Falcons Fantasy News

Julio Jones (foot) cleared for practice
Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 7:22pm

Atlanta Journal-Constitution - [Full Article]

Julio Jones, the Falcons’ dynamic young wide receiver, has been cleared for training camp practice, which starts on Friday, head coach Mike Smith told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday.

Fantasy Impact:

Jones was on pace for 131-1856-6.4 prior to his foot injury in Week 5. He has the potential to be the most productive receiver in the league, but the foot injury is a bit concerning, especially since it’s a broken bone in the same location as his pre-Draft injury. If he plays a full season, he’ll very likely finish in the top 5.

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Beat: Roddy White 'can't really play' under current contract
Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 11:53am

Atlanta Journal-Constitution - [Full Article]

Falcons WR Roddy White, 32, is set to enter the final year of his contract. He wants to play three more years and wants a contract extension. The situation was put on hold after the shooting death of his brother Tyrone Moore Jr. over the offseason.

Both sides have been rather quiet and the “Holdout” word has been placed on the back burner. White held out of the 2009 training camp, while his six-year, $48 million deal was being hammered out.

As things stand, White can’t really play for the $5 million base salary that he’s set to make when there are 10 receivers ahead of him with higher average per year salaries.

Under general manager Thomas Dimitroff, the team has done a good job of taking care of productive players. But Jones’ mega-contract is also on the horizon.

Fantasy Impact:

After five straight top 10 finishes, White battled injuries during the 2013 season to finish #52 in standard scoring formats. He’s over the hill, right? Not so fast. Once he finally gave his ankle some rest, he returned in Week 10 and averaged 6.1-73-0.38 over his final eight games, and 8.6-100-0.40 in his final five. If Julio Jones comes back strong, the defensive focus will turn to him, and White should benefit. But don’t be worried about targets – Matt Ryan will continue to throw Roddy's way with Tony Gonzalez out of the picture. The contract situation probably won't be a major factor, but it's something to monitor as the preseason wears on.

Julio Jones (foot) counting on 'cutting edge' procedure
Saturday, July 19, 2014, 12:00pm

Atlanta Journal-Constitution - [Full Article]

The Falcons are counting on a cutting-edge medical procedure — a stem cell technique — to help heal wide receiver Julio Jones’ right foot and the rest of the league’s medical community is closely watching.

Despite having a second and bigger screw inserted into the fifth metatarsal of his right foot, Jones believes that he can continue his mercurial climb to elite status in the NFL in 2014. He reports for training camp Thursday with the veterans and may be available when the team takes the field for its first practice Friday.

“This break should heal with the treatment that they gave,” said Dr. Phillip Kwong, a foot and ankle surgeon at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles. “It’s still tied to other factors involved in why it broke again. Sometimes, it maybe the way his foot structure is made. Like for instance, some people … tend to put more pressure out there on that fifth metatarsal rather than evenly across the foot.

“Sometimes the load goes more to one area. The fact that he has broken this twice, would suggest that there is something in his structure that puts more of a load on that fifth metatarsal.”

Medically, the fifth metatarsal is a problematic bone for doctors.

Fantasy Impact:

The article is the best accounting that we've seen of what's been going on with his foot. Jones was on pace for 131-1856-6.4 prior to his foot injury in Week 5. He has the potential to be the most productive receiver in the league, but the foot injury is a bit concerning, especially since it’s a broken bone in the same location as his pre-Draft injury. If he plays a full season, he’ll very likely finish in the top 5. He's a risky pick, however.

Thursday, July 10, 2014, 12:22pm

Atlanta Falcons - [Full Article]

Falcons TE Levine Toilolo played in all 16 games last season, including three starts, finishing with 11 receptions for 55 yards and two TDs. He added a lot of muscle in the offseason, especially to his upper body, aiming to become an even stronger force in the pass blocking game. Opposing linebackers will likely have a hard time defending against his height (6-8) and vertical abilities.

Fantasy Impact:

For a tight end, becoming a "stronger force in the pass blocking game" doesn't exactly equate to fantasy production. Don't expect Toilolo to replace future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez in the passing game. That responsibility will likely fall on slot receiver Harry Douglas, who caught 85 passes for 1,067 yards and two touchdowns with Julio Jones sidelined and Roddy White gimpy for much of the season. With Gonzo gone, Douglas should be on the radar, especially in PPR formats.

Sunday, July 6, 2014, 9:00pm

Dallas Morning News - [Full Article]

Rangers beat writer Gerry Fraley and columnist Rick Gosselin joined Fox Sports Southwest's Dana Larson on Monday for SportsDay OnAir. Here are some highlights.

