Week two of the NFL season was filled with plenty of surprises, upsets, big plays and dominant fantasy football performances. So what can we expect in the final game of the week tonight when the Atlanta Falcons play host to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
One of the most intriguing things about this juicy Monday night matchup between a pair of 1-0 teams is the fact that it will be the first time Matt Ryan and Manning face off in the regular season.
Both quarterbacks are coming off stellar performances in their respective season openers as Ryan torched the Kansas City Chiefs for 299 yards and four total touchdowns, while Manning lit up the Stellers for 253 yards and two touchdown passes.
Fantasy football owners should expect solid performances from both quarterbacks as each team should spend plenty of time in the no-huddle, which creates conditions that should allow for a high-scoring football game.
However, just because both teams are going to running up-tempo offense, that doesn’t mean they will abandon the running game. The Falcons boast Michael Turner, a big bruising runner that managed just 11 carries for 32 yards last week in Kansas City. I do not expect Turner to have a huge game but foresee him racking up at least 60 yards rushing and finding the end zone. Willis McGahee on other hand is a solid start as a flex play and I anticipate him racking up around 70 total yards.
That brings up to the pass catchers.
Julio Jones is the most talented wide receiver in this game, which should cause the Broncos to pay more attention to him than pro bowler Roddy White. It will be interesting to see which wide out draws the venerable Champ Bailey but either way, I see both Jones and White pushing 100 yards receiving and catching a touchdown pass. Tony Gonzalez will also have around 6 receptions for 65 yards.
For the Broncos, Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas are both good starts tonight and while it was Thomas, who made the big play a week ago, I look for Decker to find the end zone tonight but both players should get at least 80 yards receiving and at least five receptions. Watch out for Jacob Tamme once again scoring when the team is in the red zone.
As for Manning and Ryan, I think both quarterbacks will throw for at least 250 yards and two touchdowns. Meaning that no matter what Falcons or Broncos you own on your fantasy team, it is going to be a big night for fantasy points as the fireworks wil be going off in Atlanta with two of the leagues best passers going up and down the field.