Last Updated: September 12th 6:30pm ET.
Team Totals: Eagles 26, Falcons 25
Eagles-Falcons is one of just three Week 2 games with a total above 50, greenlighting starters on both sides beneath Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz dome. … Carson Wentz dug the Eagles out of a terrifying first-half hole in last week’s comeback win over Washington with vintage third-down domination and completions on 19 of his final 27 attempts (70.4%) for 265 yards (9.8 YPA) with three scores. Wentz’s aggressive style combined with an unflappable offensive line and career-best weapons give him a real shot at matchup-proof results all year. He’s an exciting QB1 start in this probable shootout indoors in prime time. … The good news for Philly’s run game is Atlanta was dumptrucked by Vikings backs for 32/168/2 (5.25 YPC) rushing on Opening Day. The bad news is we’re (expectedly) dealing with a three-way RBBC. Miles Sanders led the unit in Week 1 snaps (49%), was unfortunately tackled inside the five on a 19-yard third-quarter run, and lost a 21-yard touchdown to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside’s holding flag, but he finished with 12 touches – same as nominal starter Darren Sproles – and Jordan Howard (8 touches, 23%) was involved enough to hurt the entire group. Sanders is the best Week 2 flex option, but Sproles isn’t far off as Philly’s top receiving back against an Atlanta defense that hemorrhages tailback catches.
Wentz’s Week 1 target distribution: DeSean Jackson 9; Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery 7; Nelson Agholor 5; Howard, Sproles, and Dallas Goedert 3; Sanders 2. … Reports all camp had Wentz and D-Jax showing great chemistry, and it went on full display as Jackson turned in Week 1’s overall WR2 fantasy finish and ranked top ten in Air Yards. D-Jax has scored on 6.8% of his career targets when playing indoors or beneath a retractable roof versus 4.7% on grass. He’s a sky-high-ceiling WR2 beneath Atlanta’s dome. … Ertz is going to lose some consistency with so many weapons in Philly, but he remains on a mid-TE1 track after drawing an 18% target share and running the ninth-most pass routes (31) among tight ends in Week 1. Ertz busted a 26-yard catch and run on the final play of last week’s third quarter versus Washington, only to get tackled inside the five. He’s a top-five TE1 start in this probable high-scoring affair. … Jeffery indeed drew Josh Norman’s Week 1 shadow but won the matchup by beating Norman for four catches and 44 yards on five targets and scored twice, once from five yards out and again on a screen that went in the books as a rushing TD. Jeffery has double-digit touchdown potential in this high-scoring attack. … So long as D-Jax, Ertz, Jeffery, Sproles, and Sanders stay healthy, Agholor and Goedert’s fantasy appeal will be limited to one-game DFS slates as complementary role players on low volume.
Embarrassed 28-12 in Minnesota last week, the Falcons return home in a get-right spot facing a Philly secondary Case Keenum lit on absolute fire for Week 1’s QB6 score with 380 yards (8.6 YPA) and three touchdowns. Although Matt Ryan’s Opening Day pass protection let him down, the Eagles’ pass rush was a big Week 1 disappointment with one sack on 45 Keenum dropbacks and lost interior penetrator Malik Jackson (Lisfranc) to I.R. Ryan-to-Julio Jones stacks deserve to be popular. The Eagles started Rasul Douglas at outside corner opposite Ronald Darby last week, then benched Douglas in favor of Sidney Jones for the second half. … Devonta Freeman’s Week 2 outlook is more concerning versus a shutdown Eagles run defense that held Redskins backs to 13/28/0 (2.15 YPC) rushing last Sunday. Although lopsided game script played a part – the Falcons trailed 28-0 into the fourth quarter – Ito Smith’s 7 touches behind Freeman’s 11 send up an additional red flag in a game where Freeman lost a second-quarter fumble. I’m not bailing on Freeman as an RB2 yet, but may have to if this backfield devolves into a timeshare in what should be a closer Week 2 game.
Ryan’s Week 1 target distribution: Julio Jones 11; Austin Hooper 9; Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu 6; Justin Hardy 5; Freeman 4; Russell Gage 2; Smith 1. … As the Vikings used Xavier Rhodes’ press-man coverage and double teams to slow Julio’s Week 1 roll, fantasy drafters were fortunate to emerge with his garbage time-fueled 6/31/1 result. Jones’ three career stat lines against Eagles DC Jim Schwartz’s defense are 9/101/0 > 10/169/0 > 10/135/0. Philly’s secondary coughed up 5/125/1 to Terry McLaurin in his NFL debut. … Hooper led Atlanta in targets and ran the fourth-most routes among NFL tight ends (38) in last week’s defeat. Creamed by tight ends all last season, the Eagles gave up five catches for 67 yards and a touchdown to Redskins TEs on Opening Day. … Even in a game where the Falcons played from behind, Ridley’s target count (6) was right in line with his 2018 average (5.8). Ridley saved his fantasy day by beating Vikings CB Trae Waynes for a 20-yard TD to make the score 28-6. Ridley is going to be more volatile than most WR2/3s in such a deep passing attack, but this game sets up positively for him with Ryan likely to play better back home in a projected shootout. … On one-game DFS-tournament slates, Sanu is a worth consideration as a lower-owned pivot off Ridley with a similar target projection.
Score Prediction: Falcons 28, Eagles 27