Matchup Analysis: Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Vegas Prediction

Vegas says: Falcons 24, Buccaneers 25

FBG Projections

TeamRushYardsTDCompAttPass YdTDINT

Atlanta Falcons Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Falcons Offense23.5 (+0.8) (13)85 (-27) (30)295 (+59) (3)
Buccaneers Defense28.1 (+5.3) (30)73 (-39) (1)269 (+33) (29)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Buccaneers Offense29.1 (+6.3) (3)92 (-19) (25)310 (+74) (1)
Falcons Defense25.1 (+2.4) (23)109 (-3) (15)248 (+12) (23)

Falcons Rushing offense

Bad matchup vs. the Buccaneers defense.

Devonta Freeman has to be thrilled to see 2019 come to a close. The 27-year-old workhorse has bottomed out with a career-low 3.6 yards per rush, and he’s only topped 50 ground yards in 5 of his 13 games. Freeman has looked short on explosiveness and wiggle, and he appears to have ceded goal-line work to rookie Qadree Ollison, sapping most of his week-to-week ceiling appeal. Ollison and Brian Hill offer decent depth, but neither has impressed enough to seize much work from Freeman. All told, this is one of the few ground attacks that benefits from high offensive volume, but doesn’t inspire much fantasy confidence. And of late, it can’t even be trusted to pound in short touchdowns predictably.

After a brief midseason hiccup, the Tampa Bay run defense has bounced back to its elite ways. They’ve simply shut off the run over the past 5 weeks, allowing a total of 169 yards to running backs over that span at just 2.1 per carry. On the year, they’ve been the league’s best run defense by yards a game. This unit simply dominates on the interior, with tackles Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh clearing the way nicely for linebacker Lavonte David and company. Rookie Devin White has been shaky all-around, but manages to make plays with his speed and instinctiveness. Simply put: there’s no reason to project much for the Atlanta runners in this shutdown matchup. The Falcons’ banged-up line will have its hands full keeping all of these playmakers off of its plodding, low-impact backs.

Falcons Passing offense

Good matchup vs. the Buccaneers defense.

Matt Ryan hasn’t been at his most efficient in this lost Falcons season, but he’s at least come through for his fantasy supporters. The Falcons lack an imposing ground game, and they’re often forced into negative game script, so Ryan has ridden high volume (41 attempts per game) to one of his biggest fantasy years. He’s topped 300 yards in 10 of his 13 full games - and he threw multiple touchdowns in two of the other three. Ryan is motoring through Calvin Ridley’s injury by simply locking onto Julio Jones, which is never a bad strategy. Amazingly, they’ve hooked up 23 times for 300 yards over the past 2 weeks, and they found the end zone twice in Week 15. Jones is obviously a matchup-proof play, as he showed once again last Sunday against the Jaguars’ A.J. Bouye. Beyond him, Ryan is zeroing in on tight end Austin Hooper and running back Devonta Freeman, who combined to draw 20 looks last week. There are still great weekly floors in place here, even if all the non-Jones names are sagging a bit in terms of ceiling.

The Tampa Bay defense has dominated against the run here in 2019, funneling tons of volume to the pass. That tends to result in big numbers from their opponents, but this unit has tightened up a bit of late. Dating back to Week 11, opposing passers have produced just 6.2 yards per attempt and only 7 touchdowns, including matchups with Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Deshaun Watson. Last Saturday, Watson was harassed into a mess of sacks and hurried throws as the surprising Tampa Bay pass rush hit home repeatedly. Shaquil Barrett (16.5 sacks) heads up a unit that makes life easier for the Buccaneers’ mediocre secondary. In their defense, though, they did fine work last week against DeAndre Hopkins and Kenny Stills (just 80 yards on their 18 targets). Perhaps this group really has turned around, but they’ll be pushed hard this week by the ball-dominant Julio Jones.

Buccaneers Rushing offense

Neutral matchup vs. the Falcons defense.

Ronald Jones’ sophomore campaign can be viewed as a mild success, though that’s mostly an indictment of his awful rookie year. He’s struggled to distance himself from the plodding Peyton Barber, averaging just 3.8 yards per rush and 41 a game. Jones ran hard and effectively last week, racking up 77 on his 14 attempts, but it wasn’t a very projectable performance. After all, 64% of those yards came on a single run. At least he (currently) holds the hot hand over Barber, who’s averaged just 3.1 himself and lost a costly fumble last week. But there’s just not much ceiling in this attack, and therefore little reason in fantasy to risk his low floor. Coach Bruce Arians is an unabashed passing demon, and he’s never put much stock into his ground game. Even as the lead dog - which is far from a guarantee - Jones’ realistic upside would top out around 60-70 yards. And with Arians a proponent of throwing heavily near the goal line, there isn’t even much touchdown upside at play here.

