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Falcons Fantasy Football Start 'Em/Sit 'Em, Week 11: A Remarkably Average Defense

That title would apply to the Tennessee Titans, who have the No. 22 rush defense and No. 15 pass defense in the league this season. That said, they also have a couple of players Falcons fans should be pretty familiar with.

Starting at defensive end will be Derrick Morgan, the former Georgia Tech standout, and starting at middle linebacker will be former Buccaneer Barrett Ruud. Fortunately for Atlanta, Morgan has only managed two sacks on the year, part of a defensive front that has only managed 19 sacks on the year (Falcons have 15). Ruud, while solid, was also a part of those Tampa Bay defenses that never could really stop Michael Turner & Co.

So keeping that in mind, one guy you should absolutely want to start this week is...


Michael Turner (shocking, I know).
With such a mediocre pass defense, the Falcons will likely aim to keep possession of the ball in this matchup and wear down that Tennessee front seven. Turner's 96 yards against New Orleans (mostly) worked at keeping the ball out of their hands, and that should be the goal in this game as well. Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling should also start seeing their share of carries, but at this point in time there's no indication he'll be carrying less than 20 times a game.

Matt Ryan
His one interception against New Orleans was entirely the fault of Roddy White, and outside of that mistake he put up 350 yards passing and two touchdowns. Though his accuracy has been suspect at times, if you look at the whole performance since the bye week Ryan has been very good. With a lack of players on the Tennessee defense, there's no reason that shouldn't continue this week.

Harry Douglas
What a game this guy had last week! Out of nowhere, Douglas finally put it all together and amassed 133 yards on eight catches. With Julio Jones looking like he'll be sitting out in this one, he'll see more than his fair share of targets. Tennessee's No. 2 cornerback Jason McCourty, while solid, isn't exactly what you would call a phenomenal CB. Look for Douglas to have a solid game this week.

Tony Gonzalez
I couldn't suggest not starting the old man, simply because he's been the most consistent receiver the Falcons have all season. The only concern with Gonzalez is Tennessee's ability to cover tight ends (they've allowed the seventh fewest  fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season). Expect a decent week, but nothing spectacular. Still worth a start in my opinion.

Roddy White
Roddy has become quite the enigma. He's been having a decent season fantasy-wise, but nowhere near what everyone expected coming off his fantastic performance in 2010. Corteland Finnegan is one of the better corners in the league, and White has struggled to really put together a "fantastic" performance in a while. He'll get his share of catches, but as with Gonzalez I'm not so sure you should expect anything spectacular.

Matt Bryant
Sure, he missed one against New Orleans, but that's his first since 2010. No reason you shouldn't start him again.

Atlanta D/ST
I've said this before, but this is a very underrated "real life" defense. They simply don't put up the sack/interception numbers to qualify as a viable option in fantasy football.

For more, check out Falcons blog The Falcoholic and Titans blog Music City Miracles

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.