“Thursday Night Football” has been surprisingly useful for fantasy players all season, and Week 14 presents perhaps the juiciest matchup yet.
The Atlanta Falcons will host the New Orleans Saints in a battle of two teams vying for NFC South supremacy. At 9-3, the Saints have some breathing room over the 7-5 Falcons, but that could change in a big way if Atlanta plays its best.
Both teams are loaded with talent and have multiple players that should factor heavily in the fantasy playoffs. If you pick your spots, there should be plenty of fantasy points up for grabs at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Whether you’re playing a daily fantasy sports contest or making a last-minute roster move in your season-long league, here’s who we think you should start and sit Thursday night:
Saints running backs. Whether you have Mark Ingram or Alvin Kamara (or both!), there’s absolutely no way you should leave either on your bench this week. Sure, each player diminishes the other’s fantasy value a bit, but both still put up RB1 numbers on a weekly basis. The Falcons actually have been above average against the run this season, but Ingram and Kamara get so many touches that it matters not.
Michael Thomas, WR, Saints. Despite his low touchdown totals, Thomas remains a must-start wideout in fantasy. Falcons star cornerback Desmond Trufant is expected to play, which certainly limits Thomas’ upside. Still, he’s quarterback Drew Brees’ favorite target, which speaks for itself.
Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons. Now that he’s back at 100 percent, Freeman reestablishes himself as one of the top backs in fantasy. The Saints have allowed the ninth-fewest rushing yards to opposing backs this season, but they are among the most generous in giving up passing yards to backs. No matter which way you slice it, Freeman should be in your lineup.
Tevin Coleman, RB, Falcons. Coleman always is a threat to bust off a big play, but he takes a backseat now that Freeman is back in the lineup. Coleman certainly is worth a flex start, but we would not feel comfortable slotting him in as an RB1 or RB2.
Ted Ginn Jr., WR, Saints. Ginn is third on Brees’ priority list, behind Thomas and Kamara. Furthermore, he’s facing a stingy Falcons pass defense that he’s struggled against throughout his career. Unless you’re confident in betting on a home-run play from Ginn, we’d advise leaving him on your bench.
Both defenses. Thursday night games occasionally devolve into grind-it-out, defense-heavy affairs, but we expect the points to come in bunches in Atlanta. Leave both of these units on your bench.
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