With Matt Ryan traded to the Colts and Calvin Ridley suspended, the Falcons are finally rebuilding. Marcus Mariota is a bridge in QB, but we will probably see Desmond Ridder at some point this season. There’s room for someone other than Kyle Pitts and Drake London to make an impact here, but there’s not an overabundance of collateral talent, so these two will carry a lot of weight.
Write down: 7 – 10 (22)
BCP: 18.4 (26)
YPG: 303.8 (29)
Pass YPG: 218.4 (16)
YPG Rush: 85.4 (31)
PAPG: 33.7 (19)
RAPG: 23.1 (29)
2020 Fantasy ends
QB: Matt Ryan*QB17
RB: Cordarell Patterson RB10, Mike Davis*RB34
BP: Russell Gage WR37, Olamide Zacchaeus WR78, Calvin Ridley** WR102
TE: Kyle Pitts TE6
*No longer on the team
**Suspended for the season
Number to Know: 22.2%
Over the past two seasons, Matt Ryan’s redzone passing touchdown percentage is just 22.2%, which ranks 19th out of 21 passers with at least 100 passes in that time period. Last season it wasn’t just with Julio Jones or Kyle Pitts; Ryan was indeed less effective at converting red-zone opportunities into touchdowns than most quarterbacks.
Which doesn’t mean that Marcus Mariota will be better for this offense in general or for Pitts in particular. However, Pitts was a somewhat underwhelming Fantasy option as a rookie almost entirely due to the fact that he only had one touchdown on 110 goals. Historically, Ryan has never forced the ball on his No. 1 option hands near the end zone, but if Mariota is a little more aggressive in this regard, Pitts’ breakthrough could come even if the overall offense isn’t much more effective.
2021 off season
1. (8) Drake London, WR
2. (38) Arnold Ebiketi, Germ.
2. (58) Troy Andersen, LB
3. (74) Desmond Ridder, QB
3. (82) DeAngelo Malone, Delaware
5. (151) Tyler Algeier, RB
6. (190) Justin Shaffer, OL
6. (213) John FitzPatrick, TE
RB Damien Williams, QB Marcus Mariota, WR Hadarel Hodge, WR Auden Tate, WR Damier Bird, TE Anthony Firkser, CB Casey Hayward, LB Lorenzo Carter, OL Elijah Wilkinson, OL Germain Ifedi
QB Matt Ryan, WR Russell Gage, TE Hayden Hurst
28 carries, 3 RB targets, 184 WR targets, 42 TE targets
Chris Towers Predictions
|Marcus Mariota||PA: 549, YD: 3840, TD: 25, INT: 13; Rush — ATT: 59, Yard: 323, TD: 2|
|Cordarrell Patterson||VEHICLE: 118, YD: 506, TD: 5, TAR: 55, REC: 41, YD: 436, TD: 2|
|Damien Williams||VEHICLE: 98, YD: 392, TD: 4, TAR: 33, REC: 24, YD: 154, TD: 1|
|Drake London||TAR: 123, REC: 80, YD: 876, TD: 6|
|Olamide Zacchaeus||TAR: 78, REC: 47, YD: 561, TD: 4|
|Brian Edwards||TAR: 78, REC: 43, YD: 514, TD: 3|
|Kyle Pitts||TAR: 126, REC: 82, YD: 1025, TD: 6|
The biggest question
Is Kyle Pitts ready to take the TE position in Fantasy?
Pitts was mostly as good as expected as a rookie, catching 68 passes for 1,026 yards, although you may not have noticed his impact on the Fantasy because he only found the end zone once. You pay a premium in checkers to see if Pitts can make the jump to the Travis Kelsey/Mark Andrews level, but it’s worth it even if Mariota is lower ranked than Ryan. Pitts is one of the few players with the potential to become a serious tight end player, and this could be your last chance to pick him out of the first round for the next half century.
One sleeper, one breakthrough and one bust
Patterson was RB10 last season in PPR formats, but now he’s just RB34 in ADP, which seems like a pretty good value. However, his performance has been quite strong as the Falcons basically stopped using him as a pass catcher after he missed Week 11 with an ankle injury—he only had 13 shots in his last seven games. as he averaged a rather meager 10.9 PPR. points per game. However, this ankle injury was originally thought to cost him several weeks, so it is possible that the reduced role was simply the result of the injury limiting him more than the team had anticipated. I don’t expect Patterson to re-enter the top 10 RB or anything like that, but he’s so cheap in drafts that I’m looking for him either as a starter with zero RB or as a reserve if we don’t get any any indication that its role will be reduced in 2022.
Combined with Pitts, London gives the Falcons one of the most physically impressive receiving duos in the league. What will be really interesting to see is if the Falcons decide to use London as a big receiving slot, Pitts’ plush size and athleticism gives them given his ability to dominate on the outside. This could make London a very dangerous option in the red zone and a nightmare for the entire field. In fact, the Falcons only have Pitts as a recognized pass catcher, so it’s possible for London to escalate into option 1a, getting 24% goals or something like that. There is an advantage to the WR2 here.
I don’t really think Pitts will go broke, but considering he’s the only Falcon player with an ADP inside the top90 as of mid-June, he clearly represents the greatest danger here. Mariota is likely underperforming Ryan and his dashing ability could also mean there are fewer passes here. London is considered a clear number two, but he can still pose a bigger threat to targets than Russell Gage. If Pitts continues to choke in the red and the overall offense becomes less effective, he could be a viable fantasy starter option and still disappoint – just like he was a rookie.