The Falcons run defense has improved noticeably over the course of 2019; it’s a far cry from the doormat it once was. Over 7 games since their bye, they’ve allowed only 2 runners (Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette) to reach 70 yards. Still, those low numbers have come largely from a lack of volume as the Falcons have drawn opponents into shootouts. McCaffrey (4.9 per rush), Fournette (4.7), and Alvin Kamara (5.7) could’ve produced much more if given more opportunity. The Falcons do boast a run-stuffing star in tackle Grady Jarrett, while linebackers Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell have been solid on the second level. But there are typically enough vulnerabilities here for gifted runners to exploit on a per-play basis. The Buccaneers’ plodding runners managed to find modest success in this matchup back in Week 12, after all.

Buccaneers Passing offense

Good matchup vs. the Falcons defense.

Jameis Winston is closing the season without his two elite wideouts, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but it hasn’t affected him much. He’s so dedicated to forcing the ball downfield that he racked up 335 yards last week, with Breshad Perriman and Justin Watson dominating targets. Coach Bruce Arians is an unabashed pass-game enthusiast, and he’ll always push Winston to create chunk plays down the field. That boosts his fantasy ceiling, but also dips his floor as Winston is no stranger to wild, multi-turnover days. His 28 interceptions are awfully excessive, and last week’s 4 were true backbreakers for his fantasy day in most formats. At least his target distribution without Evans and Godwin looks fairly clear. Coach Bruce Arians’ offense tilts heavily toward its top two wideouts, so Perriman and Watson should again lead the way. They drew 22 of Winston’s 48 targets last week, and both are explosive enough athletes to break a handful of big plays. There’s also dynamism at the tight end spot in O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate, but Arians’ attack is heavily concentrated. This game is meaningless to the Buccaneers, but carries their typical high-volume, high-flying outlook - always with the possibility of a major collapse.

The Atlanta pass defense certainly isn’t perfect, and the loss of top cornerback Desmond Trufant to injured reserve has been felt. But this unit has tightened noticeably over the past month. Their competition hasn’t exactly been robust, but they’ve held Drew Brees, Kyle Allen, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Gardner Minshew to just 6.3 yards per attempt and 4 combined touchdowns. More than anything, this is a streaky unit, one that sees both strong and weak play from its secondary. Prior to this 4-game stretch, they’d allowed an 8.2 mark, with 6 of 11 opponents topping 300. When they faced Jameis Winston and his full weaponry back in Week 12, they picked him off twice but gave up 313 yards and 3 touchdowns. They’ll have less to defend this time around, and it’s no rare feat to push Winston into a few mistakes. They’re set up to close this rebuilding season on a high note.

Buccaneers vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)25 (+2.8)25 (+2.8)24 (+2.5)25 (+3.1)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)6 (-5.1)6 (-5.2)6 (-4.8)6 (-5.3)
13Gardner Minshew4516271471128011.211.211.711.7
14Jacoby Brissett63193625120426023.223.222.622.6
15David Blough64244326002519012.912.910.310.3
16Deshaun Watson66193218401737011.911.910.110.1

Matt Ryan (FanDuel: $7800, DraftKings: $6500)

14vs CAR7020343132018024.524.521.324.3
15@ SF67253921020527021.
16vs JAX7532453841246021.821.818.021.0
17PROJ-Dodds273929221280.1232323.0 (H=58)23.0 (H=70)
17PROJ-Tremblay27422991.81.2290.122.422.422.4 (H=55)22.4 (H=67)
17PROJ-Bloom263327520.9290.122.422.422.4 (H=55)22.4 (H=67)

Buccaneers vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)2 (-6.5)3 (-6.4)2 (-7.0)3 (-7.1)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)2 (-6.6)7 (-6.2)1T (-7.8)3 (-7.6)
13Leonard Fournette65143801195309.118.113.618.1
13Ryquell Armstead800010000.
14Marlon Mack261338100009.
14Nyheim Hines35410542402.
15Wes Hills2310212221014.
15Ty Johnson29230541702.
16Carlos Hyde3917271111009.710.710.210.7
16Duke Johnson29240411201.

