The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview by Rich Hribar, breaking down everything you need to know for the Week 5 Atlanta Falcons vs Houston Texans Sunday afternoon game on October 6, 2019 at 1 pm ET.
21.75Implied Total26.75
24.822Points All./Gm19.510
618Opp. Plays/Gm64.219
48.0%28Opp. Rush %34.2%9
52.1%5Opp. Pass %65.8%24
  • The Falcons are 1-11 against AFC opponents and 0-12 against the spread over their past 12 games (including in each of the past two weeks).
  • The Falcons have trailed by double-digit points for 63.8% of their offensive snaps, which is the highest rate in the league.
  • Just 8.6% of the Falcons’ offensive snaps and just 8.4% of the Houston offensive snaps have come from inside of the red zone, with both teams ahead of only the Dolphins (6.3%) and Jets (3.5%).
  • Will Fuller has the most targets (23) without a red zone target yet on the season. 
  • Matt Ryan has thrown for 300-plus yards in five consecutive games, the longest streak of his career and the longest in franchise history.

Trust (spike production for that player)

  • Deshaun Watson: We dinged Watson last week, but not enough. He’s had two high-scoring games and two down weeks, but this a week to shoot for the upside. Atlanta has allowed a QB1-scoring week to everyone except for Kirk Cousins to start the season and sit 24th in passing points allowed per pass attempt. 
  • DeAndre Hopkins: He’s been a WR4 or worse in three straight games, which hasn’t happened since 2016. His target share is down and has been down for his standards over that stretch (23.9%), but has still been plenty high enough. We expect Hopkins to deliver against anyone, but at least the past three were against strong matchups. The Falcons face just 15.3 targets per game to opposing wide receivers (third-fewest), but allow 2.42 fantasy points per target to the position (31st).
  • Matt Ryan: The Falcons have been awful and routinely in a negative game script, which has made Ryan a yardage monster. The touchdowns didn’t come last week, but that was more happenstance than anything. Houston has had solid games defensively against Gardner Minshew and Kyle Allen, but allowed 370 yards to Drew Brees and 318 passing yards to Philip Rivers. 
  • Julio Jones: His touchdown streak came to an end last week and he had a season-low seven targets (13.2%). This is a good spot to get back on track against a Houston secondary that ranks 26th in points allowed (18.7) per game to opposing WR1 options.

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s average)

  • Will Fuller: Like a moth to the flame. It’s frustrating that Fuller hasn’t popped yet, but everything still checks out. Fuller had 20.8% of the team targets the past three games and has more air yards than Hopkins over that span (288-246). Fuller inherently receives high-variance targets, but has run too strongly on the negative end of that variance. 
  • Austin Hooper: He’s second among tight ends in receptions (28) and has added some yardage the past two weeks with 11.0 and 14.4 yards per catch. Houston has allowed just 13 receptions for 95 yards to opposing tight ends, but with the Falcons throwing so heavily, Hooper is still easily a top-12 option. 
  • Calvin Ridley: The target tree is still wide in this offense behind Julio and Ridley has been the odd-man out the past two weeks. He hasn’t made that target jump while Hooper and Sanu are still involved. That lack of volume spike prevents him from being a weekly WR2 option and enhances his volatility. That said, it’s tough to sit a receiver attached to a quarterback averaging 330 passing yards per game in a matchup that isn’t scary. 
  • Devonta Freeman: He has 28 or fewer rushing yards in three of his four games, but after two rough matchups to open the season, Freeman has 95 and 100 yards from scrimmage the past two weeks. It’s hard to trust his 8-72 receiving line from last week in a dump-off fueled game script, but Houston is 31st in receiving points allowed (14.8) per game to opposing backfields. Freeman is no Alvin Kamara, Christian McCaffrey, or Austin Ekeler at this stage, but Houston allowed 4-40 receiving to Leonard Fournette.

If You Must (intriguing bench option or deeper league play) 

  • Texans RBs: After Carlos Hyde looked to be taking over the previous two weeks, Duke Johnson out-snapped Hyde 45-to-33 last week. Atlanta is always a matchup we target for pass-catching backs after they’ve allowed the most receptions to backfields in every season under Dan Quinn, but the usage between these two backs has been tough to nail down entering each week. While Johnson’s usage last week and the matchup are both appealing, Hyde still holds the higher odds to reach the end zone. 
  • Keke Coutee: With Kenny Stills looking doubtful early on with a hamstring injury, Coutee would be elevated in a positive matchup. The Falcons are 18th in points allowed per game to opposing slot receivers (21.1).
  • Mohamed Sanu: Last week he received a season-high 12 targets (22.6%) in a game Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley combined for 13. That volume isn’t likely to be sticky, but Sanu does have at least six targets in every game this season, giving him the ability to be a floor FLEX while Atlanta is so one-dimensional.

More Week 5 Fantasy breakdowns from The Worksheet:

LAR at SEA | CHI at OAK | BAL at PIT | NE at WAS | NYJ at PHI | ARI at CIN | JAX at CAR | TB at NO | ATL at HOU | BUF at TEN | MIN at NYG | DEN at LAC | GB at DAL | IND at KC | CLE at SF