Friday, December 8, 2017


Wow so much to talk about here, primarily of course the loss of New Orleans Saints uber-rookie running back Alvin Kamara leaving the game after the first series with a concussion.  While not officially fatal until the rest of the games are played, Kamara's absence that early in the game could spell death for many fantasy football rosters this week.  Let's get to that and all the rest of the action from Thursday's tilt.

-I think Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan just tossed another pick.  Anyone who started Ryan last night (which includes yours truly), suffered through the absolute torture that was his putrid performance.  Throwing in double coverage constantly and showing no accuracy, Ryan completed only 15-of-27 passes for 221 yards with 1 TD and 3 INT's.  Ryan actually produced more fantasy football points this week than he did in his no-TD outing a week ago versus the Minnesota Vikings but he has now put forth three straight duds in this horrifying season.  Clearly the Steve Sarkisian offense is not working as virtually every player is back from the record-setting unit that excelled under Kyle Shanahan a year ago.  This is why Jimmy Garoppolo is such a hot commodity right now as well. 

Getting back to Ryan, if anyone survives this week with him, there is no way you use the guy in any capacity moving forward this season.  What a gutless performance and it came at home in a dome for crying out loud.  Sarkisian will likely be out of a job at the end of the season and for good reason. 

Meanwhile Saints QB Drew Brees (who has earned scorn himself this season with some un-Brees performances), was good enough in completing 26-of-35 passes for 271 yards with 2 TD and one killer INT.  In the past Brees would be near 400 passing yards with 3 scores in a home against a mediocre Falcons defense but this is a new offense in New Orleans that is taking the ball out of his hands a bit.  Despite all this, Brees is still slinging it enough to be worth using the next two weeks.

-Sometimes there are such cataclysmic events in fantasy football that everyone stops what they are doing and pays attention when a big news item flashes.  That happened early in the first quarter last night when Saints running back Alvin Kamara left to be evaluated for a concussion.  Well, Kamara never returned to the game and in PPR formats he barely went over 5.0 points.  The real shame is that Kamara caught three balls for 25 yards and ran once for 2 more on the FIRST DRIVE which portended a ridiculously big performance in the offing.  Unfortunately, fate intervened and so Kamara's owners are in trouble.  Injuries like these in the playoffs often prove too be too much to overcome but play it out.  Kamara does have ten days to get cleared for next week however and so that at least is some good news.

In Kamara's absence, Mark Ingram failed to distinguish himself for the second time in three games as he rushed for just 49 yards on 12 carries but did add four catches for another 43.  The catches saved the day in PPR but in standard Ingram went bust.  It is likely the injured toe that had Ingram listed as questionable played a role but he has struggled a bit running the ball of late.

As far as the Falcon runners, Devonta Freeman is all the way back from his concussion as he showed in rushing for 91 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown.  Freeman was shockingly shut out on the receiving side of things but his bellcow workload was a pleasant surpriser.  Tevin Coleman got just 9 carries for an ineffective 32 yards and he too did not catch a pass.  Freeman owners should be very encouraged by his outing and full usage going forward is warranted.

-Julio Jones is becoming grossly overrated when it comes to fantasy football.  Already allergic to scorcing touchdowns and constantly dealing with injuries, Jones failed to make many impact plays despite decent surface numbers of 5 catches for 91 yards.  Clearly a solid night but we expect more pizazz out of Jones.  It is always something with Jones whose production never seems to meet the hype.  In fact Mohamud Sanu (6 catches for 83 yards and a score) has overshadowed him quite a bit this season.

In fact Jones needs to try and be as consistent as Saints wideout Michael Thomas who hauled in 10 balls for 117 yards and a score.  Other than maybe Adam Thielen, Thomas has been as close to a sure thing in terms of in-game production on a weekly basis. 

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