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Matchup Analysis: Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles

Vegas Prediction

Vegas says: Falcons 0, Eagles 0

FBG Projections

TeamRushYardsTDCompAttPass YdTDINT

Atlanta Falcons Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Falcons Offense22.3 (+0.6) (13)116 (+6) (12)246 (+22) (8)
Eagles Defense18.4 (-3.2) (4)79 (-30) (1)227 (+2) (17)

Philadelphia Eagles Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Eagles Offense28.6 (+6.9) (3)132 (+22) (3)234 (+9) (13)
Falcons Defense19.3 (-2.4) (8)105 (-5) (9)216 (-8) (12)

Falcons Rushing offense

Tough matchup vs. the Eagles defense.

The Atlanta rushing attack is generally one of the league’s best, yet it hasn’t shown anything in several weeks. Duo Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman have dominated the backfield for two years now, averaging 64.8 and 41.0 yards per game, flashing serious touchdown upside along the way. They run behind a dominant front line (ranked No. 1 overall by our Matt Bitonti) and soak up tons of usage, so even their ineffective days trend toward the fantasy-useful. Still, the sledding has been tough over the past three weeks. Neither Freeman nor Coleman has topped 66 yards over that span, and their efficiency (3.13 and 2.42 per carry) has evaporated. The duo has been productive for most of 2017, but not especially elusive or explosive, relying more on opportunity and blocking for its success. That’ll be a tall order against the Eagles’ smothering front seven, so the fate of this unit probably rests on the prospects of getting these backs to the outside and onto the second level. That type of attack would suit Coleman well in a contrarian role – he can beat most defenses to the edge when called upon – but simply hasn’t been effective against these Eagles. It’s probably safe to expect massive struggles here, with more brick walls and sealed creases than Freeman and Coleman are used to seeing; this isn’t the week to project them out of their slumps.

The Eagles run defense, dominant for most of the season, showed some warts down the 2017 stretch. After allowing the league’s fewest yards to running backs by a mile (just 46.0 per game) through Week 13, they’ve now let 3 of their last 4 opposing lead backs top 90 yards. Still, we need to take that dip with a grain of salt. Two of those three backs (Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott) are top-tier NFL runners – and while both posted strong yardage lines against these Eagles, both finished within 10 yards of their seasonal averages. In other words, this unit doesn’t look like one that’s collapsing, but rather a still-strong group that merely took its foot off the gap late in a dominant season. They still boast a mega-athletic and talented defensive line, led against the run by two dynamic tackles, Fletcher Cox and Timmy Jernigan. Add in strong late-season play by inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks, and it’s fair to expect this unit to return to its smothering ways against the underachieving Falcons.

Falcons Passing offense

Tough matchup vs. the Eagles defense.

Matt Ryan is coming around nicely for the postseason, if only from an efficiency standpoint. That’s great news for the Falcons, but not so much for fantasy owners. Fantasy-wise, the problem we’re facing is that the passing game’s lack of downfield dynamism caps its statistical ceiling. Ryan has reached 275 yards just 6 times all year, and he’s fallen below 225 in 6 of his last 9 games. The Falcons run one of the league’s slowest-paced offense, looking to shorten games with the run far more often than win them by striking downfield. As a result, Julio Jones reaches his immense upside less often than we’d like to see; his target dominance and Hall-of-Fame-caliber downfield skills underwhelm surprisingly often. His refusal to score touchdowns is also a bit concerning. Jones scored last week, but it was just his 4th score all year – his 4.1% touchdown rate was a world and a half below the expected mark of a clear-cut fantasy WR1. Touchdowns aren’t a sticky measure, of course, and Jones is a top-tier playmaker capable of scoring on any deep ball. But he carries years of touchdown-deficient, invisible-in-the-red-zone data that doesn’t inspire much confidence for a massive fantasy day. That said, Jones is a megastud in general, averaging 90.5 yards a game; his dominance isn’t entirely predictable, but it’s sometimes week-winning. The rest of the passing game is uninspiring: WR2 Mohamed Sanu and tight end Austin Hooper occasionally pick up red zone crumbs, but neither moves the fantasy needle much.

