Kickoff: Sunday, September 27th at 1:00 PM ET
Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Betting Odds: ATL -3.5, 47.5 Total via Oddsshark
Mitch Trubisky (Stream)
Mitch Trubisky came back down to earth last week after his great Week One performance. The Giants’ defense is not intimidating and Trubisky only managed a 51.3 QBR. So far this year, Trubisky is 29th in CPOE with a minus 3.13. Where Trubisky has been winning this year is the play-action game. His competition percentage differential on play-action passes is fourth-best in the NFL. He has been able to perform against weak defenses (cough Falcons defense cough) and if the Bears can get the play-action working, Trubisky should pay off as a solid streaming option/DFS play.
David Montgomery (Start, Flex), Tarik Cohen (Sit)
So far the Falcons defense has been exactly who we thought they were. Running backs have not yet had a monster game but that’s because the quarterbacks have. David Montgomery should perform similarly to his game last week against the Giants. The Bears should be able to get out to a lead and lean on Montgomery for the rest of the game. Surprisingly, Montgomery has only rushed into a stacked box on 3.45% of his rushes (via NextGenStats), which is excellent. That’s a number we would expect for Tarik Cohen, who has yet to run into a stacked box all year. Montgomery is also 10th among RBs in avoided tackles on rushes, which has always been his best trait since college. With all the injuries last week, if you have Montgomery he should be in your lineup. Cohen is a sit due to the predicted game script.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Allen Robinson (Start, WR1), Anthony Miller (Sit), Jimmy Graham (Stream)
Allen Robinson is primed for a bounce-back week against the Falcons. To the naked eye, it seems like he is not performing, but he is still getting the usage we want. Robinson has three red-zone targets so far and is tied for second in deep targets (20 yards plus) in the NFL. Only 47% of ARob’s targets have been deemed catchable by PFF and that will likely regress. Start Robinson with confidence this week. Anthony Miller is a tough case. This is a matchup we want to attack but he does not have a role that we can rely on right now. He is purely a slot player right now, with 94.9% of his snaps coming from the slot. The Bears have been running mostly from 12 personnel which has pushed Miller to the sidelines. Miller is talented, but until we see him in two-receiver sets we cannot trust him. Jimmy Graham has run 55 routes so far this year (16th among TEs), which is the best indicator for TE fantasy success. He will be touchdown dependant, and hard to project each week. Dalton Schultz just had the best game of his life against this Falcons defense, so Graham is a streaming option here with hopes he manages to score.
Matt Ryan (Start, QB1)
If you drafted Matt Ryan, you are thrilled with his performance so far. He is 13th in EPA per play among QBs, 11th in CPOE with 3.89, and top three under pressure (per PFF). The Falcons’ offense starts and ends with the passing game and that won’t change any time soon. The predicted game script in this matchup will likely force the Falcons to abandon the run and keep Ryan passing, which is exactly what we want.
Todd Gurley (Start, RB2)
Todd Gurley has been getting the volume we want so far but has yet to turn it into a great fantasy performance. He is tied for fifth in carries with 35 but has managed just 117 yards. He has 11 red-zone carries, which is strong, but last week we saw Ito Smith cut into that work a bit. For Gurley to truly pay off this year, he needs to earn more targets. Gurley only has seven targets, which is a far cry from his heyday. It’s surprising to see such little volume in the passing game with how much Ryan has been throwing the ball. Gurley faces a tough matchup but, with all the injuries so far, if you have Gurley you likely need to play him and hope for production.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Julio Jones (Start, WR2), Calvin Ridley (Start, WR1), Russell Gage (Sit), Hayden Hurst (Start, TE1)
Julio Jones‘ ranking above is not a slight. It is due to his ailing hamstring which seems to be more of an issue than he is letting on. Jones still has the ninth most routes run in the NFL and is an automatic start in your lineups, but just have lower expectations because he is not at 100% right now. Calvin Ridley has been unbelievable in the first two weeks. The number one receiver in fantasy has four touchdowns already (tied for second in red-zone targets), is tied for second in deep targets, and is fourth in routes run. Set and forget. Russell Gage has been a solid contributor to the offense. Gage is 13th in routes run (a theme for this offense as you can see) and shockingly third in red-zone targets. He is a slot only player (78.5% of snaps in the slot) but in the Falcons’ offense that is a starter. Hayden Hurst paid off big last week after concerning owners Week 1. Hurst ran 78 routes so far (third among TEs) and has taken over the Austin Hooper role. He should be started every week with the Falcons throwing at this clip.
-Frank Costanzo (@FrankQBList on Twitter, Zzzonked92 on Reddit)