Description: The Falcons may have found their No. 3 receiver to replace Harry Douglas (Tennessee) in Justin Hardy from East Carolina.
Insight: Hardy set all kind of records at ECU with 387 receptions for 4,541 yards and 35 touchdowns, but the Falcons are set on the outside with Julio Jones and Roddy White. On the other hand, isn't White about a 100-years-old?
Description: The Atlanta Falcons selected Indiana running back Travis Coleman with the No. 73 overall pick in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Insight: Coleman was a very productive runner in college, rushing for 3,219 yards and 28 touchdowns in 452 career rushes. Coleman can also pass protect, so there is a good chance he starts right away with only Devonta Freeman and Antone Smith left at running back on the Falcons roster. With Kyle Shanahan as his offensive coordinator, Coleman has high upside in fantasy this season.
Description: The St. Louis Rams drafted Georgia running back Todd Gurley with the No. 10 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Insight: This is a big selection for Jeff Fisher and the St. Louis Rams. This is probably the Rams best running back since Stephen Jackson. However, Gurley is unlikely to play in the first month of the season according to the Miami Herald. Gurley tore his ACL in November last season, so fantasy owners probably don't need to target him in redraft leagues. In dynasty leagues, though, he is can't miss.
Description: Georgia star running back, Todd Gurley, received a clean bill of health from the medical recheck at the Combine.
Insight: Gurley figures to be the first or second running back off the board and should be a viable fantasy option in his rookie year depending upon where he ends up. Gurley could go as high as No. 8 to Atlanta, but more likely ends up in Arizona, Baltimore or Dallas.
Description: The Falcons released running back Steven Jackson.
Insight: Jackson will have trouble finding work, but could have a chance to earn a roster spot as a backup. He likely will not be relevant in 2015 no matter what. For now, Devonta Freeman is atop the depth chart in Atlanta.
Description: Falcons receiver Julio Jones was active for Week 17, but not productive.
Insight: Jones caught four balls for 58 yards. Fantasy owners expect triple digits every time out from this uber-talented receiver. He finished the season with 104 receptions for 1,593 yards and six touchdowns.
Description: Falcons running back Jacquizz Rodgers is expected to start at running back with Stephen Jackson injured.
Insight: Rodgers is a better pass blocker than Devonta Freeman, so Rodgers will start and play a majority of the snaps. Freeman will rotate in and see a decent amount of opportunities. Rodgers had 11 carries and 29 yards last week, but Freeman was more explosive as he ran for a 36 yards on five rushes, including a 31-yard touchdown.
Description: Falcons receiver Julio Jones didn't practice Wednesday, but is still expected to play in the big game Sunday.
Insight: He had seven receptions for 107 yards on eight targets last weekend without practice. He's likely to be conservative about practice this week too, so don't let this stop you from starting him against Carolina in Week 17.
Description: Falcons receiver Julio Jones (hip/oblique) is expected to play Sunday, according to Chris Mortensen.
Insight: That still doesn't tell you if he'll be active in the offense or a decoy, but at least he will be out there in uniform. Harry Douglas and Roddy White get a reduction in their fantasy value, particularly Douglas.
Description: Falcons receiver Harry Douglas led the team with 10 catches for 131 yards in Week 15.
Insight: The owners who gambled with Doulgas were rewarded with his best game of the season. He didn't find the end zone, but his team-high 14 targets was enough for him to accumulate great numbers. Douglas would be a good option next week as well against the Saints if Julio Jones has to miss another game.
Description: Falcons running back Steven Jackson had an alright fantasy day with 11 carries and 46 yards.
Insight: Atlanta turned to Matt Ryan and the passing game as they trailed the Steelers, 20-7, at halftime. Jackson had a decent average, but without a touchdown, he didn't help many owners advance to the championship.
Description: Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw for two touchdowns and one interception against the Steelers in Week 15.
Insight: The interception was the difference in the game as William Gay returned it for a touchdown and Atlanta lost, 27-20, but for fantasy owners Ryan had a good day. He was 26-of-37 for 310 yards with the two touchdowns and one turnover. He is a good option next week in New Orleans for fantasy championship week.
Description: Falcons receiver Roddy White is active and will be Matt Ryan's No. 1 target in Week 15 versus the Steelers.
Insight: With Julio Jones out with a hip injury, White will be asked to carry the load in the passing game along with Harry Douglas. There should be a lot of passing opportunities for White because the Steelers and Falcons both love to score and don't play good defense.
Description: Falcons receiver Julio Jones will not play against the Falcons due to his hip injury.
Insight: Jones suffered a hip pointer in the Monday night loss in Green Bay. That's too bad because Jones has gone for a career-high in yards each of the last two weeks and had a juicy matchup at home versus the Steelers. Harry Douglas has a huge bump in value this week and is a great play.
