Falcons vs. Buccaneers: Three Under-the-Radar Fantasy Football Picks

The Atlanta Falcons are coming off an exciting fourth quarter win against the Green Bay Packers. Can they carry their momentum into a Thursday Night Football matchup with the Buccaneers?

Week 8 was a good one for the Falcons, scoring late in the fourth quarter and holding on to the win the game against Aaron Rodgers and a Packers team missing some of its offensive and defensive pieces. While they may not have been playing a  team that was at full strength, it was an inspiring victory for a team that had faced heartbreaks in back to back weeks in Seattle and San Diego.

While they rebounded, your fantasy football team may have not. Check out the following slides to see which Falcons players will help you succeed in Week 9 of fantasy football leagues against the Buccaneers.

Oct 30, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Trevor Davis (11) tackled hard by Atlanta Falcons strong safety Kemal Ishmael (36) on a punt return during the second half at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons defeated the Packers 33-32. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

3. Falcons Defense & Special Teams

The Falcons’ defense allowed too many points to a Packers offense that wasn’t at full strength. Even without Randall Cobb, Eddie Lacy, and James Starks, Green Bay scored 32 points and almost won the game in the closing minutes. The defense did play decently well, and they will have an easier time against the Buccaneers and young quarterback Jameis Winston.

Still without Doug Martin, and also missing Jacquizz Rodgers, the Bucs will be relying mainly on their passing attack, which just has two receivers. Tampa Bay also features a weaker offensive line compared to Green Bay, so expect Vic Beasley and co. to go to work in the trenches for your fantasy football team Thursday night.

Oct 30, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Taylor Gabriel (18) reacts after catching a touchdown pass against Green Bay Packers cornerback Demetri Goodson (39) during the first quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

2. WR Taylor Gabriel

Gabriel finally emerged as the no. 3 receiver in Atlanta this weekend, catching all 3 of his targets for 68 yards and a touchdown (12 points). The Buccaneers recently released one of their top corners in Johnathan Banks, and have been trying to find a solution to the third spot in the secondary.

After Vernon Hargreaves III and Brent Grimes, there is not much to be concerned about for the Bucs. We could see Gabriel prosper on Thursday, and he could score at least as many as points as he did last week for your fantasy football team. If you choose to pick him up, he is best in a FLEX spot, but could be considered for the WR2 position this week.

Aug 11, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper (81) in action against the Washington Redskins in the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

1. TE Austin Hooper

Hooper had a decent game as a no. 2 tight end in the Falcons’ offense, catching all 5 of his targets for 41 yards (4 fantasy points). With Jacob Tamme out, he will have increased opportunities on the field against the Buccaneers.

The Bucs also have some issues covering tight ends and backs, with poor safety and linebacker coverage play in recent weeks. If Hooper is matched up with a linebacker like aging 13 year veteran Daryl Smith, he could be a strong contender for TE1 or FLEX in your fantasy football lineup.

Check all of the Falcons’ players fantasy scores for Week 9 and past weeks here.

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