After two seasons as a forgotten man with the Baltimore Ravens, former first-round pick Hayden Hurst has carved out a niche in the Atlanta Falcons’ passing game. With the status of teammates Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Russell Gage up in the air, Hurst could end up the primary beneficiary during this week’s matchup with the Green Bay Packers.
Fantasy Football analysis: Falcons TE Hayden Hurst
Though the Falcons have suffered two soul-crushing defeats in as many weeks and have yet to notch a win, most of the blame falls on the defense. The Falcons have moved the ball with about league-average efficiency and, given the need to keep with a high-powered offense in Week 4, should lean heavily on the pass. That favors Hurst, who ranks third on his team with 16 targets and a 12.7% target share.
And that figure could surge this week. Ridley, the team’s leading receiver through three weeks, could miss the game with an ankle injury and might only see limited work if he plays. Gage might also sit out after suffering a concussion during last week’s loss to the Chicago Bears. The news appears better for Jones, who returned to practice Wednesday after sitting out Week 3 with a hamstring injury.
If one or more of the Falcons’ leading wideouts cannot suit up in Green Bay, Hurst’s fantasy outlook would improve accordingly.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
Against a Packers defense likely to play with a rookie and inexperienced second-year player at linebacker, Hurst could have a solid outing. Accordingly, he enters the week as a viable low-end starting option in fantasy if the Falcons have all their weapons with more upside if some of those wideouts miss the game.