Atlanta Falcons vs Cincinnati Bengals, Fantasy Football Analysis


Falcons QB Matt Ryan had one of the most impressive performances of the NFL preseason Thursday Night.

We all know that the NFL preseason doesn’t really matter. At least the final score at the end of the game doesn’t but for fantasy football owners there are plenty of things that can be taken away from these otherwise meaningless contents.

Now it is important to remember not to take too much away from these games but if you know the right things to look for, the preseason can be a very useful time of year for intelligent fantasy owners.

Last night, the NFL schedule was a little bit light but here are five things to take away from the Bengals 24-19 win over the Falcons Thursday night in the Georgia Dome.

1. Matt Ryan looked like a top-10 fantasy quarterback

Matt Ryan has been gaining steam as a top-end fantasy football quarterback all offseason and last night’s performance will only continue to add fuel to that fire. Ryan completed 18-of-21 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown, while completing passes to nine different wide receivers. Ryan made a constant effort to take more shots down the field and looked much more aggressive than in the past. Ryan looks to have all the makings of a big-time fantasy sleeper in 2012.

2. A.J. Green is a dominant wide receiver

Just in case you forgot, A.J. Green reminded us all last night just how good he truly is. The second-year player from Georgia once again showed his big play ability as he hooked up with quarterback Andy Dalton on a 50-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to give the Bengals a 10-3 lead. There is no doubt about it, Green is a top-10 caliber fantasy receiver in 2012. Get him early or he will be gone.

3. Andy Dalton  

Ryan wasn’t the only quarterback that made a good impression Thursday night, as the Bengals second-year quarterback also had a very sharp outing, hitting on 8-0f-14 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown. Dalton may not be quite good enough to be a QB1 in fantasy football but if fantasy owners are looking for a backup quarterback with some upside, you could do far worse than Dalton.

4. Julio Jones and Roddy White

Is it just me or do the Falcons appear to possibly to best duo of wide receivers in the NFL right now. Sure there are teams that are deeper and talented than the Falcons if you are looking at three to four wide receivers but just considering the top two and I am hard pressed to find a pair better than Jones and White. Last night, both played well as White caught 4 passes for 54 yards, while Jones pitched in with 3 for 41. With these two play-making wide receivers, the Falcons offense could be explosive in 2012.

5. Tony Gonzalez has still got it

Yes, even at 36 years of age, the seemingly ageless Tony Gonzalez put together a solid performance hauling in three passes for a total of 44 yards. The sure fire hall-of-famer says he is calling it quits after this season, so I would not recommend drafting Gonzo in any dynasty leagues but in regular formats standard or point per reception, this guy is going to be easily be a top-10 tight end once again in 2012.


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