When to Target the Atlanta Falcons in Fantasy Drafts

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 14: Matt Ryan /
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Here is where fantasy footballer owners should target the Atlanta Falcons in drafts, along with statistical projections for each player.

Football season is just a few weeks away, and with it comes the yearly rebirth of fantasy football drafts. Last year, the Falcons possessed the number 1 scoring offense in the NFL, and with it were a fantasy goldmine.

Matt Ryan, overlooked in many drafts due to his poor 2015 season, was a late round league winner for those lucky enough to unearth him last season. Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman solidified themselves as elite players to build fantasy teams around, while Tevin Coleman emerged as a late round sleeper in 2016.

Fantasy football players should expect more of the same in 2017, as these offensive weapons will help to win a lot of leagues this year as well. Here is where you should target the Falcons in your upcoming fantasy football drafts, along with statistical projections for each player.

*Note, this is based on 12-team NFL.com standard scoring leagues.

TAMPA, FL – NOVEMBER 3: Wide receiver Julio Jones (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL – NOVEMBER 3: Wide receiver Julio Jones (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images) /

WR Julio Jones

Early Round 1; Projection – 1454 receiving yards, 11 receiving touchdowns, 1 2 point conversion: 213.40 fantasy points

Julio Jones is the best wide receiver in the NFL, and is also an elite fantasy receiver. He finished as the WR6 in standard scoring leagues last year, solidifying himself as a solid WR1 once again.

The main knock against Jones’ fantasy prospects has always been that he doesn’t score touchdowns like an elite option. He hasn’t reached a double digit TD total since 2012. Conversely, counterpart WR1s Odell Beckham Jr. and Antonio Brown have each recorded 10+ touchdowns in each of the past three seasons. I expect Jones to reach that mark this year, with new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian saying he wants to “maximize” Jones’ red zone opportunities.

The yardage has always been there for the Alabama product, and he should continue putting up over 1400 yards. Because of all of Atlanta’s weapons, however, he will be had pressed to come close to the career high 1871 receiving yards he had just two seasons ago. Look for Jones to be a top 3 fantasy receiver in 2017.

Take Jones as one of the first two WRs off the board along with Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown, but don’t pass up on elite RBs David Johnson or Le’Veon Bell at the top of the first if you have the opportunity to get one of them. You will probably need a top 5 pick to get Jones.