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Atlanta had control of this game right away, 20-6 lead by halftime…but Tampa Bay would not go away. Watching it live Sunday, I thought the game was ‘over’ by halftime but the next thing I knew the Bucs had pulled it to 27-20 and had just forced a turnover…ball at midfield down by 7 with 11+ minutes left.
Atlanta then shut down the Bucs uprising and added a score, and won it 34-20. Tampa kept the energy’effort up the whole way, but really Atlanta was hitting on all cylinders when they wanted. Their offense is so much more electric when Tevin Coleman is in the lead role. Guess that’s going away.
Atlanta has a very pivotal game this week vs. Minnesota. A win and the Falcons pull within a game of the CAR-NO winner for first place in the NFC South. A loss might be terminal to the Falcons playoff chances in a very deep NFC wild-card picture. If the Falcons lose this week and then they project 2-2 in their final 4 games…a 9-7 finish, and likely out of the playoffs. A win versus the Vikings almost assures the Falcons of 10 wins and if Dallas or Seattle makes a run to 10 wins as well…the Falcons hold wins over both of them. The Falcons’ destiny rides a lot this Week 13 hosting Minnesota.
Tampa Bay is done, and they just put their two best O-Linemen on I.R., so what a perfect time to bring Jameis Winston back with a bad shoulder. The Bucs are on their way to a 5-6 win season…at best. You don’t do that to your franchise QB…unless you don’t think he’s your franchise QB ; )
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Hey! Lookee here, Julio Jones (12-253-2/15) skipped his appointed 1pm eastern nap-time and had a monster game. This is becoming the Julio pattern…WR2-WR3 numbers most every week and then one WOW week and his averages all pull up to a WR1 activity and everyone loves and desires him as a top 10 fantasy asset the following season. He doesn’t fool me.
Also…the one week each seems to come against a team with injuries in the secondary and he crushes them, and that’s fine…but where is this the rest of the season? Why isn’t he dominating other/good defenses? I barely see him open in games. In fact, in this game his big catches, he was once again draped with coverage or pushing a CB off and no OPI called, then making his catch.
I get Julio is really talented, but he’s really overrated for the NFL and FF.
-- Tevin Coleman’s (19-97-2, 0-0-0/0) numbers before Devonta Freeman went out…Weeks 1-9…watch this abysmal slide in usage…
Total opportunities (carry+target): 14-8-11-15-10-7-15-7
The typical Tevin game when Freeman is around…7-9 carries, 1-2 targets. How can you start that with any confidence for FF?
Do you think the Falcons realize what they have now that they’ve watched Tevin start the past three weeks and pop 4 TDs? Do you think they’ll bring back Freeman slowly? Hell no, and hell no.
There’s always hope with Coleman popping a big play but his O-C is not helping him get numbers at all.
-- When Doug Martin went down it was Jacquizz Rodgers (8-31-0) that entered the game as the new lead RB. However, Charles Sims was still getting work in the passing game. Peyton Barber (5-7-2) was getting entire series to himself…and when Charles Sims took a screen pass down to the 2-yard line in the second half, it was Barber who came in and took back to back goal-line caries eventually punching in the score.
All that to say – I don’t know that there’s anything exciting to work with here in Tampa should Doug Martin be out this week, and I’m assuming that he will be out. Jacquizz Rodgers will get the start, but you’ll see plenty of awful Peyton Barber doing short yardage work and getting touches intermittently and Charles Sims getting passing game work. If Barber gets on any type of roll, then Tampa Bay will push him. Jacquizz would be a very tenuous fantasy start even if he was announced by the team as a starter. Tack on the fact that Tampa already struggled running the ball and just lost their two best offensive linemen and we’ve got problems.
The Tampa Bay non-Martin RBs are for emergency use only.
— O.J. Howard (3-52-0/4) did not get involved until later in the second half, but when he did…damn, does it look majestic. The perfect tight end – tall, thick, highly athletic. He caught a pass in the red zone in this game and turned towards the end zone, and it struck me how all the Atlanta defensive backs looked like children compared to Howard as they tried to tackle him. I think he’s added more bulk this season. He’s moving fluidly. There will come a day when he will be big time for fantasy… And it’s probably not too far in the near future.
-- It doesn’t feel ‘sexy’ but Cameron Brate (1-6-0/2) was a top 6 fantasy TE with Winston. He went from TE1 to nothing with Ryan Fitzpatrick. When Winston comes back, supposedly this week, Brate should go back to TE1. What would have changed? It wasn’t a philosophy change…it was the QB change.
-- Mohamed Sanu (8-64-0/9) is now 6-for-6 as a passer in the NFL with 3 TDs. With that data would you use him more than once a year to throw a pass? This was his first throw since 2014. Welcome to the NFL logic.
-- Tampa CB Ryan Smith (8 tackles) is not great in coverage but he’s in the action and making tackles for IDP…6.6 tackles per game the past 5 games.
— If Atlanta is without two of the top cornerbacks for Week 13, Desmond Trufant and Brian Poole…Demonate Kazee (5 tackles) is an IDP sleeper for the week. That guy is a hell of a tackler for a CB. He may become a safety some day. I love that guy.
Snap Counts of Interest…
26 = Sims
25 = Rodgers
13 = Martin
10 = Barber
53 = Howard
34 = Brate
32 = Kazee (45%)