Los Angeles Rams (3-3, 2-1 Away) vs Atlanta Falcons (1-5, 1-1 Home)
Date: Sunday Oct. 20th, 2019
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST
Los Angeles Rams
There are a ton of positive matchups in this game for the Rams, but let’s start with the QB. The Falcons are currently allowing 29.7 fantasy points per game to the QB position and have allowed totals of 46 and 32.2 the last two weeks. Jared Goff and the Rams offense have been struggling lately, so this week is a prime bounce-back spot for Goff. The RB situation is still up in the air for this team, with Gurley still questionable, but whoever the RB is should at least be a flex play this week. The Falcons are in the middle of the pack for fantasy points allowed to RBs, allowing 23.1 points per game. This number could be inflated due to their terrible pass defense, but with the high over/under, the starting RB should have touchdown upside with around 15 touches.
Talk about a disaster for this WR group. Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks have been very interesting this year, to say the least, and they SHOULD bounce back this week. The Falcons are currently allowing 48.1 fantasy points per game to the opposing WR group, placing them as the second-worst pass defense. Kupp has only had two games not in the top-24 weekly WRs, and he is in a prime spot to regain a top-10 WR role this week. Kupp has been given a 28% matchup advantage, via PFF’s matchup charts, and is the main safety blanket for Goff, so fire him up this week with extreme confidence. Woods has been nothing less of a disappointment this year, and for Wood’s sake, he needs this bounce-back game. Woods has had one week as a weekly top-12 WR and all the other weeks have been a WR3 or worse. He has been given a 21% matchup advantage, so he should have no problem getting open, but he has shown this year that being open doesn’t guarantee fantasy production.
Cooks is in an interesting spot this week, for the Falcons have been torched by “speedy” WRs so far this year. Against “boom or bust” receivers like Cooks, the Falcons have allowed lines of 3-94-2 to A.J. Brown and 14-217-3 to Will Fuller. Given the past totals the Falcons have allowed and a 18% matchup advantage, I am confident that Cooks will bounce back this week.
The last passing option for the Rams is Gerald Everett, who has emerged very nicely into this receiving TE role for the Rams. The Falcons are allowing 15 points to the TE position, so Everett is very much so in the streaming category. The only concern with Everett is how many targets will he get with all the wide receivers ahead of him, as well as Tyler Higbee seeing consistent targets as the second TE.
Due to the consistent negative game scripts, Matt Ryan has been a top option at the QB position this year. The Rams are allowing 21.2 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs, but no other game for the Rams have seen a point total like this one. You should never be benching Ryan anyways, but he will remain in the top-10 at the position this week. Devonta Freeman is slowly, very slowly, becoming what people drafted him to be, but this matchup is not that appealing. The Rams are allowing 21.4 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs, but they also haven’t faced a RB that receives the same amount of passing work as Freeman does. Freeman is averaging 4.83 targets per game, so even though the matchup is bad, the volume he receives will keep him at a RB2 level.
The Rams are currently allowing 35.3 fantasy points per game to opposing WRs. All Falcons receivers (Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Calvin Ridley) should be started this week, for they are averaging an 11% matchup advantage. Newly-acquired Jalen Ramsey will shadow Julio, but I don’t think this will hurt Julio’s production, for he has been shadowed and succeeded many times against the top corners in the league. Ridley still is very touchdown dependent, but a point total like this calls for many touchdowns to be scored, so you can take the chance and play touchdown roulette. Sanu is one of the safest flexes plays so far this season, as his lowest target total in a game is four. Along the same lines as Ridley, high point total equals throwing the ball, which only favors Sanu.
Austin Hooper is the top-scoring TE after six weeks, and his dominance will continue this week. The last three weeks, the Rams have allowed point totals of 18.9, 14.8, 20.1 to opposing TEs, and for a TE that receives volume like Hooper does, another top-10 week is in store.
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