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Austin Hooper, Julio Jones set to play on Sunday vs. Panthers

The Falcons are getting a big boost for Week 14, just in time for fantasy football playoff matchups.

Tight end Austin Hooper of the Atlanta Falcons celebrates with Julio Jones after scoring a six yard touchdown reception during the second half of the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on October 13, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons wrapped up their final practice, and they have some good news for the offense. Head coach Dan Quinn said wide receiver Julio Jones (shoulder) and tight end Austin Hooper (knee) will both play on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, per beat writer Vaughn McClure.

Jones injured his shoulder in Week 12 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and sat out Thanksgiving against the Saints. He was limited in practice this week. Hooper injured his knee in Week 10 against the Saints, and has been sidelined ever since. He got back into practice this week and was not on any of the week-day practice participation reports.

Fantasy football analysis: Falcons WR Julio Jones, TE Austin Hooper

These returns are huge for Matt Ryan. If you are starting him in your fantasy football quarterfinal matchup, he is a must start this weekend against a shaky Panthers defense, and his ceiling has grown with the return of Jones and Hooper.

The Panthers have fared well against tight ends, giving up the sixth fewest fantasy points to the position this season. That being said, Hooper was playing as well as any tight end prior to his injury and is a must start now that he’ll be back in the lineup.

Carolina has given up the 11th most fantasy points to wide receivers. Even if they were performing well against wide receivers, you’d start Julio Jones regardless. He is a guy you draft to help you win in the playoffs.