What's up Brainiacs! We've got something special for you over the next couple weeks, it's a series that we are calling "Team Talk" where we break down the fantasy options for each team in the NFL. I kicked it off with a piece on the Arizona Cardinals since I find them so intriguing, but we'll back up to Atlanta today and do this thing alphabetically from here.
The best part is that I would like to introduce a new Fantasy Sports Brain writer to you: Adam Filadelfo! He has done some online work in fantasy football in the past and we're happy to have his expertise added to the voices that you normally see in this space.
You can find him on Twitter: @Frostt24 Give him a follow!
Here we go!
It's August and that could only mean one thing. Time for Fantasy
Football drafts! There are so many directions a fantasy owner can go.
Should I wait on an elite QB? Should I reach for that stud WR? Do I grab
a stud RB to start? What players should I draft from each team?
Hopefully this answers some of those questions for you.
Let's take a look at why we should draft players on the Atlanta Falcons.
The obvious reason is because these players will help us achieve our
ultimate goal of winning a fantasy football championship. But let's look
a little deeper as to why we should draft these players.
Matt Ryan - Obviously Matt Ryan is an elite fantasy football QB but there
are several elite QB's in fantasy football. Why Matt Ryan? Simple. Matt
Ryan has numerous weapons at his disposal. He has quite possibly the
best WR tandem in the NFL and a future Hall of Fame Tight End to throw to. Add to
that, he gets a very good pass catching RB this season. What makes
Matty Ice more intriguing as a fantasy QB is the Falcons are a pass
heavy team. They aren't afraid to throw all over the field and with the
ability of Ryan's playmakers, that could lead to an array of fantasy
points for Matty Ice. If you are lucky enough to get Matt Ryan as your
QB, there are a few nuggets worth noting. He needs to cut down on his
INT's. There were a few games last season where Matty Ice went cold and
threw more INT's than he threw TD's. For as great as the Falcons signal
caller can be, he tends to force the ball downfield to Julio Jones which
leads to more turnovers than he should probably have. If Ryan wants to
take the next step, he needs to cut down on the picks. With that said,
don't shy away from Matt Ryan in the later rounds of your draft.
Steven Jackson - This is Jackson's 1st season in Atlanta and most are
expecting big things from him. For starters, Jackson is a tremendous
pass catcher out of the backfield and in a PPR league, that's gold! The
threat of the passing game could open up huge holes for S-Jax and
possibly goal line work as well. When he was in St Louis, Jackson was a
fantasy stud so it should go without saying that going to a high octane
offense should do wonders for his fantasy value. He will be the featured
back which will lead to a big workload, which in turn should help
produce big fantasy numbers. In turn, a big workload this season could
easily lead to a "bust" season as well. Jackson is 30 years old and has a
ton of carries over his career in St. Louis. There is a good chance
S-Jax could fall off the proverbial cliff at his age so if you draft him,
make sure he's not your RB1 and have depth at the position behind him
in case that drop off does occur this season.
Jacquizz Rodgers - Rodgers is clearly the backup in Atlanta so why draft
him? Two words. Steven Jackson. As valuable a fantasy commodity as S-Jax
should be this season, there is a lot of miles on him. There is a
realistic chance Jackson gets injured or misses time towards the end of
the season. What better handcuff to have than Jackson's real life
handcuff. Like Steven Jackson, Jacquizz Rodgers is a good pass catcher
out of the backfield. In an elite offense like Atlanta's, Rodgers can
help owners of S-Jax if he goes down during the season. On the flip
side, if Jackson can remain healthy throughout 2013, Rodgers will
provide little to no fantasy value at all thus wasting a valuable roster
spot on your bench. Also, Rodgers is still a relatively unknown in
fantasy since he hasn't proven much at this level. He's shown signs of
being a draft worthy backup, but there's a good chance he's a waiver
wire pickup in most shallow leagues.
Roddy White - It seems like Roddy White is an afterthought in some
fantasy drafts. He may not have the flash of his counterpart, but White
is as consistent as they come. He's all but a guarantee for 100
receptions, 1000 yards and close to double digit scores. With the
defenses attention on Julio Jones, White can deliver for fantasy owners
and has the potential to post monster numbers on any given week. He has
great hands and is trusted by Matt Ryan which in turn will get White
more targets. He is a staple of the Falcons passing game. For as
consistent as White is, Julio Jones looks to be the favorite target of
Matt Ryan. White could see a decrease in targets as Julio see an
increase. White is reliable but Jones is that home run hitter that
fantasy owners covet. At some point, Roddy White will have to give way
to Jones. This could be the year.
Julio Jones - There's a reason the Falcons moved up in the draft to get
Julio Jones out of Alabama. He's got the potential to be an elite WR for
years to come. Even in double coverage, Jones can make spectacular
catches and has the potential for big plays thanks to his speed &
quickness. Julio Jones will cost you an early pick in your draft but the
payoff is well worth where he's being drafted. He's a top 5 WR for sure
who Matt Ryan always looks for when wanting to throw the ball deep
downfield. The only problem with Jones is he tends to be a boom or bust
type player. He can have big point games or very little points games.
He's a deep threat which means there's potential for significant
letdowns. When he goes off, you'll be happy you drafted him but be
prepared to have some low scoring games mixed in as well.
Tony Gonzalez - Not many teams can claim they have a Hall of Fame Tight End on
their roster. The Falcons can. Tony G is as sure handed as they come and
has returned for his final season because he feels the Falcons are
close to winning it all. He's a top option for Matt Ryan and is a top
target in the red zone. Not only is Gonzalez a PPR dream, he's going to
get plenty of opportunities to score TD's as well. In a season where the
TE position is at its scarcest in a while, Tony G should produce for his
fantasy owners if you're lucky enough to draft him. Just know that if
you do draft Tony Gonzalez, he is 37 years old, coming out of retirement
after playing 16 seasons in the NFL to play one last season. An injury
is very possible, especially since there is no off-season for the 37 year
old this time. There's in shape, and there's NFL shape. Perhaps the
future HOF should have rode off into the sunset after his first NFC
Championship appearance. Buyer beware.
D/ST - The Falcons added a few playmakers on the defensive side of the
ball this off-season which should mak an already good fantasy defense a
bit more formidable. They've ramped up their front line by adding Osi
Umenyiora. That could lead to more sacks which leads to fantasy points.
Although the Atlanta defense may not be a top defense off the board come
draft day, they could be a top sleeper. Bye week fill in is probably
best case scenario with the Falcons defense this season. Atlanta will
probably engage in some shootouts especially being in the same division
as the Saints. Like I previously stated, even with the defensive line upgrade,
Atlanta is not a fantasy defense you should feel comfortable trotting
out there on a weekly basis.