The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview by Rich Hribar, breaking down everything you need to know for the Week 7 Los Angeles Rams vs Atlanta Falcons Sunday afternoon game on October 20, 2019 at 1 pm ET.
LA RamsRank@AtlantaRank
28.5Implied Total25.5
25.725Points All./Gm3131
66.726Opp. Plays/Gm62.815
45.3%26Opp. Rush %47.8%29
54.8%7Opp. Pass %52.3%4
  • Under Sean McVay, the Rams have a 5-0 record both straight up and against the spread playing in the Eastern Time Zone. 
  • The Falcons have trailed by double-digits for a league-high 55.4% of their offensive snaps this season.
  • Opponents have scored on 54.4% of their possessions against the Falcons, the highest rate in the league.
  • Opposing passers have completed a league-high 69.2% (18-of-26) of their pass attempt 15-yards or further downfield versus the Falcons. League average outside of them is 41.6%.
  • Jared Goff has completed just 30.3% (10-of-33) of those downfield passing attempts, ahead of only Josh Rosen (25%) and Daniel Jones (22.6%) for all qualifying quarterbacks.
  • Brandin Cooks has caught just 3-of-11 (27.3%) of those targets while Robert Woods just 2-of-10 (20%). Cooks caught 18-of-35 (51.4%) of those targets a year ago while Woods caught 17-of-34 (50%).
  • Goff is second in the league in play-action drop backs (71), but has yet to throw a touchdown pass using play-action. Goff led the NFL with 15 play-action touchdown passes in 2018.
  • The Falcons have gone three games without a sack for the first time in a season since 2011.

Trust (spike production for that player)

  • Jared Goff: We have the long-standing Goff road splits in play here, but the splits that really stand out for Goff is how he’s played under pressure versus being kept clean. Goff has faced pressure on 43.3% of his dropbacks this season (third) and has a 65.0 quarterback rating under those circumstances. When kept clean, he’s completing 74.8% of his passes for 7.8 yards per pass attempt. The Falcons are 24th in the league in pressure rate (19.9%) and not only don’t have a sack the past three weeks, but they’ve registered just one hit on the quarterback over the past two games. The Falcons are allowing 20.8 passing points per game (30th) to opposing passers and have allowed a QB1 scoring week in five straight games. 
  • Cooper Kupp: His hot streak came to an end last week, but he runs right into a bounce-back spot against a secondary that has allowed opposing slot wideouts to have games of 9-85-0, 8-115-0, 4-47-0, 8-59-2, 10-116-1, and 2-17 on the season.
  • Matt Ryan: This game features the top-two quarterbacks in pass attempts this season. Ryan only leads the league with 43 pass attempts per game, he also leads the league in completions by 27, and trails only Patrick Mahomes (2,104 yards) in passing yardage (2,011). Ryan has thrown for over 300 yards in seven straight games dating back to last season and has multiple touchdown passes in every game but one this season.
  • Austin Hooper: He’s finished lower than TE6 just once on the season. As a byproduct of the team situation, Hooper leads all tight ends in routes run (37 per game). H’s not wasting his volume, either, averaging 11.4 yards per catch and 9.6 yards per target, his highest marks since his rookie season. The Rams rank 25th in yards per target (8.5) allowed to opposing tight ends.
  • Julio Jones: After two down games, Jones rebounded with his third 100-yard game of the season last week. The Rams have been solid versus opposing lead wideouts, but now with Aqib Talib out and Marcus Peters traded, the matchup favors the offense. The secondary had a bit of a hall pass against the 49ers wideouts a week ago, but did struggle to defend opposing receivers a year ago without Talib in the lineup. In the eight games Talib missed in 2018, wideouts averaged 10.8 yards per target, 16 touchdowns and 46.5 points per game. We’ll have to see if Jalen Ramsey is available this week or not, but if he’s good to go, then Ridley will get a bump with Jones occupied by Ramsey. If Ramsey still needs another week, then Jones is set up to over match the Rams secondary. 

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

  • Brandin Cooks: He’s been hurt by Goff’s struggles downfield and has suffered a usage dip this season, being targeted on 15.2% of his routes run after 18.9% in 2018. But like Goff, this is an objectively great outlook for the vertical game to rebound for the Rams. The Falcons have been an equal opportunity secondary, ranking in the bottom-10 in points allowed to wideouts lining up anywhere on the field.
  • Robert Woods: He had a rushing score last week, but is still the only top-24 scoring receiver on the season that has yet to register a receiving touchdown. Woods runs 89% of his routes from the slot and at RWR, where the Falcons rank 20th and 29th in points allowed to wideouts in those positions. 
  • Devonta Freeman: Freeman has bounced back with 95.8 total yards per game over the past four games. Elevated by the Atlanta passing volume, Freeman is averaging 4.2 receptions per game, his most in a season since 2015. The three receiving touchdowns are going to run dry, but the Rams are 21stt in points allowed per game (26.0) to opposing backfields on the season.  
  • Calvin Ridley: He’s had six or fewer targets in four of his six games, but has once again showcased his scoring upside, reaching the end zone in four of six games. That lack of high-end volume keeps him as a volatile option that is dependent on reaching the end zone, but remains an upside WR3 option with the Falcons throwing the ball at a league-high rate.
  • Todd Gurley: Tentatively approaching things as if Gurley will return after having extra time off with a quad injury. Gurley played a season-high 93% of the snaps the last time we saw him on Thursday in Week 5, but I would assume we’ll see him concede that lofty snap share after he was dinged up on that season-high use. The offensive line play, Gurley’s lack of explosion, and limited use as a receiver is still an issue, however. Gurley hasn’t had more than 70 yards in a game since Week 1, but does have five touchdowns in his past three games played. Atlanta has allowed seven touchdowns to opposing backs, tied for the fourth-most in the league.

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

  • Gerald Everett: He had nothing last week (2-9-0), but he’s been targeted on 27.1% and 29.4% of his routes the past two weeks, which is lost a bit in some of that raw output from last week when no Rams player did anything. The Rams’ wideouts have the best outlook, but the Falcons have allowed three touchdowns to opposing tight ends over the past two weeks if going back to the well on Everett as a streamer.
  • Mohamed Sanu: He was the odd man out last week, catching a season-low three passes after having five or more receptions in each of the previous three games. Sanu has the lowest upside of the Falcon pass catchers, but with the team dropping back so much this season, he retains weekly FLEX appeal as a floor option.

More Week 7 Fantasy breakdowns from The Worksheet:

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