Fantasy Football 2012 Saints at Falcons Week 13 Preview
Just as Thursday’s Week 13 matchup between the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons could hold major playoff implications in the NFL, it could make or break countless fantasy teams’ seasons as well. The 5-6 Saints are coming off a demoralizing loss against the 49ers in Week 12, and the Falcons just keep rolling along, beating the Buccaneers by a single point to make their record 10-1. Both offenses are nothing short of explosive, so there are plenty of fantasy names out there for this one. Let’s take a look at the major players and what we should be expecting.
Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints: From a fantasy standpoint, Brees’ 267-yard, three-touchdown effort in Week 12 against San Francisco was pretty good. Realistically, however, his two pick-sixes likely cost the Saints the game. Still, Brees owners have to be happy with his season thus far, and he may post another solid week against Atlanta. The last time he faced the Falcons, Brees posted 298 yards and a trio of touchdowns.
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons: Ryan couldn’t have done much worse in Week 12 than he did in Week 11. Against the Cardinals, he was picked off five times and failed to record a TD pass, yet the Falcons still won. In the Buccaneers game, Ryan had just one interception, but just one touchdown as well. His 353 yards made up for it, however, and he should finish with good numbers when the Saints come to town. In the last game, Ryan threw for 411 yards and three scores.
Darren Sproles, RB, New Orleans Saints: Sproles finally got back out on the field during Week 12, making his return after sitting out three weeks with a broken hand. His final numbers weren’t spectacular, however (especially by Sproles’ lofty standards). He finished with 65 receiving yards and nothing on the ground. That being said, we expect him to see more work against the Falcons, now that his hand has proven that it can survive the rigors of the NFL once again.
Michael Turner, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Turner didn’t have the best of weeks against the Buccaneers. He finished with 13 carries for just 17 yards, but he did score. With the emergence of fellow RB Jaquizz Rodgers, Turner’s fantasy value has taken a hit, so owners really don’t know what to expect from week to week. Our take is that as long as he’s getting touches (which he should continue to do), then he’s a decent fantasy start.
Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints: After notching his third TD in the last four weeks, Colston has become a very reliable fantasy player. Along with the score, he tallied four catches for 36 yards against the 49ers and looks like he’ll be a major contributor on offense from here on out. One noteworthy tidbit, however: Colston left the Week 12 game briefly after taking a hard hit during the third quarter. The Saints will no doubt put him through the usual round of concussion tests this week, but he appears to be fine.
Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons: Jones and fellow Atlanta WR Roddy White have been trading big games seemingly every other week. The Tampa Bay game was Jones’ turn, as he tallied a career-high 147 yards and a TD. That’s the first time Jones has scored in the last four weeks, which has fantasy owners everywhere breathing sighs of relief. We’ll have to watch him this week to make sure his ailing ankle isn’t giving him any more trouble, but by all indications, Jones should be golden on Thursday.
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