The Atlanta Falcons have the Buccaneers for Week 3 on Thursday night football and fantasy football owners are keeping an eye on the status of Roddy White, who likely will be out, and players like Steven Jackson, Julio Jones, Jacquizz Rodgers, Devin Hester, Devonta Freeman and Harry Douglas are solid options to start for the game against Tampa Bay at home as the FF week gets started early.
The Falcons are coming into the game looking to bounce back from a loss last weekend against the Bengals and that followed their exciting win against the Saints in Week 1. White is the name to watch for fantasy owners, as he is banged up coming into this game, but all reports have him starting and if he is on the field, fantasy owners should play him. Last week some were worried about Brandon Marshall playing and some owners sat him and they kicked themselves afterwards when he came up with three TD grabs. Don't do the same with White.
ESPN Falcons reporter Vaughn McClure said that White "no doubt" will be playing and that helps boost Julio Jones as well since the D won't be able to focus just on him. White did not practice ahead of the game, but since it's a Thursday contest that is not uncommon and while he is questionable for the game, expect him to play. White has only missed two games in his NFL career and that was last season, basically his worst since back in 2006. White had 92 catches for 1351 yards the previous season and he already has 10 catches for 114 yards and TD this year.
Steven Jackson and the Falcons RBs have been splitting a lot of carries and while that has been frustrating for fantasy owners, it means everyone potentially could have a huge game. In deeper leagues Freeman and Antone Smith are solid options, but for anyone with Jackson, stick with him on Thursday or Jacquizz Rodgers, as they have played well in the past against the Buccaneers. Last week Jackson had just 11 carries, but that was the most on the team and he had 46 yards on the day and five rushes of at least five yards.
Julio Jones was listed as probable with an ankle injury, but he is expected to play with no limitations on Thursday night. Jones is another name that fantasy owners should start as long as he is active, as he always has the potential to have a huge game. Jones ended up with seven catches for 88 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals and he is already putting up nice numbers with 14 catches for 204 yards and a TD this season.
The RBs are tough to pick from and beyond Jackson the best recommendation is Rodgers, as he always seems to get involved in the passing game and is the main backup. Freeman has shown potential, but Rodgers likely will get more touches than him on Thursday night. Rodgers comes into the game with 57 yards this season and one catch, but he could have a breakout game against the Bucs. Last season Rodgers was strong with 52 catches for 341 yards and he also had over 300 yards rushing behind Jackson.