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 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.
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.
Falcons lead CB Desmond Trufant is inactive for today's game against the Saints. It'll be his 4th straight game down with a hamstring injury. Trufant doesn't matter for IDP owners, but his injury only enhances for WR Michael Thomas a matchup that was already terrific.
Falcons DB Damontae Kazee is active for today's game against the Texans. He was questionable because of an illness that kept him out of Thursday and Friday practices. Kazee has been Atlanta's primary slot corner, a role that should find more action against Houston and WR Keke Coutee than it did against Tennessee's run-heavy offense last week. Kazee has some deep IDP interest.
The Falcons on Monday traded LB Duke Riley and a 6th-round pick to the Eagles for S Johnathan Cyprien and a 7th-rounder. The move looks like an attempt by Atlanta to get a replacement for SS Keanu Neal, who suffered a torn Achilles' tendon in Week 3. Kemal Ishmael started in his place against the Titans. We'll see if Ishmael's still in the lineup for Week 5. Riley, meanwhile, joins a crowd at LB for the Eagles. He'll have some climbing to do before he's relevant.
The Falcons believe S Keanu Neal tore his left Achilles' tendon in Sunday's loss to the Colts. Kemal Ishmael filled in for Neal on Sunday and finished with 6 tackles. He'll be worth a look in plenty of IDP leagues this week.
The Falcons will keep DT Grady Jarrett off the open market by applying the franchise tag. The 25-year-old (until late April) has increased his sacks and his tackles per game each of the past 3 seasons. Pro Football Focus also credited him with a career-high 53 total pressures in 2018, tied for 6th most among all interior linemen. Jarrett retains upside beyond what he's scored for fantasy owners so far. He's not likely, however, to grow beyond a solid option for DT-required IDP leagues.
Falcons MLB Deion Jones put in a full practice Friday and didn't even appear on the final injury report for the week. HC Dan Quinn has praised Jones' work in practice the past couple of weeks, and the team website reported Friday that Jones isn't expected to see his snaps limited. There's still some risk in Jones' 1st game back, but Atlanta brought him back patiently from the Week 1 foot injury. And there's more than enough upside to make Jones worth a shot in IDP lineups. We've added Jones to the top 12 of the Week 13 LB rankings.
The Falcons on Monday activated MLB Deion Jones from IR. He had been out since suffering a foot injury in Week 1 that required surgery. HC Dan Quinn told the Atlanta Journal Constitution he doesn't yet know if Jones will be ready to play Dallas this Sunday. “We’ll have the same format that we had last week,” Quinn said. “We’ll take it step by step and see where he’s at. It’s too early to make a prediction of where he could be. He’s eligible to be back this week, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready. We will put him out there when he’s 100 percent.” Until then, Foye Oluokun is the main guy in the middle. IDP owners should go ahead and add Jones now where available, though. He'll undoubtedly take the MLB job back over when he's ready and is a top-5 fantasy LB when healthy.
Falcons MLB Deion Jones returned to practice Wednesday after missing the past 8 games with a foot fracture. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Jones tested the foot off to the side last week, so Wednesday's participation sounds like an upgrade. If he continues to build on that, Jones would be eligible to return in Week 11. He's worth a pickup in many IDP leagues now on the mere chance.
The Falcons have signed DE Bruce Irvin to a 1-year deal. The Steelers and Patriots also reportedly made offers to the former Raider, with other teams also expressing interest. Atlanta sports the league's 5th-worst sack rate, and the city is Irvin's hometown. The Falcons reportedly plan to get Irvin on the field right away for this weekend's matchup with the Browns, so we should soon see how big a role he can claim. It'd be tough to start Irvin in IDP lineups right away -- despite the positive matchup -- but he has a shot to gain relevance through the 2nd half of the year. The interest level he generated on the open market suggests Oakland mishandled the veteran by cutting his playing time this year and then dumping him.
The Falcons have ruled DT Grady Jarrett (ankle) out for the 2nd straight game. That hurts an already weak Atlanta run D. Unfortunately for the Bucs, they don't have an RB who has proved capable of exploiting the weakness yet.
Falcons FS Ricardo Allen tore his left Achilles' tendon in Sunday's loss to the Saints and will miss the rest of the season. That leaves Atlanta's defense without both of its starting safeties, after SS Keanu Neal suffered an ACL tear in Week 1. Jordan Richards played 32% of the snaps against New Orleans and looks like the next guy up. The Falcons also recently signed former Bucs S Keith Tandy and could shift Kemal Ishmael back from LB. We'll see about their plan over the coming week.
The Falcons have ruled DE Takk McKinley out for Sunday's game against the Saints because of a groin injury. We'll see about his status for Week 4. McKinley didn't make for a strong IDP option in this matchup anyway.
Falcons DE Takk McKinley suffered a groin injury in Sunday's win over the Panthers. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, McKinley is considered "day-to-day" and looks questionable for Week 3. But the injury is not expected to impact him long term. The 2017 first-round pick has delivered a sack in each game so far.
Falcons S Damontae Kazee was ejected in the 1st half of today's game against the Panthers after delivering a helmet-to-helmet hit on QB Cam Newton. Kazee went low to deliver the shot as Newton slid at the end of a run. We'll see if there's any further discipline beyond a fine coming. Given that it's the rookie's 1st such infraction, we wouldn't bet on a suspension.
The Falcons on Tuesday placed MLB Deion Jones on IR with a foot injury. The specific injury is not yet clear, but HC Dan Quinn said Jones will "require a procedure." Quinn added that they "do expect to get him back at some point this season." Short-term IR, though, means Jones will miss at least 8 games. That makes him not worth keeping in just about any redraft IDP league. Atlanta signed former Eagles LB Corey Nelson this week for depth, but he obviously doesn't come close to Jones' skill set. We'll see about the Falcons' specific replacement plan. LB De'Vondre Campbell and S Damontae Kazee gain tackle upside in Jones' absence. Kazee is taking over for Keanu Neal, who suffered an ACL tear in the loss to Philadelphia.
Falcons S Keanu Neal suffered a torn left ACL in Thursday night's loss to the Eagles and will miss the rest of the season. Second-year S Damontae Kazee stepped in to play about half the snaps against the Eagles and is expected to start in Neal's place. Kazee snagged 15 INTs over his final 2 seasons at San Diego State and defensed 29 passes for his career. He's worth a look in deeper IDP leagues.
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