Matchup Analysis: Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons

Vegas Prediction

Vegas says: Panthers 23, Falcons 25

FBG Projections

TeamRushYardsTDCompAttPass YdTDINT

Carolina Panthers Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Panthers Offense23.3 (+0.9) (14)120 (+9) (12)221 (-14) (21)
Falcons Defense26.9 (+4.5) (27)109 (-2) (17)260 (+24) (26)

Atlanta Falcons Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Falcons Offense21.7 (-0.8) (18)74 (-36) (30)295 (+60) (2)
Panthers Defense26.7 (+4.2) (26)138 (+26) (29)229 (-5) (14)

Panthers Rushing offense

Neutral matchup vs. the Falcons defense.

Christian McCaffrey isn’t quite 2019’s league MVP, but he certainly belongs at the figurative ceremony. The explosive workhorse has turned 20 rushes per game into averages of 97 yards (second in football) and 12 touchdowns (tied for first), to say nothing of his pass-game contributions. He’s struggled on the ground in back-to-back weeks, but that can be forgiven in tough matchups against the Saints and Redskins. McCaffrey continues to show off the most dynamic skillset in football, with dazzling quickness and a decisive, physical running style. When given the open field, he’s never an easy tackle and always a threat to turn three-yard gains into breakaways. He’s also the Panthers’ engine near the goal line, with 18 carries from inside the 5-yard line (second-most in the league). Working behind a stout front line that’s deep enough to overcome some recent injuries, McCaffrey always projects to big opportunity and efficiency. He still represents the biggest tilt on any given fantasy week.

The Atlanta run defense isn’t impenetrable, but it continues to make strides overall. Dating back to Week 5, they’ve allowed just 4.0 yards per carry and 4 touchdowns to running backs, with only a single one topping 70. They boast an All-Pro talent up front in Grady Jarrett, who’s among the NFL elite in both tying up blockers and blowing up runs himself. And behind him, Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell have both graded near the top of the league in run support. That said, there’s still some vulnerability here to the occasional chunk run; only 7 teams have allowed more breakaway runs (15+ yards). Of course, that’s a byproduct of facing such a daunting schedule of runners, and this group has held tight otherwise. But when these teams squared off 3 weeks ago, Christian McCaffrey had little trouble creating yardage (5.0 yards apiece).

Panthers Passing offense

Good matchup vs. the Falcons defense.

The talented Carolina receivers are truly blossoming before our eyes. D.J. Moore, in particular, has turned heads: over the past 9 weeks, he’s produced the league’s fourth-most catches (54) and yards (719). Speedy Curtis Samuel has been less productive as the clear-out deep threat, but still finds an opening or two a week to exploit. And Christian McCaffrey remains the league’s most dangerous threat out of the backfield, routinely side-stepping and stiff-arming his way into splash plays. Unfortunately, they’re still handcuffed to a degree by the play of quarterback Kyle Allen, who just doesn’t look like an ideal NFL starter. Since his impressive Week 3 debut, Allen has produced just 6.5 yards per attempt and 244 a game despite hefty volume (37.8 attempts). Over that span he’s devolved into a mess of misfires and gaffes, with 10 interceptions and 8 fumbles, and last week he nearly threw a back-breaking interception just one play before coughing up the game-sealing fumble. It’s tantalizing to imagine what Moore, Samuel, McCaffrey, and the peripheral targets could do with stronger quarterbacking. For now, they’re all high-floor guys on talent alone, but rarely do we see more than one erupt at a time. This attack now has big volume on its side, but very little efficiency.

