Fantasy: 2019 Projections - Will Falcons' Freeman get back to form?
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With training camps approaching, theScore's Justin Boone is releasing his offensive projections for all 32 teams, including his thoughts on every fantasy-relevant player.

Projections are based on the following point values in PPR leagues:

  • Passing Yards: 1 point per 25 yards
  • Passing TDs: 4 points
  • Interceptions: -2 points
  • Rushing Yards: 1 point per 10 yards
  • Rushing TDs: 6 points
  • Receptions: 1 point
  • Receiving Yards: 1 point per 10 yards
  • Receiving TDs: 6 points
  • Fumbles Lost: -2 points
  • Two-point Conversions: 2 points

2019 Fantasy Projections

AFC East
NE | BUF | NYJ | MIA
AFC North
BAL | CIN | PIT | CLE
AFC South
JAX | IND | HOU | TEN
AFC West
DEN | KC | OAK | LAC
NFC East
DAL | PHI | NYG | WAS
NFC North
DET | GB | MIN | CHI
NFC South
ATL | NO | CAR | TB
NFC West
LAR | SF | SEA | ARI

Atlanta Falcons

Matt Ryan, QB

Fantasy Points 292.48
Attempts 581
Completions 389
Pass Yards 4657
Pass TDs 28
INTs 11
Carries 31
Rush Yards 122
Rush TDs 1
Fumbles Lost 3
2PT 2

Ryan has been a top-10 fantasy quarterback in seven of the last 10 seasons. His worst two campaigns came in the first year under a new offensive coordinator. Fortunately for him, recently hired Dirk Koetter previously held this position from 2012 to 2014. During those three years, Ryan never finished below QB12 in fantasy, so the odds of another QB1 season are very high.

Quarterback depth: Like most backup quarterback situations around the league, if Ryan were to miss games with an injury, his team's offense would fall to pieces. Matt Schaub was atrocious the last time he was given significant snaps and the 38-year-old isn't likely to have improved as he nears the end of his career.

Devonta Freeman, RB

Fantasy Points 217.7
Carries 239
Rush Yards 1023
Rush TDs 7
Fumbles Lost 1
Targets 54
Receptions 39
Rec. Yards 304
Rec. TDs 1
2PT 0

Freeman ended 2017 as the RB13 in fantasy but dealt with multiple injuries last year, which limited him to just two early-season appearances. He returns to a much different backfield now that Tevin Coleman has left in free agency. The Falcons also invested heavily in their offensive line, spending two first-round picks on Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary to solidify the right side. As long as he can stay healthy, there's a clear path for Freeman to flirt with RB1 fantasy numbers once again, and he's currently going off the board as the RB17 at the end of the third round.

Ito Smith, RB

Fantasy Points 120.3
Carries 112
Rush Yards 426
Rush TDs 3
Fumbles Lost 0
Targets 41
Receptions 32
Rec. Yards 217
Rec. TDs 1
2PT 0

Smith stepped into the No. 2 role while Freeman was sidelined in 2018, and he'll occupy the same spot this season. In the interest of keeping Freeman on the field, Smith will continue to siphon touches, but he wasn't successful enough last season to warrant a true timeshare like Coleman had. If you're drafting Smith, you're likely operating under the belief that Freeman's injuries are catching him to him and it's only a matter of time before he goes down again. Because Smith isn't an explosive talent, there are better backups to target in fantasy.

Running back depth: Fifth-rounder Qadree Ollison will compete with Brian Hill for the right to serve as the power back in Atlanta's system. It would be nice to see the Falcons pair a player like that with Freeman and bring a new wrinkle into the offense. Hill flashed with an eight-carry, 115-yard performance in Week 15.

Julio Jones, WR

Fantasy Points 309.7
Targets 155
Receptions 101
Rec. Yards 1538
Rec. TDs 9
Carries 1
Rush Yards 9
Rush TDs 0
Fumbles Lost 1
2PT 1

Remember when everyone was upset because Jones hadn't registered a touchdown through seven outings last year? It turned him into a massive buy-low candidate and regression eventually resulted in eight scores over his final nine contests. Don't ever doubt Julio's status as an elite fantasy receiver.

Calvin Ridley, WR

Fantasy Points 192.2
Targets 98
Receptions 67
Rec. Yards 891
Rec. TDs 6
Carries 3
Rush Yards 21
Rush TDs 0
Fumbles Lost 1
2PT 0

A large portion of Ridley's fantasy output came over a two-week span in September that featured 11 catches, 200 yards, and five touchdowns. He only topped 50 yards three times after the first month, but his excellent route running was on display throughout his entire rookie season. With Jones commanding most of the attention, Ridley will continue to develop into a game-breaker on the other side of the field. As a sophomore, he'll be a WR3 with week-winning potential.

Mohamed Sanu, WR

Fantasy Points 123.9
Targets 77
Receptions 49
Rec. Yards 583
Rec. TDs 3
Carries 1
Rush Yards 6
Rush TDs 0
Fumbles Lost 1
2PT 0

The increasing targets for Ridley and tight end Austin Hooper will come at Sanu's expense. The 29-year-old has been a borderline WR3 with a low fantasy ceiling, and as the competition for targets intensifies, his only hope at returning value would be an injury to Jones.

Receiver depth: Justin Hardy is the only other wideout who sees enough snaps to be worth a mention. His biggest contributions come as an occasional red-zone threat, not enough to make him a player of interest for fantasy managers.

Austin Hooper, TE

Fantasy Points 135.7
Targets 79
Receptions 61
Rec. Yards 567
Rec. TDs 3
Carries 0
Rush Yards 0
Rush TDs 0
Fumbles Lost 0
2PT 0

In a down year for fantasy tight ends, Hooper snuck into the top six. Unless another wave of injuries strikes the tight end landscape, Hooper will settle in as fringe top-12 tight end.

Tight end depth: The Falcons have several veterans like Luke Stocker, Logan Paulsen, and even third-year man Eric Saubert, but none would be able to replicate Hooper's production if called upon.

2019 Fantasy Projections

AFC East
NE | BUF | NYJ | MIA
AFC North
BAL | CIN | PIT | CLE
AFC South
JAX | IND | HOU | TEN
AFC West
DEN | KC | OAK | LAC
NFC East
DAL | PHI | NYG | WAS
NFC North
DET | GB | MIN | CHI
NFC South
ATL | NO | CAR | TB
NFC West
LAR | SF | SEA | ARI

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Fantasy: 2019 Projections - Will Falcons' Freeman get back to form?
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