As we inch closer to opening day of the NFL season, we want to get you prepared for your fantasy football drafts. That process begins with our team previews, where we’ll break down each team’s offense while providing players we’re targeting and, in some cases, avoiding.
Falcons Fantasy Football Team Preview
Head Coach: Arthur Smith (third season)
Offensive Coordinator: Dave Ragone (third season)
Key Offensive Additions
Key Offensive Departures
Key Offensive Rookies
Points Per Game: 21.5 (T-15th)
Passing Yards: 158.8 (31st)
Rushing Yards: 159.9 (third)
Vacated Targets: 118 (20th)
Pass: 50 percent Run: 50 percent
OL Rank: ninth
Atlanta has a top-10 level offensive line and three blue-chip skill position players who are all still on rookie deals. If Desmond Ridder is capable of being an NFL-caliber starting quarterback, he’s been given the tools to succeed this season.
Ridder played in four games last year and averaged 10.2 fantasy points, 46th among all quarterbacks in 2022. What might be more concerning is Ridder ran a 4.52 40-yard dash at the combine yet only ran for more than 10 yards in one of his four games.
If Ridder is going to be a fantasy success, it most likely comes from his speed, which he utilized throughout his collegiate career. Four games is a small sample, but we haven’t seen him take advantage of that trait in the NFL.
Ridder’s supporting cast and rushing potential make him worthy of some late-round exposure in best ball drafts. In most season long leagues, Ridder enters the year as a low-end, volatile streaming option. He should be left on waivers in most formats.
In a display of subpar team-building, the Falcons drafted Bijan Robinson at eighth overall after Tyler Allgeier ran for more than 1,000 yards as a fifth-round pick last season. Robinson should join the ranks of Ezekiel Elliott, Saquon Barkley and Najee Harris as rookie runners with high-end RB1 fantasy finishes.
Robinson should carry the ball 15-20 times per game, and he’s nearly a Nick Chubb-level rusher. While it’s tough to know exactly how the Falcons will use him in the receiving game, Robinson totaled 805 receiving yards through his three college seasons. He had a healthy 13.4 yards per reception for his career. He’s one of the few NFL backs who can be split out wide or take occasional reps in the slot, given his route running.
Allgeier is an upside handcuff with a chance to be a weekly flex play, depending on how run-heavy the Falcons are. If Atlanta deploys similar game plans to last season, the running back room could see 30 touches each week, with Allgeier getting around 10 of them. The offensive line is top-notch, and both runners should be efficient on a per-carry basis.
It’s difficult to know what Cordarrelle Patterson’s role will be. The 31-year-old has a slight chance to be more involved than Allgeier. Patterson will probably command a few carries and targets each week in a gadget role. He is best deployed as a receiving weapon in space, and with Robinson in town, his 11 carries per game from 2022 should fall precipitously.
Wide Receivers, Tight Ends
Drake London and Kyle Pitts are expected to be the primary targets in the Falcons' low-volume pass offense. Despite London's talent, his situation in a run-centric offense is concerning. His current draft position as a low-end WR2 is too high, given his situation. There are players drafted in his range, and even after, that Jordan Vanek prefers.
On the other hand, Pitts has the potential to be a premium player at the tight end position and can be drafted several rounds after London. We expect Pitts and London to receive similar targets, both outside and inside the red zone. Given his position and potential, Pitts is the player we prefer to invest in instead of London in fantasy drafts.
Ian Miller: Buy Pitts (TE3)
The term "bust" is thrown around a lot when it comes to Pitts. This is a 22-year-old tight end coming off one of the greatest rookie seasons ever. Plus, he became the first second-year tight end to ever post at least a 28 percent target share on a 12 or higher average depth of target. If the situation breaks right, Pitts will break fantasy football.
Falcons We’re Targeting or Avoiding in Fantasy Football
Josh Larky: Avoid London.
Ryan Reynolds: Target Pitts.
Jordan Vanek: Target Pitts, Avoid London.
Other Fantasy Previews
Follow our Team on Twitter
Josh Larky: @JLarkyTweets
Ryan Reynolds: @RyanReynoldsNFL
Jordan Vanek: @JordanVanekDFS
Ian Miller: @Dynasty_IM