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Atlanta Falcons Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2022

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Falcons HC Arthur Smith commented on the arrival of WR Bryan Edwards. “He’s a guy who can win outside 1-on-1 and certainly has shown he can play in traffic inside the numbers,” Smith said. “This guy has made big plays. He’s not even 23 years old. When I was at the previous spot [Tennessee], we really liked him coming out.” A fantasy afterthought in Vegas, Edwards' move to Atlanta makes him a legit late-round flier in best ball leagues.

Falcons beat writer D. Orlando Ledbetter writes that WR Drake London “appeared fine” in OTAs on Friday, “jobbing and running half-speed routes.” The rookie fractured his ankle ~6.5 months ago, so the fact that he’s even on the field is a positive. London, who turns just 21 in July, currently projects in WR3 range.

The Raiders traded WR Bryan Edwards along with a 7th-round pick to the Falcons in exchange for a 5th-round pick. Edwards disappointed across the past 2 seasons in Vegas, totaling just 45 catches for 764 yards and 4 TDs. But he was a good-looking prospect coming out of South Carolina and immediately becomes the favorite for the #2 WR job in Atlanta alongside 1st-round rookie Drake London. Edwards' 2022 fantasy value gets a big boost with the move -- and his dynasty value will look better if the Falcons find a QB. The Raiders, meanwhile, are left with WRs Demarcus Robinson, Keelan Cole, Tyron Johnson and Mack Hollins behind Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow.

Falcons HC Arthur Smith left open the possibility that rookie QB Desmond Ridder gets some starts this season. “As with any position, the best guy is going to play,” Smith said. “With Marcus [Mariota] being the veteran, that’s the way it’ll go for now.” So Mariota will head to training camp atop the depth chart and should be considered the favorite to start Week 1. But it'd certainly make sense for the Falcons to get a good look at Ridder before deciding whether they want to dive back into the QB market in 2023. Ridder was the best player on Atlanta's board when they selected him 74th overall on Friday night. “There was never a time where Arthur Smith and I said we have to come out of this draft with a quarterback,” GM Terry Fontenot said. “He was the best player on the board at that time, and that’s why we took him.”

BYU RB Tyler Allgeier went to the Falcons in Round 5 of the NFL Draft. Allgeier arrived at BYU as a non-scholarship player who spent time at both RB and LB. He eventually earned a scholarship, though, and topped 1,100 rushing yards each of his final 2 seasons. Allgeier reached workhorse status as a senior, delivering a 276-1,601-23 rushing line along with 28-199-0 receiving. He’s not especially speedy or athletic but brings a decent all-around package at 5’11 and 224 pounds. Although he dropped to Round 5, this is as strong a landing spot as Allgeier could have hoped for. He joins a Falcons RB room alongside Cordarrelle Patterson, Mike Davis, Damien Williams and Qadree Ollison. There’s a chance that Allgeier carves out a real role in 2022.

The Falcons selected QB Desmond Ridder in Round 3 of the NFL Draft. At 6’3, 211 pounds, Ridder’s on the thin side for the QB position. But his lack of special arm talent and inconsistent accuracy likely led to his slide. Still, he enters the pros with 49 career starts and the 3rd most QB wins in FBS history (43). The 22-year-old adds plus mobility, pocket poise and high character. He has a chance to make some 2022 starts, but Marcus Mariota will enter the summer as the clear favorite. Longer term, you have to like Atlanta's current 1-2 punch of Kyle Pitts and Drake London.

LB Troy Andersen landed with the Falcons in Round 2 of the NFL Draft. Andersen is a highly intriguing prospect who spent just 1 year at LB after converting from both RB and QB. Andersen racked up 147 total tackles, including 14 for losses, and 7 pass breakups in his final season at Montana State. He followed that with a 4.42-second 40-yard dash at 6’4, 243 pounds – good for a 100th-percentile speed score. He lands in an Atlanta defense that just let Foye Oluokun walk in free agency. We'll see whether Andersen is ready to compete for a starting gig right away. There's plenty of long-term upside for IDP dynasty rookie drafts, though.

EDGE Arnold Ebiketie landed with the Falcons in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft. After 3 quiet years at Temple, Ebiketie broke out for 62 tackles, 18 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks across 12 contests in 2021. He posted a slightly above-average 101.6 speed score at 6’2, 250 pounds at the Combine. Ebiketie’s 91st-percentile vertical and 96th-percentile broad jump point to well above-average explosiveness, though. We'll see about Ebiketie's position designation, but there's solid-to-good IDP upside here.

