While the Saints versus Falcons game on Thursday Night Football might not be filled with league implications, it's chock full of fantasy football options to plug in for Week 13. Some could argue, but I think this could be one of the highest-ranked fantasy games on this week's schedule, with several chess pieces on both sides. With a score of 31-27, and a Saints win over the Falcons back in Week 10, I can easily see this being another high-scoring affair.
Below are players I separated into several categories. Agree with me? Disagree with me? Let me know in the comments section below.
GUYS WHO I ABSOLUTELY LOVE
Drew Brees - It's pretty hard not to rank Brees at the top of this category. Having passed for 298 yards, 3 touchdowns and an interception in the first meeting, I can see Brees either matching, or even topping his passing yards from a few weeks ago. It should be no surprise that he is ranked at No. 3 in our Week 13 Quarterback Rankings.
Matt Ryan - If Brees is 1A, than Ryan is 1B and ranked as the No. 1 player on Phil's QB rankings this week. Lets face it, the Saints can't stop anyone. Even Kurt, who lives and dies with the Saints, admits to this every week. So with that, there is no reason why Ryan can't bounce back after throwing 6 picks to just 1 score in the last 2 weeks. Ryan racked up 411 yards, 3 scores and 1 pick in the first meeting. I don't see him matching the passing total, but 3-4 touchdowns and 1-2 picks sound about right. The positives should easily outweigh the negatives with his turnovers.
Julio Jones - Jones may have screwed over some owners with the whole "he'll play depending on the pace of the game" garbage head coach Mike Smith threw out last week. Not this time. Coming off a 6/147/1 statline against the Buccaneers last week, Jones is in for another huge night. To no surprise, Ray has him ranked No. 3 overall in his Week 13 Receiver Rankings.
Jimmy Graham - I got a text last week from a friend asking me where the hell Graham was during the 49ers game since he hadn't put up a stat deep into the first half. As one of the better pass-blocking tight ends in the league, it's hard not to want to use Graham's other asset. I fully expect Graham to bounce back tonight, which is why I ranked him No. 1 on the Week 13 Tight End Rankings. He's had 2 "okay weeks" recently, but I expect him to bounce back in a big way. His 7/146/2 statline in the first meeting makes me know he will be a focal point of the offense this week.
GUYS I LIKE ALOT
Tony Gonzalez - Have I mentioned that what Gonzo is doing at 36, 36!!!!, is unbelievable? Despite putting up 11 PPR points against the Buccaneers last week, I'm loving Gonzo for what he did to the Saints in the first meeting. If you add up all his catches, yards and scores, the guy put up 35 PPR points. That's almost unheard of for a tight end. You're probably wondering why I only "like" Gonzo and not love him. I only have so much love to give, but don't think I believe Gonzo is going to have an off night. Although I'd be shocked if he scored another 35 points with so many other weapons that Matt Ryan can throw to. If it wasn't for Jason Witten's matchup against the Eagles, Gonzo would be right behind Graham in my tight end rankings.
Roddy White - White is a guy who can put up numbers just as high as Jones, if not higher, but I don't see it happening tonight. While White's matchup does put him up there as a WR1, I think he'll wind up taking a backseat to Jones in this contest. 5-6 catches and 100-110 yards should be right around what he does, but I don't think he gets in the endzone.
GUYS I "KIND OF" LIKE
Marques Colston - Nothing against Colston. I like the guy, but I don't see him being a star in tonight's rematch. He hasn't put up 100 yards since Week 5 and was moderately held in check by the Falcons Defense in the first meeting, putting up 3 catches for 26 yards. But he did score a touchdown. I don't see his numbers being as high as the guys I listed already, but he can easily put up a score or 2 in the blink of an eye.
EH THEY'RE OKAY
Lance Moore - Moore is never going to amount to an impactful fantasy option like he was back in 2008, but he is still a decent WR3 in my book. He actually had success against the Falcons, catch 7 passes for 91 yards in the first meeting. But, I don't know. I don't see that happening again.
Darren Sproles - If it wasn't for PPR leagues, Sproles wouldn't have any value at all. He's averaging 48.5 receiving yards a game off 46 catches, but he only has 26 total carries on the year. He hasn't even touched the ball since Week 8 against the Broncos. He's a very low-end RB2 at best. And even that is a bit of a stretch if he isn't a big part of the passing game
Jacquizz Rodgers - More like a crush than anything. Rodgers proved last week that he can be a game change if given the chance, but will the Falcons continue to give him more work? He touched the ball 7 times in the first meeting, but I think he will easily top that the second time around. Phil has Rodgers listed as one of his Week 13 Sleeper Options. I totally agree. Rodgers could wind up being a fine high-end flex option if the team gives him a chance to prove himself.
Michael Turner - Not much I can say about Turner that hasn't already been said. His value, as of now, is more valuable in touchdown-heavy leagues since that's where he seems to do his dirty work. He was shut down in the first meeting. And considering more tread has worn off those tires since then, I think the Saints can shut him down again.
Harry Douglas - He had a good stretch in Weeks 10 and 11, but I wouldn't put much stock in him doing anything worthwhile. Too many guys are ahead of him in the pecking order.
Mark Ingram/Chris Ivory - Bottom feeders might be too extreme, but neither of these guys are worth much. Darren Sproles is clearly the most electrifying of the trio, which makes both Ingram and Ivory desperation flex options who have to rely on touchdowns to count towards fantasy value.