The New England Patriots will take on the Atlanta Falcons in prime time on Sunday night. The Week 4 matchup pits an unbeaten team (the 3-0 Patriots) against a team fighting to get to 500 (the 1-2 Falcons). But the matchup should be much closer than the overall record indicates. Atlanta actually leads New England in some key categories.
Either way, the matchup should have some very solid fantasy talent on display. With some help from numberFire projections, we'll talk about them below. The Patriots are up first:
Tom Brady is ... Tom Brady. There's not a whole lot else to say about him, other than the fact that he hasn't been quite as Tom Brady as he has been Tom Brady in recent seasons. You get it? Due to a startling lack of receiving talent, Brady has led New England to just the No. 22 passing offense in the league at 217.7 yards per game on average. Obviously, this has been a disappointment for Patriots fans.
That said, the Falcons have just the No. 25 passing defense in the league, so Brady could certainly bounce back, even if Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola are still out. Julian Edelman should be his top target once again, and he's expected to pick up some solid yardage.
Stevan Ridley, however, should have a tough game. Atlanta has the No. 5 rushing defense in the league, and Ridley is projected to earn just over 50 yards on the day.
Matt Ryan has been a productive fantasy quarterback this season, better than Brady thus far. And he's done it with Roddy White injured for much of the season. White has played in all three games, but in past weeks, he's been used primarily as a decoy due to his injury.
That decoy aspect has worked out well, as fellow receiver Julio Jones leads the league in receptions. However, Ryan, Jones and White could struggle on Sunday, given that New England has the No. 6 passing defense in the league. They've allowed opposing quarterbacks just 188.3 yards on average. But without Steven Jackson in the lineup, it's the best shot they have at putting up big numbers on the scoreboard and in fantasy.