The Brett Favre Bowl! Fantasy football managers have plenty of decisions to make in a game that features the team that drafted the Hall of Famer with the team he led to glory. When it comes to breaking down the Green Bay Packers‘ fantasy value, it starts with the backfield. When it comes to breaking down the Atlanta Falcons‘ fantasy value, it starts with a pair of talented and under-used pass catchers.
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Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons
- Spread: Falcons -1.5
- Total: 40.5 points
- Packers implied points: 19.5
- Falcons implied points: 21
Jordan Love: Love may have completed only 55.6% of his passes last week in Chicago, but when you average 1.45 fantasy points per completion, there is no complaining from the fantasy community.
Of course, per-completion efficiency like that is impossible for him (or anyone) to sustain. We saw a lot of good NFL traits from Green Bay’s new starter:
- Six different players were targeted with Love’s first seven passes.
- Six different players finished with 3-5 targets.
- Three different players caught a 30-yard pass.
As good as his Week 1 box score looked without his WR1 active, Love still can’t be trusted in fantasy lineups. The Falcons aim to limit the possession count, and if we’re playing the percentages, another sub-20 completion game from Love is more likely to land him outside the top 20 at the position than inside the top 12 again.
Week 1 was good to see, but I need to see Love being responsible for the big plays (not a massive YAC play or busted coverage) before I’m even remotely interested in him in anything besides a 2QB league.
Desmond Ridder: Ridder played a great football game against the Panthers last week, and it meant just about nothing to the fantasy football community. He did his job. He completed 83.3% of his passes, with 40% of his completions going to the new shiny toy in Atlanta’s offense.
Ridder didn’t lose the Falcons the game. The problem is that he has almost no chance to win you yours. Despite Ridder’s strong game, he scored fewer fantasy points than Kenny Pickett in an awful game. Ridder doesn’t matter in 1QB leagues, and unless you’re playing in a deep Superflex league, you can do better in those formats, too.
Aaron Jones: Jones racked up 127 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Bears in Week 1. The end zone and a tight hamstring were the only things that provided any resistance last week. Heck, he even dropped a dump-off pass that could have resulted in another score if handled cleanly.
All reporting out of Green Bay was that Jones’ hamstring pain was short term and little to worry about. Assuming that’s the case, he’s an easy top-15 option against a Falcons team that he has lit up for over 100 yards and a touchdown in the last two meetings.
MORE: PFN Consensus Rankings
AJ Dillon: Fantasy football is a game of inches. After a 51-yard catch-and-run from Jones to put the Packers inside the 10-yard line, Dillon was featured with back-to-back carries. Unfortunately, he failed to cash in either, leading Jones to come back and punch it in and sapping any potential for Dillon managers to get a productive day.
What was evident in the first game of the Jordan Love era was that Green Bay will go as far as the run game/short passing game can take them. With Jones experiencing some hamstring discomfort, Dillon could trend closer to a 50/50 touch split against a Falcons defense that allowed 154 rush yards to the Panthers last week.
Carolina also saw RB/TEs account for 16 of 31 targets, another avenue in which the Packers can support a pair of top 30 running backs this weekend.
Should Jones sit, Dillon would slide easily into my top-15 at the position and be worthy of a spot start in all formats.
– 20.3 Fantasy Points Week 1
– 10 Rushes, 56 Yards
– 6 Catches, 27 Yards, 1 TD
– Top 3 RB moving forward
– 33.3% Target Share
– 5.6 Yards per Carry
– 79% Snaps Quarters 1-3
– Allgeier used in closing role
— Joe Orrico (@NoExpertFF) September 11, 2023
Bijan Robinson: As. Good. As. Advertised. Robinson’s 11-yard touchdown reception was a thing of beauty and everything we envisioned this summer when we gave the rookie a top-10 grade in our PFN Consensus Rankings.
Skeptics will point to Tyler Allgeier’s involvement (18 touches, two short touchdowns), and sure, maybe that caps his upside at RB5 instead of RB1. But at the end of the day, he checked every box you could ask for in his debut.
If we’re nitpicking — something you have to do at the top of the board weekly when building a DFS lineup — possession count is a concern. The Falcons were among the worst teams in Week 1 in terms of time of possession (25:19), and if the Packers have their wish, this is going to be similar. If Allgeier is going to be involved and the play count is low, Robinson’s DFS price tag is a little more than I’m willing to swallow.
Tyler Allgeier: He’s a good running back. He’s also the second-best running back on a team that isn’t going to light up the scoreboard.
Both of those things can be, and are, true. I was impressed by the patience Allgeier showed on his first three-yard TD run in Week 1. And the fact that he played only four fewer snaps than Robinson was certainly noteworthy in a game that was close throughout.
Allgeier and Robinson combined to see nine targets on their 28 routes, an ultra-impressive rate that has fantasy managers dreaming of what all of this usage would look like if one RB was getting 65-70% of the touches.
Understanding that Allgeier carries a nice floor more than a projectable ceiling. There’s a very good chance that his game last week is his best of the season alongside Robinson.
I have him ranked outside my top 30 running backs against a Packers defense that held its last week (Chicago RBs: 19 carries for 63 yards). If you’re going this route, understand that you might be chasing production that isn’t likely to repeat.
