To those of you fortunate enough to still be worried about your fantasy lineup, week 17 should offer some great options for anyone owning a Falcons player. Why? Well to put it simply, at this point in the year the Buccaneers are probably the easiest matchup available.
Though of course we know they're in the middle of an incredible nine-game losing streak, it's also worth mentioning that those weren't just losses: the Bucs have been getting blown out since week 6. Add in the fact that Tampa's defense has allowed at least 30 points in the past three weeks and you'll realize the Falcons have a cupcake matchup in their regular season finale.
QB Matt Ryan- Ryan has been on a tear in recent weeks, posting a passer rating of over 110.0 four times in the last six weeks. He also has thrown eight TD's and zero interceptions in his last three games. Toss in a soft Tampa defense that is allowing the most points in the NFL per game, and Ryan becomes an automatic start in my book.
WR Roddy White- Much like his quarterback, Roddy has really picked things up after a sluggish (for him) start to the season. He's caught five TD passes in the last five weeks, and has surpassed 100 yards receiving in three of them. Also remember that White caught nine passes for 140 yards in his last matchup against the Buccaneers.
WR Julio Jones- The rookie from Bama has really been coming on strong after missing several games due to a hamstring injury. With playoff seeding on the line for Atlanta and Jones fully participating in practice on Thursday, it's more than likely he'll play the full game. Like White, Julio also ran all over the Bucs last time out (six catches for 115 yards) and has four scores in his last three appearances.
K Matt Bryant- The Falcons should score in the bunches and Sunday, and by the associative property Bryant should also score multiple times. Start heeem.
Atlanta D/ST- The Tampa Bay offense hasn't done much in... well, a long time. Josh Freeman has thrown 19 interceptions this season, and the Bucs have also fumbled the ball 27 times on the year (third in the NFL).
RB Michael Turner- I'd advise staying away from Turner for two reason: health, and past performance. While the Bucs rush defense has been atrocious, they managed to absolutely shut down No. 33 last time out (11 carries for 20 yards). MT was also limited in practice on Thursday, and may see reduced playing time (especially if the Lions manage to beat the Packers beforehand).
TE Tony Gonzalez- He's had a great season, but he was relatively quiet last time out (two catches for 18 yards) and like Turner is a candidate to not play the full game, given his age and what he represents for this team in the playoffs. Start him if you must, but there's probably better pickup options available in this final week (Jared Cook, for instance).
WR Harry Douglas- HD has not seen much action at all since the return of a healthy Julio Jones, and I wouldn't expect this week to be any different.
For more on the Falcons, check out The Falcoholic; for the Buccaneers, head over to Bucs Nation.