On Scott Linehan:

Fraley: "I saw Scott in St. Louis when he got fired midway through the season. He had Steven Jackson who is one of the most gifted running backs in football and a cut ahead of Murray right now. He had no idea what to do with Stephen Jackson in that Rams offense. I still think Linehan is a puzzling hire to me. I understand he is tight with Jason Garrett. He is even more pass happy than Jason Garrett. When you have a line with three first rounders and a quality back in Murray, why do you want a guy who wants to throw the ball even more? I don't get it. Unless he has undergone a real conversion in his thought process, Ill be stunned if they run the ball more. They may run it less."

Gosselin: "They didn't run the ball in Detroit last year. That's one of the few teams who ran it less than the Cowboys. In this building, the owner, the GM, the head coach, the coordinator and the quarterback all want to pass. The only one guy who doesn't want to pass is DeMarco Murray and he gets out voted every time."

Fantasy Impact:

Last season, the Cowboys were 3rd in pass % (63.6%) while the Lions were 13th (58.8%). The raw numbers show that the Lions (445 rushing attempts) ran more than the Cowboys (336 attempts) as well, so we're not sure where Fraley and Gosselin are getting their numbers. Linehan does have a history of being pass-happy, but he ran the ball with Reggie Bush and Joique Bell in 2013 and his arrival should be good for Murray in 2014.

Saturday, July 5, 2014, 8:13pm

CBS Sports - [Full Article]

Falcons coach Mike Smith announced on Saturday that WR Drew Davis will miss at least the next six weeks after undergoing a procedure on his foot.

"Drew felt some discomfort in his foot at the end of minicamp," Smith said. “We decided to send him to the doctors for some evaluations and it was determined he had suffered an injury that would require a procedure. He recently had the procedure done and we expect him to miss around six weeks."

Saturday, June 28, 2014, 2:11pm

National Football Post - [Full Article]

The Atlanta Falcons have signed former New Orleans Saints and Tennessee Titans wide receiver Courtney Roby.

Thursday, June 19, 2014, 7:35pm

Atlanta Falcons - [Full Article]

Falcons rookie running back Devonta Freeman has stood out to quarterback Matt Ryan as he works with the young ball-carrier a bit. What has impressed him most is Freeman's ability to soak up the knowledge the running backs around him have: "Devonta, coming in as a rookie, there's a lot to pick up. But I thought from a playbook standpoint, he did a great job of taking things from the meeting rooms out onto the field. He's got three really good guys to learn from in Steven (Jackson), Jacquizz (Rodgers) and Antone (Smith), so I think those guys have helped him out quite a bit."

Julio Jones says he's 'back to the old Julio'
Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 11:56pm

Atlanta Journal Constitution - [Full Article]

After minicamp practice Tuesday Falcons WR Julio Jones said he’s “feeling great.”

“I am back doing the little things I used to do,” Jones said. “I am back to the old Julio. I feel like I am actually stronger now. I’ve been doing back squats loading up and getting my quads more stronger more so than my hamstrings. That might have been a problem as well. (I’m trying) to balance my strength in my quads and my glutes to make sure everything is equal so I don’t put that amount of force and pressure on the outside of my foot.”

Fantasy Impact:

Jones was on pace for 131-1856-6.4 prior to his foot injury in Week 5. He has the potential to be the most productive receiver in the league, but the foot injury is a bit concerning, especially since it’s a broken bone in the same location as his pre-Draft injury. If he plays a full season, he’ll very likely finish in the top 5.

Roddy White, Julio Jones won't participate in minicamp
Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 11:47pm

Atlanta Falcons - [Full Article]

Head coach Mike Smith said after practice Tuesday that Roddy White will not practice during this week's minicamp sessions, joining receiver Julio Jones on the sidelines as watchers of practice rather than participants. But just because they're not watching doesn't mean they're not involved.

"I think if you sit back and watch Roddy and Julio when they're not participating, they're watching very intently," Smith said. "They're watching the guys that are out there playing their position so they can make comments (in the meeting room)."

Jones and White are expected to be healthy and ready for the season when training camp rolls around and all the changes that have taken place on offense could benefit them the most. Jones was on pace for a career year last season before his injury, and that was without White on the field most of the time. An improved run game and better pass protection will make the Matt Ryan-to-Jones/White connection even more deadly.

