Mark Ingram rushed nine times for 30 yards while catching all four of his targets for an additional 17 yards last Sunday in the Saints’ loss to the Giants. Ingram is off to a quiet start, although he is averaging 4.2 yards per carry while rushing 21 times for 88 yards. The Saints haven’t fully committed to their running game yet, but Ingram remains entrenched as the team’s every-down back. At some point New Orleans will seek to find more balance offensively, but for now Ingram owners will just have to remain patient. Ranked as our RB9 in PPR formats for Week 3, view Ingram as a low-end RB1 versus a Falcons team that ranks 28th in terms of fantasy run defense. If Ingram has another quiet night against Atlanta in a plus-matchup, then there will be reason for concern.
Brandin Cooks caught seven passes for 69 yards on nine targets in the Saints’ Week 2 loss to the Giants. After his 6-143-2 stat line in Week 1 against the Raiders, Cooks somewhat disappointed in what everyone expected to be a high-scoring game in New York last Sunday. Nevertheless, Cooks got going in the second half and remains a solid WR2 moving forward. Over his last 11 games, Cooks has 10 touchdowns and five games with 100-plus yards from scrimmage. He ranks as our WR5 for the Saints’ Week 3 tilt with the Falcons on Monday night, making him a must-start.
Willie Snead caught five passes for 54 yards and a touchdown on his eight targets last Sunday when the Saints fell to the Giants in Week 2. Coming off a 9-173-1 performance in Week 1, Snead rewarded fantasy owners that rolled the dice on him in Week 2 by catching a 17-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. The second-year wideout held off rookie Michael Thomas in preseason for New Orleans’ No. 2 receiver position opposite Brandin Cooks and clearly has chemistry with QB Drew Brees. Ranked as our WR19 for the Saints’ Week 3 game against the Falcons on Monday night, view Snead as a low-end WR2 for this week.
Michael Thomas caught four passes on five targets for 56 yards in the Saints’ Week 2 loss to the Giants. The rookie caught back-to-back passes for 40 yards at the end of the first half but was quiet in the final two quarters as the Saints’ offense never truly got going against New York’s improved defense. The takeaway for fantasy owners is that Thomas saw fewer targets than Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead and struggling tight end Coby Fleener. Clearly the Ohio State product has carved out a role for himself in New Orleans’ pass-first offense but Thomas remains a WR4 in fantasy. Ranked as our WR41 for the Saints’ Week 3 tilt against the Falcons, leave Thomas on your bench for Monday night.
Coby Fleener caught just two-of-eight targets for 29 yards in the Saints’ Week 2 loss to the Giants. While Willie Snead and even rookie Michael Thomas have developed good chemistry with Drew Brees, Fleener isn’t on the same page with his quarterback. Viewed as a potential fantasy sleeper after New Orleans signed him to a free agent deal this offseason, Fleener has disappointed in his first two weeks. Even in a plus-matchup against the Falcons in what should be a high-scoring game on Monday night, Fleener isn’t a trustworthy start in Week 3. Ranked as our TE15, view Fleener as a TE2 for now.
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