2018 Fantasy Football - Atlanta Falcons - Team Moves





By Chet Gresham - @ChetGresham
Follow @walterfootball for updates.

Each offseason brings change to NFL rosters, and those changes often have fantasy implications. Below, I lay out the changes at the skill positions and how those moves impact the fantasy status of the new roster.


2017
    QB: Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub
    RB: Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, Terron Ward
    WR: Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Taylor Gabriel, Justin Hardy
    TE: Austin Hooper, Levine Toilolo


2018
    QB: Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub
    RB: Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, Ito Smith, Terron Ward
    WR: Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Calvin Ridley, Justin Hardy, Russell Gage, Devin Fuller
    TE: Austin Hooper, Logan Paulsen




Pre-Draft Offseason:

The Falcons haven't done much of note this offseason. They have all the same starters at the key offensive positions, so there is a lot of talent to work with still. The loss of Taylor Gabriel wasn't too bad because offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian didn't know how to use him like Kyle Shanahan did. Shanahan to Sarkisian was the biggest change from Atlanta's Super Bowl run in 2016 and was a big factor in slowing down what had been a quick-strike offense before last season. Atlanta retained Sarkasian for this season for some reason, so I'm not overly hyped for Atlanta's offense, even with some truly good to great players.

Getting rid of tight end Levine Toilolo was a good move. He was sub-par all around, but especially as a receiver. The addition of Logan Paulsen is an upgrade and could keep Austin Hooper from a full workload for fantasy. I won't be looking to Hooper as a fantasy TE1 this season.

Overall, I expect similar numbers to last season depending on health. Freeman and Coleman are both strong fantasy backs, but unlike with Shanahan, they won't have the high upside to help mitigate down games.



Post-Draft Update

The Falcons only had six picks, and used three on defense and three on offense. Their No. 1 pick went to Calvin Ridley, who many had at or near the top of their wide receiver rankings, but not as high in their overall rankings, as the receiver group this year was weak overall. Thankfully, Matt Ryan and company already have Julio Jones and need an upgrade, as Mohamed Sanu is best used as a No. 3 receiver. Ridley should be able to pass Sanu in time, making him a risky pick this year, but maybe not to start the season. The good news is that Ridley was technically the best route runner in the 2018 NFL Draft and should be able to win time on the field sooner than later.

After Ridley, Atlanta didn't go back to an offensive player until pick No. 132, grabbing Ito Smith. Smith has ability as a change-of-pace guy and will be looking to fill Tevin Coleman's role at some point, as Coleman will be a free agent next year and will likely be looking for a starting job on the market.

The addition of Ridley should help Matt Ryan and this offense overall, and Ryan will likely be easy to get in fantasy this season after a down 2017.



2018 Fantasy Outlook:

Stud: Julio Jones

Solid: Devonta Freeman, Matt Ryan

Sleeper: Calvin Ridley

For more recommendations, check out WalterFootball.com's Fantasy Football Rankings.




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