Falcons Fantasy Outlook—Week 15 vs. Buccaneers

by Evan Birchfield

Hello again, Rise Up Readers! I’m back with the Falcons Fantasy Outlook for Week 15. In most leagues, Week 15 is the second round of the playoffs, so if you’ve made it this far, congrats! Before we discuss this week’s matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, let’s talk about our recent victory over the division-rival New Orleans Saints.

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The Falcons ultimately won a thriller, which came down to a QB Drew Brees interception in the end zone. The Falcons didn’t win it easily, as QB Matt Ryan threw his 2nd three-interception game of the season. RB Tevin Coleman left the game with a concussion, and currently remains in the concussion protocol. WR Mohamed Sanu had a solid day, scoring his 5th touchdown of the season. With that being said, lets dive into the preview of Week 15.

  • QB Matt Ryan – Prediction: 23.47, Actual: 11.05
  • RB Devonta Freeman – Prediction: 17.9, Actual: 15.1
  • RB Tevin Coleman – Prediction: 8.4, Actual: 2
  • WR Julio Jones – Prediction: 17.4, Actual: 14.8
  • WR Mohamed Sanu – Prediction: 11.5, Actual: 20.3
  • WR Taylor Gabriel – Prediction: 3.8, Actual: 2.9
  • TE Austin Hooper – Prediction: 6.9, Actual: 4.3
  • TE Levine Toilolo – Prediction: 7.6, Actual: 1.7
  • K Matt Bryant – Prediction: 11.0, Actual: 10.0
  • Defense – Prediction: 2.0, Actual: 5.0

Quarterback

QB Matt Ryan should bounce back after having back-to-back poor fantasy performances. Luckily for Matty Ice, in Week 15 he’ll get another shot at the Bucs who he put up 21.95 fantasy points against in Week 12. It’s worth mentioning that Tampa Bay has given up the 14th most fantasy points to Quarterbacks this season. This game will be in primetime, Monday Night Football, and I’m expecting another good game for Ryan against the Bucs.

Prediction:

  • QB Matt Ryan – 23.8 points

 

Running Back

As I mentioned above, RB Tevin Coleman is currently in the concussion protocol, so I’m writing this from the perspective that he misses the game. With no Coleman, RB Devonta Freeman could be in line for his best game of the season. Last week, Freeman scored his first touchdown since the Week 5 Bye, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say he scores twice this week. With the recent criticism that the Falcons running backs had no targets last week, they may get Freeman involved in the passing game. The Bucs have given up the 11th most fantasy points to Running Backs this season.

Prediction:

  • RB Devonta Freeman – 26.3 points (14.8 points if RB Tevin Coleman is active)
  • RB Terron Ward – 5.6 points (0 points if RB Tevin Coleman is active)
  • RV Tevin Coleman – 7.9 points (if active)

Wide Receiver

This week should be very interesting for the Falcons’ wide receivers, as the Bucs have given up the MOST fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season. You all remember WR Julio Jones’ 50-point game a few weeks ago against the Bucs, will it happen again? I’m going to say no; however, fantasy owners should still be pleased with the outcome. In his last 3 games against the Bucs, Julio has 4 touchdowns. WR Mohamed Sanu should still be used as a Flex, as he has 22 total targets over the last three games, so the volume is there. I recommend staying away from WR Taylor Gabriel; aside from a fluke touchdown this season, OC Steve Sarkisian has shown he doesn’t know how to use him.

Prediction:

  • WR Julio Jones – 25.9 points
  • WR Mohamed Sanu – 14.6 points
  • WR Taylor Gabriel – 3.6 points

Tight End

Seeing that TE Austin Hooper hasn’t had more than 6 targets since Week 10, I’d avoid the Falcons tight ends at all cost. In such an important fantasy week, it’s too much of a risk to hope Hooper does anything. It doesn’t help the Falcons tight ends any that Tampa Bay has given up the 6th fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. Same goes for TE Levine Toilolo, avoid him.

Prediction:

  • TE Austin Hooper – 5.8 points
  • TE Levine Toilolo – 2.1 points

Kicker

If you have K Matt Bryant, you’re starting him here. Matt “Money” Bryant is one of the most reliable kickers in the NFL today. Considering Bryant hasn’t dropped below 10 points in a game since Week 9 of this season, you should feel good if he’s in your lineup.

Prediction:

  • K Matt Bryant – 10.0 points

Defense

This season I haven’t really recommended the Falcons Defense for any games, and that won’t change this week. Even as bad as the Bucs offense is, they still held the Falcons defense to only 2 points a couple weeks ago. Barring some sort of defensive touchdown, the Falcons defense should remain out of your lineup this week.

Prediction:

  • Falcons Def – 4.0 points

Well my fellow Falcons fans, that sums up this week’s outlook. Hopefully you all win your matchups and make it to your fantasy league championship’s, and remember not to outthink yourself. If you get in a situation where you’re not sure what to do, ALWAYS go with your gut. This weekend I’ll be seeing the new ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ film, so in the words of the legendary Obi-Wan Kenobi, “Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them.” As always, you can find me on Twitter @EvanBirchfield if you want to reach out to me.

Image by SI

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