Kickoff Sunday, Sep 19th 4:05pm Eastern

Falcons (
19.5) at

Bucs (
32.5)

Over/Under 52.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Falcons Run D
27th DVOA/24th Yards allowed per carry
Buccaneers Run O
12th DVOA/31st Yards per carry
Falcons Pass D
27th DVOA/19th Yards allowed per pass
Buccaneers Pass O
6th DVOA/5th Yards per pass
Buccaneers Run D
5th DVOA/2nd Yards allowed per carry
Falcons Run O
32nd DVOA/24th Yards per carry
Buccaneers Pass D
14th DVOA/30th Yards allowed per pass
Falcons Pass O
29th DVOA/24th Yards per pass

GAME OVERVIEW ::

BY Hilow >>
  • A glaring example of a game that has a wide range of real-world outcomes
  • With a setup like this, it is highest EV to either attack the game fully or fade it fully, with the additional knowledge that the field will not be entering many game stacks into play
  • One of the rare cases where naked Brady is interesting as a leverage piece

HOW Atlanta WILL TRY TO WIN ::

Matt Ryan’s line in Week 1: 164 yards and no touchdowns. Calvin Ridley: 5/51/0 on eight targets. Kyle Pitts: 4/31/0 on eight targets. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I do this not to influence our own process, but rather to highlight how the field is likely reacting (or overreacting) to Week 1. We were drafting this offense as an uptempo, concentrated, and capable offense all offseason in Best Ball. Are we really about to allow one week to change our entire offseason process? I sure as hell am not. Okay, with that out of the way, let’s dig in! We saw my personnel usage call from this preseason ring true out of Atlanta in Week 1, although, as predicted, their personnel usage rates only tell half the story as rookie tight end Kyle Pitts was used all over the field. On paper, it says Atlanta ran 51% 12-personnel when in reality it was more akin to a spread 11-personnel alignment. Kyle Pitts saw a 61% snap rate in Week 1, with Hayden Hurst at 60%, Russell Gage at 68%, Calvin Ridley at 85%, and tertiary options all sitting around 7-29%. Look for this Arthur Smith-led offense to come out firing after a week filled with self-reflection.

The backfield was dominated by Mike Davis, who played a massive 75% of the offensive snaps in Week 1 and saw a solid 21 running back opportunities in one of the worst game scripts he will see all season. That level of usage is one tier below elite, but we might have to wait until Week 5 against the Jets to truly capitalize on it, with matchups against the Buccaneers, Giants, and Football Team on tap over the next three weeks. Behind Davis, converted wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson saw a 35% snap rate and nine running back (?) opportunities, and Keith Smith mopped up some meaningless end of game snaps for five running back opportunities. The matchup is no beuno this week against a defense that allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing backfield in 2020. Atlanta’s offensive line actually performed quite well in Week 1, inflating the net-adjusted line yards metric to a value of 4.37 yards. I won’t be going here, but nobody else will either.

Calvin Ridley saw a ridiculous 50.3% of the team’s available air yards with an average depth of target of 12.0 in Week 1. Yeah, the dude will be fine. Not the greatest matchup on paper on tap, but this is a guy that can beat any matchup as evidenced by his seventh-ranked average cushion in Week 1 of 6.86. If this offense puts up points against the Bucs, he will likely be a large reason why. Rookie “tight end” Kyle Pitts saw a 31.4% air yards share in Week 1 which ranked third amongst all tight ends. His average cushion created was 4.73, second in the league. He saw snaps inline (11), in the slot (20), and split wide (12). The largest problem for the Falcons in Week 1 was an offensive line that ranked above average in run-blocking metrics but allowed an unsightly 41% pressure rate, which was a problem for quarterback Matt Ryan all afternoon. With another high expected pressure rate on top for Week 2, look for Arthur Smith to adjust and get the ball out of Ryan’s hands quicker. The weakness of this Bucs defense over the last 20+ games has been over the middle of the field toward slot coverage Sean Murphy-Bunting, who landed on IR following the season opener. Ross Cockrell should step into the slot coverage after playing 86% of his snaps from the slot in Week 1. He is a 6’0” defensive back with 4.56 speed, 36th percentile speed scores, 51st percentile burst scores, and 11th percentile agility scores. Russell Gage played 59% of his snaps from the slot in 2020 and started the year at a 51% slot snap rate and is an interesting option against the weakest part of the Buccaneers defense.

