43 catches for 327 yards helped salvage Rams RB Todd Gurley's 2016 season. Only 14 RBs caught more passes. But ESPN's Alden Gonzalez expects Gurley's pass-catching production to dip under new HC Sean McVay. Gonzalez believes McVay will use free-agent acquisition Lance Dunbar similarly to how he used Chris Thompson in Washington. Thompson caught 84 passes over the past 2 years, while Robert Kelley, Matt Jones and Alfred Morris combined for just 49. Gurley, of course, is a much better receiver than that trio. His 6.13 yards per target ranks 24th among 50 RBs who saw 50+ looks over the past 2 seasons. If Gurley's passing-game volume declines in 2017, we wouldn't expect it to decline by much. He remains the best offensive weapon on the Rams roster.
Cardinals LB Deone Bucannon recently had surgery to repair the ankle injury that landed him on IR in December. Bucannon played through the issue for much of the year, according to the team website, before missing the final 3 games. He hoped to be able to rehab the injury without surgery but finally had to go under the knife. “We think, if everything goes perfect, he’ll be ready,” HC Bruce Arians said, referring to the start of the regular season. “But there’s always that chance that it won’t.” We'll see this summer how perfectly everything works out. In the meantime, rookie Haason Reddick is expected to work in Bucannon's spot.
The Falcons used a 5th-round pick on Wyoming RB Brian Hill. A workhorse over the past 2 seasons, Hill racked up 3,491 rushing yards with 28 scores. It took him 630 carries to get there, though — a mediocre (for a college back) 5.5 yards per carry. Hill has good size at 6’1, 219 pounds and registered a 50th percentile SPARQ score. But we didn’t see anything to get excited about on tape. He’ll sit behind Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman this year. Freeman is currently set to hit free agency next offseason.
The Falcons traded up from 31st overall to 26th to draft edge rusher Takkarist McKinley. We'll see whether the Atlanta scheme sets him up at DE or OLB. McKinley overcame injuries to rack up 10 sacks and 18 total tackles for loss in his final season at UCLA. He should pair with Vic Beasley to beef up the Falcons pass rush in a defense with plenty of fantasy football upside.
Falcons WR Julio Jones is expected to be ready for the start of training camp, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Jones underwent what was deemed a minor foot surgery on March 6. He was in a boot but getting around without crutches at an appearance on Wednesday. “I’m good,” Jones said. "My thing right now is recovery." We'll continue to track his progress. For now, there's no reason to believe the procedure will impact Jones' 2017 campaign.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that former Jaguars S Jonathan Cyprien has reached a deal with the Titans. Cyprien heads to a defense that supplied little fantasy football production from safeties in recent seasons. DC Dick LeBeau's system also didn't tend to produce big tackle numbers from the safeties. That category has driven Cyprien's IDP value to date, so it's tough to like his outlook. Unless his ADP falls, we'd bet on Cyprien being overrated in 2017 drafts.
Falcons WR Julio Jones had what the team calls a "minor foot procedure" on Monday. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport hears that the surgery addressed a bunion that "had bothered him for years." We don't have any details on how long Jones will be sidelined, but this doesn't seem like something that will impact his 2017 season. Still, durability remains an issue for a guy who's missed 17 games over 6 NFL seasons.
The 2016 Falcons led the league in scoring and finished 2nd in total yards. So, not surprisingly, they don't want to alter the offense, despite the departure of OC Kyle Shanahan. "We love the way that we attack, and it took a lot of work to put that system in place," HC Dan Quinn said. "Along with [GM Thomas Dimitroff], we have a real emphasis now on how we can fit guys into that system. It's very important that we stay consistent with that." In theory, it's good news for QB Matt Ryan and Atlanta's skill-position guys. But we'll see exactly how similar the offense is under new OC Steve Sarkisian.
Falcons WR Julio Jones told reporters on Tuesday that he'll be evaluated in March to determine if he needs toe surgery. Jones suffered the injury -- either turf toe or a sprain, depending on who you ask -- in Week 13 and missed the next 2 games. He was dominant the rest of the way, though, even despite aggravating the issue in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. We'll keep an eye on whether Jones goes under the knife and how long he's sidelined for. Durability remains a concern for a guy who's missed 17 games over 6 seasons. But Jones has still finished as a top 6 PPR WR in 3 straight years. He'll be an early- to mid-1st-round pick in 2017 fantasy drafts.