The Eagles pass defense been fairly up-and-down in 2017, interspersing dominant performances with leakier ones. But on the whole, this has been a near-prohibitive matchup for opposing fantasy options. They don’t allow much by way of yardage, giving up the league’s 3rd-fewest (205.0 per game) dating back to Week 13. That’s even more impressive when we consider those numbers are weighted by an uncharacteristic 434-yard explosion by Eli Manning and the Giants’ down-to-the-bones passing game in Week 15. Aside from that, no quarterback topped 208 yards over the team’s final 9 games. It’s easy to see why: the Eagles boast one of the league’s most dynamic pass rushes, led by a front line that includes Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox. With strong complementary rushers in veteran Chris Long and rookie Derek Barnett, this is an attacking unit that can flood the pocket from all angles and make up for a lot of the team’s coverage lapses. Matt Ryan is strong in the pocket, but will have his hands full with this group; the quickness of his eyes and release will likely tell the tale of this matchup.

Eagles Rushing offense

Tough matchup vs. the Falcons defense.

The Eagles’ three-headed running back monster of Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount, and Corey Coleman has certainly underwhelmed down the 2017 stretch. They’ve combined to average just 76.6 yards over the final 5 games of the regular season, despite a still-dominant front line and a favorable schedule of run defenses. Ajayi has garnered a majority of running back snaps and touches, but it hasn’t translated into a dominant role. His per-attempt production has been dynamic – he’s averaged 5.83 yards a carry as an Eagle – but all told, Ajayi’s fantasy value waffles in this committee. He’s only topped 52 yards in 3 of his 7 Eagles games, and he isn’t much of a threat for short-yardage touchdowns (that’s Blount’s purview). He had a fantastic stage set for a big game in Week 16 – the lead role in a windy game quarterbacked by a backup, facing a barely-there Oakland run defense – but managed just 52 yards on 14 carries. Still, he’s virtually the Eagles’ only chance at explosiveness or even sustained success, on the ground. Blount has looked out of gas down the stretch, averaging just 3.00 yards per carry (21.6 per game) over the last 5 weeks, while Coleman has yet to show enough to steal away any real opportunity. There’s always a chance Ajayi works the edges well and erupts for a few big runs, but all told, it’s hard to project any of these backs for too much fantasy success. There’s little rhythm or predictability in this unit, and the presence of Nick Foles under center actually dings their outlooks more than it helps.

The Falcons run defense has improved mightily over the course of the year, to the point that they’ve become a borderline-shutdown unit. Their 2017 opened roughly but righted down the stretch, and since Week 12 they’ve allowed the league’s second-fewest yards per game to opposing backs. Thanks to a sometimes-dominant tackle duo and one of the NFL’s most active and athletic linebacking corps, they’ve been able to neutralize or limit the likes of Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara, Jerick McKinnon, and Christian McCaffrey over that span. We can’t fault them much for allowing Todd Gurley to run wild last week, and their overall body of work points to tough sledding for the Eagles’ inconsistent run game.

Eagles Passing offense

Neutral matchup vs. the Falcons defense.