Description: Falcons receiver Julio Jones (hip) apparently "can barely run," according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Insight: Ledbetter added Jones will likely be a decoy if active, but also does not think he will suit up. No matter what, Jones looks to be far less than 100 percent, and even if he plays, we unfortunately have to recommend keeping him on the bench.
Description: Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was 24-of-39 for 375 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.
Insight: Ryan has always been a much better home quarterback than on the road, but this time he got the ball to Julio Jones and the talented wideout did the rest. It's his second consecutive game with at least 360 yards passing and he faces a vulnerable Steelers secondary, at home, in Week 15.
Description: In front of a national audience, Falcons receiver Julio Jones showed off his unbelievable talents, catching 11 of 17 targets for 259 yards and a touchdown.
Insight: All-Pro Patrick Peterson couldn't stop Jones last weekend and the Packers had even less luck. He did leave in the fourth quarter with an apparent hip injury which will have fantasy owners concerned for Week 15.
Description: Falcons receiver Roddy White is active for Monday night's tilt against the Packers.
Insight: White is available to owners who wish to use him, though, the Packers secondary has been a lot better lately, and the snowy weather conditions are not ideal for the passing game. Harry Douglas is also active.
Description: Falcons receiver Julio Jones has missed another practice due to illness.
Insight: Jones figures to be fine by the weekend and in fact is expected to practice Friday, but it's worth watching. If he's less than 100 percent and facing a tough cornerback in Joe Haden he might not be a top play.
Description: Falcons receiver Julio Jones says he's finally 100 percent over the ankle injury, according to Vaughn McClure tweet.
Insight: Jones hasn't scored since Week 3 and didn't crack the 70-yard mark in the three games before Atlanta's bye last weekend. We expect to see the "old" Jones against a Bucs defense that he toasted earlier this season.
Description: Falcons receiver Roddy White led his team in targets, but it was just six.
Insight: He caught five for a team-high 66 yards, but he couldn't find the end zone. The two touchdown passes were scored by Devonta Freeman and Bear Pascoe. That couldn't have helped many fantasy owners.
Description: Falcons receiver Julio Jones was limited in Wednesday's practice, but was a full participant in Thursday's session and should be in all fantasy lineups Sunday morning.
Insight: Many players take Wednesday's practice off and it's not a real indicator of whether a player is ready for Sunday. Jones and the Falcons face a Lions defense which has stubbornly yielded a league-low seven touchdown passes this season (tied with Baltimore).
Description: Falcons backup running back Antone Smith had five touches against the Ravens on Sunday.
Insight: Smith broke his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown at five. It appeared the Falcons were trying to get Smith more involved, but the Atlanta rushing attack was horrible, not giving Smith many opportunities.
Description: Does anyone besides me wonder why Falcons running back Steven Jackson still has the starting job?
Insight: Jackson rushed for 25 yards on six carries Sunday against Chicago which is above his season average of 3.8 ypc. Isn't it time to give Antone Smith a shot as the starter based on what he's done?
Description: It will take a brave fantasy owner to start Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan in Week 5 as all the indicators point downward.
Insight: Ryan has thrown five interceptions in two road games this year after throwing 14 on the road (versus three at home) last season. And on Tuesday 40 percent of his starting offensive line was placed on injured reserve (RT Lamar Holmes and C Joe Hawley). That's going to be a lot to overcome.
Description: Falcons receiver Roddy White was active as promised and led the team with 14 targets in Week 4 against Minnesota.
Insight: His hamstring injury was never a real concern. He turned those targets into 73 yards and one touchdown. We think Ryan forced the ball to White too often and down the road will utilize Julio Jones more, but we're happy to see White was healthy.
Description: The most explosive back in Atlanta isn't Steven Jackson or Jacquizz Rodgers it's Antone Smith.
Insight: Too bad he doesn't get enough work to be fantasy worthy. Sunday he rushed four times for 62 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown. He's run the ball 10 times this season for 119 yards and two touchdowns. Isn't it about time to stop using plodding Steven Jackson?
Description: Not long after setting an NFL record for return touchdowns, Devin Hester was seen walking to the locker room with an apparent leg injury.
Insight: The 31-year-old scored the last two touchdowns of the first hald, first on a run and the second a beautiful 62 yard punt return. He was injured while going out for a pass in the next drive. Update: Hester has returned and is playing at the wideout position as the teams play in the third quarter.
Description: Not long after setting an NFL record for return touchdowns, Devin Hester was seen walking to the locker room with an apparent leg injury.
Insight: The 31-year-old scored the last two touchdowns of the first hald, first on a run and the second a beautiful 62 yard punt return. He was injured while going out for a pass in the next drive. Given the 35-0 score, his return is unlikely.