HOW Tampa Bay WILL TRY TO WIN ::

This is Brady’s world, we’re all just living in it. The Bucs showed us an ungodly 78% situation-neutral pass rate in Week 1, likely inflated due to the specific opponent’s propensity to put up points. Said another way, Arians likely kept his foot on the gas knowing full well the Cowboys could come back at any time. Although this is still a pass-heavy team, we’re likely to see a steady trickle-regression towards their 2020 rate of 62% as the season progresses. There’s not much else to say regarding how Tampa Bay will attempt to win games as literally nothing has changed for this team in almost a full calendar year.

Bruce Arians’ most recent quote surrounding this backfield was that any one of his three running backs could be “named” the starter, so take the vote of confidence he gave Ronald Jones this week by naming him the starter with a grain of salt. The truth is that all of Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones, and Giovani Bernard are going to be involved on a weekly basis, with the always present threat of the coaching staff riding the hot hand. The 4.45 net-adjusted line yards metric falls right in the middle of Week 2’s range, but the bigger hurdle to fantasy utility is the unknown weekly nature of the division of usage between these three backs.

As we saw in Week 1, any one (or two or three) of the pass-catchers from this offense can pop in any given game. All of Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Antonio Brown, and the reincarnation of Rob Gronkowski offer sky-high ceilings each and every week. As we also saw in Week 1, Tom Brady is completely fine taking what an opposing defense gives him, evidenced by the sparse involvement of Mike Evans, who drew shadow coverage from Dallas’ only above average defender. I can’t imagine defensive coordinator Dean Pees blitzes Brady heavily in this spot (which would open up the middle of the field and the sidelines), which should mean a lot of zone coverages. Any one of the aforementioned four superstars can beat zone regularly, so consider this a high ceiling spot across the board, but one that comes with lower-than-perceived floor.

LIKELIEST GAME FLOW :: 

The likeliest game flow will be completely driven by the Falcons’ ability to put points on the board. What I mean by that is this: regardless of the score on the scoreboard, we can expect Tom Brady and the Bucs to attack this game largely the same, but the Falcons will need to keep pressure on for their above average pass rate and pace of play to tickle the ungodly realm. The Falcons have the pieces to put points up in this setup, and I can all but guarantee the field will be light on game stacks from this game, so keep that in mind when building this week. If the Falcons flounder once more, the entire fantasy utility from this game fades as it likely limits the Buccaneers’ aerial aggression and instead filters additional work through a three-headed backfield

DFS+ Interpretation ::

By LexMiraglia10 >>

Overview:

  • ATL actually hung tight in both matchups last year before ultimately being overwhelmed by TB’s offensive & defensive talent
  • Gone is stud C Alex Mack, in are a rookie G and 2nd-year (first-time starter) C
  • After getting manhandled by PHI’s defensive front in W1, ATL now gets an even stronger one in TB
  • ATL had the 5th lowest pass block win rate in W1 while TB had the 4th highest pass rush win rate (against a much better DAL Oline)
  • After 29 plays that gained 146 yds and ended in two short FGs, ATL’s drives the rest of the game gained yardages of: 10 // 4 // 4 // 0 // 14 // 22 // 4 // 6 // 13

Matt Ryan:

  • Ryan threw for 164 yds with 17.6 QBR in W1 vs PHI
  • 2020: ATL scored 27 vs TB behind two Ryan 3-TD with no Julio in either game
  • TB’s defensive front is going to continue to force teams to pass at a high rate
  • QB who lacks mobility behind extremely poor offensive line that struggles to pass & run block against a defensive line that excels in taking advantage of both

Calvin Ridley:

  • 39 of Ridley’s 51 W1 yds came on the opening drive
  • Ridley vs TB in 2020: 10:163:1 // 8:52
  • DAL WRs vs TB in W1: Cooper (13:139:2) // Lamb (7:104:1)
  • 24 Alpha WRs (defined here by 25+% MS & 15+ DKppg) have been 10+ pt underdogs since 2014
  • Those 24 WRs have reached expected fantasy points (determined by salary) just 33% of the time, and have scored 25+ DK pts just twice (Keenan: 32.7 // Julio: 27.8)

