Kickoff: Sunday, November 8th at 1:00 PM ET
Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Betting Odds: DEN +4, 50 total via Oddsshark
Drew Lock (Sit)
Drew Lock enters Week 9 coming off his best game of the season against the Chargers. Albeit the stats came in the final stretch of the game, he led Denver to the win and had three fourth-quarter touchdowns. The Falcons porous defense is a prime spot for another productive game, but it’s just no guarantee. I would look elsewhere if you need a streamer this week.
Melvin Gordon III (Start, RB2), Phillip Lindsay (Start, FLEX)
When both Denver RB’s are healthy, it’s hard to guesstimate who is poised to have the better game. Now that Phillip Lindsay is back, we saw a split of carries against the Chargers, where Melvin Gordon III led the share 8-6. However, both backs did produce some, and could repeat that against a Falcons defense that surrendered 147 yards on the ground Week 8 against the Panthers; albeit from four different players. You can expect Gordon to be featured more in the passing game, but Lindsay does possession big-run ability.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Jerry Jeudy (Start, FLEX), KJ Hamler (Sit), DaeSean Hamilton (Sit), Noah Fant (Start, TE2)
Jerry Jeudy is the de facto WR1 for the Broncos, and while it is a lot to ask of the rookie, he hasn’t put together a consistent string of productive weeks. He did see a career-high 10 targets against Los Angeles, but only caught four of them for 73 yards. He hasn’t scored since Week 4 but should remain on the FLEX radar as Lock’s lead receiver. Fellow rookie KJ Hamler and third-year DaeSean Hamilton – despite their scores against the Chargers Week 8, remain out of your starting lineup.
Noah Fant hasn’t scored since Week 2 but remains a top tight end option for a position always lacking fantasy talent. He had nine targets against the Chargers, having caught seven of them for 47 yards. He could be in for a big day as he’s set to face a Falcons defense that has given up the most fantasy points to the tight end position this season.
Matt Ryan (Start, QB2)
Matt Ryan is coming off a Thursday night win against the division-foe Panthers in which he had one touchdown on the ground and none through the air. He still managed to complete 21 of 30 attempts for 281 on the way to victory; and that was with Calvin Ridley missing the second half due to injury. Matty Ice had led the NFL in passing entering Week 8, and he now faces a Broncos defense that has given up the 12th most fantasy points to the quarterback position this season.
Todd Gurley II (Start, RB2), Brian Hill (Sit)
With eight touchdowns on the year, Todd Gurley II has been a volume-based back in his first year with the Falcons. His lack of shiftiness prevents him from gaining many yards on the ground, as he’s only had one 100+ yard game this season (Week 5 against Carolina). The Broncos defense is a tougher matchup, as they have given up the ninth fewest fantasy points to the running backs thus far. Brian Hill has seen his usage increase slightly each week but still isn’t a viable starting option.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
Julio Jones (Start, WR1), Calvin Ridley (Sit), Russell Gage (Sit), Hayden Hurst (Start, TE1)
Julio Jones appears to be over his injury woes that derailed the start of his 2020 season, as he’s averaged 9.6 targets to 7.6 receptions in the last three games; eclipsing 137 yards twice in that span with two scores total. If Ridley were to miss the game, Jones will be in for a big day. It is worth noting that the Broncos defense has given up the 13th most fantasy points to wide receivers on the year. Russell Gage becomes an interesting option if Ridley were to be out, but you may be able to pivot elsewhere.
Tight end Hayden Hurst has gained 50+ yards in three straight games but has only scored once in that span. Even so, he’s in a pass-heavy offense and remains a backend TE1, especially with Ridley expected to miss time.
– Matthew Cava (@cavaM_ Twitter & Reddit)