The Falcons selected USC WR Drake London with the 8th overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. London is a former basketball player and plays like it. He’s a jump-ball dominator, with his 6’4 frame, springy hops and strong hands. London led this WR class with 19 contested catches last year, per Pro Football Focus. He isn’t as dominant on short and intermediate routes, but we saw enough separation ability on tape. He also has some surprising shake for a big man. London broke out as a sophomore in 2020, leading a Trojans WR corps that included Amon-Ra St. Brown with 83.7 yards per game. Then came a massive 2021 that saw London lead the country with 11 catches per game and rank 2nd with 135.5 yards per game. He ranked 1st among draft-eligible WRs in Pro Football Focus’ receiving grades. An October 30 broken right ankle ended London’s season and prevented him from doing any athletic testing in the pre-draft process. But London did some on-field drills at his April 15 Pro Day and should be at 100% for training camp. He should immediately take over as the top dog in a barren Falcons WR corps. QB play is a concern, but volume and talent should carry London to a productive rookie season. Check out the initial projections and ranking for London.

The Falcons on Tuesday announced that they have signed TE Anthony Firkser. The former Titan never reached 40 receptions in a season across 4 years with Tennessee, and actually saw his receptions per game and yards per catch dip in 2021. We're not expecting fantasy significance from Firkser in Atlanta, where #2 TE Hayden Hurst finished just 37th at the position in PPR scoring last year.

The Falcons on Monday agreed to a 1-year deal with LB Rashaan Evans. A 2018 first-round pick of the Titans, Evans never lived up to that billing. Although he started 11 of the 12 games he was available for last year, Evans' playing time dipped to 60%. He might find himself competing with Mykal Walker for the #2 LB role in Atlanta, after Foye Oluokun left for Jacksonville in free agency. But there's also still room for the Falcons to add a better prospect in the NFL Draft.

The Falcons on Monday announced the signing of WR Auden Tate. The former 7th-round pick caught 61 passes across 4 seasons with the Bengals. Most of those came in 2019, when Tate posted a 40-575-1 receiving line. He might remain fantasy irrelevant in Atlanta, but the signing is worth noting because the entire Falcons WR depth chart is currently occupied by shrug emojis. Atlanta also announced the re-signing of Qadree Ollison, who figures to battle Damien Williams for the #3 RB spot (barring an upgrade via the NFL Draft).

The Falcons announced Monday they have agreed to a 2-year deal with QB Marcus Mariota. He's likely a step down in passing from Matt Ryan. At the least, Mariota will have to prove otherwise after he washed out with Tennessee and then spent the past 2 years backing up Derek Carr. But his rushing ability makes him a far more attractive fantasy option than Ryan. Mariota has experience with HC Arthur Smith from their Titans days, which can only help speed his acclimation to the offense. The QB's arrival might be negative for Cordarrelle Patterson's target upside, but we'll let the situation play out a little further before making any significant change to the RB-WR hybrid's outlook.

The Falcons are re-signing RB Cordarrelle Patterson, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reports. We'll look for details on the contract, but this was always the best-case scenario for Patterson. He had the rare 9th-year breakout in his Falcons debut last season, posting a 153-618-6 rushing line with 52-548-5 receiving to finish 9th among RBs in PPR points. Atlanta currently only Mike Davis and Damien Williams alongside Patterson in the backfield. We'll see what else the team adds, but Patterson has a chance to play a similar role in 2022.

Update: Patterson got a 2-year, $10.5 million deal, according to insider Aaron Wilson.

The agent for RB Damien Williams said Thursday his client is signing with the Falcons, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. It's a 1-year contract, which doesn't lock Williams into anything. We'll see about the money, but it's tough to expect much. Atlanta surely isn't done supplying its backfield. We wouldn't bother with Williams in best-ball drafts for now -- other than as an occasional end-of-draft consideration.

The Falcons have agreed to a 5-year, $24.25 million deal with K Younghoe Koo -- including $11.5 million guaranteed -- according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic. Koo has hit 64 of 68 FG attempts over the past 2 seasons and led the NFL in made FGs in 2020 despite missing a game. No word yet on who besides TE Kyle Pitts will actually help Atlanta get into FG range in 2022.

The NFL has suspended Falcons WR Calvin Ridley for at least the 2022 season for gambling on NFL games while he was away from the team last year, according to multiple reports. The league says Ridley placed bets during a 5-day window in November. He will not be allowed to apply for reinstatement until February 2023. Atlanta now has a large hole to fill at wideout without the benefit of whatever the team might have gotten back in a potential Ridley trade. With Russell Gage headed for free agency, the Falcons' passing game has significant questions to answer.

Scott Bair of the Falcons’ official site writes that “there isn’t a lot to go on at this point” regarding a possible Calvin Ridley trade. Ridley’s last game came in Week 7. Then he missed the remainder of the season for mental health reasons, and no substantial updates have surfaced since. Bair surmises that a Round 2 pick would be “fair” compensation — and it seems reasonable. Ridley, 27, is slated to enter a contract year in the fall. Teammate Russell Gage is set to enter free agency next month, so it's quite possible this Atlanta WR corps undergoes major change.

Raiders CB Casey Hayward (ankle) is active for tonight's game against the Chargers.

3:00pm EST 1/9/22

Falcons TE Kyle Pitts (hamstring) is active for today’s game vs. the Saints. He got in limited practices on Thursday and Friday but comes with elevated risk in Week 18 fantasy lineups.

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