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Fantasy Football Projections: Atlanta Falcons

2017 was a relatively disappointing fantasy season for the Atlanta Falcons despite offering fantasy owners decent returns. After a bonkers 2016 which saw Matt Ryan toss for 38 TD, Devonta Freeman rip off 1500 yards from scrimmage and 13 TD and Julio Jones post 83 catches for 1400 yards and a half dozen scores, the bar was pretty high. 2018 should see a return to fantasy greatness for this team.

Ryan will be one of my Top 10 fantasy QB’s coming into the year and while he could post Top 5 stats without much trouble, I won’t be drafting him like I would Brady, Rodgers, Brees or Wilson. That said, Ryan could be far cheaper than the other elites given his lackluster 2017. A healthy Freeman and Jones, combined with the addition of Calvin Ridley should provide Ryan with the weapons he needs to get back closer to the 30 TD mark and over 4500 yards again.

As mentioned, a key to the entire team’s fantasy success will be keeping Freeman healthy. Tevin Coleman is a fantastic compliment to Freeman but this offense simply flows better when Freeman is anchoring the run game. I have Devonta getting back to his 1500 total yards, double-digit scores status in 2018 but I also have Coleman as a top-tier handcuff who can serve as a solid FLEX in deeper leagues. Both will provide offense as targets for Ryan out of the backfield as well, and both should be owned in all formats.

Julio Jones. He is what he is, a stud and a Top 3 fantasy WR. Jones hasn’t quite returned to his 2014-2015 form when he averaged 124 catches and 1750 yards with 7 TD, but I think this is the year he may make a run at it. Jones was at his best when he had a competent threat opposite him on the field and while Mohamed Sanu is a decent #3 receiver, he couldn’t ever provide what Roddy White used to. Enter Calvin Ridley. The 1st round rookie out of Alabama has all the makings of a top-tier slot man in the NFL as long as he can hold onto the ball. Ridley has the talent and upside to force opposing defenses to spread their coverage around the field which should open up more space for Jones and even Sanu. It’s possible that Justin Hardy also surfaces as a role player but this passing game is going to flow through Jones, Ridley, Sanu and the RB duo of Freeman and Coleman, with a little Austin Hooper at tight end sprinkled about for effect. Hooper is an athletic pass catcher and has all the upside to be a Top 10 fantasy TE, but there are a lot of mouths to feed in Atlanta. I have him slated for modest growth putting him around 50/600 but he could explode for more and it would likely be at the cost of Sanu.

Bottom line here – Ryan is primed for a big fantasy year and while Jones and Freeman will be top options at their positions – Sanu, Ridley, Coleman, and Hooper could all be big-time value buys in the middle-late rounds of your drafts and every one of them should be owned.

2018 Projections:

NAME POSITION CMP ATT PASS YD PASS TD INT RU YD RU TD
Matt Ryan QB 380 570 4715 26 12 120 0

 

NAME POSITION CARRIES RU YD RU TD REC  REC YD REC TD FUM
Devonta Freeman RB 230 1015 9 54 450 2 3
Tevin Coleman RB 140 610 5 29 350 3 1

 

NAME POSITION CARRIES RU YD RU TD REC  REC YD REC TD FUM
Julio Jones WR 0 0 0 102 1575 8 1
Justin Hardy WR 0 0 0 20 215 1 0
Mohamed Sanu WR 2 10 0 65 665 4 1
Calvin Ridley WR 0 0 0 50 715 4 1
Austin Hooper TE 0 0 0 50 590 3 0
Logan Paulsen TE 0 0 0 10 115 1 0
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Ben Stecker

Ben Stecker

Author SportsTalkLine.com at SportsTalkLine
Writer, sports connoisseur, Pacific Northwesterner. Rarely met a sport I couldn't be great friends with. Follow me on twitter @Softball_Guy
Ben Stecker
Ben Stecker

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