Devonta Freeman (FanDuel: $6700, DraftKings: $6500)

14vs CAR481784144.010015.419.417.419.4
15@ SF531239032.01605.
16vs JAX5813531119.074124.733.729.233.7
17PROJ-Dodds14500.34.1280.210.814.912.9 (H=25)14.9 (H=33)
17PROJ-Tremblay13440.34.1280.210.214.312.3 (H=23)14.3 (H=30)
17PROJ-Bloom15490.24.0180. (H=19)13.1 (H=26)

Brian Hill (FanDuel: $4900, DraftKings: $3500)

14vs CAR14962100.00012.
15@ SF10116000.0001.
16vs JAX14766000.0006.
17PROJ-Dodds5170.10.8602.93.73.3 (H=3)3.7 (H=5)
17PROJ-Tremblay5170.10.5402.73.23.0 (H=2)3.2 (H=4)
17PROJ-Bloom4130.10.0001.91.91.9 (H=1)1.9 (H=1)

Kenjon Barner (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

14vs CAR900000.000000.00.0
15@ SF300021.0400.41.4-1.10.4
16vs JAX200000.000000.00.0
17PROJ-Dodds0000.000000.1 (H=0)0.1 (H=0)
17PROJ-Tremblay0000.7500.51.21.0 (H=0)1.3 (H=1)
17PROJ-Bloom0001.0400.41.41.0 (H=0)1.5 (H=1)

Buccaneers vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)32 (+6.9)32 (+9.6)32 (+8.8)32 (+11.1)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)19 (+0.3)20T (+1.1)22 (+1.7)24 (+2.5)
13Dede Westbrook578560100012.017.016.519.0
13Chris Conley55545700005.
14Marcus Johnson5673105100016.519.518.022.5
14Zach Pascal639574100013.418.417.920.4
15Danny Amendola55138102000010.
15Chris Lacy42214800004.
16Kenny Stills56955700005.710.78.210.7
16DeAndre Carter29224400004.

Julio Jones (FanDuel: $8500, DraftKings: $8500)

14vs CAR5885.06600006.611.69.111.6
15@ SF592013.0134200025.438.431.941.4
16vs JAX571510.0166000016.626.621.629.6
17PROJ-Dodds8.41120.80001624.420.2 (H=42)24.4 (H=59)
17PROJ-Tremblay10.31400.700018.228.523.3 (H=54)28.5 (H=77)
17PROJ-Bloom8.01101000172521.0 (H=45)25.0 (H=62)

Russell Gage (FanDuel: $5300, DraftKings: $4400)

14vs CAR3742.01700001.
15@ SF5165.02701603.
16vs JAX3865.04902705.610.68.110.6
17PROJ-Dodds4.4470.30006.510.98.7 (H=15)10.9 (H=28)
17PROJ-Tremblay4.5460.31306.711.29.0 (H=16)11.2 (H=29)
17PROJ-Bloom5.0510.30006.911.99.4 (H=18)11.9 (H=33)

Christian Blake (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $3000)

14vs CAR1200.000000000.00.0
15@ SF5710.000000000.00.0
16vs JAX4300.000000000.00.0
17PROJ-Dodds1.0130.10001.92.92.4 (H=1)2.9 (H=4)
17PROJ-Tremblay0.5600000.61.10.8 (H=0)1.1 (H=0)
17PROJ-Bloom0.000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Olamide Zaccheaus (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

14vs CAR2221.093100015.316.315.816.3
15@ SF500.000000000.00.0
16vs JAX1500.000000000.00.0
17PROJ-Dodds0.81200001.221.6 (H=1)2.0 (H=2)
17PROJ-Tremblay0.5700000.71.21.0 (H=0)1.2 (H=0)

Justin Hardy (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $3000)

14vs CAR1211.01900001.
15@ SF500.000000000.00.0
16vs JAX2110.000000000.00.0
17PROJ-Dodds0.910000011.91.4 (H=0)1.9 (H=2)
17PROJ-Tremblay0.5600000.61.10.8 (H=0)1.1 (H=0)
17PROJ-Bloom2.02200002.24.23.2 (H=3)4.2 (H=8)

Buccaneers vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)27 (+1.2)24 (+1.5)26 (+1.4)25 (+1.7)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)2 (-5.6)3 (-7.6)2 (-6.5)3 (-7.8)
13Nick OLeary4741600.
14Jack Doyle49622702.
15Jesse James38533103.
16Darren Fells52332702.

