The Falcons have been struggling ever since their Superbowl loss back in 2017. Last season was no different as they finished bottom of the NFC South with a 4-12 record. The poor start to the season is what ultimately cost Dan Quinn his job along with general manager Thomas Dimitroff. Since then they have bought in Arthur Smith from the Tennessee Titans to turn their fortunes around. This is his first head coaching job but he did well as the OC in Tennessee.
Not only have the Falcons made big changes to the coaching staff but also the playing staff will look a little different. Julio Jones was traded to the Tennessee Titans this summer and that will be a huge loss to veteran quarterback Matt Ryan. However, it is not all doom and gloom as star receiver Calvin Ridley is still around and exciting rookie Kyle Pitts should do well. If the defense can make a few more stops this year then the Falcons might be able to show improvement.
2021 Fantasy Preview Arizona Cardinals- Projected Depth Chart
- Calvin Ridley: There is only one main guy in Atlanta with Julio Jones gone and that is Calvin Ridley. He was the number four wide receiver in the league last year and he could improve this one. He amassed 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns in the 15 games that he played in. With Julio now gone there will be extra targets to be shared around and Ridley will see some more. He is currently going in the middle of the second round in most drafts. That’s a good spot for a genuine wide receiver one who could become the overall number one.
- Matt Ryan: Matt Ryan is Mr consistency when it comes to NFL quarterbacks. He will probably throw for around 4,500 yards and get between 25 and 28 touchdowns. He has done this on average for the last four years. Although Julio Jones has gone it is unlikely much will change for Ryan. He was the QB12 last year and the QB11 the year before. He is currently going in the tenth round of most drafts and is an ideal choice if you don’t want one of the main guys.
- Mike Davis: Mike Davis showed what he could do last year in Carolina thanks to Christian McCaffery being injured. He played 15 games for only the second time in his career and finished as the RB18. He produced over 1,000 all purpose yards and eight touchdowns. He has the potential to match that in Atlanta and as one of the last starting running backs he is decent value around the middle of the fifth round.
Keep an eye on
- Russell Gage: With Julio Jones being injured a bit last season Russell Gage was the next man up. He showed what he can do with 786 yards and four touchdowns making him the number 40 receiver. He isn’t someone you want to be spending to much on but would be a good flex option for your team. With Julio Jones targets up for grabs he will see more action even with the arrival of Kyle Pitts.
- Hayden Hurst: However, Hurst has a history with two tight end sets when he was with Baltimore. Also, We don’t know exactly how Pitts will be used as at times he has looked more like a wide receiver. Hurst could be worth a bench spot for your team and he could make an impact for the Falcons.
- Kyle Pitts: Pitts is one of the most exciting tight ends to come out of college in a few years now. He was a touchdown machine for Florida last yea, picking up 12 TD’s and also 770 yards. The 6’6 colossus will have an impact this year but you need to manage expectations. Most tight ends need a year in the NFL in order to get used to it. He will cost you a lot as he is being taken around the beginning of the fourth. He could become a truly special player for your fantasy team but not in his first year.
***Note: All projections and discussions are assuming full PPR formats.***
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Image Credit: Jeffrey Becker – USA TODAY Sports