It was a tale of two halves for running back DeAngelo Williams against the New Orleans Saints last week. In the first half, he broke a big run for a touchdown at totaled 56 yards rushing. Yet in the second half, Williams ran for just 11 yards. He's not the type of back to get 20 carries in a game anymore. His fantasy value is limited because of that, but a game against the lowly Falcons might make him a surprise top fantasy producer this week.
While Williams is a bit of sleeper this week, his quarterback is a must-start. Cam Newton was in tough in a defensive battle against the Saints last week, but in Week 17 he'll be picking apart one of the worst defenses in the NFL. He may not have Steve Smith in the lineup due to injury so receiver Brandon LaFell and tight end Greg Olsen will stand to benefit the most as the regular season comes to an end.
The Falcons are perhaps the biggest disappointment of the 2013 season. Don't tell that to running back Steven Jackson. He's clearly set on finishing the season strong despite an injury-prone slow beginning. Jackson has six touchdowns over his last five games. He's been pretty close to a sure bet to score lately, but it will obviously be tougher to do so against the stout Panthers. When owners consider that he's only surpassed 20 carries in a game once this season and has no 100-yard games, it might be a good idea to sit Jackson this week.
Through the air, quarterback Matt Ryan will look to wide receiver Harry Douglas to try and get beyond the Panthers secondary. Douglas hasn't racked up the yards recently, but he was targeted nine times against the San Francisco 49ers last week and he's got five catches in each of the last two weeks. He's only an option in deeper fantasy leagues but he should see the ball a lot this week.