Kickoff: Sunday, September 26th at 1:00 PM ET
Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Betting Odds: ATL +3, 47.5 Total on Oddshark
Matt Ryan (Sit)
Matt Ryan was positively abysmal in the season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, no question about it. While he was at least adequate in Week 2, he is PFF’s 27th ranked quarterback on the young season, directly behind Jameis Winston, Jared Goff, and Taylor Heinicke. While that doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence, his opponent does: the New York Giants are currently the worst team in the NFL’s weakest division, and their defense is far from formidable.
While Ryan doesn’t qualify as a “Start” by our metrics (Top 12 projected finish) for obvious reasons, we are a bit higher on him than consensus this week. Roll him out with no hesitation in 2QB and Superflex formats this week. If you’re desperate for an emergency starter in deep single quarterback leagues, you can do worse than “Matty Ice” if he was cut by a fellow league mate after a rough start.
Mike Davis (Start, Flex), Cordarelle Patterson (Sit) Wayne Gallman (Sit)
Some are understandably souring on Mike Davis after watching the Falcons’ offense sputter out of the gate this season, so much so that Cordarelle Patterson was a priority add this week for many teams in search of running back depth. However, only six teams have allowed more fantasy points to running backs so far this season. Furthermore, only Christian McCaffrey and D’Andre Swift have seen more targets than Davis so far this season, crushing the preseason narrative pushed by many that painted him as game script dependent. We’re starting Davis with confidence as a flex, and he’s a serviceable RB2 option for teams that are thin at the position. While we’d recommend stashing Patterson on benches for now, we see no reason to roster Wayne Gallman at this time.
WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS
Calvin Ridley (Start, WR1), Russell Gage (Sit), Olamide Zacchaeus (Sit), Kyle Pitts (Start), Hayden Hurst (Sit)
Thanks in part to poor quarterback play, Calvin Ridley‘s year began with a whimper. According to FantasyData.com, Ridley ranks a disappointing 52nd in yards per target among wide receivers after the first two games of the season. We expect positive regression this week after a visit to the New York Giants and their solid-yet-beatable pairing of outside cornerbacks, Adoree Jackson, and James Bradberry.
While we can’t get too excited about Russell Gage and Olamide Zacchaeus this week, we’re still bullish on a potential Kyle Pitts breakout party in Week 3. We’re leaving Hayden Hurst on the waiver wire unless the Falcons suddenly prove capable of consistently supporting five receiving options instead of just one.
New York Giants
Daniel Jones (Start)
There are many things we didn’t see coming this year, such as devastating injuries to the entire Baltimore Ravens backfield, and the undefeated Las Vegas Raiders. Yet just like we drew it up, Daniel Jones is a Top Five fantasy quarterback in 2021:
We expect Jones to continue his successful trend against the abysmal Atlanta Falcons defense, and his above-average rushing ability builds in a safe floor. As weird as it sounds, start Jones with confidence, and bank on Top 12 numbers at the position for the third straight week.
Saquon Barkley (Start, RB1), Devontae Booker (Sit)
Some are writing it off as “just one play,” but we’re thumbing our noses at the “if you take out his best run” crowd and declaring that Saquon Barkley is back. The surprisingly productive play of his quarterback only helps Barkley’s cause: defenses won’t be able to zero in solely on him as he continues to increase his workload. After lining up for 84% of his team’s snaps on Thursday Night Football last week, expect more of this in Week 3 against a much softer opponent:
— DynastyChrisS 🤘🏼😝🤙🏼 (@DynastyChrisFF) September 17, 2021
Meanwhile, it was a nice run for those who stashed Devontae Booker insurance policies on benches with hopes of cashing in on a slow recovery by Barkley. It’s now safe to cut Booker loose from just about all rosters, save for larger leagues with extremely large benches.
WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS
Sterling Shepard (Start, WR3), Kenny Golladay (Start, Flex), Darius Slayton (Sit), Evan Engram (Sit), Kyle Rudolph (Sit)
Sterling Shepard has handsomely rewarded those brave enough to start him as a WR3 or Flex option, finishing as a Top 12 wide receiver in Week 1, and a Top 30 option last week. He’s been nothing short of a revelation, making the most of his team-leading 93.5 percent snap share by pacing the team in targets, receptions, and yards. However, Kenny Golladay leads all Giants in the more predictive air yards category (106.5 per game). As Golladay continues to get healthy, we expect him to take targets away from Shepard and do even more with them.
We’re stashing Darius Slayton for now; he’s not seeing the field much, but he’s producing when given the chance, as evidenced by his team-leading 32.5 AYPR (air yards per reception). We need to see the oft-injured Evan Engram play a whole game at a high level before we can recommend him as a Top 12 tight end, while Kyle Rudolph is a player we have no interest in rostering.