Matchup Analysis: Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers

Vegas Prediction

Vegas says: Falcons 22, Panthers 24

FBG Projections

TeamRushYardsTDCompAttPass YdTDINT

Atlanta Falcons Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Falcons Offense25.4 (+2.0) (10)91 (-23) (31)288 (+48) (5)
Panthers Defense24.6 (+1.1) (21)102 (-12) (7)250 (+10) (21)

Carolina Panthers Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Panthers Offense23.8 (+0.3) (15)135 (+19) (3)234 (-5) (17)
Falcons Defense27.2 (+3.8) (29)126 (+11) (25)251 (+11) (22)

Falcons Rushing offense

Neutral matchup vs. the Panthers defense.

Tevin Coleman remains one of football’s speediest and most explosive runners. Last week’s 43-yard, stop-start masterpiece was a strong reminder of that. On the year, he’s broken 21 runs of 10 yards or more, making up a robust 14% of his attempts. His burst has been much more valuable as the Atlanta line, sluggish and weak to open the season, has come together over the last month or so. Consistency has been hard to come by, but he’s averaging 4.7 yards per attempt, and he may close out the season as the Falcons’ unchallenged backfield leader. His only competition thus far, rookie Ito Smith, will finish the year on injured reserve. The team generally doesn’t like to give Coleman a bell cow role - he hasn’t topped 13 carries since Week 4 - so there remains a strong chance they shoehorn someone like Brian Hill into Smith’s shoes. But Coleman’s dynamism is clearly their only realistic chance at an efficient ground game.

The Panthers continue to show well against the weaker rushing attacks on their schedule but fall apart when challenged. They’ve done a fine job against the likes of Peyton Barber and Wendell Smallwood but looked very average in tougher matchups. Last Monday night, for example, Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram had little trouble racking up 130 yards on their 26 carries and icing the game away late. The Panthers’ low-volume game flow tends to keep rushing totals in check, but explosive runners keep maximizing opportunity and winding up with efficient lines. Luke Kuechly and a pair of stout tackles anchor the middle of the field, but the edges are still beaten a bit too often, and poor downfield tackling hasn’t helped. This week’s opposing lead back, Tevin Coleman, ripped off a number of splash runs en route to 107 yards in their Week 2 meeting.

Falcons Passing offense

Good matchup vs. the Panthers defense.

Matt Ryan continues to motor through a lost season with the 5-9 Falcons. He’s actually enjoying his second-best season as a pro, and on a better team, he’d be a frontrunner for his second MVP award. Ryan is posting his second-best yardage and touchdown rates, completing 70% of his throws along the way. At 308 yards and 2.1 touchdowns per game, he’s producing virtually the same fantasy gold as his MVP season of 2016 (309 and 2.4). Julio Jones remains a gem - like Ryan, he’s also in the midst of his second-best season as a pro. Jones is a matchup-proof dominator who routinely beats upper-level cornerbacks down the field; it was no surprise to see him score on Patrick Peterson last week. He’s on pace to lead the NFL in per-game yardage for the third time in four years and actually producing touchdowns (six over the last seven weeks). There’s not much consistency beyond Jones’ production, but Mohamed Sanu and rookie Calvin Ridley provide just enough to keep defenses honest. With Ryan playing at a high level, all three should find adequate room downfield against the Panthers’ struggling coverage unit. Keep an eye on Jones' status, however, as he has been limited in practice this week which would significantly change the outlook of this offense if he was unable to go.

The Panthers pass defense remains a mediocre unit, boasting a generally-strong pass rush but one of the league’s shakiest coverage groups. Over the last 6 weeks, they’ve allowed opposing quarterbacks complete 71% of their throws, with 7 different receivers topping 80 yards. Cornerbacks James Bradberry and Donte Jackson opened the year in tremendous fashion, but both seem to be losing confidence of late. Bradberry flashes great coverage ability but has had enough downfield lapses to allow for a handful of big gains and receiving lines. On the other side, Jackson has slipped noticeably since a rough showing against Antonio Brown in Week 10. Slot man Captain Munnerlyn has been a liability throughout the year, and the safeties are much stronger in run support than downfield coverage. On the whole, this hasn’t been an imposing fantasy matchup all year, and it’s slipped even further of late.

Panthers Rushing offense

Great matchup vs. the Falcons defense.

