The Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers entered the season with visions of playoffs berths and maybe even Super Bowl titles. After 12 games, they are a combined 8-15-1, and the Packers' third-place slot in their division towers over the last-place Falcons. Green Bay host Atlanta Sunday at 1 p.m. ET, and while it doesn't look like there's a lot of real-football intrigue in the game, there could be a fair number of fantasy-relevant performances:
Start in every league: Steven Jackson, Roddy White
Start if you're desperate: Matt Ryan, Harry Douglas, Tony Gonzalez
It only took three months, but Jackson has finally been good, with two big games in a row, including three touchdowns and 33 fantasy points. With Rodgers an afterthought, Jackson is the dominant rusher in Atlanta, and should be used accordingly. ... The advice all season has been to wait until White has a big game before using him. That big game happened in Week 13, when he recorded 143 receiving yards. There is risk still there, but overall the time has come to trust White as you did on draft day.
There were a couple games earlier in the season when it looked like Ryan was completely done as a 2013 fantasy quarterback -- he had two touchdowns, seven interceptions and 15 total fantasy points in Weeks 8 and 9. Since then, he hasn't been great, but he's averaged 13 points a game in his last four and has gone interception-free in three of those. He's not a stud anymore, but there is potential. ... The rise of White has coincided with a reduction in the role of Douglas, who has been solid-but-unspectacular in his last two. ... Gonzalez finally got back into the end zone Sunday, but he still has six different games on the season of four or fewer fantasy points. If he's starting, it's more because tight end is shallow, not because he's a stud.
Rodgers has been football-meaningless since Week 7, with 14 points total in his last six games. He isn't worth much of anything in fantasy. ... Bryant has only missed two field goals on the season, but hasn't made more than two in a game since Week 4. ... The Falcons' defense is the worst unit in the game. Even if it gets to face the Packers' crappy run of non-star quarterbacks, it's impossible to trust it for anything.
Despite being totally shut down on Thanksgiving (10 carries for 16 yards), Lacy has generally been fine, regardless of who has quarterbacked the Packers. Expect a return to value Sunday. ... Nelson has only scored more than six fantasy points once since Rodgers got hurt, but he's still easily the most talented receiver the Packers have. He's not a WR1 by any means right now, but he's still an obvious WR2 or flex.
The Packers basically have to get more success from the quarterback position than they did on Thanksgiving, which should mean good things for Boykin and/or Jones, though it's hard to imagine enough offense for three different receivers, and good luck guessing which of those two is more successful.
If Rodgers ends up playing, maybe you justify using him in fantasy, but that looks increasingly unlikely, and Flynn and Tolzien are not worth even minor consideration. ... The Packers' defense hasn't scored more than six since Week 8, and has only scored more than 10 once all season. It is likely to struggle Sunday.