Sunday Night Showdown Slate Article- Eagles @ Falcons

Jeff Bergerson
By Jeff Bergerson September 13, 2019 21:15

Sunday Night Showdown Slate Article- Eagles @ Falcons

The second highest total game of the weekend comes in Primetime this week on Sunday night as Vegas expects a shootout between the Eagles and Falcons. I used the Falcons offense as an example in my Main Slate column on how we need to use week 1 results in context. The Falcons situation last week in Minnesota is far different than this week’s home game against an Eagles secondary that gave up the 5th most passing yards in 2018 and were shredded by none other than Case Keenum last week at home (380 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions). The tough Vikings defense clamped down on the run and Xavier Rhodes did an excellent job taking Julio Jones out of the game (his touchdown was in meaningless garbage time). The Eagles do not have anybody like Rhodes as they trot out Rasul Douglas, Avonte Maddox, and Ronald Darby. This is a huge bounceback spot for the Falcons passing game, especially since the Eagles run defense appears to be tough again this year following up their 9th in DVOA against the run in 2018 they held Redskins runningbacks to 28 yards on 13 carries. I expect Davonta Freeman to top 28 yards, but he most likely will not go on a rushing rampage against the tough defensive front. What gives even more life to the passing game is the lack of pressure that defensive front put on Keenum last week (1 sack in 45 drop backs). Julio Jones is rightfully the most expensive player on the slate at $11,400 and I think it is mandatory to have some exposure.  Last year Jones lit up the Eagles for 169 yards on 10 catches (19 targets) and that was in Philadelphia. At home in the dome he is even more dangerous and is in for a big night. I also like Calvin Ridley who had 4 catches for 64 yards and a touchdown on 6 targets last week. I like the idea of featuring Ridley in the Captain position on a few rosters, because of his high ceiling and much lower price than Jones.

I don’t mind Devonta Freeman as a contrarian play this week as most people will see his performance last week and the Eagles rush defense from last week and cross him out. He is an excellent pass catcher however and Chris Thompson had a great game last week catching the ball out of the backfield (7 catches for 68 yards) . Freeman has been much better at home over his career and I think he is a sneaky play this week for a cheap $7,000 price tag.

Austin Hooper is also in play as Vernon Davis had his way with the Eagles linebackers and secondary last week. Hooper’s boxscore looks good from last week, but keep in mind most of it was handed to him underneath in garbage time as the Vikings were playing extreme prevent. Still he is a redzone threat and in play at $4,600.

Finally, for a salary saving flyer, Justin Hardy caught four balls on 5 targets for 41 yards last week and will see action against the porous secondary as well. Hardy is only $1,400 and allows for a lot of flexibility with other roster positions.

The Eagles side of the ball is much more difficult to prognosticate who will be the recipient of the most fantasy points. Certainly the Eagles running game will thrive against a Falcons front that was shredded by Vikings runningbacks for 168 yards. The difficult part is identifying which Eagles back will get the most volume and production. Common sense would say that the most talented back (Miles Sanders) would get 75% of the volume, but that was not the case last week, and more of a runningback by committee approach was used, which baffles me. Darren Sproles looks to be a fixture in the offense as he got 9 carries for 47 yards and 3 catches for 16 yards last week. Surprisingly Jordan Howard had the largest yard per carry average (7.3) on six carries for 44 yards.

At some point this season Miles Sanders will break-out and show just how talented he is and become the featured back, I am just not sure if it will be this week yet. Last week he had the most snaps of the three and had a 21 yard touchdown run called back due to penalty. He easily has the highest ceiling of the three backs and is the most likely to go off (if any of them go off), so I will own him as a Captain on some rosters and as a flex player on others.

Carson Wentz is an obvious good play against a leaky Falcons defense and is loaded with weapons around him. Wentz threw for 313 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions last week. The Falcons were the 4th worst pass defense DVOA last year. The Vikings did not need to throw at all last week, but when they did it was easy (Cousins was 8-10 for 98 yards and a TD). If you roster Wentz, be sure you have his pass catchers stacked along with him.

Desean Jackson went nuts last week with 8 catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns (38.5 DK points). We all know Jackson is a deep threat and when the long ball connects, he racks up the points, just like last week with 51 and 53 yard bombs.

Alshon Jeffrey is another great option as he had two touchdowns last week while getting primary coverage by Josh Norman. Isaiah Oliver is the weakest of the Falcon cornerbacks and will likely be covering Jeffery the majority of the time. Five of Jeffery’s six touchdowns came on the road last year.

If people are basing their picks this week on last weeks performance, they will likely not love Zach Ertz, but that would be a mistake. Ertz only had 5 catches for 54 yards (7 targets), but he was tackled on the two yard line just short of a touchdown, which could have made his mediocre box score much better. He led the Eagles in targets (10) and receiving yards (48) against the Falcons last year. He is the Eagles top redzone threat and has an extremely high ceiling.

With all the weapons on the Eagles, Nelson Agholor is likely to get lost in the shuffle, but is probably the best low dollar option ($2,800) on the Eagles. Agholor tied with Ertz with 10 targets last season against the Falcons and last week had 5 targets, although he only caught 2 balls for 11 yards. He isn’t a high ceiling play, but you need to own some low dollar guys in these contests, and he is capable of getting some volume.

Here are a few of my favorite lineups that I have built:

Captain- Jones, Ertz, Sanders, Ryan, Ridley, and Goedert
Captiain- Ridley, Jones, Sanders, Ertz, Jeffery, and Hooper
Captain- Ertz, Wentz, Jones, Hooper, Sanders, and Elliot
Captain- Freeman, Ertz, Wentz, Ryan, Hooper, and Sproles

Wentz $11,000
Ryan $10,800

Freeman $7,000
Sanders $4,800
Sproles $3,600

Jones $11,400
Jackson $9.000
Jeffery $8.800
Ridley $7,200
Agholor $4,200
Hardy $1,400

Ertz $9,200
Hooper $4,600
Goedert $800

Elliot $3,400
Bryant $3,200


Jeff Bergerson
By Jeff Bergerson September 13, 2019 21:15

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