The Atlanta defense has made great strides against the run, but none of that success has spilled over into the pass-game unit. Only four teams have allowed more net yardage per attempt, and only six have given up more touchdowns. On Thanksgiving, Drew Brees would have easily been the eighth opposing passer to throw multiple scores against them, had he not had a pair of easy ones dropped. If nothing else, top cornerback Desmond Trufant has rebounded nicely from an awful start to the year. He’s been in shutdown form over the past few weeks as the dominant force in stifling Michael Thomas (48 yards) and Mike Evans (50). Even so, D.J. Moore pieced together 95 yards on 8 catches when these teams faced off 3 weeks ago. There are still big holes across from Trufant, where Isaiah Oliver and Kendall Sheffield have been beaten frequently, and free safety Ricardo Allen has taken a big step backward here in 2019. This remains one of fantasy’s most targetable matchups, and even Kyle Allen takes on a nice boost against it.

Falcons Rushing offense

Good matchup vs. the Panthers defense.

The Falcons have welcomed Devonta Freeman back from injury, as he remains a foundational piece of their offense in general. But as a runner, he’s yet to provide anything of note here in 2019. The 27-year-old Freeman has looked closer to 37, stuck in mud and floundering, and he’s gotten no help from a battered, inconsistent line. He’s producing just 3.4 yards per rush and 42 per game, and 42% of his yardage has come from his 2 best weeks. Apart from those, he’s averaged just 2.8 and 31. There’s very little talent behind him, with just Brian Hill and Qadree Ollison as mix-in options, so Freeman’s three-down role is cemented well. But even with the Falcons offense so high-volume and productive, Freeman is one of those rare workhorse backs that doesn’t boast much fantasy value.

Despite a bevy of talent up front, the Carolina run defense has been one of football’s worst throughout 2019. They’re giving up the league’s most yards per rush and fourth-most per game, with 8 opposing runners topping 80 yards and several others falling just short. Last week, Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson combined for 228 and 3 touchdowns in Washington’s stunning win. The Panthers front line has been generally solid, with Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe holding their own on early downs. But the linebacker play has been shaky at best, with Luke Kuechly and Shaq Thompson contributing drastically up-and-down play. Tackling has been a huge problem on the second and third levels, with even franchise icon Kuechly often struggling the make plays. Altogether, this is still one of fantasy’s most beatable units. These Falcons couldn’t find any room when they squared off three weeks ago, but Devonta Freeman is looking at his best get-right matchup in quite awhile.

Falcons Passing offense

Neutral matchup vs. the Panthers defense.

Matt Ryan has been productive throughout 2019 on a raw-numbers level. He’s averaged 309 yards per full game, and he’s thrown multiple touchdowns in 7 of those 10 starts. But from an efficiency standpoint, he’s mostly muddled through another lost Falcons season. It’s taken a ton of volume to hit those good-not-great numbers; Ryan is posting his lowest yardage per attempt since 2010. And he’s even trending downward, with much of his recent production coming in pure garbage time. On Thanksgiving, he needed 50 attempts to reach 312 and 2 scores. In the meantime, he absorbed nine sacks and handed over three back-breaking turnovers. Ryan excelled in this matchup back in Week 11, but it’s hard to project another blowout win by this flailing Falcons team. It would be even harder for Ryan to rebound without Julio Jones and Austin Hooper, though both look probable for Sunday. Even so, there are quite a few roadblocks at play here. With so many injuries in the way, a porous line up front, and a nonexistent running game to boot, this attack looks like little more than a volume-based fantasy stab. That high early-season ceiling looks like buried history right now.

The Panthers pass defense has been decidedly up-and-down throughout 2019. Five of their 12 opponents have topped 300 yards, and 9 different receivers have recorded 95 or more. Against these Falcons in Week 11, Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones combined to turn 16 targets into 232 yards and a touchdown). Still, it’s worth noting that the Panthers have faced one of the league’s toughest pass-game schedules. And while they’ve allowed quite a few big games, they’ve also shown well in matchups with Aaron Rodgers (233 scoreless yards), Deshaun Watson (160), and Jameis Winston (208 and 1 touchdown). Outside cornerbacks James Bradberry and Donte Jackson have both been Pro Bowl-caliber in coverage, while free safety Tre Boston has bounced back into great form on his own. With a strong pass rush up front (a league-high 46 sacks), this is not an easy unit to beat down the field. Matt Ryan and company may find raw-numbers success Sunday, but it’s hard to project much efficiency as things stand.

