Projections sourced from Razzball’s own Rudy Gamble. Make sure to subscribe to Razzball suite of tools to help you dominate your leagues. Best Value on the inter-web. As in-season trades heat up, make sure to utilize Razzball’s FREE custom trade analyzer.
Los Angeles Rams (3-3) @ Atlanta Falcons (1-5)
O/U 54 , LAR -3 (favorites)
Implied Score: LAR 28.5 – ATL 25.5
A clash of the top two NFL quarterbacks in total pass attempts and two offenses that rank in the top 10 of receiving yards per game. We are set for a treat in the early slate this Sunday, when the Los Angeles Rams make the cross country trip to the A-T-L to face the dirty birds- the Atlanta Falcons. Matt Ryan leads the NFL in pass attempts with 258, followed by the visiting team QB Jared Goff with 246. Let the fantasy fireworks commence….
Matt Ryan is on pace to throw for 5,362 yards this season and only trails the Kansas City Chiefs in total passing yards through 6 weeks of the NFL season. Per NFL’s Next Gen Stats, Matt Ryan is the #7 quarterback in passer rating and boast the 3rd best completion percentage this season (72.1). Ryan faces a Rams defense that just made a huge upgrade to its secondary by acquiring one of the league’s top cornerbacks in blockbuster trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Prior to Jalen’s arrival, the Rams D are surrendering the 8th most points per game (25.7 points per game). The Rams defensive unit actually is middle of the pack in most other defensive categories, 19th in passing yards allowed- 19th in completion % allowed, and just outside the top 10 in least amount of yards allowed per game (12th fewest offensive yards allowed per game). In terms of fantasy production, the LAR have allowed the previous QB fantasy finishes; QB19 wk 6 vs SF / QB3 wk 5 @ SEA / QB1 wk 4 vs TB / QB28 wk3 @ CLE / QB30 wk2 vs Drew Brees-less NO / QB35 wk1 @ broken Cam Newton CAR. Even with the mid-week addition of Ramsey, Matt Ryan should be viewed as a top 5 fantasy QB play with the multiple passing weapons at his disposal.
The rushing attack on both sides of the ball will be in afterthought in this game, but need to be considered in the highest point total in week 7. Surprisingly, both defenses are top 10 in fewest rushing yards allowed per game (ATL D 24th at 3.9 rush yds per game / Rams D 28th at 3.5 ruypg). Devonta Freeman has popped in a few plus matchups for the Falcons and sits as the RB14 in PPR leagues. Rudy has Freeman projected as his RB10 in PPR scoring this week. I’m going to take the under on Rudys projection, the Falcons are 30th in the league in rushing attempts per game with 19.3. Ito Smith is averaging 3.5 of those carries per game. Smith has received 80% of ATL rushing attempts within 5-yards of the goal line, 71% of the rushes inside 10-yards, and split evenly with Freeman with 9 attempts inside the 20 yard line. Smith has all of the Atlanta RB touchdowns within 10 yards of the goal-line. The Rams are tied with the Falcons with the 5th most rushing touchdowns allowed per game. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ito Smith get into the end zone in this game. View Freeman as a RB2 with RB1 upside, Ito is only a desperation bye week fill in play and shouldn’t be fired up in most 12 team leagues.
Jalen Ramsey shouldn’t have a problem finding the field even after arriving in LA mid-week, following the Rams shipping starting CB Marcus Peters to Baltimore and placing CB Aqib Talib on IR. Ramsey has a history of shadowing top talent, but Julio Jones should not be left on the bench in season long leagues in a game where the Falcons are projected to score 3 touchdowns. Jones is top 10 in receiving targets AND receptions, 8th in completion % of the top 10 most targeted receivers, and 3rd in yards per target and 4th in yards per reception among the top 10 most target receivers. In DFS, the other two receivers in ATL might be the smart pivot at a cheaper price point into this game (DraftKings pricing Jones $8,000 – Ridley $5,300 -Sanu $4,600). Mohammed Sanu is quietly leading this receiving core in offensive snap % ( 80.1 Sanu – 74.5 Jones – 72.7 Ridley), and should be considered in a few DFS tournament lineups. Both Ridley and Sanu should be viewed as volume based flex plays with upside in season long formats this weekend. As mentioned earlier, the Rams are without their 2 previous starting cornerbacks Talib/Peters and are left with unproven talent behind newly acquired Jalen Ramsey. Austin Hooper is 2nd in team targets, only behind Jones’ 53 targets with 50, and is the overall TE1 in PPR scoring. No need to convince you to start Hooper at a position that falls off a cliff after the top 7 guys, now that Dissly is out for the season.
After an excruciating fantasy outing against one of the leagues top defensive units (SF), Jared Goff is gifted a prime bounce back spot against a horrid Falcons defensive unit. ATL ranks at the bottom in the majority of team defensive stats, 7th most yards allowed per game, 2nd most points allowed per game, 4th most 1st downs allows per game, 6th in passing yards allowed per game, and allowing the 3rd highest completion percentage. This is an opportunity to take advantage of slightly suppressed ownership numbers in DFS for Goff following his QB29 finish in week 6, with gut-punching 1.12 fantasy outing. Goff receives an added boost from the uncertainty, due to injury, at the running back position. The Rams offensive line has failed to dominate on the ground like in previous seasons under Sean McVay, and might have to lean on Goff arm in this track meet in the Mercedez-Benz Dome.
Todd Gurley and Malcolm Brown are both nursing injuries heading into this week’s matchup against the Falcons. Gurley was able to practice in limited fashion on Wednesday after sitting out in week 6, but Malcolm Brown was a DNP (did not practice). Even though both have a shot at playing (this was written Wednesday 10/16), the Rams might have to lean on rookie running back and offseason twitter darling Darrell Henderson. Henderson looked good in a game where the Rams were unable to get anything going on offense. DH took 6 carries for 39 and impressively averaged 6.5 yards per carry. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hendersons usages and snaps increase even if either Gurley or Brown suit up. If Gurley misses again I prefer starting Henderson over Brown. If Brown misses then Gurley should be viewed as a RB2. If both sit, Henderson is a viable flex play with RB2 upside.
The question with the Rams is figuring out the production at the wideout position after the fantasy overall WR3 in 2019- Cooper Kupp. Over the last 4 weeks, Robert Woods has out-targeted Brandin Cooks 36 to 27 and outproduced him in receiving yards and touchdowns (1 touchdown). In a game where the Rams are projected to score 4 TDs, there is a good chance Woods OR Cooks are on the receiving end of one. Woods is actually leading all Rams wideouts in snaps (421 Woods – 385 Kupp – 384 Cooks) and should be ranked head of Cooks this weekend. Woods should be viewed as WR2 and Cooks a borderline WR2-Wr3/Flex with WR2 upside. After Gerald Everett’s 11 target explosion in week 5, along with the rest of the Rams receiving core, posted a dud in week 6 but still only trailed Cooper Kupp in team targets. Everett should be viewed as a low-end TE-1 this week at a shallow position. Leave your feedback and questions below in the comments.
As always, you can find me on twitter. Good luck in week 7!