Description: Falcons receiver Roddy White is inactive for Thursday's game against the Buccaneers.
Insight: CBS' Jason La Canfora reported he did "not expect" White to be active on Thursday, which was news to us because the Falcons had been adament that White would play. Regardless, take White out of your lineup immediately and find a replacement.
Description: CBS' Jason La Canfora does "not expect" Roddy White to be active for Thursday's game against the Buccaneers.
Insight: This is news to us as the Falcons and Atlanta media have continually indicated that White will play despite missing practice all week. There is a chance that White is used as a decoy, but the La Canfora report is still very odd. Regardless, be wary that White is not at full strength, on a short week and has been used as a decoy when nursing a hamstring injury before.
Description: Falcons wideout Harry Douglas is back to being the No. 3 guy in the pecking order.
Insight: Actually that's an upgrade for when Tony Gonzalez was in Atlanta he too was also ahead of Douglas. We've saw Douglas has the talent to be a fantasy starter last season when Roddy White and Julio Jones were sidelined, but it will take more injuries to make him fantasy worthy in 2014.
Description: Falcons receiver Roddy White (knee) had a quiet day Sunday, catching just five balls for 42 yards.
Insight: White banged his knee in Week 1 and facing a tough Bengals defense figured to struggle and he did. He should be feeling better for the matchup with the Bucs, but not matter how good he feels if Julio Jones is in the lineup, White is the No. 2 target.
Description: Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan finished 24-of-44 for 231 yards with one
touchdown and three interceptions against the Bengals in Week 2.
Insight: Ryan followed up his 448 yard and three touchdown Week 1 with a huge dud in Week 2. Fantasy owners could not have expected a repeat of those Week 2 numbers but Ryan was still very disappointing in Cincinnati. We still like him to have a big season, but in bad matchups like Sunday's was, it would be wise to lower expectations a lot or even find a plug-in replacement.
Description: Falcons receiver Roddy White (knee) is "good to go" for Week 2 against the Bengals and officially active.
Insight: White banged his knee at the end of a 39-yard catch on Sunday against the Saints, which he admitted was a concern initially, but the receiver is no longer worried. White is slated to be a low-end WR1 and strong WR2 this week.
Description: Falcons left tackle Jake Matthews (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 2.
Insight: Matthews left the Week 1 matchup against the Saints with an ankle injury. Gabe Carimi replaced Matthews last week and will play left tackle on Sunday against the Bengals. Carimi allowed a sack, four hurries and took three penalties in place of Matthews last week. Until Matthews returns, Matt Ryan should feel some more pressure on his blind side.
Description: Falcons receiver Roddy White (knee) is "good to go" for Week 2 against the Bengals.
Insight: White banged his knee at the end of a 39-yard catch on Sunday against the Saints, which he admitted was a concern initially, but the receiver is no longer worried. Obviously, any injury, no matter how minor, is a concern for a 32-year-old receiver who missed time last year, but White is slated to be a low-end WR1 and strong WR2 this week.
Description: Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was a fantasy monster Sunday, throwing for 448 yards and three scores without an interception.
Insight: Ryan was sacked just one time as his offensive line, a weak point last season, held up against the Saints. If they can continue to give Ryan protection, he's going to do a lot more damage with his three high-quality targets (Julio Jones, Roddy White, Harry Douglas).
Description: Falcons left tackle Jake Matthews is questionable to return after suffering an ankle injury in the second quarter.
Insight: Matthews was limping as he came out of the locker room for the second half, and did not have his helmet. He is unlikely to return. Quarterback Matt Ryan has thrown two touchdowns already, but this is not good for his protection.
Description: Falcons running back Steven Jackson is not listed on the team's Week 1 injury report.
Insight: Jackson has also been practicing and is not expected to be held back at all in the expected shootout with the Saints on Sunday. The 31-year-old did not take a single snap in preseason. At his age and with his below average offensive line though, we would keep Jackson's expectations in check.
Description: Former Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez reiterated that he didn't want to play anymore in response to a question from Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.
Insight: Gonzalez did say he had inquires from a number of teams in the offseason. He'll finish his 17-year career with 1,325 receptions for 15,127 yards and 111 TDs. He would probably still be a fantasy starter if he came back even at age 38.
Description: Falcons receiver Roddy White caught three passes for 34 yards in Saturday's preseason game against the Titans.
Insight: White looks to be the underneath, possession receiver this year with Julio Jones clearly taking the big play wide receiver role. But if White can actually stay healthy this season, he could see a lot more targets with Tony Gonzalez retiring. He is a value pick in the fourth or fifth round.
Description: Falcons receiver Julio Jones caught two passes including a touchdown in Saturday's preseason game against the Titans.
