Falcons TE Hayden Hurst told ESPN's Mina Kimes that he's been making the 5-hour drive from Jacksonville to Atlanta to catch passes from QB Matt Ryan for the past 4 weeks. "That’s helping me a lot," Hurst said. "That’s really going to pay off during training camp." Acquired from the Ravens in March, Hurst hasn't been able to get any official workouts in with his new team due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But any chemistry he can build with his QB is good news for his 2020 fantasy outlook. Hurst as TE1 upside this season as he replaces Austin Hooper, who averaged 6.4 targets per game over the last 2 seasons.
The Falcons traded up in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft to take DT Marlon Davidson out of Auburn. Davidson showed the ability to play end or tackle in college. After playing at about 275 pounds last season, he weighed 303 at the Combine and then ran a 5.04-second 40. So Davidson is a DT with pass-rushing upside joining a defense that could use it. He tallied 6.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss as a senior. Davidson also finished each of his 4 seasons in the 38-48 tackle range and deflected 9 passes for his career.
The Falcons selected Clemson CB A.J. Terrell with the 16th pick of the NFL Draft. Terrell totaled 5 INTs over 2 starting seasons but just 6 other pass breakups. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. said Terrell needs to work on his tackling, while Louis Riddick cited inconsistency in his performance. Terrell joins an Atlanta secondary that needs him to start immediately, though. That will help his chances of quickly putting up numbers.
The Falcons have signed WR Laquon Treadwell to a 1-year deal. The Vikings' 1st-round bust totaled just 701 yards and 2 scores over 4 seasons in Minnesota. We'll see what new the surroundings do, but don't bank on Treadwell becoming a fantasy factor. He figures to battle with Russell Gage for #3 WR duties behind Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.
The Falcons have reached a deal with free-agent RB Todd Gurley, less than a day after the Rams released him. Gurley showed us last season that he's no longer built for the workhorse role he shouldered for 3 full seasons with L.A. But he's still likely to lead the Atlanta backfield for 2020. We'll see whether the Falcons add anything else significant to a backfield that returns Ito Smith and Qadree Ollison (with Brian Hill a restricted free agent) after dumping Devonta Freeman. But Atlanta is about as good a landing spot as owners could have hoped for Gurley's fantasy outlook. He looks solid in the Round 4-5 range in current fantasy football drafting.
The Rams announced Wednesday they've released RB Todd Gurley. He will still count $20.15 against the salary cap over the next 2 years, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. The timing of the move keeps them from having to pay another $10.5 million in salary and bonuses this year. Gurley was obviously not the same player in 2019 after being dogged by a knee issue over the 2nd half of 2018. He now becomes the latest clear argument against giving an RB a big 2nd contract. That said, Gurley will catch on elsewhere and likely remain fantasy relevant. We'll see about that landing spot. The Rams, meanwhile, return Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown at the top of the RB depth chart. Henderson now looks set up for a breakout 2nd year after limited opportunities in his rookie season.
The Falcons have reached a 3-year deal with EDGE Dante Fowler worth up to $48 million, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Fowler was a bust in Jacksonville after arriving as the 3rd pick of the 2015 NFL Draft. But he rebounded with the Rams, delivering 11.5 sacks, 16 tackles for loss and 16 QB hits last season. Fowler will be just 26 when the season begins. If he can continue performing the way he did as a Ram, Fowler would help Atlanta and be fantasy relevant. He'll carry more IDP upside if his new situation means a DL designation. The Rams, meanwhile, signed EDGE Leonard Floyd to a 1-year deal to take Fowler's place. The Bears dumped Floyd this week, but he arrives with more production behind him than Fowler brought with him from Jacksonville.
The Ravens have traded TE Hayden Hurst and a 4th-round pick to the Falcons in exchange for 2nd- and 5th-rounders. The 25th overall pick of the 2018 draft was a bust in Baltimore, totaling just 43 catches for 512 yards and 3 TDs over the past 2 seasons. Hurst is still just 26, though, and closed his college career with 48-616-1 and 44-559-2 receiving lines. There should be untapped pass-catching potential here. And Hurst now gets a major opportunity in Atlanta, where TE Austin Hooper and his 6.4 targets per game over the last 2 seasons just walked out the door.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Falcons WR Calvin Ridley will miss the rest of the season with the abdominal injury he suffered in Sunday's win over the Panthers. That leaves playing time and targets available for WRs Russell Gage and Christian Blake, though a Week 15 trip to San Francisco leaves us unexcited. A home date with Jacksonville in Week 16 looks more attractive, as does a Week 17 trip to Tampa Bay if your league plays that long.
Falcons WR Calvin Ridley was knocked out in the 2nd half of Sunday's game against the Panthers with an abdominal injury. We'll look for more information on his status.
Falcons WR Julio Jones (shoulder) practiced all week and will return for Sunday’s game against the Panthers. He posted a 6-91 line on 8 targets vs. the division rival back in Week 11.
Falcons HC Dan Quinn said Wednesday morning that WR Julio Jones (shoulder) is "planning" on returning for this weekend's game against the Panthers. We'll keep an eye on his practice participation over the next few days, but Jones can be penciled into Week 14 fantasy lineups for now.
Falcons HC Dan Quinn said Monday that WR Julio Jones (shoulder) is "trending upward" for this weekend's game against the Panthers. Jones seemed reasonably close to playing on Thanksgiving night and will have had another 10 days to heal up for Carolina. We'll keep a close eye on him this week.
Falcons WR Julio Jones (shoulder) is inactive for tonight's game against the Saints. That leaves Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage, Christian Blake and Justin Hardy as Atlanta's top 4 WRs. Ridley is a WR2 with upside; Gage a volume-based WR3. Downgrade QB Matt Ryan.
FOX's Jay Glazer reports that Falcons WR Julio Jones (shoulder) remains a true game-time decision for tonight's clash with the Saints. He'll test it out in warm-ups, and we'll update Jones' status when inactives come out tonight.
Falcons WR Julio Jones (shoulder) is "optimistic" that he'll be able to play against the Saints on Thursday night, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. That makes sense after Jones returned from the injury last week. We'll get his official status around 7 pm ET tomorrow.
Falcons HC Dirk Koetter labeled WR Julio Jones (shoulder) a game-time decision for Thursday night's meeting with the Falcons. Jones participated in Wednesday's walkthrough after playing through this injury last week. His availability vs. Atlanta will hinge on the strength of that shoulder, per Koetter. We'll get his official status around 7 pm ET tomorrow.
Falcons WR Julio Jones was sidelined for Tuesday's practice with the shoulder injury that he suffered in last week's loss to the Bucs. Jones played through the issue in that one but clearly wasn't comfortable. We'll see if he practices tomorrow and then how Atlanta lists him on the final injury report ahead of Thursday's game vs. the Saints.
Falcons WR Julio Jones suffered a shoulder injury in the 3rd quarter of Sunday's game against the Bucs and is officially questionable to return. We'll update his status when we learn more.
Update: Jones returned later in the 3rd quarter.
Falcons DE Takk McKinley (shoulder) is active for today's game against the Buccaneers. It's an upside sack matchup, but McKinley has just 1.5 sacks for the season and made it through just 35% of the snaps last week. He's not worth the gamble for most IDP owners.
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