Kickoff: Sunday, September 18th, at 4:05 PM EST
Location: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California
Betting Odds: ATL +10.5, 47 total via Oddsshark
Writer: Matthew Cava (@cavaM_ Twitter & Reddit)
Marcus Mariota (Sit)
Was last week the start of a resurgence for Marcus Mariota? Against the Saints in a brutal loss – but on brand for the Falcons – Mariota completed 20 of 33 passes for 215 yards. No passing touchdowns, however, the 12 rushes for 72 yards and a score was the highlight; that was the most yards on the ground for him since December 2020 when he had 88 yards as a Raider against the Chargers, per StatMuse. He did have two fumbles, one of which he lost, but that comes with the territory of taking an aggressive approach.
This Week 2 matchup isn’t ideal against an (I’m sure) angry Rams team, and I would advise sitting him here. If you are a firm believer in chasing the potential scoring of a rushing QB, and say you are a Dak Prescott owner, Mariota may be of some interest for you.
Cordarrelle Patterson (Start, RB2), Damien Williams (Sit), Tyler Allgeier (Sit)
The only notable name out of this Falcons backfield continues to remain Cordarrelle Patterson. Last week against the Saints, he turned 22 carries into 120 yards and a touchdown, as well as three receptions for 16 yards. Rookie Tyler Allgeier was inactive in Week 1, and Damien Williams left the game in the first quarter with a rib injury – so Patterson was the guy on the day. As of writing, Williams did not suffer any broken ribs, but he’s an easy sit for me regardless. Allgeier won’t be a viable option anytime soon and can be dropped in redraft formats.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
Drake London (Start, FLEX), Olamide Zaccheaus (Sit), Kyle Pitts (Start, TE1)
This offense is simply going to be the Drake London and Kyle Pitts show, fantasy & IRL. London caught five of seven targets for 74 yards in his NFL debut, whereas second-year tight end Kyle Pitts had a dud season opener: two receptions on seven targets for 19 yards. Better days are certainly ahead for Pitts, though the matchup against the Rams isn’t very inviting. Consider Pitts a TE1 still, and London could be an option in your FLEX considering the likes of Olamide Zaccheaus are not a threat to his targets.
Los Angeles Rams
Matthew Stafford (Start, QB1)
It was a disappointing, and rather ugly, season debut for Matthew Stafford against the Bills last Thursday night. He completed 29 of 41 attempts for 240 yards, just one touchdown and three interceptions. He was beat up all night by the Buffalo defense, but truthfully didn’t show signs of having throwing issues which was the concern all offseason. This spot upcoming against the Falcons should be the get-right game for Stafford and the offense.
Cam Akers (Sit), Darrell Henderson Jr. (Start, FLEX)
Who doesn’t love a season-opening goose egg? Cam Akers owners sure don’t. Akers saw just three carries against the Bills, and after the game, HC Sean McVay went onto say that Akers needs to play “with an increased level of urgency.” Yikes, that’s certainly not ideal. It’s unfortunate, but you have to take the wait-and-see approach with Akers for now. That said, you can consider giving your FLEX spot to Darrell Henderson Jr., who was the clear-cut RB1 for Los Angeles. He himself didn’t have a great night by any means, as he posted 47 yards on 13 carries, plus five receptions for 26 yards.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
Cooper Kupp (Start, WR1), Allen Robinson II (Start, WR3), Tyler Higbee (Sit)
Not much else to say other than enjoy having Cooper Kupp on your fantasy team. Allen Robinson II is coming off a two-target night against Buffalo; he caught one pass for 12 yards. Like Stafford, this should be a get-right spot for A-Rob against Atlanta, and you can start him as a your WR3 if you don’t have a better option. Tyler Higbee is a touchdown-dependent tight end, and proved that role as he caught 5-of-11 targets for 39 yards against the Bills. You should be able to do better on the wire if you don’t have a secure TE currently on your roster.