The Atlanta Falcons offense didn’t assume particularly explosive form against the New Orleans Saints, but quarterback Matt Ryan and his primary receivers connected for some solid gains to keep the chains moving.
Ryan fumbled a couple of times in the first half as the Falcons were building momentum and mounting what appeared to be solid scoring drives, so it’s crucial to understand his numbers could have been off the charts had it not been for those lapses.
But despite the giveaways, the volume was there. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan drew up repeated play-action rollouts to get Ryan in space, and he completed 20 of his first 26 passes thanks to that strategy.
Ryan tossed only one touchdown during that span, but the team moved the ball through the air at encouraging rates that should keep his stock steady entering Week 7. Consider Ryan a top-10 quarterback with room for improvement as the Falcons prepare for the Tennessee Titans.
Ryan targeted Jones early and often as the Saints played a soft zone that allowed Jones to run deep routes and sit down in coverage for easy catches. His first four catches went for 73 yards, including a 30-yard reception in the first half.
While his hamstring was a concern entering the evening, Jones wasn’t on any sort of snap count, as Pro Football Focus’ Nathan Jahnke noted following the first half:
After Jones caught just five passes for 67 yards in Week 5 against the Washington Redskins, Thursday’s performance was reassuring for owners who may have been stressing a bit.
Jones should remain locked in as a WR1 for the remainder of the season as he continues on a pace that could see him finish as fantasy‘s most prolific pass-catcher.
White entered the evening with eight catches for 115 yards in his first five games, including consecutive performances without a reception in Weeks 2 and 3.
Although White didn’t put together a particularly impressive game from a statistical standpoint, he did score for the first time this season, courtesy of a seven-yard touchdown pass from Ryan in the second quarter.
White’s now been targeted at least four times in three straight games. That may not feel like much, but it’s a positive step forward for a receiver who appeared to be lost in the Falcons’ offensive shuffle.
He’s not worth starting, but fantasy owners should roster White as a bench flier in deeper leagues.
Read more Fantasy Football news on NerdyFootball.com