Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/27/12

Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons

A tale of two teams, the Falcons' offense is firing on all cylinders while the Panthers' offense is sputtering at best.

The Falcons have dominated every game they have played up to this point on their way to 3-0 and their best start in eight seasons.

The Panthers, however, have stumbled out of the gates, currently sitting at 1-2, the offense doesn't seem to be on the same page yet this season.

Carolina Panthers (1-2): Cam Newton seemed to be as low as you can get after last week's Thursday night defeat against the New York Giants.

Many are questioning his maturity and his ability to be a team player. It may be a little early to think that way and he will recover, but not his week. The Falcons' defense have not allowed many fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

DeAngelo Williams has been playing as the feature back in the Panthers' backfield but with Jonathan Stewart slated to return this week the running back by committee is in full effect once again. The situation is one to avoid all together.

Steve Smith made a big splash in the tabloids this week when he openly called out quarterback Cam Newton for sulking on the sideline of their last game. On the field, Smith hasn't gotten as many targets as usual but has made the most of the ones he's received. A legitimate No. 1 receiver every week, you can rely on Smith again in this match-up.

Brandon LaFell has 18 targets on the year so far and is finally the clear-cut No. 2 receiver in Carolina. He is a good fill in play this week if your receivers are on a bye.

Greg Olsen leads the team in targets at 24 and two of his three games this season have been productive. Olsen is a tough guy to read and may be safe to sit this week as the Panthers will probably go run heavy this game.

Good starts: Cam Newton, Steve Smith

Middle of the road: Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams, Greg Olsen, Brandon LaFell

Bad starts: Mike Tolbert


Atlanta Falcons (3-0): Matt Ryan is second in the NFL for fantasy points for quarterbacks. He has already thrown for eight touchdowns and just under 800 yards. Ryan also owns the No. 1 quarterback rating through three weeks and will only increase that rating after another strong performance from him in Week 4.

Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers are splitting carries and should be avoided unless you absolutely have to play one of them.

Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez. You can't go wrong with any of these guys in your line up. Ryan trusts White, Julio is explosive and Gonzalez leads the team in receiving and already has three touchdowns this season.

Good starts: Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez

Middle of the road: Michael Turner

Bad starts: Jacquizz Rodgers, Harry Douglas

Follow Al King on Twitter @alking906

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