Christian McCaffrey continues to carry the Carolina run game on his back, taking on 72% of team rushes dating back to Week 10. He and quarterback Cam Newton remain the only ballcarriers of note, and both always bring major dynamism and upside to the ground game. McCaffrey struggled last week against the run-dominant Saints, but has averaged 5.0 yards per carry on the year and run for 7 touchdowns. Working behind a mediocre front line, one that’s lost three starters to injured reserve, McCaffrey continues to maximize his every opportunity. He’s a true dynamo, both inside the formation and out, and an ever-present threat to turn a decently-blocked three-yard gain into a chunk run through traffic. Newton’s all-around play has dipped noticeably as he’s nursed a shoulder injury over the last month. After topping 35 yards in 6 of his first 7 games, he’s been held below the mark in 6 of the last seven. Until further notice, this is McCaffrey’s show to dominate, and he’s always a matchup-proof candidate to top 100 on the ground.

The Atlanta run defense scored a victory last week, overwhelming the Cardinals’ poor line and burying David Johnson. But it was a rare spark during a season of poor play, one that’s seen the Falcons allow the league’s seventh-most yards per game (126) and sixth-most touchdowns (16). Prior to last Sunday, they’d allowed 5 straight lead backs to top 75 yards, with 2 landing well over 100. They’ve trended a bit better lately, at least, but remain one of fantasy’s tastiest matchups. Grady Jarrett’s strong play in the middle hasn’t been enough to make up for a shaky linebacking corps, one that often finds itself badly out of place while lanes sprout up. When the Panthers last faced this unit, their trio of ballcarriers racked up 110 yards on just 16 attempts, routinely finding holes up and down the line of scrimmage. It’s hard to argue against a similar projection this week.

Panthers Passing offense

Neutral matchup vs. the Falcons defense.

Cam Newton clearly isn’t himself right. Working through a small but nagging shoulder injury, Newton has taken a nosedive from the heights of what had once looked like his best season as a pro. After completing 70% of his throws at 7.5 yards apiece through the first 12 games, he’s landed at 59% and 5.6 over the last two. Struggling to push downfield at all, Newton hasn’t been able to create any big plays with Devin Funchess or game-breaking rookie D.J. Moore. This has all led to the Panthers determining that it was time for them to shut Newton down for the season and start Taylor Heinicke who is a fourth-year undrafted player out of Old Dominion. If it helps anyone it should be Christian McCaffrey on check downs as the Panthers will make it easy for the quarterback making his first career start.

Against all odds, the Falcons’ much-maligned pass defense has tightened noticeably of late. With both starting safeties on injured reserve, the team opened the year allowing 317 yards per game over the first 8 weeks, but has calmed to just 197 since. That said, there are still holes throughout this unit, and plenty of room to create efficiency. The Falcons pass rush has vanished for long stretches throughout the season, and the cornerbacks have looked much shakier than usual. Slot man Brian Poole, in particular, has been arguably the league’s worst cover man on the inside. Free safety Ricardo Allen, an emerging star as a playmaker in coverage, has been missed dearly with so many open zones down the seams. The Panthers pass game has been spotty lately, but this is a fine place to expect a bounce-back.

Panthers vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)25 (+1.4)25 (+1.4)25 (+1.6)27 (+1.8)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)19 (+0.6)19 (+0.6)20 (+0.6)20 (+0.6)
12Russell Wilson6222313392034025.425.422.025.0
13Jameis Winston65203024920548025.325.322.822.8
14Baker Mayfield5218222381042016.116.113.713.7
15Drew Brees742335203012-

Matt Ryan (FanDuel: $8500, DraftKings: $6100)

13vs BAL5316261311024011117.68.6
14@ GB7128422623110024.124.121.521.5
15vs ARI64223623120318127.427.425.025.0
16PROJ-Dodds25382901.90.7290.122.922.922.9 (H=53)22.9 (H=74)
16PROJ-Tremblay25392961.70.9280. (H=50)22.1 (H=69)
16PROJ-Bloom24342581.71.1110.119.319.319.3 (H=39)19.3 (H=55)

Panthers vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)9 (-2.8)7T (-3.7)6T (-3.4)6 (-4.2)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)9 (-2.5)7 (-3.5)6 (-3.3)6 (-4.4)
12Chris Carson3216551228012.314.313.314.3
12Tre Madden3000112802.
13Peyton Barber4016451100010.510.58.59.5
13Ronald Jones II942000000.
14Nick Chubb33136616417014.318.316.318.3
14Dontrell Hilliard4000222002.
15Alvin Kamara47146719736016.323.319.823.3
15Mark Ingram3312630221107.

