I have a soft spot for the Atlanta Falcons.
Maybe it's because I love Tony Gonzalez and I still supported him there after he left my Chiefs.
Either way, I hold no allegiances to the Falcons when it comes to fantasy value for 2015.
It's time to see who will win you a championship and who will cost you one.
All ADP's and position ranking are courtesy of Fantasy Football Calculator, PPR Scoring and a 10-team league.
The Fantasy Value of Matt Ryan
What is there to say really...besides the fact that you've hurt me one too many times.
To kickoff 2015 he's being drafted in the 8th round with the 2nd pick.
You'll hear me say on our NFC South Podcast that I can support Matty Ice, but now I'm not so sure.
He's in his 8th year in the league and have never finished higher than QB7. He's only once had more than 30 TD's in a season. Did we mention that his offensive line is that great either? Ahhhhhh.
Okay so maybe I'm over reacting, I mean he does have Julio Jones, Roddy White and some other guys there to support him.
Plus he gets a new OC in Kyle Shanahan, who tends to adjust to the talent he has. Just look at what he did in Houston.
Despite being thought of as run-centric, he led a 2009 Texans Matt Schaub who led the NFL in passing attempts and Andre Johnson just happened to be the league's receiving-yardage leader (via Evan Silva).
Let's take a quick look at the QB's going around him:
Cam, Romo & Brady are all within 10 picks of him.
It's possible that my history of drafting fantasy quarterbacks late is causing a bias, but I just can't justify paying for him at QB7. It's the highest he's ever finished! Do I believe he'll finish top-5? No. That means I'm buying him at his ceiling in my eyes. That's not the right investment at this price.
I'll look elsewhere at QB.
The Fantasy Value of the Falcons Wide Receivers
With Julio in a contract year and Roddy White trying to bounce back from injury, there's lots of fantasy impact here.
Remember how I mentioned the addition of Kyle Shanahan above? Here's a reason I love the move.
Julio Jones will take over the X receiver role in his offense, which could mean incredible fantasy success for owners.
Here's a few of the past #1's in that offense (via Evan Silva):
- Andre Johnson: Year (2008) 115 for 1,575 yards and 8 TD's - Year (2009) 101 for 1,569 yards and 9 TD's.
- Pierre Garcon: Year (2013) 113 for 1,346 and 5 TD's.
- Santana Moss: Year (2010) 93 for 1,156 and 6 TD's.
Those are some great performances. To me that indicates Julio is going to get fed the ball.
I believe Atlanta will stay pass heavy and Julio will perform for fantasy owners in his contract year.
Let's take a look at the trend of his ADP since the new year (hint: he's rising):
Climbing from a late 2nd round pick to a late 1st rounder, I think he's being valued about right. Honestly, I'm pumped if I can get my hands on Julio this year. I'm a believer.
I can see the argument against Roddy White. He turns 34 this November and his efficiency has dropped in the past few seasons.
I think he can return to WR3 numbers as the #2 in Atlanta, especially without a ton of other talent in the WR and TE departments.
Let's see who he's going around:
I like him here. I think he's a better choice than Cruz, who may not even start the season active. I'd still take him over Agholor and the other WR's he's being drafted over.
He's a good choice here and can have success in the Shanahan offense.
The Tight End Mix
As we've said on the fantasy podcast, it's tight end roulette at this point.
I'm not gambling on a tight end in this Atlanta offense. Keep your eyes on Julio Jones and Roddy White here folks.
The Fantasy Value of the Atlanta Falcons Running Backs
I'm not sure how to feel about this running game. Their line is questionable and the players they're using aren't exactly inspiring me.
Some of Shanahan's past running backs have produced as follows:
- 2014: Isaiah Crowell - Finished as RB27
- 2013: Alfred Morris - Finished as RB15
- 2012: Alfred Morris - Finished as RB5
- 2010: Ryan Torain - Finished as RB32
- 2008: Steve Slaton - Finished as RB6
We'll start here with Tevin Coleman and his potential fantasy impact.
A 3rd round pick in the 2015 draft, many experts see Coleman as a great fit for the Falcons offense.
With a new regime in town (and offensive coordinator Shanahan) I like the upside of Tevin Coleman.
There has been plenty of talk about Kyle Shanahan's zone-blocking scheme, one that's seen young runners turn into fantasy relevant players.
Tevin Coleman is being compared to Lamar Miller by MockDraftable.com and Jamaal Charles by PlayerProfiler. Many of us here love Lamar Miller...and quite frankly the comparison excites me.
As a Chief's fan you know I love Charles.
Let's look at the backs he's being drafted around.
I like his ADP.
I understand that Freeman is the incumbent, but I think Coleman ends up being fantasy relevant.
I'm willing to roll the dice in this area. I mean I'm not taking Doug Martin, Mike Davis or Isaiah Crowell in this range. Might as well bet on the rookie.
I think there are a few things playing against Freeman's fantasy value in 2015.
First off, the new regime drafted Coleman with a 3rd round pick.
Now teams aren't always right in their picks, but they must believe in the kid.
Secondly, Freeman was just bad on the ground last year.
He offered value in the air, but not so much running the ball. He's not a 200-carry back.
If we take a look at his ADP, we see he's fallen since the draft.
He settles out in the 11th round, which is still too rich for my blood. I think we've seen Freeman at his best. I have more confidence in Coleman.
The Fantasy Value of the Atlanta Falcons
There's some fantasy value to be had here with the 2015 Atlanta Falcons.
Go get Julio Jones. No, really.
I'm expecting a big season for him.
As for the running backs, I'm out on Freeman and cautiously dipping my toes into the Coleman water. It could be a worthwhile swim.
Want to hear more on our love for the Falcons? Our NFC South Podcast addresses all.
This photo is courtesy of sheadaygraffix via Flickr. This is used in accordance with Creative Commons laws and all rights are reserved by sheadaygraffix.
For the record, I never actually played football. I have no doubt that I would get crushed running across the middle for a pass, every single time.
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