December 17, 2022, 1:15 am
Falcons (+165) @ Saints (-4): O/U:43.5
Steelers (+130) @ Panthers (-3): O/U: 37
Eagles (-9) @ Bears (+320): O/U: 48.5
Chiefs (-14) @ Texans (+650): O/U: 49.5
Falcons @ Saints
Key Storylines/What to Watch
The Falcons have only won eight of their last 23 matchups against the Saints but will need to win to keep their thin playoff hopes alive. Marcus Mariota has been benched in favor of rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder. This is more of a lateral move for us in fantasy as Mariota wasn’t necessarily getting it done for their fantasy options. We will monitor Ridder to see if he can show us anything valuable, mostly on the ground as a runner but at this point of our fantasy season we can leave him alone. Cordarrelle Patterson seems to be in good health and is on track to lead the Falcons backfield albeit in a three-way split as both Tyler Algeier and Caleb Huntley are in the mix as well. Patterson has the more valuable role as starter and goal-line option but with his limited upside, he should be seen no higher than a low RB2. Algeier can be started in desperation as the team seems to trust him enough to get a share of the carries. However, they are not valuable carries as he runs mostly between the twenties. We would rather wait and see how Drake London looks with Ridder throwing to him, but London’s talent and the potential upgrade at quarterback makes him an intriguing start. Just make sure you have good floor-plays in your lineups in case he doesn’t pay off.
The Saints find themselves as favorites over their playoff hopeful division rivals and will look to spoil their season as their own is as good as done. Andy Dalton remains the starter but not for us as he appears to be more of a QB2 than someone we are excited to start for fantasy. Alvin Kamara hasn’t quite lived up to his first- or second-round pick but with Mark Ingram out, he should see his carry potential increase and we hope he can get more involved in the passing game. Chris Olave is the receiving option we are excited about and can be started as a solid WR2 especially in PPR leagues as Dalton has shown that he favors passing to Olave over anyone else. Jarvis Landry can be an underwhelming floor play in PPR leagues but we’d rather not. Taysom Hill has tight end eligibility in some formats and gets valuable touches which makes him an interesting option especially this week in a plus matchup. He can be started in leagues where he has tight end eligibility.
RB Cordarrelle Patterson: If we are forced to start a Falcon this week, we like Patterson to be a safety-valve for Ridder as he doesn’t have much to rely on in this offense. If the script calls for the Falcons to keep things close, Patterson should get the volume necessary to be an RB2.
RB Alvin Kamara: This game has the feel of a get-right game for Kamara who hasn’t quite payed off as of late. There is no way you can be at peace with yourself if he goes off on your bench, so he remains must start as we hope he gets back on track in this good matchup.
WR Chris Olave: Olave has been solid all year and this matchup bodes well for that trend to continue as Dalton is prone to hyper-targeting the rookie when he needs to move the chains. That makes Olave very startable for our playoff matchups.
RB Tyler Algeier: If you need a dart-throw at running back, you could do worse than Algeier who seems to have some hold in the Falcons backfield working as more of a 1b at times with Patterson. The Falcons are also prone to just use a hot-hand approach and Algeier has been good enough this year to potentially take over this week.
TE Juwan Johnson: The other tight end option for the Saints is Juwan Johnson who has been a bit of a touchdown magnet for them this year and while he has slowed down over the past few weeks, there is a chance he can regain his magic in this matchup.
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Steelers @ Panthers
Key Storylines/What to Watch