Austin Hooper (FanDuel: $6000, DraftKings: $5800)

14vs CAR4762.03203.
15@ SF5563.0200253.55.0
16vs JAX5297.08208.215.211.715.2
17PROJ-Dodds4.9530.47.712.610.2 (H=18)12.6 (H=27)
17PROJ-Tremblay4.7490.47.3129.7 (H=17)12.0 (H=25)
17PROJ-Bloom5.0580.58.813.811.3 (H=22)13.8 (H=32)

Luke Stocker (FanDuel: $4000, DraftKings: $2500)

14vs CAR4110.000000.00.0
15@ SF2211.0900.
16vs JAX4010.000000.00.0
17PROJ-Dodds0.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)
17PROJ-Tremblay0.660. (H=1)1.8 (H=2)
17PROJ-Bloom0.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Buccaneers vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)30 (+1.6)30 (+1.6)31 (+2.2) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)3 (-2.1)3 (-2.1)3T (-2.2) (+0.0)
13Josh Lambo1100335.05.0
14Adam Vinatieri0000000.00.0
15Matt Prater1122556.06.0
16Kaimi Fairbairn3322111111.011.0

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

14vs CAR4444161618.018.0
15@ SF1122556.06.0
16vs JAX1233666.06.0

Buccaneers vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)32 (+3.9)32 (+3.9)30 (+3.2)30 (+3.2)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)32 (+5.0)32 (+5.0)31 (+3.9)31 (+3.9)
13Jacksonville Jaguars2831540100666.06.0
14Indianapolis Colts3854213101151511.011.0
15Detroit Lions3849521000443.03.0
16Houston Texans2043534101191922.022.0

Atlanta Falcons (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $3400)

14vs CAR20.0034552200131314.014.0
15@ SF22.0031310201171711.011.0
16vs JAX12.0028830100559.09.0
17PROJ-Dodds24.604022.71.40.600. (H=18)8.6 (H=24)
17PROJ-Tremblay24.504212.71.60.600. (H=20)9.2 (H=27)

Falcons vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)26 (+3.0)26 (+3.1)27 (+3.3)26 (+3.4)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)17 (+0.6)19 (+1.0)19 (+0.8)18 (+0.4)
13Taysom Hill1301000233116.518.517.518.5
14Kyle Allen71284129312624125.
15Jimmy Garoppolo6422342001026014.614.612.612.6
16Gardner Minshew62133118110736016.716.714.814.8

Jameis Winston (FanDuel: $8100, DraftKings: $6600)

14vs IND7233454564365142.342.337.740.7
15@ DET7128424584124038.338.333.736.7
16vs HOU73254833514216018.418.415.018.0
17PROJ-Dodds24392971.91.34160.123.323.323.3 (H=57)23.3 (H=70)
17PROJ-Tremblay25413181.71.64170.123.423.423.4 (H=58)23.4 (H=71)
17PROJ-Bloom20342231.712120.118.818.818.8 (H=39)18.8 (H=48)

Falcons vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)11 (-1.2)12 (-1.2)12 (-1.2)12 (-1.3)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)8 (-4.7)10 (-4.3)8 (-5.3)10 (-5.4)
13Alvin Kamara4111610842308.412.410.412.4
13Latavius Murray1342000000.
14Christian McCaffrey7011530121182013.524.519.024.5
14Reggie Bonnafon216000000.
15Raheem Mostert3414541215011.912.910.411.9
15Kyle Juszczyk2521022616.
16Leonard Fournette58157106334010.513.512.013.5
16Ryquell Armstead412000000.

Ronald Jones (FanDuel: $6200, DraftKings: $4900)

14vs IND271136054.02305.
15@ DET341123031.02604.
16vs HOU371477143.032016.919.918.419.9
17PROJ-Dodds11450.32.6240.19.311.910.6 (H=19)11.9 (H=29)
17PROJ-Tremblay11450.32.7250.19.412.110.8 (H=19)12.1 (H=30)
17PROJ-Bloom13460.42.0200.19.611.610.6 (H=19)11.6 (H=28)

Peyton Barber (FanDuel: $5100, DraftKings: $3600)

14vs IND301134022.01905.
15@ DET211017022.0230465.06.0
16vs HOU8513000.0001.31.3-0.70.3
17PROJ-Dodds9310.31.1805.76.86.3 (H=9)6.8 (H=15)
17PROJ-Tremblay9330.30.7605.76.46.1 (H=8)6.4 (H=13)
17PROJ-Bloom7220.11.060.1454.5 (H=5)5.0 (H=9)

Dare Ogunbowale (FanDuel: $4800, DraftKings: $3200)