Frankly speaking, it’s hard to expect much from Nick Foles. He’s generally a solid backup, and he looked great in his Week 15 start against the Giants (237 yards, 4 touchdowns, only 1 sack). But he simply doesn’t bring a live arm to the table, and even when he’s avoiding miscues, he struggled to capitalize on big-play opportunities. He’s produced just 5.05 yards per attempt in relief of Carson Wentz, looking lost in Weeks 16 and 17. Foles is a more erratic passer than Wentz, and whatever advantage he has in experience he gives up in confidence and ball placement. Already saddled with a rough per-attempt floor, Foles will likely preside over a low-expectation, low-impact passing attack for as long as game flow allows, so his overall upside is capped as well. It’s also a bit concerning that he showed little rapport with WR1 Alshon Jeffery, who’s caught just 5 of 14 targets from Foles for 57 yards (and 1 score). Tight end Zach Ertz, in the midst of a massive breakout year as an all-over-the-field playmaker, maintains his strong outlook – he produced 56 and 81 yards, with 1 touchdown, in Foles’ 2 full starts. But overall, this passing game does lose most of its Wentz-led fantasy appeal. The efficiency comes way down, and the touchdown opportunities don’t project as well.

Atlanta’s uneven pass defense answered the bell last week, largely neutralizing the Rams’ explosive attack in their easy win. Jared Goff created a few big plays, but overall his high-impact downfield game was tempered and produced just 5.76 yards per attempt and 1 touchdown. Make no mistake, though: this is a bend-plenty-but-don’t-break unit, one that can absolutely allow solid stat lines. Top cornerback Desmond Trufant isn’t a true shadow guy, and the rest of the group is inconsistent, leaving vulnerabilities each and every week. Robert Woods caught 9 balls for 142 yards on Wild Card Weekend – including an impressive 38-yard grab over Trufant’s coverage. And he’s not the only recent opposing WR1 to post a big line. Michael Thomas (10 for 117 and 1 touchdown), Mike Evans (5 for 79 and 1), and Ted Ginn (4 for 76 and 1) have also sprung loose in this matchup; downfield splash plays are plainly on the table. Nick Foles carries a boatload of concerns under center, but he should certainly find exploitable gaps.

Eagles vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)13 (-0.2)13 (-0.2)11 (-0.5)12 (-0.2)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)20 (+1.2)20 (+1.2)19 (+1.2)23 (+1.6)
15Eli Manning8837574343100032.732.728.431.4
16Derek Carr691529140123309.
17Dak Prescott68173017910216014.614.612.812.8

Matt Ryan (FanDuel: $7700, DraftKings: $5700)

16@ NO6522362881127018.
17vs CAR72284531710314021.321.318.121.1
18@ LAR7321302181065015.415.413.213.2
19PROJ-Dodds21332391.40.9280.1181818.0 (H=38)18.0 (H=52)
19PROJ-Tremblay21322391.40.9280.1181818.0 (H=38)18.0 (H=52)
19PROJ-Bloom19291961.40.912014.714.714.7 (H=27)14.7 (H=36)

Eagles vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)2 (-4.3)2 (-3.9)2 (-4.2)2 (-4.4)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)10 (-2.7)12 (-1.6)8 (-3.9)12 (-2.1)
15Wayne Gallman368390764007.913.910.913.9
15Orleans Darkwa2297131907.
16Marshawn Lynch442595032-309.
16Jalen Richard94420221405.
17Ezekiel Elliott592710305338014.117.115.620.1
17Alfred Morris821000000.

Devonta Freeman (FanDuel: $7200, DraftKings: $5900)

16@ NO4311360322005.
17vs CAR381123011985116.825.821.325.8
18@ LAR4518661213012.913.913.413.9
19PROJ-Dodds14570.53210.111.414.412.9 (H=23)14.4 (H=34)
19PROJ-Tremblay12500.43210. (H=19)13.1 (H=29)
19PROJ-Bloom16630.52150.111.413.412.4 (H=21)13.4 (H=30)

Tevin Coleman (FanDuel: $5800, DraftKings: $4400)

16@ NO2361204440111.
17vs CAR4111230221403.
18@ LAR2914400332806.
19PROJ-Dodds9380.32150. (H=14)9.7 (H=23)
19PROJ-Tremblay10410.32130. (H=14)9.8 (H=23)
19PROJ-Bloom10370.23260. (H=17)11.1 (H=29)

Eagles vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)20 (+1.1)25 (+2.2)21 (+1.3)25 (+2.2)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)31 (+8.1)31 (+9.3)31 (+8.7)31 (+9.5)
15Sterling Shepard851611139100019.930.925.433.9
15Tavarres King433270200019.
16Amari Cooper444366100012.615.614.115.6
16Seth Roberts52632300002.
17Brice Butler192250100011.
17Ryan Switzer26543200003.