Falcons vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)28 (+4.2)28 (+4.4)30 (+4.7)30 (+4.9)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)20 (+1.5)24 (+2.1)22 (+1.8)25 (+2.6)
10Drew Brees6932452870000014.414.411.511.5
11Kyle Allen7531503250417013.013.09.712.7
12Jameis Winston66182831332838029.529.526.329.3
13Taysom Hill1301000233116.518.517.518.5

Kyle Allen (FanDuel: $7100, DraftKings: $5700)

11vs ATL7531503250417013139.712.7
12@ NO7623362563019025.725.723.123.1
13vs WAS74274627821422129.129.124.325.3
14PROJ-Dodds24362661.51.1250.119.319.319.3 (H=47)19.3 (H=59)
14PROJ-Tremblay24392701.41.2250.1191919.0 (H=46)19.0 (H=57)
14PROJ-Bloom22312331.71130.118.418.418.4 (H=43)18.4 (H=54)

Falcons vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)11 (-0.8)13 (-1.0)14T (-0.6)14 (-0.8)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)10 (-3.9)15 (-1.3)14 (-2.5)16 (-1.2)
10Alvin Kamara5442401085007.415.411.415.4
10Latavius Murray17512022701.
11Christian McCaffrey70147001411121019.130.124.633.1
11Reggie Bonnafon700032800.
12Ronald Jones33125113316012.715.714.215.7
12Peyton Barber151132010003.
13Alvin Kamara4111610842308.412.410.412.4
13Latavius Murray1342000000.

Christian McCaffrey (FanDuel: $11000, DraftKings: $10300)

11vs ATL70147001411.0121019.130.124.633.1
12@ NO762264199.069125.334.329.834.3
13vs WAS7414440137.058010.217.213.717.2
14PROJ-Dodds19860.76.2510.219.125.322.2 (H=39)25.3 (H=52)
14PROJ-Tremblay20890.76.2500.219.325.522.4 (H=39)25.5 (H=53)
14PROJ-Bloom20850.76.0450.3192522.0 (H=38)25.0 (H=51)

Reggie Bonnafon (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $4000)

11vs ATL700032.0800.
12@ NO000000.000000.00.0
13vs WAS100000.000000.00.0
14PROJ-Dodds2500.5400.91.41.2 (H=0)1.4 (H=0)
14PROJ-Tremblay1300.8600.91.71.3 (H=0)1.7 (H=1)

Falcons vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)26 (+3.1)25 (+4.0)26 (+3.6)25 (+4.2)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)11 (-2.2)14 (-1.9)13 (-2.1)14 (-1.5)
10Michael Thomas661413152000015.228.221.731.2
10TreQuan Smith57211300001.
11D.J. Moore741589500009.517.513.517.5
11Curtis Samuel72742500002.
12Chris Godwin5887184200030.437.433.940.4
12Mike Evans61845000005.
13Michael Thomas40864800004.810.87.810.8
13TreQuan Smith37221400001.

D.J. Moore (FanDuel: $7100, DraftKings: $7000)

11vs ATL74158.09500009.517.513.517.5
12@ NO6396.0126218025.431.428.434.4
13vs WAS71126.07511-3013.
14PROJ-Dodds6.4860.413011.317.714.6 (H=29)17.8 (H=41)
14PROJ-Tremblay6.8920.402011.818.615.3 (H=31)18.7 (H=45)
14PROJ-Bloom6.0740.500010.416.413.5 (H=25)16.5 (H=36)

Curtis Samuel (FanDuel: $5800, DraftKings: $4900)