Fantasy Impact:

After five straight top 10 finishes, White battled injuries during the 2013 season to finish #52 in standard scoring formats. He’s over the hill, right? Not so fast. Once he finally gave his ankle some rest, he returned in Week 10 and averaged 6.1-73-0.38 over his final eight games, and 8.6-100-0.40 in his final five. If Julio Jones comes back strong, the defensive focus will turn to him, and White should benefit. But don’t be worried about targets – Matt Ryan will continue to throw Roddy's way with Tony Gonzalez out of the picture. Meanwhile, Jones was on pace for 131-1856-6.4 prior to his foot injury in Week 5. He has the potential to be the most productive receiver in the league, but the foot injury is a bit concerning, especially since it’s a broken bone in the same location as his pre-Draft injury. If he plays a full season, he’ll very likely finish in the top 5.

Matt Ryan believes Harry Douglas is ready to step up
Friday, June 13, 2014, 12:06pm

Atlanta Journal-Constitution - [Full Article]

“As (Tony Gonzalez) has moved on, we’re going to have to find different ways to replace some of the production that he gave us,” Falcons QB Matt Ryan said.

The Falcons don’t have a replacement on the roster. At OTAs last week, Mickey Shuler received a lot of action with the first-team offense. Levine Toilolo was the backup last season, and the team signed blocking tight end Bear Pascoe over the offseason.

So who does Matt Ryan plan to count on? Receiver Harry Douglas.

“I think he can fit into that role really well,” Ryan said.

Fantasy Impact:

Douglas finished as the #32 WR in standard formats (#22 in PPR) thanks to injuries suffered by Julio Jones and Roddy White. The Falcons don’t have a solid pass-catching tight end on the roster to replace Tony Gonzalez, so Douglas is expected to fill that role. Gonzalez saw 7.5-7.8 targets per game in the last two seasons, so there is plenty of opportunity for Douglas to shine if the Falcons want to feature him in the slot.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 1:50am

Atlanta Journal Constitution - [Full Article]

Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who left the field clutching onto wide receiver Julio Jones, ruptured his Achilles tendon Tuesday while working out with the training staff.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 5:18pm

Atlanta Falcons - [Full Article]

Meeting and film rooms have brought Falcons QB Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones together as they scour hours of game and practice film, look over and study the playbook, and work to understand and rediscover each other's on-field tendencies.

"Julio's been in this building pretty much every day this offseason and, while he hasn't been able to be out on the practice field with us yet, we've communicated a lot," Ryan said Tuesday. "We've talked a lot — certainly, (we) have watched film together and tried to work on things in the classroom so that, when we do get the opportunity to be out on the field, we can hit the ground running."

That time inside Falcons headquarters, Ryan said, is what leads him to think that any rhythm that's been lost by being off the same field for nearly a year will quickly return once Jones returns to practice.

"I certainly think, when he gets back, whenever that is, as we get closer to training camp, we're going to have plenty of time to gel up and make sure that we're on the same page," Ryan said.

Smith: Antone Smith has earned an 'expanded role'
Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 4:06pm

Atlanta Falcons - [Full Article]

Asked about the running back position, Falcons HC Mike Smith mentioned that Josh Vaughn — a former practice squad back who made the 53-man roster last season — and Antone Smith as players who have caught his eye. Mike Smith specifically said that Antone Smith has earned an "expanded role" this offseason. "When Antone had opportunities last year, he made the most of them and we want to give them opportunities moving forward," Mike Smith said. Antone Smith carried the ball five times in 2013 for 145 yards and two touchdowns with a 29-yards-per-carry average. Ryan also mentioned Antone Smith as doing a great job for the Falcons in OTAs.

Fantasy Impact:

Smith is competing with Devonta Freeman for carries behind Steven Jackson and Jacquizz Rodgers. Smith was impressive in 2013.

Julio Jones targeting a Week 1 return
Monday, June 9, 2014, 7:32pm

NFL.com - [Full Article]

Although Falcons WR Julio Jones has been ahead of schedule in his recovery, he only recently graduated to running and cutting.

He will not participate in mandatory minicamp next week. In fact, Jones told USA Today's Lindsay Jones on Monday that his goal is to be back on the field by Week 1.

"It is a serious injury, and knowing that I broke the same bone in a different spot over the course of two years," Jones said. "So it's a very serious matter, and we're not trying to play with it.

"We're taking all the precautions before throwing me back out there and just saying, 'He's ready to go,'" the wide receiver continued. "I feel great, I feel good, but at the same time, we have to take it slow because the season is still far away."

Fantasy Impact:

It's a bit concerning that Jones is targeting Week 1 since a setback might cause him to miss regular season games. Jones was on pace for 131-1856-6.4 prior to his foot injury in Week 5. He has the potential to be the most productive receiver in the league, but the foot injury is a worry, especially since it’s a broken bone in the same location as his pre-Draft injury. If he plays a full season, he’ll very likely finish in the top 5.