*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
Two really bad pass defenses played a game and 749 yards passing and 7 TDs ensued with the Falcons winning the day most of the day but having to hang on in the end to limp out with a non-quality win.
Atlanta wins to stay alive for playoff hopes, in a sense, and should beat NYG on MNF this week to rise to 3-4 before their Week 8 BYE…and if their defense gets a little healthier, maybe they have a long-shot wildcard run in them. We’re projecting them 7-9 to the finish right now.
Tampa Bay’s expected swan five continues…the 2-0 start and the Ryan Fitzpatrick MVP run, a distant memory. The end is near…it began by firing their defensive coordinator this week. It won’t be long before it’s the entire staff (about 11 more weeks…).
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- The big news from this game, for fantasy, has nothing to do with the game itself – Devonta Freeman was put on I.R. I suspected that was going to happen a few weeks ago, and here we are. What I didn’t expect was to care so little about it for fantasy…
Tevin Coleman (13-35-0, 1-6-0/2) seems like a ‘winner’ but this run game has been terrible as has TC’s output as a pure starter. In his last three ‘Freeman gone’ starts…13.0 carries, 39.7 yards rushing (3.05 ypc), and no rushing TDs. Just 2.0 catches per game in that span as well. He’s the obvious winner but the Falcons are not pushing him to higher heights it appears.
Ito Smith (11-22-1, 2-0-0/2) now enters the picture but he’s been worse than Coleman…32 carries for 102 yards rushing this season…3.2 ypc. He’s scored a TD in each of his last three games on limited touches, so that’s something but not a hostile takeover of the backfield.
Coleman and Smith will split into RB2.5-3.0 work, with Coleman the more likely to breakout and be something…it’s just this offense is not pushing a run game at all. I’m not that excited about either without Freeman lurking…and I would have expected to be pumped by Tevin – but it’s been so weak so far.
-- Austin Hooper (9-71-0/10) is a useful name during these BYE weeks, but I do not buy this is the ‘start of something’. Hooper (and others) have done this before…back-to-back good games and then everyone piles in.
Hooper is a below average talent and Matt Ryan has never made him a sustainable thing.
-- I love O.J. Howard (4-62-1/4) a lot more than Hooper as a talent, but 4 targets…are you kidding me? In four of his 5 games this year, OJH has had four or fewer targets. He’s putting up sweet numbers on limited targets.
I want to love Howard more but as long as Cameron Brate (1-15-1/1) exists, as does Jameis Winston…I can only go so far. OJH is a TE1 on his superior talent…but more a back-end TE1 until I see evidence Winston is done with Brate and is leaning on Howard.
With Brate playing half the snaps of OJH and seeing just one target…there’s hope that the turn is coming.
-- I think Peyton Barber (13-82-0) looks good, renewed with his weight loss. He had a couple real nice runs in this game. He has burst and a newfound agility I’ve not seen before. The Bucs run game is worse than the Falcons, so you can only get so excited…but this is like a different, poor man’s version of Marlon Mack – ‘OK’ talent…great situation for touches with pure garbage otherwise on the depth chart.
Barber may be a bit of a surprise ahead. RB2-2.5, maybe.
Ron Jones (1-3-0, 3-16-0/3) is trying to find a role but he’s just so bad at football.
-- Jameis Winston (30-41 for 395 yards, 4 TDs/2 INTs) had a sweet fantasy day against the worst pass defense going (aside from his own team). Still, Winston threw inexplicable, ill-timed picks and I have no idea what that last play was on goal-to-go, final play from 15+ yards out. Sloppy play but enough prevent/lackluster pass defense to help push his numbers.
CLE-CIN-CAR-WAS the next 4 weeks are not as easy on the pass defense, and there are some good pressure defenses (which JW hates) in there as well.
-- Once Winston re-entered the picture, Mike Evans’ (4-58-0/5) WR1 pace started to tumble. This marks the 5th straight game with Winston where Evans has not scored a TD…and just 1 TD in his last 11 games with Winston…and just one 100+ yard game.
-- Rookie IDP Foye Oluokun (10 tackles) saw more time this week and put up nice tackle numbers. One to keep on the IDP deep sleeper radar.
-- Rookie I like TB SAF Jordan Whitehead (6 tackles) returned to action from injury and played 100% of the snaps and had a solid game.
Snap Counts of Interest:
38 = Coleman
31 = Ito Smith
41 = Barber
12 = Ron Jones
57 = Evans
51 = Humphries
37 = Godwin
34 = DeSean Jackson
40 = Oluokun
28 = Vea
25 = Senat