Julio Jones (FanDuel: $8800, DraftKings: $7900)

16@ NO57117149000014.921.918.424.9
17vs CAR5411580000081310.513.0
18@ LAR0109941113016.725.721.225.7
19PROJ-Dodds6880.400011.217.214.2 (H=22)17.2 (H=34)
19PROJ-Tremblay6890.400011.317.314.3 (H=22)17.3 (H=35)
19PROJ-Bloom6830.500011.317.314.3 (H=22)17.3 (H=35)

Mohamed Sanu (FanDuel: $5800, DraftKings: $5700)

16@ NO59643100003.
17vs CAR611177101007.114.110.614.1
18@ LAR53847500007.511.59.511.5
19PROJ-Dodds4460.30006.410.48.4 (H=13)10.4 (H=20)
19PROJ-Tremblay4450.30106.410.48.4 (H=13)10.4 (H=20)
19PROJ-Bloom5490.40007.312.39.8 (H=17)12.3 (H=27)

Taylor Gabriel (FanDuel: $5300, DraftKings: $3000)

16@ NO324120011203.
17vs CAR91000000000.00.0
18@ LAR170000000000.00.0
19PROJ-Dodds1150.11302.43.42.9 (H=2)3.4 (H=5)
19PROJ-Tremblay1170.11302.63.63.1 (H=2)3.6 (H=6)
19PROJ-Bloom000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Justin Hardy (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

16@ NO2111100000121.52.0
17vs CAR58323200003.
18@ LAR2811300000.
19PROJ-Dodds1140.1000232.5 (H=2)3.0 (H=4)
19PROJ-Tremblay1120.10001.82.82.3 (H=1)2.8 (H=3)
19PROJ-Bloom000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Eagles vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)14 (-0.7)14 (-0.7)14 (-0.6)15 (-0.6)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)12 (-1.0)15 (-0.6)13T (-0.8)15 (-0.8)
15Evan Engram7413887010.
16Lee Smith44321601.
17Jason Witten68321701.

Austin Hooper (FanDuel: $4900, DraftKings: $3200)

16@ NO54431801.
17vs CAR58333503.
18@ LAR58531501.
19PROJ-Dodds3280.2475.5 (H=7)7.0 (H=18)
19PROJ-Tremblay3290. (H=8)7.1 (H=18)
19PROJ-Bloom3230. (H=8)7.1 (H=18)

Levine Toilolo (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $2500)

16@ NO130000000.00.0
18@ LAR460000000.00.0
19PROJ-Dodds1700.71.71.2 (H=0)1.7 (H=2)
19PROJ-Tremblay160. (H=1)2.2 (H=3)
19PROJ-Bloom000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Eagles vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)2T (-1.8)2T (-1.8)2 (-2.0) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)3 (-3.8)3 (-3.8)3 (-4.6) (+0.0)
15Aldrick Rosas1223555.00.0
16Giorgio Tavecchio1211444.00.0
17Dan Bailey0101000.00.0

Matt Bryant (FanDuel: $4800, DraftKings: $--)

16@ NO2211778.00.0
17vs CAR5511161619.00.0
18@ LAR4422141418.00.0
19PROJ-Dodds1. (H=15)8.1
19PROJ-Tremblay1.622.22.2778.1 (H=15)8.1

Eagles vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)17 (-0.4)17 (-0.4)11 (-1.3)11 (-1.3)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)11 (-2.0)11 (-2.0)23 (+1.1)23 (+1.1)
15New York Giants3434110000110.00.0
16Oakland Raiders19216211006610.010.0
17Dallas Cowboys0219311007717.017.0