Kyle Pitts:

  • Pitts tied Ridley for the team-lead in targets (8), with the two combining for 45.7% of Ryan’s targets
  • He turned those 4 targets into just 31 yds
  • TB allowed Schultz & Jarwin to combine for 9 rec 65 yds in W1
  • Pitts snaps in W1: 12 Inline, 23 Slot, 14 Wide
  • 31 routes on 40 Ryan dropbacks per PFF

Mike Davis:

  • TB held Zeke/Pollard to combined 14 att for 47 yds, 6 rec for 35 yds
  • No team allowed fewer rush yds than TB in 2020, with the next closest team allowing nearly 200 yds more; 2019 TB allowed the fewest by 100+ yds as well
  • In 20 games, Kamara, CMC, & Cook were the only RBs to break 20 DK pts vs TB, and AK & CMC both needed 2 TDs to get there
  • Gurley & AK were the only two RBs to break 20 DK pts in 2019 vs TB, and they combined for 17 rec in those 2 games
  • Davis got 15 att, 6 targets in first game as ATL starter

Overview (TB):

  • Brady is 8-0 lifetime vs ATL (not predictive of this game but kind of funny)
  • TB carries the highest total on the slate
  • TB pts since adding AB: 3 // 46 // 24 // 24 // 26 // 31 // 47 // 44 // 31 // 30 // 31 // 31 // 31

Tom Brady:

  • 78 QBs since 2019 have averaged 22.1 DK pts/g as a 10+ pt favorite
  • Brady has averaged 2.8 TDs/g over his last 12 games (the 12 since that NOR blowout)
  • ATL allowed 264 yds, 3 TD to Jalen Hurts through the air in W1
  • Brady has cleared 320 yds in 4/7 matchups vs Dean Pees coordinated defenses with an overall 9:5 TD:INT ratio; however, only two matchups have occurred since 2016: his two worst games of the seven in 2018 & 2019 vs TEN
  • Brady’s notable pass-catchers on TB vs the NE guys he had in last matchup with Pees: AB, Evans, Godwin, Gronk // Edelman, Harry, Sanu, Ben Watson

TB WRs:

  • Top WR score in games Brady scored 20+ DK pts since adding AB: 19.7 // 20 // 20.3 // 43.1 // 39.8, 33.3 // 20.9 // 7.4 // 19.6 // 13.2 // 27.5, 26.7
  • TB WRs times leading/tied for lead in targets w/ AB: Evans (6), Godwin (6), Brown (5)
  • ATL allowed 6:71:1 & 6:49:1 to Devonta Smith & Jalen Reagor in W1
  • 195 WRs since 2014 averaging 13+ DK pts/g on season have averaged 18.4 DK pts/g as a 10+ pt favorite (23% scored 26+ DK pts)
  • Mike Evans has just three games of more than just 20 DK pts with Brady, and two of them (26.4 / 28.1) came before TB added Brown
  • His best game (10:181:2 / 43.1 DK pts) came in one of TB’s three 2020 games as a 10+ pt favorite (DET)
  • TB WRs vs ATL in 2020: Evans (6:110 // 3:46) // Godwin (4:36:1 // 5:133:2) // Brown (5:93:1 // 11:138:2) /// Evans left early in the second matchup

Rob Gronkowski:

  • Gronk’s last two games: 8:90:2 // 6:67:2
  • TB’s margin of victory in Gronk’s 10+ pt DK scores in 2020: -3 // +2 // +18 // +22 // +23 // +25 // +28 // +40
  • Gronk vs ATL in 2020: 3:29 // 2:29
  • PHI TEs vs ATL in W1: Goedert (4:42:1) // Ertz (2:34)

TB RBs:

  • Ronald Jones benched vs DAL after fumbling
  • RoJo only scored above 20 DK pts three times in 2021, and Fournette played 0 snaps in two of them
  • Fournette hit 15 att once in the regular season, but saw 19, 17, 12, 16 att in the playoffs
  • Fournette got just 9 rush att in W1 (4 for RoJo); (Brady threw 50 times)
  • Fournette did get 7 targets to Gio’s 3 in W1
  • Sanders & Gainwell combined for 24 att 111 yds, TD and 6 rec 45 yds vs ATL