The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview by Rich Hribar, breaking down everything you need to know for the Week 11 Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints Sunday afternoon game.

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AtlantaRank@New OrleansRank
23.5Implied Total28
27.925Points All./Gm23.713
63.612Opp. Plays/Gm615
36.2%2Opp. Rush %37.9%4
63.8%31Opp. Pass %62.1%29
  • Atlanta is fifth in non-passing fantasy points per game offensively (84.7) while New Orleans is sixth (83.8).
  • The Saints lead the league with 13.0 red zone plays per game.
  • The Falcons are second (11.1).
  • 24.9% of the rushing attempts against New Orleans have failed to gain yardage, the highest rate in the league.
  • New Orleans is allowing a league-low 2.8 yards per run play on first downs.
  • Atlanta is allowing a league-high 6.5 yards per offensive play.
  • Atlanta is allowing 4.9 passes of 20 or more yards per game, the most in the league.
  • The Falcons have allowed 1,316 yards on those completions, 123 more yards than the next closest team (Seattle).
  • The Falcons have allowed a first down on 31.8% of the first and second plays against them this season, the highest rate in the league.
  • The Saints are at 22.1% defensively, second-best in the league.


Trust = spike production for that player
Bust = down-week production for that player’s standards


Matt Ryan: Ryan hit the bye week averaging 8.7 yards per pass attempt with eight touchdown passes to two interceptions over his previous four games, three of which were QB1 scoring weeks. Ryan is no stranger to this defense and he is averaging 298 passing yards per game in 23 career games against the Saints with over 300 yards in three of his past four. The yardage has been there, but Ryan has thrown more than two touchdown passes in just two of his past 10 games against the Saints. 

New Orleans has been a defense we were targeting this season, allowing 17.2 passing points per game (21st). They have picked things up the past three weeks, allowing 6.2 yards per pass attempt. They have faced Nick Foles and Nick Mullens over that stretch to help their cause, but also smashed Tom Brady on the road in between those games. We have seen the Saints defense get better midseason in years past, so this would not be the first time they turned things around, but we still need more of a sample to move away from Ryan as a fringe QB1 option.

Taysom Hill: The Saints have come out and outright said that Hill will start on Sunday and Winston is the back up quarterback, which is a surprise to a degree since they have not asked him to drop back and play traditional QB in the NFL. Hill is also a 30-year old quarterback, too, not some young player that has yet to get an opportunity and growing into something down the line. 

But the end of the week news that Hill is pulling starting reps from Winston does enough to make Winston completely unstable to go to as a streamer at all. The team had a shot to fully commit to him this week and that was not their play. 

In the five games that Brees missed a year ago, Hill only took two dropbacks, but he is already playing more in the rushing game this season, surpassing last season’s rushing attempts and yardage through nine games this season. While he is not an option for 1QB leagues still because we have no idea if he can actually pass or makes it through the entire game as the full-time quarterback, he offers floor ability in 2QB formats due to his rushing ability. 

I also want to mention Hill here given this potential new opportunity because he does have TE eligibility in some formats and the tight end position is well… hot garbage this season and someone may be in a bind. Even over the past three weeks, Hill would have been a top-12 scoring TE in two of those games. In those formats he is TE eligible, Hill is arguably the TE1 overall playing quarterback and offers more upside than any other streamer.

Running Back

Alvin Kamara (TRUST): Kamara has been a top-10 scoring back in every game this season. The only times he has had fewer than 98 yards from scrimmage this season were his two games against Tampa Bay. After a career-low six touchdowns a year ago, Kamara already has 11 this year and is averaging a career-high 7.4 receptions per game. Kamara is such a pivotal part of the actual passing game plan for New Orleans that we can expect him to be a part of things heavily still regardless of quarterback and any addition of RPOs or a threat of a running quarterback has helped running back production in the past. The Falcons have been stout against the run, allowing just 3.6 YPC to backs (sixth), but are 28th in the league in receiving points allowed per game to backfields (12.7).