11vs ATL7274.02500002.
12@ NO6441.09044004.
13vs WAS6974.065100012.516.514.516.5
14PROJ-Dodds4.2540.41608.412.610.5 (H=20)12.6 (H=32)
14PROJ-Tremblay3.9510.31407.311.29.3 (H=16)11.2 (H=26)
14PROJ-Bloom4.0550.51609.113.111.1 (H=22)13.1 (H=35)

Jarius Wright (FanDuel: $4800, DraftKings: $3000)

11vs ATL5921.01900001.
12@ NO3811.0400000.
13vs WAS5253.03400003.
14PROJ-Dodds1.8230.10002.94.73.8 (H=4)4.7 (H=9)
14PROJ-Tremblay1.8230.101034.83.9 (H=4)4.8 (H=10)
14PROJ-Bloom2.0290.10003.55.54.5 (H=5)5.5 (H=12)

Falcons vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)17 (-0.4)14 (-0.8)17 (-0.4)14 (-0.8)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)13 (-1.8)12 (-2.6)12 (-2.2)11 (-2.7)
10Jared Cook491067407.413.410.413.4
11Greg Olsen69555705.710.78.210.7
12O.J. Howard51211001.
13Jared Cook29638508.511.510.011.5

Ian Thomas (FanDuel: $4000, DraftKings: $2500)

11vs ATL310.000000.00.0
12@ NO221.0400.
13vs WAS3244.02402.
14PROJ-Dodds2.7260. (H=8)6.5 (H=20)
14PROJ-Tremblay1.6150. (H=3)3.7 (H=7)
14PROJ-Bloom4.0300. (H=13)8.8 (H=34)

Greg Olsen (FanDuel: $4900, DraftKings: $3800)

11vs ATL6955.05705.710.78.210.7
12@ NO7075.04404.
13vs WAS3933.02202.
14PROJ-Dodds0.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)
14PROJ-Tremblay3.0330. (H=9)7.5 (H=17)
14PROJ-Bloom0.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Falcons vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)29 (+1.6)29 (+1.6)30 (+2.0) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)24 (+1.3)24 (+1.3)23 (+1.5) (+0.0)
10Wil Lutz33009910.010.0
11Joey Slye1100333.03.0
12Matt Gay1125555.05.0
13Wil Lutz4422141417.017.0

Joey Slye (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

11vs ATL1100333.03.0
12@ NO23137710.010.0
13vs WAS0033333.03.0

Falcons vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)28 (+2.5)28 (+2.5)26 (+1.8)26 (+1.8)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)27 (+3.4)27 (+3.4)19T (+1.4)19T (+1.4)
10New Orleans Saints2631711000333.03.0
11Carolina Panthers2934930000332.02.0
12Tampa Bay Buccaneers2233761101222216.016.0
13New Orleans Saints1834892100151516.016.0

Carolina Panthers (FanDuel: $3500, DraftKings: $2800)

11vs ATL29.0034930000332.02.0
12@ NO34.0041821000443.03.0
13vs WAS29.0036250000556.06.0
14PROJ-Dodds25.103782.91.10.700. (H=22)8.4 (H=28)
14PROJ-Tremblay25.253942.61.20.600. (H=21)8.1 (H=26)

Panthers vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)11 (-1.9)11 (-1.8)11 (-2.0)11 (-1.4)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)4 (-4.1)4T (-3.9)4 (-3.7)6 (-3.1)
10Aaron Rodgers6817292330017012.412.410.010.0
11Matt Ryan6421313111020019.619.616.419.4
12Drew Brees6530393113100026.626.623.426.4
13Dwayne Haskins641325147004608.