Tevin Coleman (FanDuel: $6400, DraftKings: $4800)

13vs BAL2968031301.
14@ GB331045011-404.
15vs ARI34111451100020.520.520.523.5
16PROJ-Dodds14600.33210. (H=25)14.1 (H=40)
16PROJ-Tremblay14600.32180.210.812.811.8 (H=22)12.8 (H=34)
16PROJ-Bloom16670.43210.212.415.413.9 (H=29)15.4 (H=47)

Brian Hill (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

14@ GB915000000.
15vs ARI537000000.
16PROJ-Dodds6210.11903.64.64.1 (H=5)4.6 (H=9)
16PROJ-Tremblay3110.11802.53.53.0 (H=2)3.5 (H=5)
16PROJ-Bloom5170.10002.32.32.3 (H=1)2.3 (H=2)

Jeremy Langford (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $--)

16PROJ-Dodds000000000.0 (H=0)0.0
16PROJ-Tremblay1501801.32.31.8 (H=1)2.3

Panthers vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)27 (+2.4)29 (+3.1)24 (+2.1)26 (+2.9)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)29 (+8.2)29 (+9.3)27 (+7.3)30 (+10.1)
12Tyler Lockett555510711-2016.521.519.024.5
12David Moore3154103100016.320.318.323.3
13Chris Godwin5265101100016.121.118.624.1
13Adam Humphries419761100012.119.115.619.1
14Jarvis Landry4243571254123.126.122.625.1
14Breshad Perriman19228100008.
15Michael Thomas69974900004.911.98.411.9
15Keith Kirkwood34224000004.

Julio Jones (FanDuel: $8700, DraftKings: $8700)

13vs BAL41821800001.
14@ GB63118106200022.630.626.633.6
15vs ARI328682100014.
16PROJ-Dodds7990.500012.919.916.4 (H=29)19.9 (H=40)
16PROJ-Tremblay6920.401011.717.714.7 (H=24)17.7 (H=33)
16PROJ-Bloom6780.500010.816.813.8 (H=21)16.8 (H=30)

Calvin Ridley (FanDuel: $5500, DraftKings: $5100)

13vs BAL34532200002.
14@ GB4441100000121.52.0
15vs ARI44754200004.
16PROJ-Dodds4490.40007.311.39.3 (H=17)11.3 (H=26)
16PROJ-Tremblay4540.402081210.0 (H=19)12.0 (H=29)
16PROJ-Bloom4540.40007.811.89.8 (H=18)11.8 (H=28)

Mohamed Sanu (FanDuel: $5300, DraftKings: $4400)

13vs BAL44433700003.
14@ GB57865400005.411.48.411.4
15vs ARI606330011104.
16PROJ-Dodds4480.20006108.0 (H=13)10.0 (H=24)
16PROJ-Tremblay4470.20206.110.18.1 (H=14)10.1 (H=24)
16PROJ-Bloom5480.30006.611.69.1 (H=17)11.6 (H=31)

Justin Hardy (FanDuel: $4900, DraftKings: $3000)

13vs BAL110000000000.00.0
14@ GB144330100091210.512.0
15vs ARI10332910008.911.910.411.9
16PROJ-Dodds190.10001.52.52.1 (H=1)2.6 (H=3)
16PROJ-Tremblay1100.10001.62.62.2 (H=1)2.7 (H=3)

Marvin Hall (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

13vs BAL100000000000.00.0
14@ GB510001-30-0.3-0.3-0.3-0.3
15vs ARI1831100000121.52.0
16PROJ-Dodds1800000.81.81.4 (H=0)1.9 (H=2)
16PROJ-Tremblay1800100.91.91.5 (H=0)2.0 (H=2)
16PROJ-Bloom11400001.42.42.0 (H=1)2.5 (H=3)

Panthers vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)30 (+2.4)30 (+3.2)30 (+3.0)30 (+3.4)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)7 (-2.6)7 (-3.4)7 (-2.9)7 (-3.5)
12Nick Vannett25222202.
13Cameron Brate44633603.
14David Njoku43433503.
15Ben Watson32212802.

