Take a look at the Atlanta Falcons roster. The one thing that jumps out, is at least on paper, this should be a very good, high scoring team.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has a legitimate chance to win the second MVP award of his career, Julio wants a new contract and 3,000 yards, and a healthy, smarter Devonta Freeman is back in the lineup.
Not to mention the second year potential for Calvin Ridley, the steady hands of Mohamed Sanu and Austin Hooper’s emergence as a legitimate threat.
So, what does all this mean?
The Falcons should be a gold mine in fantasy football drafts. It’s that time of year, people are waging bets, setting draft schedules and developing their usually faulty draft plans.
And while the debate for best receiver in the league usually goes between Antonio Brown and Julio, people like to get caught up on the fact that Jones doesn’t score enough but the man just balls.
As he said in the most Atlanta way possible, he might mess around and get 3,000 yards. (Talk about a tribute to Andre 3000.)
That’s about 187 yard per game and touchdowns or not, those are numbers you want on your fantasy squad.
And who’s getting him the ball? Ah, yes, the durable and efficient Matt Ryan. He’s kind of like the Chris Paul of the NFL. Consistent, not flashy, but knows how to run an offense. He threw 35 touchdowns and only seven interceptions on a seven win team last year.
This preseason behind a joke of an offensive line, he looks motivated. Not by a new contract or by being mentioned in the same breath as Tom Brady, but by winning. He’s a guy who knows windows in sports close quickly and seems to have the sense of urgency needed to put up big numbers.
More than likely Patrick Mahomes is flying off the board, and when you don’t get him or Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, pick Matt Ryan. Eight straight years of more than 4,000 yards passing. Come on now.
The rest of the guys on offense would make great bench players. As we saw last year, Ridley still has to develop consistency but he can go off for big games when necessary. The consistent play should come naturally with more time spent in the league.
But last year, he finished the year with 10 touchdown receptions.Julio, by comparison, has had one year with double digit touchdowns and it was his sophomore campaign. Sure, Ridley will regress toward the mean but a season with six to eight touchdowns and more than 800 yards receiving, you’ll want him as a flex player.
And remember, don’t sleep on Hooper of Freeman. We don’t know what Freeman will look like after missing most of last year with an injury. Come week two or three, Freeman could be a steal on the waiver wire if he slips that far.
So before you start drafting every big name for no rhyme or reason, scan the Falcons roster. You might be surprised by who you find.