The Falcons are set to hire Steve Sarkisian as their new OC, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The 42-year-old has spent the bulk of his coaching career so far in the NCAA. His only NFL experience was as the Raiders' QB coach in 2004. (Kerry Collins was his starter.) Sarkisian has loads of talent to work with in Atlanta. But, at least on paper, he's a significant downgrade from Kyle Shanahan.
Falcons WR Julio Jones (toe) isn't listed on the final injury report. He was officially limited in Friday's practice after sitting out the previous 2 days, but HC Dan Quinn said Jones "looked good" and "won't have any limitations" on Sunday vs. Green Bay. It's still tough to believe that he'll be anywhere close to 100%, but Jones is still capable of being a difference-maker this weekend.
Falcons HC Dan Quinn said Monday that WR Julio Jones (toe) will be "ready to rock" for Sunday's NFC Championship against the Packers, although he'll be limited in practice this week. Jones aggravated the toe injury he originally suffered in Week 13 and was sidelined for much of the 4th quarter of Saturday's win over the Seahawks. He ended up playing a season-low 58.3% of the snaps. Quinn's optimism -- and the fact that Jones will practice at all this week -- are obviously good signs, though. We'll keep an eye on him.
Falcons WR Julio Jones aggravated his sprained toe in Saturday's win over the Seahawks, HC Dan Quinn said afterward. Jones was noticeably hobbled at multiple times during the game and was sidelined late in the 4th quarter. "No concern, at the moment," Quinn said. "We'll have more information on that later. It will be sore, but he's certainly somebody that's able to battle through it. So, I anticipate him being ready to rock next week." We'll be on Julio Watch throughout next week.
When asked if he'd monitor the snaps of WR Julio Jones in Sunday's finale, Falcons HC Dan Quinn said Friday: "He looked good over the last couple of days, so I'm not going to monitor him. If it gets sore, then we'll take him out. He looked good in practice today. He looked strong. He looked explosive." That comes via ESPN's Vaughn McClure. The "if it gets sore" reminds everyone that there's some re-injury risk to Jones. But this is certainly a positive take overall. He's a must-play for season-long formats and a high-ceiling option for DFS lineups.
Falcons WR Julio Jones (toe) is not listed on the final injury report. He practiced all week, including a full workout on Friday. Jones might be closer to 100% for Saturday’s game against the Panthers than we originally thought. He belongs in Week 16 fantasy lineups.
Falcons WR Julio Jones (toe) was on the practice field again on Thursday. It means his toe responded well to Wednesday's workout. Jones is on track to play against the Panthers this weekend. Even at less than 100%, he'll be a must-start in Week 16 fantasy lineups.
Falcons HC Dan Quinn said Wednesday that WR Julio Jones (toe) will be "full speed in certain situations" against the Panthers this weekend. That's a muddied statement but might mean that Jones will be on a snap count on Saturday. His fantasy ceiling and floor will be lower than usual for Week 16. But an active Jones will be nearly impossible to bench against a flammable Panthers secondary that he burnt for 300 yards earlier this season.
Falcons WR Julio Jones (toe) will "participate some" in Tuesday's practice, HC Dan Quinn said. Atlanta is optimistic about Jones' Week 16 status, but his availability might ultimately depend on how that toe responds to his workouts this week. We'll continue to keep a close eye on the situation.
Falcons HC Dan Quinn said after Sunday's win over the 49ers that he thinks WR Julio Jones (toe) will be back for next weekend's game against the Panthers. Jones has yet to practice since suffering the injury, but it made sense for Atlanta to hold him out in easily winnable games against the Rams and Niners the past 2 weeks. Carolina will be a bigger challenge. We'll continue to keep a close eye on Jones' progress this coming week.
Falcons WR Julio Jones (toe) has been ruled out for this weekend's game against the 49ers. He's obviously not close to 100%, and Atlanta has no reason to rush him back for an easily winnable contest. We'll see if Jones can return for a tougher Week 16 draw in Carolina.
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