WR Justin Hardy - Atlanta Falcons
|5-10, 192||Born: 12-18-1991||College: East Carolina||Drafted: Round 4|
Week 14: vs New Orleans Saints
FBG says: Neutral matchup. It remains exceptionally hard to trust Matt Ryan week-to-week for fantasy purposes. He's fallen off majorly from his dazzling 2017, and he continues to boast a stat ceiling that's not especially impressive. Ryan has averaged 254.8 passing yards per game, 11th-most in the league, and he's topped that number just 4 times all year. He's also yet to throw more than 2 touchdowns in any game, and he's only tossed 2 in 5 of 13 appearances. With only one effective downfield threat - a future Hall of Famer, but only one nonetheless - Ryan presides over a passing attack that's relatively predictable and routinely fails to maximize Julio Jones in all his glory. Jones has been a strong producer in 2017, but has scored just 3 touchdowns. Some of that blame rests on his own shoulders - Jones has always been a poor red-zone producer - but some falls on Ryan and the offense for their utilization of him. There's simply no excuse for Jones earning seven or fewer targets five times thus far. As rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore's health goes, so goes the Saints pass defense. Lattimore's emergence as a true shutdown force propelled this unit from the dregs of the NFL to a strong, virtually fantasy-avoidable one: they allowed a miniscule 169 yards per game (fewest in the league) and 14.3 fantasy points (second-fewest) from Weeks 3 through 10. But since his injury early in Week 11, they've regressed terribly, allowing two games of 300+ yards and an efficient, 2-touchdown day to Cam Newton and the Panthers. Lattimore was close to returning last week and, barring a setback, should suit up against the Falcons. One player doesn't make all the difference, of course, but if Lattimore returns this is a far less attractive matchup for Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and company.
Recent Stats and Projections
Recent Game Summaries
2017 Week 11 vs SEA (4 / 3 / 27 / 0 rec)
He dug out a 3rd and 5 pass in tight coverage with a diving play on a low throw for the first, first down of the game. He followed up with a short out and worked up the right sideline for a few more for a gain of seven. Hardy caught a low-thrown out on 3rd and 7 to set up a 1st and goal on the second drive. On a 3rd and 8 during Atlanta's third drive, he initially caught the ball with a leaping high-point against Craphonso Thorpe, but the cornerback knocked the ball loose as Hardy returned to earth. In terms of volume, this was Hardy's most productive game of the year.
2017 Week 10 vs DAL (2 / 2 / 7 / 1 rec)
His first catch was a four-yard gain on a screen pass to the left side during the first drive of the second half. Ryan found Hardy on a post route in the back of the end zone to cap a drive of six and a half minutes to begin the third quarter. Hardy was the outside trips receiver working behind the defense.
2017 Week 9 vs CAR (2 / 2 / 26 / 0 rec)
He gained 19 yards in the middle during the fourth quarter with Ryan under pressure, crossing midfield on the play. It was the extent of his contribution.
2017 Week 7 vs NE (2 / 2 / 21 / 0 rec)
His first target was a crossing route past midfield during the middle of the fourth quarter to get inside the Patriots' 40. He was targeted again on the next play but dropped for a loss of a yard on a wide route in the left flat.
2017 Week 6 vs MIA (3 / 3 / 34 / 0 rec)
Hardy's first catch came in the underneath zone in the middle of the field before two defenders swarmed to the ball for a short gain, setting up a 3rd and 1 during the first half. He earned two consecutive receptions with 1:30 and 1:15 left in the contest to get past the 50, including a third-down conversion in the middle of the field.
2017 Week 4 vs BUF (6 / 2 / 12 / 1 rec)
Wide-open on an underneath route, Hardy got inside the 15 to set up a 3rd and 7 after a penalty on first down by the Atlanta offense put the Falcons in a long situation. The play after Tevin Coleman was stripped, Hardy fumbled a sideline hitch after making a move up field and Buffalo recovered. However, he never earned control of the reception and the replay booth overturned the play, ruling it a drop. White interfered with Hardy on a corner route from the slot in the red zone in the middle of the fourth quarter to set up a first and goal from the one. A few plays later, Hardy caught the shallow route as the inside trips man against a blown coverage for a one-yard score. Hardy let a 2nd and 4 crossing route go through his hands with 3:00 left and down by 6.
2017 Week 2 vs GB (2 / 1 / 19 / 0 rec)
He caught an under route to set up a first and goal inside the five of Green Bay after dragging two defenders five yards during the third series. Ryan just overshot Hardy on an intermediate cross off play-action on a 1st and 10 pass just past midfield.
2017 Week 1 vs CHI (0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Hardy juggled a 3rd and 8 deep out that he tight roped the sideline and incomplete but Matt Ryan was roughed with late hit on the ground in the third quarter with 5:10 left.
Latest NewsFalcons | Atlanta's Week 13 injury report (Fri Dec 1, 03:40 PM) - Atlanta Falcons CB Desmond Trufant (concussion) did not participate in practice Friday, Dec. 1, and has been ruled out for Week 13. LB Sean Weatherspoon (illness) did not practice and is listed as questionable. PK Matt Bryant (back), WR Julio Jones (ankle), OG Andy Levitre (knee) and CB Brian Poole (back) were limited during practice but are not on the injury report. RB Devonta Freeman (concussion), WR Justin Hardy (shoulder), OT Ty Sambrailo (hamstring) and RB Terron Ward (knee, shoulder) fully participated in practice and are not on the injury report. link to story Falcons | Atlanta's Thursday practice report (Thu Nov 30, 07:24 PM) - Atlanta Falcons CBs Desmond Trufant (concussion), Brian Poole (back), LB Sean Weatherspoon (illness) and PK Matt Bryant (back) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 30. Meanwhile, OG Andy Levitre (knee), OT Ty Sambrailo (hamstring), RB Terron Ward (shoulder, knee) and WR Justin Hardy (shoulder) were each limited. Falcons | Wednesday's practice report for Atlanta (Wed Nov 29, 06:01 PM) - Atlanta Falcons PK Matt Bryant (back) and CB Desmond Trufant (concussion) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 29. WR Justin Hardy (shoulder), WR Julio Jones (ankle), OG Andy Levitre (knee), CB Brian Poole (back), OT Ty Sambrailo (hamstring) and RB Terron Ward (shoulder, knee) were limited in practice, while RB Devonta Freeman (concussion) was a full participant. Our View: The Falcons defense was weaker after Trufant went out last week, and they are facing one of the best wide receiver duos in the league when Minnesota comes to town this week. His status is important to the Falcons defense's outlook this week.
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|14||vs New Orleans Saints|
|15||@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|16||@ New Orleans Saints|
|17||vs Carolina Panthers|