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Atlanta Falcons Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2024

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Falcons QB Desmond Ridder has teammates fired up about his leadership heading into his second season. “When he talks, you listen,” TE Jonnu Smith told The Athletic. “Having leadership qualities is the most important trait you should have as a quarterback. He has that. He’s been coming in here and working his butt off. I have nothing but great things to say about Desmond.” Those words come from a seventh-year veteran heading into his age-28 season and in his first offseason with the Falcons. Others had similar praise for Ridder, who has not only led on-field work but reportedly been organizing events with teammates away from the field. All of this could mean nothing for his in-game performance. And Taylor Heinicke stands in wait as Ridder insurance. But all signs point to the Falcons hoping that Ridder will be their guy for at least the near future. He’s a fine late shot to take in superflex drafts. Check out his spot in our superflex rankings.

The Falcons have released QB Marcus Mariota. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the move saves the team $12 million in 2023 cap space. It's no surprise after Atlanta finished 2022 with rookie Desmond Ridder in the lineup. Will the former third-round pick open 2023 behind center? That may depend on whether the Falcons draft a QB with the eighth overall pick (or move up for someone). Mariota, meanwhile, hits the open market for the second straight offseason. He completed 61.3% of his passes at 7.4 yards per attempt across 13 starts last year. His 5.0% TD rate marked his best number since 2016, Mariota's second year in the league. We're not betting that a team will plan to start Mariota in 2023, but the 29-year-old (until Oct. 30) should land somewhere as at least insurance. That landing spot will determine whether he belongs on fantasy football rosters in any format. He should not be in your plans for current best-ball drafting.

The Falcons might already have their starting QB for 2023, if owner Arthur Blank's assessment is meaningful. "We're very excited about Desmond Ridder," Blank said this week, according to NFL.com. "I think from the time he came into training camp, he showed great capabilities as a leader amongst the rookies and then amongst the vets." We're not talking these words to signal that Ridder will definitely lead Atlanta for the coming season. But he's the current favorite to open Week 1, just by virtue of already being on the team. If you're taking the 2022 rookie in early fantasy football drafts, though, you shouldn't do so until late. The Falcons carry the 8th overall pick in the NFL Draft and could be in range for one of the top incoming QBs.

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