Atlanta Falcons (FanDuel: $4400, DraftKings: $3500)

16@ NO23.0031511000333.03.0
17vs CAR10.00248230008812.012.0
18@ LAR13.00361302007711.011.0
19PROJ-Dodds19.803502.410.700. (H=22)9.4 (H=27)
19PROJ-Tremblay19.503592.41.10.800.510.410.410.4 (H=26)10.4 (H=33)

Falcons vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)17 (+0.7)17 (+0.7)18 (+0.7)15 (+0.3)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)22 (+1.4)22 (+1.4)21 (+1.4)18 (+0.8)
15Jameis Winston61273529930318028.828.825.825.8
16Drew Brees652128239114-4014.614.612.212.2
17Cam Newton611434180131159015.915.914.114.1
18Jared Goff6824452591000017.017.014.414.4

Nick Foles (FanDuel: $7200, DraftKings: $5200)

16vs OAK6819381631100011.
17vs DAL194113901100110.60.6
19PROJ-Dodds21352331.31370. (H=37)17.1 (H=52)
19PROJ-Tremblay22372441.31.1590.117.817.817.8 (H=40)17.8 (H=56)
19PROJ-Bloom21332071.4112015.115.115.1 (H=30)15.1 (H=42)

Falcons vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)5 (-2.0)11 (-0.9)6 (-1.6)10 (-1.2)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)3 (-6.1)6 (-4.9)3 (-5.8)7 (-4.9)
15Peyton Barber3213530331506.
15Charles Sims2800044600.
16Mark Ingram32134413322012.615.614.115.6
16Alvin Kamara3712320975809.016.012.516.0
17Christian McCaffrey526140854005.410.47.910.4
17Cameron Artis-Payne12516000001.
18Todd Gurley6214101010410011.
18Malcolm Brown6214000001.

Jay Ajayi (FanDuel: $6900, DraftKings: $4600)

16vs OAK28145203221113.315.312.314.3
19PROJ-Dodds13610.321209.111.110.1 (H=15)11.1 (H=28)
19PROJ-Tremblay13610.3211091110.0 (H=15)11.0 (H=27)
19PROJ-Bloom20810.4218012.314.313.3 (H=25)14.3 (H=43)

Corey Clement (FanDuel: $4900, DraftKings: $3200)

16vs OAK2721402160232.53.0
17vs DAL111001000000.00.0
19PROJ-Dodds5190.111103.64.64.1 (H=4)4.6 (H=8)
19PROJ-Tremblay4160.111003.24.23.7 (H=3)4.2 (H=7)
19PROJ-Bloom3120.12100. (H=5)5.4 (H=11)

LeGarrette Blount (FanDuel: $5500, DraftKings: $3700)

16vs OAK12512011301.
17vs DAL199370111104.
19PROJ-Dodds6260.11403.64.64.1 (H=4)4.6 (H=7)
19PROJ-Tremblay6260.11503.74.74.2 (H=4)4.7 (H=7)
19PROJ-Bloom260.10001.21.21.2 (H=0)1.2 (H=0)

Falcons vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)13 (-0.5)14 (-0.0)12 (-0.4)13 (-0.4)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)28 (+5.7)28 (+6.5)27 (+5.5)27 (+6.2)
15Mike Evans518579100013.918.916.418.9
15Adam Humphries405543116010.915.913.415.9
16Ted Ginn4854761214015.
16Michael Thomas40546600006.610.68.610.6
17Devin Funchess536248100010.812.811.812.8
17Brenton Bersin35423600003.
18Robert Woods64149142000014.223.218.726.2
18Cooper Kupp6713869100012.920.916.920.9

Nelson Agholor (FanDuel: $6400, DraftKings: $4800)