Austin Hooper (FanDuel: $5300, DraftKings: $3700)

13vs BAL385544110.415.412.915.4
14@ GB55643703.
15vs ARI341000000.00.0
16PROJ-Dodds4380. (H=12)9.6 (H=27)
16PROJ-Tremblay4360. (H=12)9.4 (H=26)
16PROJ-Bloom3250. (H=7)7.3 (H=16)

Logan Paulsen (FanDuel: $4000, DraftKings: $2500)

13vs BAL180000000.00.0
15vs ARI150000000.00.0
16PROJ-Dodds000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)
16PROJ-Tremblay1500.51.51.0 (H=0)1.5 (H=1)
16PROJ-Bloom000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Panthers vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)12 (-0.3)12 (-0.3)17 (-0.1) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)23T (+1.3)23T (+1.3)23T (+1.3) (+0.0)
12Sebastian Janikowski3333121212.012.0
13Cairo Santos1133666.06.0
14Greg Joseph22238810.010.0
15Wil Lutz2200667.07.0

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

13vs BAL1111445.05.0
14@ GB0123222.02.0
15vs ARI2244101010.010.0

Panthers vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)19T (-1.3)19T (-1.3)8 (-1.8)8 (-1.8)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)19T (+0.2)19T (+0.2)21 (+0.7)21 (+0.7)
12Seattle Seahawks2747601000222.02.0
13Tampa Bay Buccaneers1744444000121213.013.0
14Cleveland Browns2039311000334.04.0
15New Orleans Saints9247411008812.012.0

Atlanta Falcons (FanDuel: $3400, DraftKings: $2300)

13vs BAL26.0036620101161611.011.0
14@ GB34.0030040000443.03.0
15vs ARI14.0025372101191920.020.0
16PROJ-Dodds27.003822.210.500. (H=15)6.6 (H=22)
16PROJ-Tremblay27.003682.110.500. (H=15)6.5 (H=22)

Falcons vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)30 (+3.9)30 (+3.9)31 (+3.7)31 (+4.2)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)24 (+1.9)24 (+1.8)22 (+1.5)21 (+1.3)
12Drew Brees571522171414-4023.223.221.421.4
13Lamar Jackson661221125001775119.819.816.517.5
14Aaron Rodgers64213219620344022.
15Mike Glennon171014111100009.

Taylor Heinicke (FanDuel: $6000, DraftKings: $4000)

13@ TB101000000000.00.0
14@ CLE11133000001.
16PROJ-Dodds23342381.31.35180. (H=50)18.2 (H=76)
16PROJ-Tremblay21332331.71.14160. (H=60)20.2 (H=91)
16PROJ-Bloom172713311.3260.110.610.610.6 (H=19)10.6 (H=29)

Cam Newton (FanDuel: $8500, DraftKings: $6200)

13@ TB69284130024633022.322.319.322.3
14@ CLE73264226501523014.614.611.911.9
15vs NO5816291310151507.
16PROJ-Dodds00000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)
16PROJ-Tremblay00000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)
16PROJ-Bloom00000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Falcons vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)27 (+3.4)30 (+5.5)29 (+4.9)30 (+6.3)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)14 (-0.8)14 (-1.0)14 (-0.6)12 (-1.6)
12Alvin Kamara371489011909.810.810.310.8
12Mark Ingram2711520221406.
13Gus Edwards412182000008.
13Ty Montgomery273130754205.510.58.010.5
14Aaron Jones42177813328016.619.618.119.6
14Jamaal Williams24417010001.
15David Johnson34113316368016.119.117.619.1
15Chase Edmonds268220222204.