Todd Gurley (BUST): Gurley is 23rd among all running backs in yards from scrimmage per game (73.7) and has cleared 82 yards just once all season. But his nine touchdowns are third at the position. 39.9% of Gurley’s fantasy output has come from touchdown production alone, the highest rate of any back in the top-40 of scoring at the position. In his two games without a touchdown, Gurley has scored 6.1 and 9.7 PPR points. The Saints are allowing just 8.8 rushing points per game (second) and 3.4 YPC to backs (fourth) with three rushing scores allowed, tied for the fewest in the league. You are likely forcing out any running back getting 19.3 touches per game as an RB2, but Gurley needs to reach the end zone this week to pay off.

Wide Receiver

Julio Jones: Since returning to the lineup in Week 6, Jones has put up games of 8-137-2, 8-97-0, 7-137-0, and 5-54-1 on 24.5% of the team targets over that stretch. The Saints are 20th in points allowed per game (15.9) to opposing WR1 options and Jones of course is familiar with the divisional rival. Jones has scored just three times in 16 career games against the Saints, but has double-digit points in 13 of those games with at least 93 yards receiving in nine of his past 11 games. With the Saints capable of stopping the run and forcing Atlanta to remain pass heavy, and Ridley expected to play to keep focus solely off Jones, he is a WR1 option.

Michael Thomas: Thomas did have a season-high 30.4% of the team targets last week against San Francisco, but managed to snare just 2-of-7 targets for 27 yards, giving him a 10-95-0 line over his three games played this season. While that is bottom-rung, the targets were there last week and the matchup is solid here against an Atlanta defense that 26th in points allowed to opposing WR1 (17.6) and 30th in yardage allowed per game (90.3 yards) to those lead wideouts. The loss of Brees and turning to Hill is in play, however. We very well could the Saints not run a traditional offense at all, leaving Thomas out in the wind of having to make some big plays or needing Winston to enter the game. This move to Hill docks Thomas down fringe WR2 status.

Calvin Ridley: Ridley has put in practices every day this week and appears to be on track to suit up Sunday. If he plays, you play him. In his seven games prior to injury,. Ridley posted fewer than 16.7 PPR points just once, with 100 yards or a touchdown in six of those seven games. There is some reduction in expectation for Ridley coming off injury and potentially not being 100%, but he slides right back into top-15 status. Ridley has had a solid history versus New Orleans, posting lines of 7-146-3, 8-93-1, 3-28-0, and 8-91-0. 

Saints WRs: Even with Thomas struggling when active, the other Saints wideouts have not exactly been electric themselves. In those three games active, Emmanuel Sanders has caught 8-of-11 targets for 58 yards and two touchdowns while Tre’Quan Smith has reeled in 2-of-4 targets for 18 yards and a touchdown. The best scoring week in context of the position was a WR33 by Sanders in Week 9. Sanders was well ahead of Smith in routes run last week 23-10 as Deonte Harris even ran more routes than Smith with 15. The Falcons are 30th in yards per target (9.6 yards) and yardage allowed per game to all wideouts (215.1) but trusting any of these ancillary options attached to Hill is a step I am not willing to take.

Tight End

Jared Cook: Cook has caught more than three passes just twice this season while topping 32 yards in a game just twice over his past seven games played. Cook’s 4.3 targets per game rank 24th among all tight ends. The Falcons have been a target for us this season, allowing six TE1 scoring weeks and eight touchdowns to the position, but Cook’s lack of actual opportunity and the offensive identity this week makes him a matchup-based play only. 

Hayden Hurst: Hurst has picked things up after a slow start to the season and has stabilized himself as a back-end TE1 option. Part of that is due to the climate of the position itself, but Hurst has been a TE1 scorer in five of his past six games played while reaching 50 or more yards in five of those weeks. He has at least seven targets in each of his past three games. The Saints have allowed six different tight ends to find the end zone this season and are allowing 5.3 receptions per game to the position (26th) despite ranking seventh in yards per target to the position (6.2 yards).

This article is normally behind a members-only paywall, but is 100% free this week as part of Sharp Football’s 2020 Free Week.

Don’t miss out: Join Free Week, where anyone can get total access to Warren Sharp’s NFL betting recommendations and our premium fantasy football for all of Week 11.

More Week 11 Fantasy breakdowns from The Worksheet:

ARI at SEA | ATL at NO | PIT at JAX | DET at CAR | CIN at WFT | NE at HOU | PHI at CLE | TEN at BAL | MIA at DEN | NYJ at LAC | GB at IND | DAL at MIN | KC at LVR | LAR at TB