The offense has struggled thus far. Of that, we're painfully aware. But the Panthers, who sport one of the more anemic defenses in the league, should hopefully allow the Falcons to finally put up some points (something they haven't done all season).
But I'm sure you've heard enough about the Falcons' struggles already. Without further ado, here's your week six start 'em, sit 'em:
QB Matt Ryan
numberFire Projections: 15.96 points (20.32 completions, 230.75 yards, 1.34 TDs, 1.22 INTs)
It's with a little hesitation that I write this. Along with having a very mediocre season, his fantasy numbers have not been spectacular either. He scored around 10 points last week and essentially cost me a win. Can he, and in turn the offense, finally turn it around against Carolina?
With Turner likely having some success on the ground against an awful Panther run D, I'd tend to say yes. The running game will open up the passing lanes, as they say. But I've been wrong several times before. Don't hold your breath if Ryan doesn't blow you away this week.
RB Michael Turner
numberFire Projections: 14.30 points (17.84 carries, 80.55 yards, 0.47 TDs)
I suggested sitting Turner last week, and outside of his lone touchdown run he was very ineffective against the Packers. The offensive line struggling was obviously a big part of his low rushing total, but Green Bay also sports one of the best run defenses in the league.
This week, Turner matches up against a Panthers run defense currently ranked 27th in the league. Needless to say, it should be a great week for the Burner to bounce back from a string of mediocre performances on the ground. With the receiving corps operating at well below full health
WR Roddy White
numberFire Projections: 9.72 points (4.58 recs, 66.18 yards, 0.48 TDs)
He's been banged up all year- that being the reason for his sub-par production- but as the season wears on I'd like to think that he'll get healthier. He's still receiving option No. 1, and with Julio Jones out this week look for White to get even more targets than before.
TE Tony Gonzalez
numberFire Projections: 6.18 points (4.05 recs, 46.66 yards, 0.25 TDs)
He missed practice on Wednesday, but that shouldn't be cause for too much concern. He was likely given a day off because he's Tony Gonzalez and getting up there in years. But with two Panthers starting linebackers done for the year (Beason and Davis), Gonzalez looks to repeat his great performance against them last year (something along the lines of six catches, 82 yards, and 2 TDs). He'll be a good play this week.
K Matt Bryant
numberFire Projections: 6.76 points (1.44 FG, 1.87 XP)
Start him as you always have, as he's been golden all year long. I'd expect the Falcons to put up more points than the 14 they scored last week, but hey, it seems like I'm being surprised quite a bit lately.
WR Harry Douglas
numberFire Projections: 3.34 points (1.96 recs, 29.39 yards, 0.09 TDs)
Yes he's starting, but remember that Douglas is a slot receiver by nature. When he started on the outside last season in place of an injured Michael Jenkins, Douglas didn't find much success. He struggled to get open, and isn't naturally inclined to run those sorts of possession-oriented routes. Steer clear of him this week.
WR Julio Jones
numberFire Projections: INJURED
If you haven't heard by now, Julio Jones has already been ruled out of this week's game against Carolina with what is being called a hamstring injury. Harry Douglas will reportedly start in his place. That's a real shame.
numberFire Projections: 7.74 points (21.07 points allowed, 2.86 sacks, 1.96 turnovers)
They'll be going against Cam Newton, who to my utter disbelief is racking up yardage like Peyton Manning. Though they played a decent game against Green Bay, it's still not enough to deserve a fantasy start. I'm sure you can find better options out there on your waiver wire.
For more, check out SB Nation's Falcons blog The Falcoholic and Panthers blog Cat Scratch Reader.