NFL Soup|Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Thursday Night Football Fantasy Versus: Saints vs. Falcons Preview 

When the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons square off in the Georgia Dome on Thursday Night Football, fantasy owners everywhere will be gathered around their televisions to watch which players they started will have big fantasy games. There will be many fantasy relevant players in tonight’s game, so I’ll do my best to help you decide the best option in a difficult match-up between certain players in this game.

With our further nonsense, here is our Thursday Night Football Fantasy Versus Decision Maker for Week 13:


Drew Brees (Saints) vs. Matt Ryan (Falcons)

It’s dream match-up for Matt Ryan owners, as New Orleans is allowing the most fantasy points to QB’s this season. Ryan torched this secondary three weeks ago to the tune of 411 passing yards and three touchdowns.

Atlanta has been sneaky good this season against the pass, only allowing the 7th fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Brees has not thrown for 300 yards or more in his last five games.

I think both quarterbacks will get their numbers, but I’ll take Ryan over Brees tonight.

Running Backs

Darren Sproles (Saints) vs. Michael Turner (Falcons)

 Sproles made his return last week from a hand injury, and although he did not receive a carry, he did manage 7 catches on 9 targets for 65 yards. If you’re in a PPR league, I’d say it’s safe to get Sproles back in your line-up immediately.

Thirteen carries for 15 yards. Those were Michael Turner’s numbers the last time these two team met. Needless to say, that’s not good. Turner has been dreadful the past three weeks, and would be hard to trust in any fantasy format going forward.

Turner is too touchdown dependent for my liking, I’ll roll with Sproles.

Jacquizz Rodgers (Falcons) vs. Mark Ingram/Chis Ivory (Saints)

With Sproles being back, it’s going to be hard to see Ingram and Ivory getting enough touches to have a factor week in and week out. Ivory and Ingram combined for 18 touches last week, but I think that number will be closer to 10-14 this week, as the Saints will look to get Sproles more involved in the offense.

Head coach Mike Smith has been involving Rodgers more and more in the gameplans every week, and last week he had his season’s best performance with 10 carries for 49 yards and a touchdown. Expect that trend to continue this week.

I’ll rank them Rodgers, Ivory, and Ingram for tonight.

Wide Receivers

Roddy White/Julio Jones (Falcons) vs. Marques Colston/Lance Moore (Saints)

There might be a few owners who have Jones and White on the same team, in that case you’d be starting both of them this week and frankly every week. New Orleans are giving up the third most fantasy points to wide receivers this season, a great match-up for both of these players.

Moore has emerged the past four weeks as a solid No. 3 WR, and could even be a decent flex play this week, as points will surely be scored tonight. You know Colston will get his targets, especially against a banged up Falcons secondary, he could be inline for a big game.

For this game, I’ll rank them, White, Jones, Colston, and Moore, however they’re all solid plays in week 13.

Tight Ends

Jimmy Graham (Saints) vs. Tony Gonzalez (Falcons)

Both of these tight ends had huge games the last time these two teams met, Graham scored 26 fantasy points while Gonzalez had 24, they were ranked 1st and 2nd in week 10.

You’re starting these guys in every league, but if you own both of them and need to start one, I’d take Graham.


Garrett Hartley (Saints) vs. Matt Bryant (Falcons)

Bryant missed two key field goals last week that could have cost Atlanta a win against their division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers. You don’t like to see that out of your fantasy kicker.

Hartley has made two field goals over the past six weeks, not all his fault, but the Saints just don’t settle for field goals very often.

I’ll take the shaky Bryant.

Team Defense

New Orleans Saints D/ST vs. Atlanta Falcons D/ST

These two defenses combined for negative three points when they squared off in week 10. Needless to say you’re staying away from either of them this week.

For the articles sake, I’ll take Atlanta’s D/ST.

About the author: Trevor Gunn

Trevor Gunn has been involved in fantasy sports for over 10 years, and brings extensive football knowledge to NFLSoup. In addition to his fantasy football expertise, Gunn also covers the NBA at Follow him on Twitter @NFLSoupTrevor.

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