New York Giants VS. Atlanta Falcons Monday Night Football Preview

Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons have a must-win game when they host the struggling New York Giants in a clash of last place teams at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Monday Night Football.

New York Giants

The Giants are on a three-game losing streak after suffering a 34-13 home setback against the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles on October 11. Running back Saquon Barkley was a bright spot the Giants, finishing one receiving yard shy of becoming the first rookie in franchise history with 100 yards rushing and receiving in a game. Barkley ran for 130 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries and he caught nine passes for 99 receiving yards. Eli Manning completed 24 of 43 passes for 281 yards and one interception, failing to record a touchdown pass for the second time this season and Odell Beckham Jr. made just six receptions for 44 yards.

The Giants are averaging 260.8 passing yards (17th in the NFL) and 87.5 rushing yards (27th). New York ranks 27th with 19.5 points per game and 24th with 27.0 points against. Eli Manning has passed for 1662 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions, Saquon Barkley has 438 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 84 carries and Odell Beckham Jr. has 45 receptions for 506 yards and one touchdown. Landon Collins has 49 tackles and B.J. Hill has two sacks.

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons look to win back-to-back games for the first time this season after surviving a late rally to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34-29 and snap a three-game losing streak. Matt Ryan completed 31 of 41 passes for 355 yards and three touchdowns and he added 13 yards on the grounds, Ito Smith ran for 22 yards and one touchdown on 11 carries, Tevin Coleman finished with 35 rushing yards on 10 carries and Julio Jones caught 10 passes for 144 receiving yards.

The Falcons are averaging 311.3 passing yards (5th in the NFL) and 86.0 rushing yards (29th). Atlanta ranks 9th with 27.8 points per game and 31st with 32.0 points against. Matt Ryan has passed for 1956 yards, 14 touchdowns and two interceptions, Tevin Coleman has 260 rushing yards on 71 carries and one touchdown and Julio Jones has 44 receptions for 708 yards. Duke Riley has 37 tackles and Takkarist McKinley has 4.5 sacks.

NFL Trends:

The Over is:

5-0 in Atlanta’s last five games overall

4-0 in Atlanta’s last four home games

16-5-1 in Atlanta’s last 22 games after scoring more than 30 points in their previous game

10-4 in Atlanta’s last 14 games after accumulating less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game

The Falcons are a team with many holes on defense but they have several playmakers on offense. Tevin Coleman should run the ball efficiently against a poor Giants defense that allows 121.3 rushing yards per game and although Mohammed Sanu (hip) and Calvin Ridley (ankle) both left last week’s game with injuries and they’ve been limited in practice, Julio Jones and tight end Austin Hooper can carry the load if necessary and the Giants can up points despite Eli Manning’s struggles, so betting on this game to go Over the number has value.

NFL Pick: Over 54 (-110)

Odds via Jazz Sports

Jake Walker runs You can follow him on Twitter (@Walker_J23)

NFL Round-Up: Fantasy Corner, Injury Updates

Ryan Fitzpatrick was pulled from the Buccaneers game on Sunday after completing just nine of his 18 passes for 145 yards. Jameis Winston came in for Fitzmagic and he will be the starter when the team returns from a bye in week 6, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link).

Coach Dirk Koetter said when he originally found out Winston would be suspended for the first three games, he anticipated the former No. 1 overall pick starting in week 4. The coach added that Tampa Bay brought in Fitzpatrick to be a mentor for Winston. Koetter also said that Winston is a “guy who will be here way longer”  than the coach will and Winston “needs” to be playing.

The Fitzmagic era in Florida is over and the Harvard QB can be dropped in all leagues. Let’s take a look around the league at a few other key fantasy football story lines:

  • Rob Gronkowski left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury and while it’s been reported that the ailment is not serious. He’s considered questionable for the Patriots‘ tilt against the Colts.
  • Geronimo Allison‘s emergence is real, though a concussion sent him out of Sunday’s game after catching six balls for 80 yards. Randall Cobb didn’t suit up in the contest because of a hamstring injury and if both players are out against Detroit, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who was on the field for 54-of-76 snaps against the Bills, will be the next man up for Green Bay. It’s worth noting that Cobb did not seem close to playing for the Packers this week.
  • Calvin Ridley has six touchdowns in four games this year and although that rate is not sustainable, he’s a mainstay in the Falcons‘ red zone offense. Four of his six scores have come from inside the 20. He’s a solid WR3 going forward.

NFC South Round-Up: Falcons, Ryan, Fantasy Sleepers

Matt Ryan took a step back in 2017 under offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian but a closer look at the number indicates that his decline might be overblown, writes Brett Rollins of Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

Ryan had just a 79.0 passer rating on throws over 20 yards in 2017, compared to a fantastic 136.1 rating in 2016. He also was one of the worst QBs in PFF’s big-time throw category. Still, the site gave him the second-best grade overall at the position last season.

2016 2017
PFF Grade 91.1 (2nd) 90.0 (2nd)
Adjusted Completion Percentage 78.1% (4th) 76.4% (5th)
QB Rating vs. Pressure 86.6 (3rd) 70.8 (14th)
QB Rating Deep 136.1 (1st) 79.0 (21st)
QB Rating Play Action 118.2 (4th) 98.3 (19th)
Big-Time Throw % 5.4% (8th) 3.8% (28th)
Turnover-Worthy Throw % 2.4% (11th) 0.9% (1s

Rollins notes that Ryan was subjected to the worst drop rate in the league on third down and six of his turnovers were on non-turnover worthy throws. In all, the use of slightly different personnel and a bit of positive regression should help to get Ryan closer to his peak this season.

Atlanta Falcons
2017 Wins 10
2018 Win Total (Bovada) 9
Total DVOA rank 3rd

Here’s more on the NFC South:

  • The Falcons backfield is one of the best in the league, though when the team uses Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman together, Ryan’s passing suffers. He had just a 54.5 passer rating with the duo on the field last season. That was actually up from the 39.0 he earned in 2016.
  • The Saints have released running back Terrance West. With Mark Ingram suspended for the first four games, the Saints will need someone to step up and West was thought to be the man for the job. After his release, New Orleans is left with Jonathan Williams, Shane Vereen, Boston Scott, and Trey Edmunds behind breakout star Alvin Kamara.
  • The Panthers made a few additions to their wide receiving corp during the offseason, but this season’s fantasy football sleeper at the position might have already been on the roster, Tristan H. Cockcroft of speculates. The scribe lists Curtis Samuel as a player who could break out this season. In the two post-Kelvin Benjamin-trade games prior to his injury last season, Samuel played 64.6% of the snaps and received a 20.3% target share from Cam Newton.