Kickoff: Sunday, January 3 at 1:00 PM ET
Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Betting Odds: TB -6.5, 50.5 Total via Oddsshark
Matt Ryan (Start in 2 QB leagues, QB2)
Matt Ryan has been playing better as of late and actually put up over 350 yards and 3 touchdowns last time out against the Buccaneers. He followed that up with 300/2 against the Chiefs and gets another date with Tampa Bay. He is a sit-in in normal formats, but a start in 2 QB leagues as he should have plenty of volume. His QBR is middle of the pack on the year and has had too much inconsistency to be counted on as a starter in normal formats.
Todd Gurley (Sit)
For those still fighting in Week 17, Todd Gurley should be an afterthought. This offense has gone full-on pass mode and Gurley hasn’t seen double-digit carries since Week 9, which is also the last time he has scored a touchdown. He should honestly be on the waiver wire by now as sad as it is for someone that was in the overall number one pick conversation just a couple of years ago. Look elsewhere for an RB of a flex play.
Julio Jones (Sit, Questionable), Calvin Ridley (Start, WR1), Russell Gage (Start, Flex), Hayden Hurst (Start, TE1)
How sad for those that drafted Julio Jones that his season has mostly been derailed by injury, something that has become an unfortunate risk with Julio the past few seasons. When on the field, he is dominant, but it is looking like he will be out again in Week 17 as there is no point for the team to risk his health with nothing to play for. This vaults Calvin Ridley into the WR1 rankings for another week after scoring double digits in each of the last 6 games, topping out at 32.3 last time against the Buccaneers. Look for that to continue this week as the Falcons have zero run game any longer. Russell Gage is on track for a bounce-back game after a clunker against a potent Chiefs pass defense. Before that game, Gage had scored double digits in the three games leading up to it so look for a bounce-back game worthy of a flex play. At a weak Tight End position, Hayden Hurst finds himself on the low-end TE1 map after two games of scoring a touchdown in a row since the Falcons abandoned the running game. Look for him to get 5-7 targets with a chance at the end zone.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady (Start, QB1)
Coming off a game where he only played one half, usually fantasy owners would be disappointed, but when you get 348/4 from your quarterback in one half you are happy with that. This week Tom Brady gets a nice matchup with the Falcons and comes in as a top-6 option for those who are still playing for championships in Week 17. Brady has all the weapons he could ever want at his disposal and has as much multi-touchdown upside as anyone on the slate.
Ronald Jones (Start, RB2)
Previously on the Covid-19 list, Ronald Jones has been activated and looks primed to step back into his starting role. The last time we saw Rojo, he had 80 yards and a touchdown against the Vikings. Needing even 100 yards to get to 1,000 on the year, the Buccaneers should allow him to get there barring a blowout, which is unlikely with the way the Falcons have been playing. The 2018 second-round pick should get enough run to garner RB2 consideration against a weak Falcons defense that gave up two rushing touchdowns to Leonard Fournette in their last meeting.
Chris Godwin (Start, WR2), Mike Evans (Start, WR1), Antonio Brown (Start, Flex), Rob Gronkowski (Start, TE1)
Coming into the season Chris Godwin was the big name coming into this season after his breakout last year, but this season the big name has been Mike Evans. That is not to say that Godwin has had a bad season when healthy, totaling 60/707/5 in 11 games. Evans has just been insane in the touchdown department going 67/960/13. He will be going for his 1,000-yard season and has as much touchdown upside from the receiver position as anyone not tied to Aaron Rodgers. Coming off a massive game against Detroit for the entire Buccaneers offense, Godwin and Evans have great upside to put up WR1/2 numbers. Antonio Brown hasn’t had any more hiccups that we know of and scored last week on a deep ball. He gets one last show before the playoffs and is a fine flex play in this spot. Rob Gronkowski scored two touchdowns last week and has seven on the year. His stats are slightly low due to his conditioning curve coming back from his hiatus, but he fits in as a TE1 with the low state of the position.
-Matt Dean (@MattDeanQBList on Twitter, mdean8 on Reddit)