Christian McCaffrey (FanDuel: $9300, DraftKings: $8800)

13@ TB7010106010955122.131.126.634.1
14@ CLE74166327638022.
15vs NO581553011867018.526.522.026.0
16PROJ-Dodds15760.66510.318.124.121.1 (H=42)24.1 (H=56)
16PROJ-Tremblay19940.76490.420.926.923.9 (H=52)26.9 (H=68)
16PROJ-Bloom15610.46400.314.320.317.3 (H=29)20.3 (H=41)

Falcons vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)24 (+1.8)19 (+1.4)21 (+1.6)20 (+1.6)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)15 (-1.6)10T (-3.5)12 (-2.6)10 (-4.3)
12TommyLee Lewis28112810008.
12Austin Carr18111210007.
13Michael Crabtree35433600003.
13Chris Moore51112100002.
14Davante Adams5611781100014.121.117.621.1
14Randall Cobb446543100010.315.312.815.3
15Larry Fitzgerald66878200008.215.211.715.2
15Trent Sherfield65531510007.510.59.010.5

D.J. Moore (FanDuel: $6300, DraftKings: $5600)

13@ TB668444022106.510.58.510.5
14@ CLE67856701006.711.79.211.7
15vs NO573212012203.
16PROJ-Dodds4520.31907.911.99.9 (H=16)11.9 (H=26)
16PROJ-Tremblay4600.416091311.0 (H=20)13.0 (H=30)
16PROJ-Bloom2130.22110. (H=5)6.2 (H=8)

Curtis Samuel (FanDuel: $5700, DraftKings: $4500)

13@ TB581168801809.615.612.615.6
14@ CLE698480000081210.012.0
15vs NO55411702802.
16PROJ-Dodds3460.31607108.5 (H=14)10.0 (H=23)
16PROJ-Tremblay4510.415081210.0 (H=18)12.0 (H=32)
16PROJ-Bloom2240.2290. (H=8)7.1 (H=13)

Devin Funchess (FanDuel: $5000, DraftKings: $4200)

13@ TB3231101000787.58.0
14@ CLE293000000000.00.0
15vs NO111000000000.00.0
16PROJ-Dodds3320.10003.86.85.3 (H=7)6.8 (H=13)
16PROJ-Tremblay1150.10002.13.12.6 (H=2)3.1 (H=3)
16PROJ-Bloom000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Jarius Wright (FanDuel: $4700, DraftKings: $3100)

13@ TB39324400004.
14@ CLE38533601504.
15vs NO36432100002.
16PROJ-Dodds21800001.83.82.8 (H=2)3.8 (H=6)
16PROJ-Tremblay2250.20203.95.94.9 (H=6)5.9 (H=13)
16PROJ-Bloom3250.10003.16.14.6 (H=5)6.1 (H=14)

Falcons vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)14 (-1.1)15 (-1.2)15 (-1.1)15 (-1.3)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)14T (-1.1)11 (-1.9)13 (-1.4)11 (-2.0)
12Dan Arnold126445110.514.512.514.5
13Mark Andrews32334704.
14Jimmy Graham47521301.
15Ricky Seals-Jones57832202.

Ian Thomas (FanDuel: $5400, DraftKings: $3500)

13@ TB53554604.
14@ CLE611197707.716.712.216.7
15vs NO54421401.
16PROJ-Dodds3300. (H=8)7.8 (H=20)
16PROJ-Tremblay3250. (H=6)6.7 (H=15)
16PROJ-Bloom4310. (H=8)8.3 (H=22)

Falcons vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)13T (-0.2)13T (-0.2)26T (-0.1) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)26 (+1.6)26 (+1.6)26 (+2.3) (+0.0)
12Wil Lutz1144777.07.0
13Justin Tucker4422141417.017.0
14Mason Crosby2244101013.013.0
15Zane Gonzalez0022222.02.0

Chandler Catanzaro (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

13vs CAR0000000.00.0
14@ CLE2222888.08.0
15vs NO0011111.01.0

Falcons vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)24 (+0.8)24 (+0.8)16 (-0.3)16 (-0.3)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)32 (+5.2)32 (+5.2)28 (+3.9)28 (+3.9)
12New Orleans Saints1736661300141415.015.0
13Baltimore Ravens1613130101171715.015.0
14Green Bay Packers2034421101121213.013.0
15Arizona Cardinals4043520000221.01.0

Carolina Panthers (FanDuel: $3300, DraftKings: $2400)

13@ TB24.0031540100666.06.0
14@ CLE26.0034810200555.05.0
15vs NO12.0034621100668.08.0
16PROJ-Dodds23.903922.60.90.700. (H=24)8.5 (H=33)
16PROJ-Tremblay23.003862.50.90.600. (H=24)8.4 (H=33)