Fantasy Football 2013: Falcons at 49ers Week 16 Preview
Atlanta Falcons (4-10) at San Francisco 49ers (10-4)
Monday, December 23, 8:40 PM ET
Closing out the Week 16 action on “Monday Night Football,” we’ve got a cross-country NFC matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers. The Falcons (4-10) found some new life in Week 15 with a one-point win over the lowly Redskins, while the 49ers (10-4) asserted their dominance over the Buccaneers. Even with the lopsided records, this should be a fairly entertaining game.
There will be plenty of fantasy names out on the field on Monday, and they’ll be deciding countless fantasy championships everywhere. Let’s take a closer look at the important players on both sides so we can get an idea of what to expect.
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons: Even against a crummy Redskins defense, Ryan couldn’t get it done in Week 15. He posted just one touchdown pass and 210 yards in the one-point victory, though he did throw a very efficient 76.3 completion percentage. It was yet another disappointing performance for Ryan’s fantasy owners, who have likely moved on after his early-to-mid-season struggles which stemmed from losing WR Julio Jones for the year. He’s nothing but a low-end option in this matchup, and can’t be counted on in fantasy.
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Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers: After two consecutive weeks of one-touchdown “blah” football, Kaepernick posted a pretty nice outing against Tampa Bay. He tossed two scores and ran for 42 yards in the win, which was his highest total since October 27. The problem with relying on Kaepernick in fantasy is that the Niners just don’t throw that much. He’s only hit 20 completions once, and that was in Week 1. That said, you can probably expect a decent line here, as Atlanta’s defense isn’t too great.
Steven Jackson, RB, Atlanta Falcons: After remaining a major disappointment for most of the year, Jackson has come on in recent weeks. Over his last four games, he’s produced five touchdowns, including a pair against Washington last week. The matchup here is a little intimidating, but if Jackson can get some looks close to the goal line, he could pay off. He’ll also likely have to have a nice outing through the air to make himself worth your while.
Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco 49ers: Gore surpassed 1,000 rush yards for the season in Week 15, making it the seventh time in his career (and third straight) he’s hit that mark. He did it on 22 carries for 86 yards, which marks his third consecutive week with at least eight fantasy points. Gore should get plenty of looks in this one, and we fully anticipate him being able to continue his trend of solid fantasy production.
Harry Douglas, WR, Atlanta Falcons: Douglas has risen to prominence in the Falcons’ offense ever since Julio Jones went down earlier in the season. He started off hot, but has cooled off considerably over the past couple weeks. In his last two games, Douglas has a combined 57 yards on seven catches. The good news is that he’s still getting a healthy amount of targets--he tied for the team lead with seven in Week 15--but will need to break a couple of big ones if he’s going to produce like he’s capable of doing.
Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Heading into Week 15, Boldin had a three-game streak going with at least 93 yards in each game. That came to an end against the Bucs, however, as he notched just 43 yards on three catches. Still, we can attribute that to the Revis Island effect, as the former Jet got the better of Boldin for the majority of the afternoon. You can expect a bounce-back this week.
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