Friday, September 7, 2018


Boy that was ugly.  With penalties on seemingly every play, idiotic challenges, and an Atlanta offense that still makes you want to rip your hair out, the NFL Thursday night opener was rough.  There were still some fantasy football items worth discussing though so let's get to it. 

-Any notion that Falcons QB Matt Ryan would be more comfortable in Year 2 with Steve Sarkisian as the OC went up in the smoke in the opener as the Falcons struggles all night to score from in-close and it went all the way to the buzzer when they failed FIVE times at the goal line.  Ryan was terrible in completing 21-of-43 for 251 yards with zero TD's and 1 pick and in the second half it was obvious he was looking at the rush.  He remains just a backup in fantasy football which is where Nick Foles belongs too.  While Foles added another catch just like in the Super Bowl, he completed just 19-of-34 for 117 yards with zero TD's and one pick of his own.  The only time Foles was in a groove was in the hurry up but otherwise he remains barley worth owning.

-Jay Ajayi looked like he had missed a meeting or something in the first half as both Corey Clement and Darren Sproles got carries before he saw the field.  Be that as it may, Doug Pederson dusted him off in the middle of the second quarter and then rode him the rest of the way to the tune of 62 yards and two scores on 15 carries.  Ajayi also added a two-point conversion to cap the night.  Keep in mind though that both Clement and Sproles got five carries so the split means Ajayi is just a RB 2 in all formats (and barely that in PPR since he doesn't catch the ball much).  Speaking of Sproles, Pederson seems to want him heavily involved so put him on your bench in PPR.

As far as the Atlanta run game, Devonta Freeman ran for an impressive 36 yards on just 6 carries and added 3 catches for 14 more but the game flow hurt him.  I thought Freeman was a nice second-round bargain in drafts this summer but the mess that is the Atlanta offense could be an impediment. 

-Julio Jones remains a monster between the 20's but not near the red zone which has been the story of his career.  He hauled in 10 balls for 169 yards but Ryan could not find him where it counted the most.  Andre Johnson is the comparison here as Jones is a guy who will always pile up the WR 1 receptions and yards but not much in the way of TD's.  He also got no help from rookie Calvin Ridley who got shut out with zero catches.  Again the mess that is the Atlanta offense has me leery of holding Ridley.

On the other side, Nelson Agholor led the way in the receiving game for the Eagles with 8 catches for 33 yards but obviously, it was the dink-and-dunk variety.  Zach Ertz did his job with 4 catches for 48 yards but there was no red zone magic like he continually had with Carson Wentz a season ago. 

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