Falcons Fantasy News

Falcons cut RB Steven Jackson; Devonta Freeman ready for bigger role

Friday, February 27, 2015, 10:37am

Adam Schefter, Twitter - [Full Article]

Falcons released RB Steven Jackson, per source.

Fantasy Impact:

Looking at the running back position, Kyle Shanahan presided over three stellar fantasy seasons in his seven years as an offensive coordinator. In 2008, while Shanny was the OC of the Texans, Steve Slaton turned 327 touches (50 receptions) into 1,659 yards and 10 touchdowns. (Slaton averaged 77.6 total yards on 15.9 touches in 2009.) In 2012, rookie Alfred Morris racked up 1,690 total yards and 13 touchdowns. He followed it up with 1,353 total yards and seven scores in 2013. Shanahan even coaxed 86.7 total yards (on 18.2 touches) from Ryan Torain in 2010 and 67.9 yards on 13.3 touches from Roy Helu in 2011. Freeman wasn't terribly impressive in his rookie season (248 yards rushing, 3.8 YPC), but he was active and effective in the passing game (30 catches for 225 yards), so a Slaton-esque season isn't out of the realm of possibility. With Jackson out of the way, GM Thomas Dimitroff said that there was “no question” that Freeman is ready to be the feature back in Atlanta.

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Falcons cut WR Harry Douglas

Friday, February 27, 2015, 10:33am

Rand Getlin, Twitter - [Full Article]

WR Harry Douglas has been released by the Falcons, per a league source.

Fantasy Impact:

Even though he missed four games with a foot injury, Douglas was set to make $3.5 million in the final season of his contract and offered a relatively cheap insurance policy for Roddy White. It's possible that the Falcons plan to upgrade the position to prepare for White's retirement. This year's crop of free agent receivers is deep and talented.

Falcons GM believes Devonta Freeman is capable of a featured role

Thursday, February 19, 2015, 8:51pm

Vaughn McClure, Twitter - [Full Article]

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff said Devonta Freeman can be the team's featured back.

Fantasy Impact:

Looking at the running back position, new OC Kyle Shanahan presided over three stellar fantasy seasons in his seven years as an offensive coordinator. In 2008, while Shanny was the OC of the Texans, Steve Slaton turned 327 touches (50 receptions) into 1,659 yards and 10 touchdowns. (Slaton averaged 77.6 total yards on 15.9 touches in 2009.) In 2012, rookie Alfred Morris racked up 1,690 total yards and 13 touchdowns. He followed it up with 1,353 total yards and seven scores in 2013. Shanahan even coaxed 86.7 total yards (on 18.2 touches) from Ryan Torain in 2010 and 67.9 yards on 13.3 touches from Roy Helu in 2011. Freeman wasn't terribly impressive as a runner in his rookie season (248 yards rushing, 3.8 YPC), but he was active and effective in the passing game (30 catches for 225 yards), so a Slaton-esque season isn't out of the realm of possibility. If the Falcons stand pat at running back, he'll have some middle round appeal, assuming his role looks to be bigger than Steven Jackson's.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015, 10:31am

ESPN - [Full Article]

The Falcons need to upgrade in the backfield and that's likely to start with the release of veteran Steven Jackson. New offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan brings with him an emphasis on the outside zone-blocking scheme and one-cut-and-go mentality for the running backs. The Falcons will benefit from having younger legs in such a scheme. Don't discount second-year player Devonta Freeman, who is eager to take the next step and could thrive in the system. But the Falcons need more bodies, and Jacquizz Rodgers and Antone Smith are headed to free agency. Keep an eye on Justin Forsett, who also is bound for free agency. Forsett thrived in the zone-blocking scheme the past season en route to a career-high 1,266 rushing yards. And Forsett is represented by the same agent who represents Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff.

Falcons Beat: Steven Jackson 'likely to be released'

Thursday, February 12, 2015, 4:39pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Steven Jackson, who turns 32 in July, is likely to be released with one year left on his contract. The move would save the Falcons $3.75 million against the salary cap. And the Falcons no doubt want younger, fresher legs in Kyle Shanahan's offense.

