Thursday Night Football Fantasy Preview-Saints at Falcons-Week 13


New Orleans Saints wide receiver Lance Moore (16) is one of many fantasy considerations in tonight’s Thursday Night Football clas between the Falcons and the Saints. Photo by Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving holiday last week! We were treated to a couple of very good NFL games, but missed the trifecta as the Patriots made a mockery of the Jets in the nightcap. But, like the song says, two out of three ain’t bad.

This week fantasy football owners are eagerly awaiting the best Thursday night game in quite a few weeks as two high-powered offenses clash in Atlanta.

The Saints and the Falcons played in New Orleans just three short weeks ago, a game which saw the Falcons suffer their first loss of the season as the Saints prevailed 31-27. The game featured lots of scoring, lots of excitement and some fantastic fantasy performances with both QBs posting Top 5 fantasy numbers on the week. Not to be outdone, the teams’ TEs, Jimmy Graham and Tony Gonzalez, finished 1-2 for the week pleasing owners with their 20+ fantasy point output.

While I don’t expect the TE production to be similar to that earlier meeting, I do expect lots of offense once again. Let’s highlight three players that you may consider for your fantasy rosters.

November 25, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles (43) flips San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith (99) over his back during the second quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

1. Darren Sproles

Sproles was simply an onlooker for the Week 10 game, as he was recovering from recent hand surgery. While the Saints managed to win without him, expect them to utilize his skill set quite a bit in tonight’s game. QB Drew Brees only completed 4 passes to his RBs in the first game versus Atlanta as the Saints chose to run often. In his first game back since the surgery, Sproles jumped right back into the mix posting a 7-catch 65 effort in Sunday’s game against the 49ers. I look for him to better that performance tonight against the Falcons catching 8 passes for 85 yards and a TD.

2. Lance Moore

Neither Moore nor counterpart Marques Colston had a huge game in the Superdome. Both finished with less than 10 fantasy points, Moore caught more passes but Colston benefitted from a TD grab. The Falcons’ defensive backs are dealing with some injury issues right now as both cornerback Asante Samuel and Dunta Robinson have been limited on a short week. I look for both Colston and Moore to have solid games, but I’ll call Moore as the start since most Colston owners won’t be benching him anyhow. Moore should post a similar line to the past game, in the neighborhood of 6 catches for 70 yards and a TD.

November 25, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Jacquizz Rodgers (32) runs with the ball during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Atlanta Falcons defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-23. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

3. Jacquizz Rodgers

The lone Falcon on this list, Rodgers has slowly been overtaking Michael Turner as the featured back in the Falcons’ offense. While Turner still has been the goal-line workhorse, he seems to be slowing down yet again late in the season and Rodgers is coming off his best game of 2012 against the Bucs. The Burner certainly burned owners in Week 10 with his sub-two point fantasy outing against the soft Saints’ defense and I look for the Falcons to use Rodgers as a key part of the attack tonight. An even better play in PPR leagues, I see Rodgers with close to 100 all-purpose yards and a good chance to find the end zone for the second week in a row.

After a long procession of crummy Thursday night contests, at least from a fantasy football perspective, we finally get a matchup that should feature lots of points and lots of fantasy value. Good luck this week, enjoy the game!