The Stock Watch

Upgrades

Coby Fleener (TE, NO) – Of course you had to feel this was coming. Fleener was being dropped in fantasy leagues left and right, and justifiably so, after tallying just 3 catches on 12 targets in New Orleans’ first two games of the year. Well, the Saints made a concerted effort to get him involved in Week 3 against Atlanta, and it paid off to the tune of 7/109/1 receiving on 11 targets. Fleener had a drop and also ran the wrong route on an early-game incompletion, but in all he made several plays with his still-enticing athleticism, showing the glimpses of the upside both the Saints and we thought he had in this offense when New Orleans signed him to a massive contract. Look, if you dropped Fleener we can’t blame you. He’s been up-and-down his entire career, and he’ll continue to be, even with Drew Brees. But this game will go a long way toward helping him earn trust from his QB, his coaching staff, and fantasy players.

Devonta Freeman (RB, Atl) – On Monday night, Freeman looked a lot like the guy who finished #1 in overall fantasy scoring at the RB position in scoring last year. While Tevin Coleman “vultured” 3 TDs, Freeman was the more impressive player, putting up 14/152 rushing and 5/55/1 receiving on 5 targets in a dominant performance against the Saints. Yes, the New Orleans defense is a complete sieve, but Freeman also showed exceptional moves and physicality – his stiff arm of Sterling Moore on his first carry will be on NFL highlight packages for the entire season. Freeman played a season-high 59.4% of the offensive snaps (to 42.2% for Coleman), and while not ideal, it’s clearly enough for a gifted player to produce, especially in a glorious matchup. Freeman’s floor is clearly not as high as it was last year when he was dominating snaps and touches, but his ceiling is still massive, and he’s simply a better runner than Coleman.

 

Downgrades

Jacob Tamme (TE, Atl) – Tamme was a hot pickup for Monday night’s great matchup, but even with a glorious draw with the Saints’ D and Julio Jones doing next to nothing, he managed just 3/28 receiving on 4 targets. Ultimately, Tamme is an ancillary player in a pretty good offense, one that looks like it’s starting to figure things out. That makes him viable off the Waiver Wire, but as an every-week start, he’s bound to disappoint. There are too many mouths to feed here, and in Tamme’s general area of the field, where he succeeds the most, the Falcons can get more explosive plays out of their running backs. That will keep him pretty inconsistent.  

 

Holding Steady

Drew Brees (QB, NO) – Brees is obviously a must-start QB, but his defense looks even worse this year than it did last. Brees threw a ridiculous 54 times in Week 3, completing 36 of them for 376 yards with 3 TDs and a bad pick in a loss to Atlanta. The Saints are now 0-3, and while their offense is clearly dangerous, the defense is abominable. Brees has done a good job this year working in some no-name options in the passing game (Brandon Coleman, Tommylee Lewis), as he always does, and he even had a lot of success throwing it to Coby Fleener on Monday night. But the biggest takeaway is that the defense still sucks, and that will mean Brees will need to throw it pretty much constantly.

Tevin Coleman (RB, Atl) – Obviously, Coleman had a massive fantasy game – it’s hard not to when scoring 3 TDs. But aside from the short TDs, he was not the better player than Devonta Freeman, who looked outstanding. Coleman posted 12/42/3 rushing and 3/47 receiving against the Saints. This is nothing to take away from what he did, but it’s also an example of how he remains a viable flex play, because this can happen. An explosive downhill runner, Coleman doesn’t have Freeman’s lateral agility or functional balance, but he’s an excellent change of pace. He played 42.2% of the Falcons’ snaps on Monday night, and there really doesn’t appear to be a reason for that snap share to change. He’s more than just a handcuff.

Brandin Cooks (WR, NO) – In all likelihood, the Willie Snead injury hurt Cooks’ output more than it helped. It meant the Falcons were able to shadow Cooks for most of the night with Desmond Trufant, and Trufant ate his lunch. On 8 targets, still a good numbers, Cooks managed just 2/13 receiving. Now, he was also open on a couple of occasions and QB Drew Brees made bad throws, which obviously needs to be mentioned. But Cooks just couldn’t consistently beat Trufant, which opened the door for Michael Thomas and Coby Fleener to have huge games. We were dead wrong about Cooks having a big game in this one, despite 77 total points being scored.

 

Watch List

Julio Jones (WR, Atl) – In a game with 77 total points, the #1 WRs on both sides really disappointed. Julio hauled in 1 pass for 16 yards on 7 targets against the Saints, as he played through calf and ankle injuries. Julio now has just 10 catches on 20 targets this year, an average of 3.3 and 6.7 per game, respectively, after averaging a whopping 8.5 and 12.7 per game last year. Perhaps the injuries have something to do with it, and it’s also possible the Saints were so focused on stopping Julio that they allowed the Falcon RBs to go absolutely wild on them. Whatever the case, Julio has not been the player fantasy owners paid up big for. It’s hard to imagine the dominance won’t be coming, however, as defenses need to account for the Falcons’ deadly run game.

Mohamed Sanu (WR, Atl) – Sanu caught 3 passes for 31 yards on 4 targets against the Saints in Week 3, all in the first half – he left in the 2nd quarter with a shoulder injury. Sanu didn’t return to the game, and up until now there’s been no update on his status. As always, we’ll fill you in throughout the week with practice reports and any news.

