The Falcons disappointed many during week one's matchup against Bears, and in doing so they failed many a fantasy owner as well. Not one offensive touchdown was to be had in that entire game. Now while I wouldn't expect that trend to continue, the Falcons' task won't get any easier this week at home against the Eagles.
Now, is the Philly defense as good as everyone in the media believes? Well, they gave up154 rushing yards against the Rams, including 91 to the great Cadillac Williams. Everyone knows the Eagles have great cornerbacks, but what everyone seems to forget is that they also possess inexperience at linebacker and a first-time defensive coordinator in Juan Castillo. With that in mind, follow me as we look at which Falcons to start in this huge week two matchup:
numberFire.com Projection: 13.82 Points (21.15 carries, 86.22 yards, 0.67 TD, 1.63 rec for 11.87 yards)
While it seemed nothing could go right against the Bears, Turner quietly racked up 100 yards on only 10 carries. He also managed to add three passes for 40 yards to that performance, which for Turner is absolutely spectacular. He has hands of stone, my friends.
Regardless, I'd expect a heavy dose of the Burner this Sunday.The Eagles have a potent offense, and we all know Mike Mularkey thrives on ball-control style offense. They'll want to keep the ball out of Vick's hands by running Turner into the ground. If you have 'ole Thunder Thighs, this week is as good as any to start him.
numberFire.com Projection: 5.63 points (4.13 recs, 45.98 yards, 0.17 TD)
What do you do when the other team has three fantastic cornerbacks? You pass it to the tight end. Whether it's Jamar Chaney or Moise Fokou covering him, the Eagles will have their hands full with Gonzo this weekend. He's coming off a week in which he also had a very quiet five catches for 72 yards. He also had seven targets, second on the team. Though his ceiling isn't exactly Antonio Gates-caliber anymore, I'd call Gonzalez a very safe start this week.
numberFire.com Projection: 13.36 points (6.71 catches, 89.58 yards, 0.72 TD)
Yes, he'll be matched up against Nnamdi Asomugha, probably the best corner in the league. If this were a couple of years ago, I probably would have said bench him. But last year's performance elevated Roddy to the level of "straight thuggin'" on the football field. He's absolutely one of the game's best, and had a team-high 13 targets last week against the Bears. He'll get his share of catches and yards, regardless of who's covering him. He's that good.
numberFire.com Projection: 9.07 points (1.72 FG, 3.24 XP)
Last week, we saw how the Falcons offense had the tendency to
completely fall apart stall midway through a drive, leading to a couple of field goals as the only offensive scoring. Bryant has been automatic since last year, and moving inside to the Dome this week can only help. He should be your starter every week.
numberFire.com Projection: 15.83 points (19.36 completions, 237.85 yards, 1.58 TDs, 0.88 INTs)
This decision will be a tough one. Until this offensive line learns how to pass block, I'd say any start is a risk. Trent Cole and Jason Babin are two good edge rushers, and Sam Baker got eaten alive by Julius Peppers last week. But also consider that Ryan quietly had 300 yards and, minus the picks, was very much mistake-free on the day. He'll take what the Eagles defense gives him, and have a fairly productive day. Also remember that Ryan is fantastic when playing at home. Not a strong option this week, but he'll get you points.
Julio Jones/Harry Douglas
numberFire.com Projection: Jones 4.81 points (2.87 recs, 43.10 yards, 0.12 TD) Douglas 2.70 points (1.65 catches, 21.85 yards, 0.08 TD)
Julio will likely be matched up with Asante Samuel, and Douglas- if he plays (currently nursing a concussion)- would be matched up against Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Both are very good cornerbacks, and I wouldn't expect either to get a whole lot of action this week. Yes, I know Jones is talented and impressed several people including myself, but this is a rookie matched up against a top-tier defensive back in Samuel. There'll be a learning curve in there somewhere. Douglas, as I said before, is concussed and thus not even a sure thing to play at all.
numberFire.com Projection: 7.68 points (23.00 points against, 2.12 turnovers, 2.12 sacks, 0.22 TD)
Bad week to start these guys (as if I had to tell you). Atlanta struggles with mobile quarterbacks, and you-know-who had 97 yards on the ground last week. As for special teams, the coverage unit looked mighty confused against Devin Hester, partially because of a few ill-advised Matt Bosher punts. Weems might do something, but that's it. Sit, boy.