16vs OAK58743500003.
17vs DAL30331101701.
19PROJ-Dodds4510.30006.910.98.9 (H=13)10.9 (H=26)
19PROJ-Tremblay5580.30007.612.610.1 (H=17)12.6 (H=33)
19PROJ-Bloom4370.30005.59.57.5 (H=10)9.5 (H=20)

Alshon Jeffery (FanDuel: $7200, DraftKings: $5500)

16vs OAK632000000000.00.0
17vs DAL1821800000.
19PROJ-Dodds3450.30006.39.37.8 (H=9)9.3 (H=17)
19PROJ-Tremblay3440.30006.29.27.7 (H=9)9.2 (H=16)
19PROJ-Bloom4520.40007.611.69.6 (H=13)11.6 (H=25)

Torrey Smith (FanDuel: $5100, DraftKings: $3000)

16vs OAK5551500000.
17vs DAL153000000000.00.0
19PROJ-Dodds3290.20004.17.15.6 (H=7)7.1 (H=19)
19PROJ-Tremblay3350.20004.77.76.2 (H=9)7.7 (H=22)
19PROJ-Bloom21700001.73.72.7 (H=2)3.7 (H=6)

Mack Hollins (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

16vs OAK90000000000.00.0
17vs DAL44532500002.
19PROJ-Dodds1100000121.5 (H=0)2.0 (H=2)
19PROJ-Tremblay1800000.81.81.3 (H=0)1.8 (H=1)
19PROJ-Bloom000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Falcons vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)8 (-1.3)11 (-1.5)12 (-1.2)11 (-1.3)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)13 (-0.6)12 (-1.4)12 (-0.9)12 (-1.5)
15O.J. Howard13113019.010.09.510.0
16Josh Hill53321101.
17Ed Dickson29322202.
18Tyler Higbee44211101.

Zach Ertz (FanDuel: $7200, DraftKings: $5800)

16vs OAK561498108.117.112.617.1
17vs DAL14222402.
19PROJ-Dodds6570. (H=17)14.1 (H=33)
19PROJ-Tremblay6620.48.614.611.6 (H=19)14.6 (H=35)
19PROJ-Bloom6610. (H=20)15.1 (H=37)

Trey Burton (FanDuel: $4800, DraftKings: $2700)

16vs OAK100000000.00.0
17vs DAL2821900.
19PROJ-Dodds1100121.5 (H=0)2.0 (H=2)
19PROJ-Tremblay1500.51.51.0 (H=0)1.5 (H=1)
19PROJ-Bloom1120. (H=1)2.8 (H=4)

Falcons vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)15T (+0.0)15T (+0.0)18 (+0.2) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)12 (-0.6)12 (-0.6)13 (-0.6) (+0.0)
15Patrick Murray0133333.00.0
16Wil Lutz3322111113.00.0
17Graham Gano1111445.00.0
18Sam Ficken2211777.00.0

Jake Elliott (FanDuel: $4800, DraftKings: $--)

16vs OAK2311778.00.0
17vs DAL0000000.00.0
19PROJ-Dodds1.51.81.926.46.47.4 (H=13)7.4
19PROJ-Tremblay1. (H=13)7.4

Falcons vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)7 (-1.9)7 (-1.9)9 (-2.0)9 (-2.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)3 (-3.2)3 (-3.2)11 (-2.7)11 (-2.7)
15Tampa Bay Buccaneers2441010000114.04.0
16New Orleans Saints13331511009913.013.0
17Carolina Panthers2237110000111.01.0
18Los Angeles Rams2632230000333.03.0

Philadelphia Eagles (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $2600)

16vs OAK10.0027412301232321.021.0
17vs DAL6.00301101003310.010.0
19PROJ-Dodds22.003482.10.90.700. (H=17)8.4 (H=30)
19PROJ-Tremblay22.003492.10.90.700. (H=17)8.4 (H=30)