As if the clock struck midnight, the Falcons defense turned back into a pumpkin in week 12. After huge games in back to back weeks, they were unable to get much pressure on Jameis Winston and surprisingly failed to record a sack or force a fumble against the Buccaneers. Being the festive sort of quarterback he is, Winston did gift-wrap a pair of interceptions, one of which bailed out an otherwise dismal stat line for De’Vondre Campbell. Beyond that, Falcons defenders gave us nothing to get excited about with Deion Jones leading the fantasy charge at 5-4-0.
One of those earlier big games came against the Saints when Atlanta racked up six sacks in an upset win at New Orleans. That game now appears to have been a mirage. The Saints are a strong matchup for our tackle producing defenders but we should not expect much in the big play columns, especially when it comes to the pass rushers.
Damontae Kazee recorded three tackles and three assists in the first meeting despite playing 90% of the defensive snaps. He has seen at least 90% of the action in each of the last three games including 98% of the plays last week. Kazee should be a much bigger IDP factor in the rematch. In week 11 Andrew Adams and Mike Edwards combined to go 11-1-1 against the Saints and Eric Reid racked up 11-4-0 with a pass breakup against them on Sunday.
Eric Reid has been on fire of late so sitting him is not going to be an option for most managers, but consider that only one safety has reached five solo tackles against the Redskins since week six and only two have exceeded five solo stops against them all season. Reid could also be a little gimpy this week. He was down with an ankle injury in the third quarter against New Orleans but was able to get back on the field. It could be an issue once the soreness sets in.