Christian Watson: After suffering a mid-week hamstring injury, Green Bay’s WR1 was ruled out for Week 1 entering the weekend. However, all signs point to him returning this week to take on a Falcons defense that was bottom 10 in both yards per pass attempt and pass TD rate in 2022.
As a rookie, Watson’s average touchdown catch was 29 yards last season, and he scored once every 5.3 touches — numbers that aren’t even remotely close to sustainable, so you need to be aware of the risk in starting him.
That said, as long as he checks the needed health boxes as kickoff approaches, this is a matchup that shouldn’t scare you off of your Watson rank this preseason … something ADP suggests is a reliable fantasy option.
Romeo Doubs: Was the back-shoulder touchdown pretty? Sure was. Two touchdowns and 16.6 half-PPR points. Great. But as productive as Romeo Doubs was on your bench last week, let’s not get carried away.
In a game without Watson against a questionable Bears defense, Doubs was unable to prove himself as a definitive target earner (18.5% share) in this Love-led offense.
MORE: Yates’ Projection Tool
The “secondary pass catcher facing the Falcons” is going to be a tough sell for me any time we aren’t discussing an elite offense. Is Doubs a fine player? Yes. But with both of these teams wanting to play a game in the low 40s, I’m just not sure there are enough possessions to get Doubs the number of looks that it would require to have him on my radar for season-long or DFS.
This Packers offense isn’t going to offer a ton of big plays, something that makes volume that much more valuable when trying to project median expectations. Even if Watson is inactive, Doubs isn’t anything more than a FLEX in deeper formats for me.
Jayden Reed: The rookie had a nice 35-yard punt return to go along with a 30-yard catch and a team-leading five targets, but Jayden Reed was still good for just 5.8 fantasy points. Cramping forced him to miss some time during the game, but he returned and should be considered healthy. Reed is an interesting prospect who should challenge for targets … “Stash and hold” for me; no reason to consider playing him.
Drake London: We, as fantasy analysts, try to project production. We dig deep into trends and preferences. We look at usage rates. We collect all the information we can to formulate an opinion on a player/situation.
Call it what you want: it’s an educated guess.
Atlanta, however, is taking the guesswork out of it. They don’t want their passing game to be fantasy-friendly. To them, that means the game script has gone sideways, and they are hellbent on preventing that. Don’t believe me? Fine. But would you believe Arthur Smith?
Falcons coach Arthur Smith, told that Drake London had one fewer reception than Desmond Ridder in today's win: "Let the fantasy guys worry about that. We've got to clean some things up … We don't care. Drake London doesn't care. All we care about is 1-0."
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) September 10, 2023
Well, sir, the joke is on you. We no longer have to worry about it. We can’t. After playing 90% of the snaps and seeing one whole target on 18 throws from Ridder, London can’t be near fantasy lineups.
It’s unlikely that there is a better option on your waiver wire, so I’d keep the talented London rostered and hope that we see some growth come mid-season for some plus-matchups as bye weeks begin to impact decision-making.
Luke Musgrave: Musgrave was a popular TE streamer last week, given the carnage at the position, and a 3 for 50 days is fine. But that stat line is a bit deceiving.
Love dropped a snap, kicked it around on the ground, somehow recovered, and had the presence of mind to chuck it deep against a Bears defense that had abandoned all coverage assignments. The result was a 37-yard gain for the rookie, a goofy play that single-handedly saved his fantasy day.
I’ve already mentioned my concerns about the pace of play for this game, and if Watson is back in the target earning mix, Musgrave simply doesn’t project to be involved enough to support a top-15 ranking at the position.
Kyle Pitts: The concerns for Pitts are identical to those of London, but the TE position has a lower bar to clear. Pitts is like a 50-degree day in the northeast in early March.
“That’ll work! It’s a little better than seasonable and a nice break from the winter we just went through.“
London is like a 50-degree day in May.
“What is this nonsense? I thought we were getting close to summer.”
You see? The same output can be viewed through two different lenses depending on expectations. By no means was Pitts a star in Week 1 (two catches for 44 yards), but his 34-yard haul in double coverage was enough of a spark to keep fantasy managers reasonably interested.
That’s not to say he should be locked into lineups — he’s TE11 for me this week. But due to the position he plays, Pitts simply cannot be dismissed the same way London can.
Who Should You Start in Week 2?
Should You Start Drake London or Elijah Moore?
London may share a name with the popular artist, but he is anything by “Mr. Right Now”. Moore led the Browns in receiving yards and targets in the Week 1 win over the Bengals and is playing on Monday night in a game that I think goes over the projected total. Moore holds a 10-spot edge in our Week 2 PFN Consensus Rankings.
Should You Start Kyle Pitts or Hunter Henry?
Pitts is little more than a pretty first name these days and yet, I still prefer him in this spot. Barely. Henry had a strong Week 1 in defeat, but that came in a game in which Mac Jones threw 54 passes. I’ll take the under on 53.5 attempts this week and I think the dip in team opportunities levels the playing field in this matchup. Neither is in my top 10, but Pitts is three spots higher for me this week.
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