So it's come to this. The final game of Week 5 happens in Atlanta, as the Jets look to earn a winning record and the Falcons inch closer to escaping a losing one. For fantasy owners, the stakes may be the same. Perhaps you're looking to cover a deficit with a player from either team. Or perhaps you're simply looking to stay afloat in your match up as you hold onto the lead. Either way, we aim to discuss the implications of Monday night's match up.
Geno Smith: Smith is going to be capable of big games. He's seen a few already. However, he won't be playing with Santonio Holmes, and he's turning the ball over way too often. Atlanta has allowed over 300 passing yards to quarterbacks in three out of four games. Sam Bradford did throw for 352 yards and three touchdowns against the Falcons in Week 3. Until Smith shows more consistency, he's a QB2 until further notice.
Wide Receivers: It sounds as though Stephen Hill will start on Sunday after recovering from a concussion. He's a WR3 if you're looking to swing for the fences. Jeremy Kerley is a sleeper play particularly in PPR leagues as a slot receiver that will likely benefit from his quarterback needing to dump the ball off often. Clyde Gates will be a game-time decision for Monday night. There are likely much better options than Gates even on Monday night.
Running backs: Bilal Powell should be a solid RB2 start even with backup Mike Goodson returning. Atlanta won't severely limit the Jets' run game, and Powell has been a factor in the passing game as well. There is some concern that Mike Goodson isn't in football shape yet, but he'll likely see a handful of snaps on Monday night. Regardless, Powell is the only real fantasy option in the Jets backfield.
Tight Ends: Kellen Winslow will be a game-time decision on Monday. Assuming he starts, Winslow could be another beneficiary of the injuries the Jets are seeing at the wide receiver position. He's a TE2 simply because his stat line over four weeks isn't exactly turning heads.
Defense/ Special teams: New York's defense has been solid at times, but Atlanta has given up the fourth fewest points to fantasy defenses in four games. There are much better options even in deeper leagues, so look elsewhere.
Matt Ryan: He's currently a top-5 fantasy quarterback, and you didn't draft Ryan to bench him. The Jets are mediocre against quarterbacks in fantasy football, and Ryan is playing at home. If you have a quarterback worth starting over Ryan this week, you should be looking to trade one of them.
Wide Receivers: As fantasy owners continue for Roddy White's return for fantasy relevance, Julio Jones continues to be the Falcons best receiver. White suffered a setback in Week 4 against the Patriots and continues to be a player worth benching until he proves he's healthy again. Jones is currently a top-5 fantasy wide receiver and is a must-start, as usual. Harry Douglas is consistently getting a handful of targets every game, but isn't making much of a splash in fantasy football. He has yet to find the end zone despite his opportunity to take advantage of weaker matchups as defenses focus on Jones and White.
Running backs: Jacquizz Rodgers leads Jason Snelling in offensive snaps since Steven Jackson has been sitting with an injury dating back to Week 2. The Jets have given up the fewest fantasy points to running backs in 2013; This includes limiting running backs like Doug Martin, C.J. Spiller, and Chris Johnson. Rodgers can be started as a flex simply because 15 touches or so gives him an opportunity to break off for a big carry or reception. Snelling is more of a desperation play in deeper leagues. He's coming off a rough stat line of 8/26/0 on the ground against New England.
Tight Ends: Tony Gonzalez is a must-start every week. He is second in receptions and yards on the team, and he leads the team in touchdowns with three. Gonzalez will continue to work hard toward winning a championship and you'll continue to start him in your league until he gives you a reason not to.
Defense/ Special teams: Atlanta's defense should be a top-5 start in Week 5. They've been solid outside of the loss to New England in Week 4. Once again, Geno Smith is prone to turnovers, and Atlanta is likely going to take advantage of the raw rookie quarterback on Monday night.