Falcons @ Giants
Final Score: Falcons 17, Giants 14
Writer: Josh Kurzer (@jkurzer52 on Twitter, jk303030 on Reddit)
The Giants managed to lose on a last-second field goal for the second week in a row, and this time it was Younghoe Koo who punched a kick through the uprights at time expired to give the Falcons a 17-14 win. Not much happened offensively in this game, as just three touchdowns were scored. Atlanta was stifled by the Giants’ defense in the first half, running just four plays on the Giants’ side of the field up until the two-minute warning. New York’s offense was hindered by injuries to nearly all of their top skill players. Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, and Darius Slayton all left the game at some point, with Shepard and Slayton not returning. The Giants scored one touchdown in the game, an early fourth-quarter goal-line rush for Barkley’s first score of the season. Matt Ryan threw two touchdowns in the win, with Olamide Zaccheaus and Lee Smith on the receiving end.
Matt Ryan: 27/36, 243 yards, 2 TDs, 3 sacks | 1 carry, -1 yard
Matty Ice never quite got going in this one. He faced pressure all night and struggled to move the ball down the field. When he did find time to throw, he looked for Calvin Ridley early and often. Ridley had 11 targets and made a number of important catches down the stretch for Atlanta. Ryan hooked up with seven different receivers on the afternoon, and six had two receptions or more. His two touchdown passes gave him 15 fantasy points, but the performance of this offense was not encouraging. Rookie tight end Kyle Pitts has yet to break out, leaving Ridley as Ryan’s only reliable option down the field. Ryan still has enough in his arm to be a streaming option in good matchups, but not unless you are in trouble at the quarterback position.
Mike Davis: 12 carries, 50 yards | 4 targets, 4 receptions, 20 yards
Cordarrelle Patterson: 7 carries, 20 yards | 7 targets, 6 receptions, 82 yards
Mike Davis out-touched Cordarrelle Patterson 16-13, but it was Patterson who ended up with the better performance. Davis was better than Patterson on the ground, averaging 4.16 yards per carry to Patterson’s 2.86. However, Patterson picked up 82 receiving yards on six receptions, leading all Falcons in receiving. Patterson’s biggest play of the game came on Atlanta’s game-winning drive in the fourth quarter, when he broke loose for 28 yards on a short pass. These check-downs have been vital to Patterson’s fantasy viability. Because he often has no time to throw, Ryan is forced to check down to his running backs enough to keep them fantasy relevant. Through three weeks of the season, the Falcons offense has been better with Patterson than with Davis. Patterson has shown more explosiveness and playmaking ability, which is needed to get yards behind the Falcons’ weak offensive line.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Calvin Ridley: 11 targets, 8 receptions, 61 yards
Kyle Pitts: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 35 yards
Olamide Zaccheaus: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 32 yards, 1 touchdown
Lee Smith: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 7 yards, 1 touchdown
Tajae Sharpe: 1 target, 1 reception, 6 yards
Calvin Ridley was the man for Atlanta’s offense today, with just one fewer reception than the rest of Atlanta’s receivers and tight ends combined. Although Patterson ended up with more yards than Ridley, those came off of check-downs from an under duress Matt Ryan. Ridley was open all game long and was a big reason the Falcons were able to move the ball down the field and win the game. Pitts had a quiet afternoon, seeing just three targets from Matt Ryan. He was covered by Jabrill Peppers for most of the game and is going to need to step up if Atlanta wants to win more games this season. A Kyle Pitts breakout would add another dynamic threat down the field and open up the box for the run game.
New York Giants
Daniel Jones: 24/35, 266 yards | 8 carries, 39 yards
Daniel Jones put together another strong performance despite the loss. He was accurate all game long and avoided any turnovers. The Giants offense is limited enough due to the offensive line, and life became even more difficult with nearly all of New York’s playmakers leaving the game at some point. Jones discovered a connection with wide receiver Colin Johnson, who stepped up and secured five receptions for 51 yards in lieu of Shepard and Slayton. Jones picked up 39 yards on the ground, where he has done a lot of damage this year. He is leading the Giants in rushing, alongside Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts as the only quarterbacks to be doing so this season. The Giants were held to field goals in the red zone twice in the first half, taking away two opportunities for Jones to earn fantasy points with his arm or his legs.
Saquon Barkley: 16 carries, 51 yards, 1 touchdown | 7 targets, 6 receptions, 43 yards
Elijah Penny: 2 carries, 6 yards
Gary Brightwell: 1 carry, 4 yards
Saquon Barkley finally got into the end zone for the first time this season and fell just short of eclipsing the 100 total yards mark in his third game of the season. Barkley looked back to being himself in this one, slipping by tacklers and making men miss to move the ball downfield and drive play for his offense. He was as dangerous through the air as he was on the ground, totaling 84 yards on 16 carries and 6 receptions. This was the first time Barkley has hit 20 touches on the season, a promising sign for his fantasy outlook.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Kenny Golladay: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 64 yards
Colin Johnson: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 51 yards
C.J. Board: 2 targets, 1 reception, 38 yards
Evan Engram: 6 targets, 2 receptions, 21 yards, 1 fumble
Sterling Shepard: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 16 yards
Kadairus Toney: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 16 yards
Kaden Smith: 1 target, 1 reception, 9 yards
Darius Slayton: 1 target, 1 reception, 8 yards
Two of the Giants’ top three receivers, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton, left the game with injuries in the first half and did not return. From that point, it was a scramble for coach Joe Judge to find guys who could catch the ball. One who did step up was Colin Johnson, who was targeted seven times in an effort to replace Shepard and Slayton. This was Golladay’s best game as a Giant, leading the team in yards with 64. We will have to wait and see the status of the two injured receivers next week, as Golladay is to receive a huge bump in fantasy if they are to miss time. Evan Engram made his return from injury in this one and unsurprisingly fumbled the football on the first pass that was thrown to him. If you roster Evan Engram and still have hope that he can turn his freak athleticism into a successful NFL career, I have a bridge to sell you.
— Josh Kurzer (@jkurzer52 on Twitter, jk303030 on Reddit)