Fantasy Impact:

If the Falcons part ways with S-Jax, it could be a sign that they're ready to hand Devonta Freeman the keys. They are also likely to address the position in free agency or the draft, but the quality of the signee/draftee will give us an idea of what Freeman's role might be.

Falcons OC Kyle Shanahan 'loved' Devonta Freeman prior to 2014 Draft

Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 2:09pm

Jay Adams, Twitter - [Full Article]

Falcons OC Kyle Shanahan said he loved Devonta Freeman last year coming out of college. He’s still evaluating offensive talent on roster here.

Fantasy Impact:

Looking at the running back position, Shanahan presided over three stellar fantasy seasons in his seven years as an offensive coordinator. In 2008, while Shanny was the OC of the Texans, Steve Slaton turned 327 touches (50 receptions) into 1,659 yards and 10 touchdowns. (Slaton averaged 77.6 total yards on 15.9 touches in 2009.) In 2012, rookie Alfred Morris racked up 1,690 total yards and 13 touchdowns. He followed it up with 1,353 total yards and seven scores in 2013. Shanahan even coaxed 86.7 total yards (on 18.2 touches) from Ryan Torain in 2010 and 67.9 yards on 13.3 touches from Roy Helu in 2011. Freeman wasn't terribly impressive in his rookie season (248 yards rushing, 3.8 YPC), but he was active and effective in the passing game (30 catches for 225 yards), so a Slaton-esque season isn't out of the realm of possibility. If the Falcons stand pat at running back, he'll have some middle round appeal, assuming his role looks to be bigger than Steven Jackson's.

Saturday, February 7, 2015, 11:38am

Seattle Post-Intelligencer - [Full Article]

The Seattle Seahawks have picked a new defensive coordinator from within the team, promoting defensive backs coach Kris Richard to the open position, according to KING/5 TV.

KING’s Alex Rozier was first to report Friday that the Seahawks have hired Richard, 35, after three years coaching Seattle’s lauded Legion of Boom secondary. Richard would replace former defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who accepted a job this week as the new head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

Falcons come to terms with new head coach Dan Quinn

Wednesday, February 4, 2015, 11:46am

Ian Rapoport, Twitter - [Full Article]

The Falcons reached an agreement in principle for Dan Quinn to be their next coach, source said. It’s a 5-year deal.

Fantasy Impact:

Quinn has been the defensive coordinator for the Seahawks for the last two seasons. Seattle has finished with the top overall defense in both years. It looks like a good hire for the Falcons, who are desperate on that side of the ball.

Falcons reportedly hiring Kyle Shanahan as offensive coordinator

Monday, January 19, 2015, 11:18am

Adam Schefter, Twitter - [Full Article]

Falcons are hiring Kyle Shanahan as their OC, per league source. Shanahan and (Seattle DC) Dan Quinn planned to be package deal.

Fantasy Impact:

Quinn is expected to be hired as head coach, but that can't officially happen until the Seahawks' season is over. Shanahan will have some talent to work with in Atlanta, namely QB Matt Ryan, WR Julio Jones and RB Devonta Freeman.

Buccaneers hire Dirk Koetter as offensive coordinator

Friday, January 9, 2015, 10:44am

Tampa Bay Times - [Full Article]

Dirk Koetter, 55, agreed to terms on a two-year deal with the Buccaneers with an option in 2017. He interviewed for the job last week and brings familiarity with the NFC South. Before coming to Atlanta, he spent five seasons as the Jaguars' offensive coordinator, following stints as head coach at Boise State and Arizona State.

During his three seasons in Atlanta, the Falcons ranked eighth, 14th and eighth in total offense. The Falcons' Matt Ryan posted the three highest passing yardage seasons in franchise history under Koetter, as well as three of the four highest completion percentage seasons.

That's important because the Bucs have the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft and are in position to select either Florida State's Jameis Winston or Oregon junior Marcus Mariota, who has yet to declare.

