Atlanta Falcons: Can We Start Defense in Fantasy?


The Atlanta Falcons are off to an improbable 5-0, thanks in part to a drastically improved defense. However, can we trust the unit to start them in Fantasy?

The Atlanta Falcons have improved their defense drastically under HC Dan Quinn in 2015. has the Dirty Birds rated as the 17th-rated unit defensively, in terms of points allowed (112). However, is this unit improved enough to start on your Fantasy Football team?

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According to, the Atlanta Falcons have the 8th best fantasy defense entering Week 6. The Falcons defense averages an ESPN fantasy team 8 PPG, not great but definitely an increasingly reliable one. In the last two weeks, the Atlanta Falcons defense has earned 18 and 13 points, respectively, after only garnering 3 points each of the first three weeks.

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Atlanta is great a forcing turnovers (10 in 2015) and already has 3 touchdowns scored by its defense. The team does give up a lot of yards (366.4 per game) and hasn’t completely shutdown an opposing offense for an entire game (22.4 PPG). Then again, the Atlanta Falcons defense didn’t allow a point for 5 consecutive quarters this season (second half in Week 3 vs. Dallas, first three quarters in Week 4 vs. Houston).

The once toothless pass rush of the Atlanta Falcons now averages over a sack a game (6 sacks in 5 games). The pass rush has had at least one sack in every game since Week 2. Surprising how Philadelphia QB Sam Bradford wasn’t sacked in Week 1 at home on Monday Night Football.

In leagues, the Atlanta Falcons defense is also rated 8th, but only owned in 22.3% of leagues. The defense earned fantasy teams 21 and 12 points, respectively, in the last two weeks. So if they’re available in any of your fantasy leagues, I would highly consider picking them up they are still free agents.

Atlanta is about to enter an incredibly easy part of their schedule and the defense should grow in continuity against several teams that are projecting as sub-.500 ones in 2015. In most circumstances, I would say the 2015 Atlanta Falcons defense is good enough to start in most fantasy football leagues going forward.

However, should you have a more lucrative option on your team or you are choosing to play a defense based on the matchup, I may hold off on starting the Atlanta Falcons defense in Week 6. That is because the Falcons are playing on the road on Thursday Night Football against their biggest rival in the New Orleans Saints.

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These matches in the Matt RyanDrew Brees Era have often resulted in shootouts. Though both passers have had a game or two in this rivalry series littered with interceptions, this game should have both teams easily scoring over 21 points in this game. projects the Falcons D to earn your team 6 points, while believes that Atlanta’s defense will only get your team 3 points. Unless you feel the end is very near for Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, I may look elsewhere for a defense in Week 6.

However, should the Atlanta Falcons defense remain unclaimed entering Week 7, I would pick them up in a heartbeat. This defense can force turnovers and get into the end zone. Not all defenses can safely say that. Rise Up!

Next: Devonta Freeman: Atlanta Falcons' Bell-Cow Back?

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