The majority of the recent Saints-Falcons matchups have made for exciting football to watch, and plenty of points for fantasy owners. This week shouldn't be any different.
Last time these two teams met up we saw a total of 58 points, with ridiculous performances from Matt Ryan, Tony Gonzalez and Jimmy Graham. Prepare for a much more intriguing start than what we've been used to seeing over the past few Thursday nights.
Let's take a look at who you need to start to kick off the action in Week 13, and who you need to stash on your bench.
Drew Brees, quarterback - Atlanta has only given up multiple passing touchdowns in two games this season. One of those was against New Orleans. Brees typically fares well facing the Falcons, and despite throwing for under 300 yards in his last five games, he's still putting up at least two or more touchdowns each time he plays. Obviously Brees is a fantasy stud, so it's not like you're sitting him against anyone.
Darren Sproles, Chris Ivory and Mark Ingram, running back - They managed to limit Doug Martin's yardage last week, but the Falcons still yielded two touchdowns to Muscle Hamster/Douganator/whatever his name is now. Sproles is a solid choice for PPR leagues. Ivory's stock took a hit with Sproles back in the lineup, and it will probably take another ridiculous run against Atlanta to pay off for his owners. Ingram is getting more involved. He is still limited, though, to touchdown value only. The Falcons are likely to give up a rushing touchdown or two, but both Ivory and Ingram are hit or miss. They have potential flex value.
Marques Colston and Lance Moore, wide receiver - If you watched the Saints play the 49ers last week, you probably thought Colston would be missing some time. He took a nasty fall and landed on the side of his head, somehow managing to sustain a neck injury that isn't even on the report at this point. He's scored three touchdowns in five games in Atlanta. The Falcons secondary is banged up right now, so Moore might find a boost in value as well. Start Colston, and consider Moore as a flex play with better value in PPR leagues.
Jimmy Graham, tight end - Graham scored five touchdowns in his four games before facing San Francisco. He absolutely torched the Falcons for 146 yards and two scores in Week 10. He's a stud. Nothing new here.
Saints defense/special teams - The Saints are still allowing 27.6 points per game. Matt Ryan and his offense put up 27 on them three weeks ago. It's not a wise choice to start the News Orleans D/ST any week really.
Matt Ryan, quarterback - Ryan threw for 411 yards and three touchdowns in his last game against the Saints. His last two weeks have somewhat forgettable from a fantasy standpoint, but he's in line to get back on track in Week 13. We should be in for another high-scoring affair, which boosts Ryan's value even more.
Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers, running back - He's not running well anymore, but Turner is still receiving goal line carries. He has two touchdowns in the past two weeks, making him flex-worthy again. The Saints have given up huge rushing numbers in nearly every game except their one matchup against Atlanta so far. The Falcons appear determined to spark the ground game, so Rodgers will be actively involved again. He's also worth a flex play with his receiving ability helping his cause.
Roddy White and Julio Jones, wide receiver - Two stud receivers with WR1 potential. Jones is making more of an impact on the road this season, so White has the upper hand between the two for Thursday night. That doesn't matter much, though, as you're starting both. At least you should be.
Tony Gonzalez, tight end - Check out his stat line against New Orleans in Week 10 and tell me you're not starting him this week. Eleven receptions for 122 yards and two touchdowns was such a monster performance, it would seem like the Saints would hone in on Gonzalez this time around. Even if he does receive extra attention, Gonzalez has solidified himself as a TE1.
Falcons defense/special teams - The secondary, as mentioned above, is banged up, and they're taking on Drew Brees. Not exactly a promising combination. New Orleans scored 31 points in Week 10 and now they need a win to keep any hope of reaching the playoffs alive. You can find a better matchup for your lineup.