The Falcons have agreed to a two-year deal with QB Taylor Heinicke that could pay as much as $20 million, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. That likely means Heinicke will get significant salary escalators if he winds up starting a bunch of games. More importantly, though, this might be the clearest signal that Atlanta expects to have QB Desmond Ridder starting Week 1 of 2023. The Falcons now have two QBs with NFL starting experience rostered, still more than a month ahead of the NFL Draft. We doubt this excludes the franchise from taking a QB in Round 1 of the draft, if the Falcons like a guy who gets to them. But don't bet on them angling to move up for any QB prospect. Ridder obviously has plenty to prove after just four rookie-year starts. And Heinicke looks like a two-year insurance policy. But Ridder has also been going plenty late enough in best ball ADP so far to be worth selecting as a QB3.
Falcons QB Taylor Heinicke suffered a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game vs. the Cardinals. He's remained on the sidelines but doesn't have his helmet. Heinicke is officially questionable to return but seems unlikely to do so. He's been replaced by QB Desmond Ridder.
Update: Heinicke has been ruled out.
Falcons HC Arthur Smith announced Monday that QB Taylor Heinicke will start again Sunday against Arizona. It's not a surprise. Heinicke played just OK in the Week 9 loss to the Vikings, completing 55.2% of his passes for 268 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. His lone score came on a short throw that TE Jonnu Smith took 60 yards for the TD. Heinicke looks interesting for Week 10, though, if you need a streaming QB. He'll face a Cardinals defense that has been sixth most friendly to QB scoring by our adjusted fantasy points allowed. Arizona also ranks just 31st in pass-defense DVOA. Check back Tuesday afternoon (and beyond) to see where Heinicke settles in our Week 10 QB rankings. QB Desmond Ridder does remain stashable in superflex leagues -- if you can afford the spot. Heinicke's no lock to keep the job the rest of the way if his coach is announcing the starter one week at a time.
Falcons QB Taylor Heinicke completed 21 of 38 passes for 268 yards with 1 TD and INT apiece in Week 9 vs. the Vikings. His 14.7 fantasy points in this contest aren’t remarkable, though they were passable enough to finish as a high-end QB2 this week. Between 2021-22, Heinicke averaged 13.5 fantasy points per game in 25 games played with the Commanders, so these are the sorts of results that are reasonable for fantasy managers to expect. Next week, he’ll face a Cardinals defense that ranks as the sixth-easiest matchup for QBs per our adjusted fantasy points allowed. Heinicke will be in the deep-league streaming discussion for Week 10.
Falcons HC Arthur Smith announced Wednesday that QB Taylor Heinicke will start Sunday against the Vikings. It's not a shocking move after the team pulled QB Desmond Ridder from the Week 8 loss to the Titans. Ridder has largely struggled outside of a 329-yard passing effort in the Week 5 win over Houston. Since that game, he has tossed just 2 TD passes vs. 3 INTs across three contests, while also taking a sack on nearly 10% of dropbacks and losing 4 fumbles. Heinicke went an OK 12-of-21 (57.1%) for 175 yards (8.3 per attempt) after taking over against Tennessee. His 9.7 average target depth in that contest -- according to Pro Football Refernce -- was about 2 yards deeper than Ridder's season rate of 7.8. Pro Football Focus credits Heinicke with a career 8.8-yard average depth of target and 9.2-yard aDOT with the Commanders last season. Heinicke's career 63.7% completion rate comes in short of Ridder's (64.8%), and we've seen enough to know he won't bring consistent efficiency. But a daring downfield thrower could boost the fantasy production of Falcons WR Drake London and TE Kyle Pitts ... if Arthur Smith will allow the offense to exploit those skills. (And assuming London's groin injury doesn't linger, of course.) We're not significantly upgrading our outlooks for any Falcons offensive pieces on this switch. But a move away from Ridder at least allows for some optimism. We'll see whether London's able to play this week -- and then how Heinicke fares in his first Atlanta start. The Minnesota matchup looks fairly neutral for Falcons passing.
New Falcons QB Taylor Heinicke told reporters on Thursday that his goal is to be "the best backup I can be to Desmond [Ridder]." "They drafted (Ridder) high for a reason," Heinicke added. So that puts to bed any notion of a true QB competition in Atlanta. Of course, there's a chance that Ridder falters and gives way to Heinicke at some point in 2023. But Ridder is the Falcons QB to consider late in fantasy football drafts.
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