14vs IND2300055.04804.
15@ DET2113011.01301.
16vs HOU2700053.03403.
17PROJ-Dodds1302.42102.44.83.7 (H=4)4.9 (H=9)
17PROJ-Tremblay1302.0170243.1 (H=2)4.1 (H=7)
17PROJ-Bloom0003.0310. (H=7)6.8 (H=17)

Falcons vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)19 (+0.7)18 (+0.5)19 (+0.4)17 (+0.3)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)1 (-10.6)1 (-14.7)1 (-13.7)1 (-16.3)
13Michael Thomas40864800004.810.87.810.8
13TreQuan Smith37221400001.
14D.J. Moore70648101008.
14Curtis Samuel654225031704.
15Deebo Samuel57312901803.
15Kendrick Bourne34211100001.
16Chris Conley485256100011.613.612.613.6
16Keelan Cole25212301602.

Breshad Perriman (FanDuel: $7600, DraftKings: $6700)

14vs IND6553.0701000131614.516.0
15@ DET6765.0113313029.634.632.137.6
16vs HOU70127.0102000010.217.213.720.2
17PROJ-Dodds5.3820.600011.817.114.5 (H=27)17.1 (H=40)
17PROJ-Tremblay6.51030.602014.120.617.4 (H=37)20.6 (H=56)
17PROJ-Bloom5.0780.600011.416.413.9 (H=25)16.4 (H=37)

Justin Watson (FanDuel: $6100, DraftKings: $4900)

14vs IND4385.059100011.916.914.416.9
15@ DET4222.01700001.
16vs HOU70105.043100010.315.312.815.3
17PROJ-Dodds4.2550.40007.912.110.0 (H=17)12.1 (H=30)
17PROJ-Tremblay4.6620.40008.613.210.9 (H=20)13.2 (H=35)
17PROJ-Bloom4.0370.40006.110.18.1 (H=12)10.1 (H=22)

Ishmael Hyman (FanDuel: $5000, DraftKings: $3000)

15@ DET1311.0300000.
16vs HOU4631.03100003.
17PROJ-Dodds2.2320.20004.46.65.5 (H=7)6.6 (H=17)
17PROJ-Tremblay2.6370.20004.97.56.2 (H=9)7.5 (H=21)

Falcons vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)17 (+0.0)17 (+0.1)18 (+0.2)18 (+0.3)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)22 (+1.5)24 (+3.0)23 (+2.3)24 (+3.6)
13Jared Cook29638508.511.510.011.5
14Ian Thomas6110557111.716.714.216.7
15George Kittle611713134013.426.419.929.4
16Seth DeValve39634504.

O.J. Howard (FanDuel: $5500, DraftKings: $4300)

14vs IND6854.07307.311.39.311.3
15@ DET6684.04604.
16vs HOU6173.04604.
17PROJ-Dodds3.0390. (H=11)8.7 (H=19)
17PROJ-Tremblay2.4320. (H=7)6.8 (H=12)
17PROJ-Bloom3.0350. (H=10)8.3 (H=18)

Cameron Brate (FanDuel: $4900, DraftKings: $3200)

14vs IND2444.030191311.013.0
15@ DET3173.03303.
16vs HOU3152.01701.
17PROJ-Dodds2.8270. (H=8)7.3 (H=19)
17PROJ-Tremblay2.7260. (H=7)6.5 (H=15)
17PROJ-Bloom2.0160. (H=4)4.8 (H=9)

Falcons vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)29 (+1.5)29 (+1.5)30 (+2.0) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)32 (+2.6)32 (+2.6)32 (+3.8) (+0.0)
13Wil Lutz4422141417.017.0
14Joey Slye22228810.010.0
15Robbie Gould3312101012.012.0
16Josh Lambo2200667.07.0

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

14vs IND1155889.09.0
15@ DET1255889.09.0
16vs HOU23228811.011.0

Falcons vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)26 (+1.5)26 (+1.5)13T (+0.5)13T (+0.5)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)19 (+0.3)19 (+0.3)13 (-1.3)13 (-1.3)
13New Orleans Saints1834892100151516.016.0
14Carolina Panthers404611000011-3.0-3.0
15San Francisco 49ers2929020100443.03.0
16Jacksonville Jaguars2451812000555.05.0

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (FanDuel: $3500, DraftKings: $3100)

14vs IND35.0030910100332.02.0
15@ DET17.0029522101141415.015.0
16vs HOU23.00229511009910.010.0
17PROJ-Dodds25.703722.810.700. (H=22)8.4 (H=25)
17PROJ-Tremblay23.503792.71.20.600.4999.0 (H=25)9.0 (H=29)