Matt Ryan (FanDuel: $7600, DraftKings: $6600)

11@ CAR6421313111020019.619.616.419.4
12vs TB7623462710118013.413.48.69.6
13vs NO93355031222321023.723.718.622.6
14PROJ-Dodds26392851.91270. (H=56)22.1 (H=64)
14PROJ-Tremblay26402941.91.22100.122.722.722.7 (H=58)22.7 (H=67)
14PROJ-Bloom26352701.91110.120.820.820.8 (H=50)20.8 (H=58)

Panthers vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)32 (+7.0)30 (+5.7)32 (+6.9)31 (+6.3)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)30 (+10.6)29 (+8.4)30 (+11.1)30 (+10.1)
10Aaron Jones3413933000027.327.327.327.3
10Jamaal Williams341363010006.
11Qadree Ollison12411110007.
11Brian Hill391530031803.
12Latavius Murray267641000012.412.412.412.4
12Alvin Kamara44115409948010.219.214.719.2
13Derrius Guice19101292328025.727.726.730.7
13Adrian Peterson2313991100015.915.915.915.9

Devonta Freeman (FanDuel: $6000, DraftKings: $5400)

11@ CAR000000.000000.00.0
12vs TB000000.000000.00.0
13vs NO621751054.01306.410.48.410.4
14PROJ-Dodds14560.33.2210.210.713.912.3 (H=25)13.9 (H=35)
14PROJ-Tremblay14610.32.5180.110.312.811.6 (H=23)12.8 (H=30)
14PROJ-Bloom19750.44.0170.212.816.814.8 (H=35)16.8 (H=49)

Brian Hill (FanDuel: $5300, DraftKings: $4000)

11@ CAR391530031.0803.
12vs TB51914043.01302.
13vs NO24413033.02403.
14PROJ-Dodds4180.21.61104.15.74.9 (H=5)5.7 (H=10)
14PROJ-Tremblay3140.11.41103.14.53.8 (H=3)4.5 (H=6)
14PROJ-Bloom6220.12.0120465.0 (H=6)6.0 (H=11)

Kenjon Barner (FanDuel: $4900, DraftKings: $3000)

11@ CAR14215000.0001.
12vs TB1300022.0800.
13vs NO700022.0600.
14PROJ-Dodds1300.7500.81.51.3 (H=0)1.6 (H=1)
14PROJ-Tremblay1400.9701.121.7 (H=1)2.1 (H=2)
14PROJ-Bloom0000.000000.1 (H=0)0.1 (H=0)

Keith Smith (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

11@ CAR1613000.0000.
12vs TB1100000.000000.00.0
13vs NO1624010.0000.
14PROJ-Dodds0000.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)
14PROJ-Tremblay280.10.5301.72.22.0 (H=1)2.2 (H=2)

Panthers vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)18 (+0.4)23 (+3.4)22 (+2.0)24 (+3.9)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)16 (+0.2)19 (+2.3)19 (+1.3)20 (+3.4)
10Davante Adams54107118000011.818.815.321.8
10Allen Lazard30632700002.
11Calvin Ridley5288143100020.328.324.331.3
11Julio Jones53869101-408.714.711.714.7
12Michael Thomas581110101100016.
12TreQuan Smith47311310007.
13Kelvin Harmon54535100005.
13Steven Sims37432900002.

Julio Jones (FanDuel: $7800, DraftKings: $7500)

11@ CAR5386.09101-408.714.711.714.7
12vs TB4995.06800006.811.89.311.8
13vs NO000.000000000.00.0
14PROJ-Dodds5.1720.40009.614.712.2 (H=19)14.7 (H=28)
14PROJ-Tremblay5.0710.40109.614.612.1 (H=19)14.6 (H=27)
14PROJ-Bloom5.0710.500010.115.112.6 (H=20)15.1 (H=29)

Calvin Ridley (FanDuel: $6900, DraftKings: $6700)

11@ CAR5288.0143100020.328.324.331.3
12vs TB74146.08511150162219.022.0
13vs NO87108.09100009.
14PROJ-Dodds4.9650.41309.214.111.7 (H=20)14.1 (H=29)
14PROJ-Tremblay4.5610.40308.813.311.1 (H=18)13.3 (H=26)
14PROJ-Bloom6.0810.600011.717.714.7 (H=30)17.7 (H=43)