Koetter runs a pro-style offense that is heavy on the passing side, which could be a fit for Winston. But he also has a strong connection on the Mariota side — Oregon coach Mark Helfrich was Koetter's quarterbacks coach for eight years, at Boise State (1998-2000) and Arizona State (2001-05).

Fantasy Impact:

This looks like a good hire for whomever the Bucs tap to be quarterback in 2015.

Ron Rivera doesn't rule out using DeAngelo Williams

Tuesday, December 30, 2014, 6:00pm

Charlotte Observer - [Full Article]

Panthers HC Ron Rivera was coy about the running back rotation before the Week 17 win at Atlanta, as well. DeAngelo Williams was listed as probable, but was held out for the fourth straight game with a broken bone in his right hand.

Jonathan Stewart has rushed for 486 yards over the past five games, beginning with the Nov. 30 loss at Minnesota when Williams was hurt. Rivera said he didn't want Williams to aggravate the injury against the Falcons last week.

"I decided we're in a good spot right now," Rivera said. "We've got guys that are 100 percent healthy, and why expose an injury that's something as simple as a nick that could turn into something worse?"

Fantasy Impact:

Williams played in only six regular-season games, while a healthy Stewart had his best season since 2009. But Rivera said he's not worried about disrupting the offensive chemistry by working Williams back in the rotation. "No, he's part of our chemistry," Rivera said, according to the story. But Stewart has excelled as the lead back without Williams around, so it remains to be seen if Rivera reverts back to both RBs. It's not a friendly matchup against the Cards, which could tempt Rivera to change things up.

Mike Smith let go by Falcons

Monday, December 29, 2014, 9:45am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Coach Mike Smith was fired by the Atlanta Falcons, the team announced Monday morning.

"Smitty's contributions to our club, team and city over the last seven years are numerous," owner Arthur Blank said in a release. "His accomplishments on the field made him the most successful coach in the 49-year history of the Falcons, and we are grateful for the foundation he has laid for us for the future."

Fantasy Impact:

Smith's firing did not come as a surprise, as multiple media outlets have reported on Blank's frustration with the Falcons' shortcomings over the last two seasons. Smith finished with a 1-4 postseason record despite going 66-46 in the regular season. The Falcons reached the playoffs four times in Smith's seven seasons with the team.

Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (hand) INACTIVE

Sunday, December 28, 2014, 3:06pm

Panthers Inactives
James Dockery DB
David Foucault T
A.J. Klein OLB
Robert Lester SS
Kyle Love DT
Amini Silatolu G
DeAngelo Williams RB

Fantasy Impact:

Williams is inactive despite a probable tag. Jonathan Stewart should produce big numbers in a great matchup against the Falcons. Stewart has the most rushing yards in the league over the last four weeks.

Steven Jackson (quad) INACTIVE, Julio Jones (hip) ACTIVE

Sunday, December 28, 2014, 3:04pm

Falcons Inactives
Ricardo Allen CB
Charles Godfrey FS
Steven Jackson RB
Stansly Maponga DE
Sean Renfree QB
Jonathan Scott T
Tyler Starr OLB

Fantasy Impact:

Jacquizz Rodgers and Devonta Freeman should split the work, with Freeman having more upside. Julio Jones active, as expected.

Falcons Beat: Jacquizz Rodgers will 'likely get the bulk of the carries' vs. Panthers

Friday, December 26, 2014, 6:54pm

Atlanta Journal-Constitution - [Full Article]

Falcons RBs Devonta Freeman and Jacquizz Rodgers took over against the New Orleans Saints after Steven Jackson left the game with a quadriceps injury. Freeman, a fourth-round pick from Florida State, provided some big plays, including a 31-yard touchdown run.

Rodgers will likely get the bulk of the carries because he’s still considered a better pass protector.

Fantasy Impact:

Freeman has been significantly better but admits that he's not good enough in pass protection. Rodgers may start, but we expect that Freeman will get enough touches to make him a worthwhile play in daily formats.