The Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will meet in a less-than-crucial NFC South rivalry matchup on Sunday. Both the Falcons and Buccaneers are off to poor starts to their seasons and have been left behind by the New Orleans Saints. Nothing is set in stone, of course, but it's hard to suggest this matchup has divisional implications at this stage in the season.
Both teams have some decent fantasy football options worth paying attention to, though. One team has been decimated by injuries and suffers for it, however. With some help from numberFire, we take a look at some of the fantasy projections, starting with the home team below:
Matt Ryan, the quarterback, is expected to put up big numbers ... because that's what he's always done. He throws more than many quarterbacks and the Falcons have a sub-par running game. He's projected to earn more than 17 fantasy points in this one, though he is seriously lacking receivers.
Julio Jones is out for the season and Roddy White will have his streak of 133 consecutive games played broken as he is dealing with ankle and hamstring injuries. That hurts Atlanta's offense in a big way, but Ryan still has Tony Gonzalez, perhaps the best tight end to ever play the game. Gonzalez is projected to score just under 10 points for the game. We don't get to a running back until Jacquizz Rodgers, who is fourth on the list with a projected score of about seven points.
Tampa Bay is one of the few teams to not have a quarterback atop its projections. Rookie quarterback Mike Glennon has yet to find his stride after being thrown in to replace Josh Freeman, who has since been released. Glennon is projected to earn 11.84 fantasy points, and is expected to throw for just over 200 yards.
Running back Doug Martin, one of the better young ball carriers in the league, is projected to earn 13.78 fantasy points, high among running backs this week. Martin is a very prolific back, and should also see some targets out of the backfield when Glennon is under pressure, something that happens often behind Tampa Bay's offensive line.
Vincent Jackson is still one of the better receivers in the NFL, but he's only expected to earn a little more than 10 points, thanks to the quarterback throwing the passes.