News & Analysis

Jahnke: Fantasy football reactions from the Falcons' TNF win over the Panthers

Nov 25, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel (10) runs the ball during the second quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday Night Football featured two division rivals who played just 18 days ago. The Falcons dominated time of possession most of the game, but their drives kept ending in field goals, which kept the game close. The game featured plenty of stars in the fantasy football world, but none of them had a great game — some performances were quite disappointing.

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As always, this collection of fantasy reactions will include snap counts for skill players on each team, along with notes on players who saw their fantasy stocks rise or fall during the action — and how we should react to anything new.

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers

Atlanta Falcons Carolina Panthers
WR WR
Julio Jones – 58 snaps D.J. Moore – 48 snaps
Russell Gage – 39 snaps Robby Anderson – 45 snaps
Christian Blake – 38 snaps Curtis Samuel – 41 snaps
Calvin Ridley – 23 snaps Brandon Zylstra – 13 snaps
Olamide Zaccheaus – 9 snaps Pharoh Cooper – 2 snaps
Brandon Powell – 1 snap
TE TE
Hayden Hurst – 56 snaps Ian Thomas – 40 snaps
Luke Stocker – 34 snaps Chris Manhertz – 19 snaps
Jaeden Graham – 4 snaps Colin Thompson – 10 snaps
HB HB
Todd Gurley II – 36 snaps Mike Davis – 46 snaps
Brian Hill – 25 snaps
Qadree Ollison – 8 snaps
Total – 70 snaps Total – 54 snaps

Winner: WR Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers

Samuel had the winner spot locked up early in the second quarter after scoring his second touchdown of the game. He ended up with three carries for 23 yards and a touchdown, along with four catches for 31 yards and another TD. Samuel’s fantasy stock was on the rise earlier in the week after the release of Seth Roberts, which helped lead to more playing time for Samuel. While this game was a step in the right direction, Christian McCaffrey will return soon and command a ton of touches. There is the possibility McCaffrey and Mike Davis seeing the field at the same time, which could cut into both Samuel’s playing time and his carries.

Loser: WR Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons

Gage was held to two catches on three targets for 25 yards. With Ridley missing two-thirds of the game, this should have been an opportunity for Gage to have a bigger role in the offense. He had seen his targets rise in recent weeks, leading to back-to-back games with over 50 yards. Instead, Ridley’s injury led to more targets for Julio Jones and Hayden Hurst. Even if Ridley misses time, it would be hard to trust Gage with how few targets he had in this game and earlier in the season when Jones was out.

Waiver Wire Target: RB Brian Hill, Atlanta Falcons

Hill has spent the season as the No. 2 running back behind Todd Gurley II. Coming into Thursday night, he had put up a higher yards per carry and more than double the yards per route run. This week, Hill saw his biggest role in the offense in over a month. Despite having seven fewer carries than Gurley, Hill ended up with nine more rushing yards. He saw three targets and was the only halfback targeted in the Falcons offense. He only had two catches for nine yards, but if he continues to outplay Gurley it wouldn’t be surprising to see Hill’s playing time continue to rise.

Injury: WR Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons

Ridley left the game early in the second quarter with an ankle injury. He was off to a strong start with three catches on four targets for 42 yards before the injury. The Falcons have struggled to keep all three of their wide receivers healthy, with both Julio Jones and Russell Gage missing time in recent weeks. While Olamide Zaccheaus typically replaced Jones, and Brandon Powell replaced Gage last week, it was Christian Blake primarily replacing Ridley Thursday night. Blake caught both of his targets for 14 yards. If Ridley were to miss any time, Blake would be a good waiver wire target. He might not be someone worth starting right away, but there would be high upside in the Falcons offense.

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