WR Devin Hester - Atlanta Falcons
|5-11, 185||Born: 11-4-1982||College: Miami (Fl)||Drafted: Round 2|
Distractions like playing wide receiver should not be an issue for Devin Hester in Atlanta. He is there to be a returner.
The temptation to subject receiver Harry Douglas to injury risk on punt returns should be over for the Falcons now that Devin Hester is available.
News you need to know
From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Dec 15): Hester took over Julio Jones' role on WR screens with good work, and he easily could have had a second score to upgrade his already solid day against the Steelers. Playing in the Superdome isn't as scary as it sounded at the beginning of the season, so Hester will be worth a WR3/Flex look if Jones is out again.
Week 16: at New Orleans Saints
Mark and Joe say: Great matchup. Matt Ryan tossed 31/43 for 448 yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions thrown (one sack taken for -8 yards) the last time he saw New Orleans way back in Week 1. Julio Jones was his main target (nine targets for 7/116/0 receiving), while Roddy White (six for 5/72/1), Antone Smith (one for 1/54/1) and Levine Toilolo (six for 3/19/1) handled the TDs for Ryan that game. Since then, the Falcons and Saints have raced each other for the NFC South title - last week, Ryan was forced to do without Jones (posting 26/37 for 310 yards passing, two TDs and zero interceptions, with zero sacks) during a narrow 20-27 loss to Pittsburgh. Harry Douglas (14 targets for 10/131/0 receiving) and Roddy White (10 for 7/58/1) were the most-targeted receivers on the squad in Jones' absence, while Devin Hester (six for 5/85/1) also made his presence felt as a receiver while Jones stood on the sidelines. As of Monday, head coach Mike Smith was optimistic that Jones will play in this divisional showdown, but it remains to be seen how much Jones will practice - fantasy owners should stay tuned to Footballguys.com's Players in the News for the latest on how involved Jones is in practices this week. The Saints' pass D is now tied for 26th in the NFL averaging 257.1 net passing yards allowed per game, with 24 pass scores given out vs. 11 interceptions (tied for 19th in the NFL) and 31 sacks generated to date (tied-22nd). Jay Cutler and company limped to 17/31 for 153 net yards, two TDs and three interceptions thrown (with seven sacks taken for -41 yards) on Monday Night Football against New Orleans, while Cam Newton wasn't sacked once two weeks ago (with 21/33 for 226 net yards passing, three TDs and zero interceptions thrown). This pass D is usually very giving, as you can see. This looks like it will be a high-scoring shootout - advantage, Atlanta, even if Jones is sidelined again.
Recent Stats and Projections
Recent Game Summaries
2014 Week 13 vs ARI (4 / 1 / 10 / 0 rec, 1 / 4 / 0 rush)
It was a stronger day for Douglas than Hester, but Altanta tried to get the former Bear involved early. One of his targets was a drag route that Hester broke too far towards the quarterback and the target arrived high and incomplete. Hester only managed a 10-yard reception on the day.
2014 Week 14 vs GB (2 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec, 1 / 0 / 0 rush)
Ryan appeared ready to throw away a designed rollout to the right, but hesitated and then tried to throw the ball blind to Devin Hester. Morgan Burnett intercepted it and returned the ball to the Atlanta 20 with 6:30 left in the half. Other than this play and kick returns--none really impressive--Hester was limited on a jet sweep to no gain inside the three of Green Bay.
2014 Week 15 vs PIT (6 / 5 / 85 / 1 rec)
Ryan threw the quick out to Devin Hester at the left sideline from a spread look on 3rd and 2 for a first down. Hester had two quality returns in the first quarter, including one where he weaved from the middle and to the left flat at the end of the quarter to get Atlanta within a first down of midfield. Hester scored on a perfectly delivered seam route to the back of the end zone on third down in the mid-second quarter. Hester later earned a big gain up the left flat in the early second half on a fine run into Steeler territory. He later caught a quick crossing route in the late third quarter and then nearly scored on a nine-yard route to the flat where Hester gained most of it off a Roddy White block. Ryan overthrew Hester on a rub route that earned an offensive pass interference foul on Harry Douglas that should have been a touchdown if executed a little better. Overall Hester was a major factor to supplement the loss of Julio Jones this week.
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|16||@ New Orleans Saints|
|17||vs Carolina Panthers|