This week’s Monday Night Football game is going to be a showdown in the bayou! Two NFC South teams will go head to head as Atlanta Falcons travel to Louisiana to take on Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. Last week was a good one for the Falcons, as they went into Oakland and took down the Raiders (who beat the Saints in week one), by the score of 35-28. Meanwhile, the Saints traveled North and lost to the New York Giants by a field goal, 16-13.
Now the Saints are back home, where they typically play better and score more. But will that scoring involve running back Mark Ingram is the question? In the week one shootout with the Raiders, it was the passing game that took precedent, with Brees throwing for 423 yards and four touchdowns. That left Ingram with only 12 rushing attempts, which he turned into 58 yards. And with all that passing, Ingram did manage to snag two passes for 29 yards. Then on the road in week two, Ingram only got to run the ball nine times, this time for 30 yards. He added one another four receptions and 19 receiving yards. So over the course of two weeks, Ingram has put together scores of 10.7 and 8.9 in PPR Fantasy Football leagues. Not exactly eye-popping numbers.
Now bring in the Falcons. Week one saw Doug Martin lead the Bucs run game with 62 yards. In week two, it was Latavius Murray leading the rushing attack with 57 yards and a touchdown. But in both games, the running backs got some love in the passing game. Tampa Bay backs caught eights balls for 66 yards. The Raiders backs 10 passes for a combined 88 yards.
So let’s put this whole thing together. Neither the Falcons or Saints have a tremendous defense, and the Saints score points at home. So this game should see plenty of scoring. However, most of those points are going to come thanks to Drew Brees and the passing attack. Ingram is not going to be option one, and when it comes to scoring touchdowns, throwing will usually take the advantage. But, Ingram has shown he can catch a few balls, and the Falcons can be susceptible to that kind of attack.
So when all is said and done, Martin is probably looking at about 40-50 rushing yards. But if he can catch four passes for another 40-50 yards, he could be a flex type option this week. I love playing guys in games that are expected to produce points. But I do not love Ingram given the team is always going to be pass first. So when setting your lineup, look for more appealing options, but play him in the flex if you have no alternative as he does have some potential this week. Maybe he will take one of those dump passes to the house and get you an extra six points. Plus it is always nice to have the last bullet on Monday night.