Insight: Matt Ryan found Jones for a 52-yard TD pass in the second quarter. Seeing as how well Ryan looked on Saturday and due to the fact the Falcons look poised to be in a lot of high scoring games, Jones definitely has potential to return to those 2012 numbers in which he caught 79 balls for 1,198 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Description: Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan completed 18-of-23 passes for 224 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in Saturday's preseason game against the Titans.
Insight: Ryan looks poised to return to his 2012 numbers (4,515 yards/32 touchdowns) with his preseason performances so far. He is 28-for-37 for 314 yards, two touchdowns and no picks this month. With a poor defense and a shaky ground attack, Atlanta could be in a lot of shootouts and Ryan will be throwing a lot this season.
Description: Atlanta coach Mike Smith fully expects running back Steven Jackson (left hamstring) to be ready for Week 1, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter.
Insight: Even if that's true, the injury is a reminder that Jackson isn't getting any younger. The 31-year-old missed four games with a strained right hamstring last year and rushed for just 3.5 ypc. Rookie Devonta Freeman has a good chance to start at some point this season.
Description: Falcons receiver Julio Jones (foot) is set to return to a normal practice routine, according to ESPN.com's Vaughn McClure.
Insight: Jones has been practicing every other day as he works his way back from foot surgery. He had 41 catches for 580 yards and two touchdowns in five games last season and has No. 1 overall fantasy upside at his position if he can stay healthy.
Description: The Falcons have brought in Pat McQuistan, formerly of Dallas, Miami, New Orleans, and Arizona.
Insight: The team is in need of offensive line help due to the season-ending injury to Sam Baker (torn patellar tendon). The Falcons need to protect Matt Ryan better than last season (career high 44 sacks in 2013).
Description: The replacement for Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez in the Falcons starting lineup is Levine Toilolo, though fantasy owners shouldn't expect much from him offensively.
Insight: While Gonzalez averaged 82 receptions and 837 yards a season during his five-year stay in Atlanta, Toilolo is a big slow target that won't have much fantasy value. He caught two of three targets for 19 yards in Friday's preseason opener.
Description: Falcons rookie running back Devonta Freeman had 107 yards from scrimmage on 11 touches (10 carries) in the preseason opener Friday against the Dolphins.
Insight: Freeman, a fourth-round pick, ran as the No. 3 back on the depth chart so he did his damage against second- and third-teamers, but it's still a strong first impression for him. He should end up as the direct backup to Steven Jackson, though he won't have fantasy value unless Jackson goes down because Jacquizz Rodgers is still around for passing downs.
Description: Word from Falcons' OC Dirk Koetter is that rookie running back Devonta Freeman is just "OK" in pass protection, according to Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Insight: The fastest way to finding a seat on the bench is to get your quarterback killed. Particularly when its a franchise QB like Matt Ryan. Until we hear he's blocking and picking up blitzes he's not going to see playing time and for fantasy owners that's the key to his fantasy value. We know he can run.
Description: Falcons receiver Julio Jones (foot) has been practicing every other day by design, according to a Vaughn McClure report.
Insight: Jones has said he feels 100 percent and the Falcons are trying to keep him that way until the season begins. Prior to the injury, Jones was finally reaching his enormous potential and had accumulated 580 yards and two touchdowns on 41 catches, a pace of 131 receptions and 1,856 yards per 16 games.
Description: Atlanta running back Steven Jackson suffered a left hamstring injury Monday, according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com.
Insight: It isn't the same hamstring that Jackson strained last season. Falcons coach Mike Smith said he's fully confident Jackson will be ready for Week 1, but the injury is a reminder that Jackson isn't getting any younger. The 31-year-old missed four games last year and rushed for just 3.5 ypc. Rookie Devonta Freeman has a good chance to start at some point this season.
Description: The Falcons have signed receiver Roddy White to a three-year extension, according to Adam Schefter.
Insight: White came on strong in December after an injury-plagued first three months. The 32-year-old is eighth among active players in career receiving yards with 9,436 in nine seasons in the league. He and Julio Jones make up one of the league's top tandems.
Description: Atlanta linebacker Sean Weatherspoon has suffered a ruptured Achilles. He'll miss the entire 2014 season. SOURCE: Vaughn McClure, ESPN
Insight: Knee and foot injuries limited Weatherspoon to seven games last season. Even when healthy, which hasn't been the case in quite some time, Weatherspoon has had a tendency to miss tackles. This injury certainly won't help him going into free agency next season.
Description: According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Falcons receiver Julio Jones (foot) is hoping to be back by Week 1 of the regular season.
Insight: He had to have season-ending foot surgery after five games in 2013. Prior to the injury, Jones was finally reaching his enormous potential and had accumulated 580 yards and two touchdowns on 41 catches, a pace of 131 receptions and 1,856 yards per 16 games.