Russell Gage (FanDuel: $5700, DraftKings: $4800)

11@ CAR3142.03200003.
12vs TB64108.07600007.615.611.615.6
13vs NO6395.052100011.216.213.716.2
14PROJ-Dodds3.7400.30005.89.57.7 (H=12)9.5 (H=20)
14PROJ-Tremblay3.7410.30005.99.67.8 (H=12)9.6 (H=20)
14PROJ-Bloom2.0190.10002.54.53.5 (H=3)4.5 (H=5)

Christian Blake (FanDuel: $5200, DraftKings: $3300)

11@ CAR1011.0300000.
12vs TB3892.01600001.
13vs NO8396.05700005.711.78.711.7
14PROJ-Dodds2.0200.10002.64.63.6 (H=3)4.6 (H=8)
14PROJ-Tremblay1.5180.10002.43.93.2 (H=2)3.9 (H=6)
14PROJ-Bloom2.0140.1000243.0 (H=2)4.0 (H=6)

Justin Hardy (FanDuel: $4900, DraftKings: $3500)

11@ CAR1242.01400001.
12vs TB1500.000000000.00.0
13vs NO2633.02800002.
14PROJ-Dodds1.2130.10001.93.12.5 (H=1)3.1 (H=4)
14PROJ-Tremblay1.0120.10001.82.82.3 (H=1)2.8 (H=3)
14PROJ-Bloom0.000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Panthers vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)7 (-1.2)6 (-2.4)6 (-1.8)6 (-2.5)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)18 (-0.2)15 (-1.8)15 (-1.0)15 (-1.9)
10Jimmy Graham44425905.
11Jaeden Graham34222302.
12Jared Cook388699115.921.918.921.9
13Jeremy Sprinkle49423603.

Austin Hooper (FanDuel: $6600, DraftKings: $6000)

11@ CAR000.000000.00.0
12vs TB000.000000.00.0
13vs NO000.000000.00.0
14PROJ-Dodds4.0420.36108.0 (H=11)10.0 (H=17)
14PROJ-Tremblay3.7390.46.3108.2 (H=11)10.0 (H=17)
14PROJ-Bloom5.0560.481310.5 (H=17)13.0 (H=28)

Jaeden Graham (FanDuel: $5400, DraftKings: $3300)

11@ CAR3422.02302.
12vs TB5721.05305.
13vs NO5544.041110.
14PROJ-Dodds1.8180. (H=2)4.2 (H=7)
14PROJ-Tremblay0.9100. (H=1)2.5 (H=2)
14PROJ-Bloom0.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Panthers vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)27 (+1.2)27 (+1.2)26 (+1.3) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)30 (+3.1)30 (+3.1)29 (+3.0) (+0.0)
10Mason Crosby1133667.07.0
11Younghoe Koo3422111111.011.0
12Wil Lutz2244101011.011.0
13Dustin Hopkins3422111112.012.0

Younghoe Koo (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

11@ CAR3422111111.011.0
12vs TB3311101011.011.0
13vs NO2301668.08.0

Panthers vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)23T (+1.0)23T (+1.0)28T (+1.1)28T (+1.1)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)23 (+1.9)23 (+1.9)28 (+4.6)28 (+4.6)
10Green Bay Packers1640131100778.08.0
11Atlanta Falcons334754001131326.026.0
12New Orleans Saints3135140100665.05.0
13Washington Redskins2127871100111111.011.0

Atlanta Falcons (FanDuel: $3500, DraftKings: $3000)

11@ CAR3.0034754001131326.026.0
12vs TB35.0044602000443.03.0
13vs NO26.0027900000000.00.0
14PROJ-Dodds22.803652. (H=27)9.3 (H=31)
14PROJ-Tremblay22.753792.51.20.700. (H=26)9.2 (H=31)