 

Inside the Boxscore

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints

Final Score: ATL - 45 | NO – 32

Targets/Carries/Red-Zone Info:

Atlanta Falcons

  • WR Julio Jones had 7 targets and 1 reception for 16 yards. He also had 2 deep balls. Additionally 3 red zone targets, including 2 goal line targets. His long was 16 yards.Yds/Tgt: 2.3, Catch Rate: 14.3%.
  • RB Devonta Freeman had 5 targets and 5 receptions for 55 yards, and 1 TD . Additionally 1 red zone target. His long was 26 yards. Yds/Tgt: 11, Catch Rate: 100%.
  • TE Jacob Tamme had 4 targets and 3 receptions for 28 yards. Additionally 2 red zone targets, including 1 goal line target. Yds/Tgt: 7, Catch Rate: 75%.
  • WR Mohamed Sanu had 4 targets and 3 receptions for 31 yards. Additionally 1 red zone target. His long was 16 yards. Yds/Tgt: 7.8, Catch Rate: 75%.
  • WR Taylor Gabriel had 3 targets and 2 receptions for 33 yards. He also had 2 deep balls. His long was 19 yards. Yds/Tgt: 11, Catch Rate: 66.7%.
  • RB Tevin Coleman had 3 targets and 3 receptions for 47 yards, and 3 TDs . His long was 34 yards. Yds/Tgt: 15.7, Catch Rate: 100%.
  • WR Justin Hardy had 2 targets and 2 receptions for 26 yards, and 1 TD . He also had 1 deep ball. Additionally 1 red zone target, including 1 goal line target. His long was 22 yards. Yds/Tgt: 13, Catch Rate: 100%.
  • WR Aldrick Robinson had 2 targets and 1 reception for 4 yards. Additionally 1 red zone target. Yds/Tgt: 2, Catch Rate: 50%

New Orleans Saints

  • TE Coby Fleener had 11 targets and 7 receptions for 109 yards, and 1 TD . He also had 4 deep balls. Additionally 1 red zone target, including 1 goal line target. His long was 36 yards. Yds/Tgt: 9.9, Catch Rate: 63.6%.
  • WR Michael Thomas had 11 targets and 7 receptions for 71 yards, and 1 TD . He also had 1 deep ball. Additionally 4 red zone targets, including 1 goal line target. His long was 25 yards. Yds/Tgt: 6.5, Catch Rate: 63.6%.
  • WR Brandon Coleman had 8 targets and 7 receptions for 78 yards. He also had 1 deep ball. Additionally 2 red zone targets. His long was 28 yards. Yds/Tgt: 9.8, Catch Rate: 87.5%.
  • WR Brandin Cooks had 7 targets and 2 receptions for 13 yards. He also had 2 deep balls. Additionally 1 red zone target. Yds/Tgt: 1.9, Catch Rate: 28.6%.
  • RB Travaris Cadet had 6 targets and 6 receptions for 32 yards. He also had 1 deep ball. His long was 25 yards. Yds/Tgt: 5.3, Catch Rate: 100%.
  • RB Mark Ingram had 6 targets and 4 receptions for 30 yards, and 1 TD . Additionally 2 red zone targets, including 2 goal line targets. His long was 18 yards. Yds/Tgt: 5, Catch Rate: 66.7%.
  • WR Tommylee Lewis had 4 targets and 3 receptions for 43 yards. He also had 1 deep ball. His long was 26 yards. Yds/Tgt: 10.8, Catch Rate: 75%.

Other Notes:

Atlanta Falcons

Julio Jones didn’t record his first (and only) catch until the 2nd half.

Devonta Freeman was responsible for 2 of the longest 3 plays from scrimmage for the Falcons (48 yard and 36 yard rushes.

J. Jones

Atl

WR

47

73%

J. Tamme

Atl

TE

44

69%

D. Freeman

Atl

RB

38

59%

T. Gabriel

Atl

WR

36

56%

L. Toilolo

Atl

TE

29

45%

M. Sanu

Atl

WR

27

42%

T. Coleman

Atl

RB

27

42%

J. Hardy

Atl

WR

21

33%

P. DiMarco

Atl

RB

19

30%

A. Robinson

Atl

WR

17

27%

A. Hooper

Atl

TE

14

22%

E. Weems

Atl

WR

1

2%

New Orleans Saints

The Saints were 4/4 in red-zone efficiency, compared to the Falcons’ 3/5.

Every Saints player targeted had at least two receptions.

A roughing the kicker call in the 2nd quarter extended the Saints drive which culminated in a Michael Thomas TD reception.

Down by 12, the Saints successfully converted a 2-pt opportunity in the 3rd quarter on a Mark Ingram rush.

B. Cook

NO

WR

78

96%

M. Thomas

NO

WR

72

89%

B. Coleman

NO

WR

69

85%

C. Fleener

NO

TE

62

77%

M. Ingram

NO

BR

40

49%

T. Cadet

NO

RB

33

41%

J. Kuhn

NO

RB

11

14%

T. Lewis

NO

WR

10

12%

T. Hightower

NO

RB

6

7%

D. Lasco

NO

RB

1

1%