There are some sleeping giants in the Falcons offense

The Falcons are unlikely to be a great workforce general this yr. However, I’m rising extra satisfied their offense may very well be a fairly attention-grabbing unit and provides us at the very least three every-week fantasy starters.

Arthur Smith has a unusually fussy relationship with the media however I believe he nailed his Week 1 participant deployment.

Kyle Pitts lined up out broad on simply 25.7 % of his routes. I do know everybody has scorching takes about how good Pitts may very well be as a reliable X-receiver however he is a decent finish. We need him working routes towards linebackers and safeties. That’s the place you get actual mismatches.

I absolutely consider that Pitts was used broad a lot final yr out of necessity as a result of the Falcons had been bereft of reliable exterior receiver choices. But I must be clear, I even have my very own agenda right here. Regardless, extra present tight-end utilization is an effective factor for his fantasy outlook.

Pitts did go block (20% of passing snaps) a bit greater than we would like in Week 1 however stays a fixture of the passing sport. He inhaled 33% of the workforce’s air yards. He could have monster video games quickly sufficient.

Drake London is the purpose the Falcons do not must do the exterior receiver stuff with Pitts as a lot this yr. The rookie stepped proper onto the NFL subject and appeared like he belonged after little or no follow time final month after a preseason damage.

London lined up out broad on 90.6% of routes. He can win as a reliable exterior X-receiver. He dealt with 31% of the workforce’s air yards and the outcomes had been strong too, with 74 yards on 5 catches. London is certainly one of my favourite buys proper now and I believe he has a path to top-20 receiver manufacturing regularly as his rookie yr goes on. He’s only a actually good participant.

Drake London may emerge as a reliable fantasy choice. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

A funnel goal tree between Pitts and London is strictly what we signed up for in Atlanta. Marcus Mariota is clearly not a long-term reply however can feed these guys beneath to pile up catches.

Finally, it is clear 2021 was no fluke and Arthur Smith has clearly discovered how you can finest deploy Cordarrelle Patterson. He was superior in Week 1.

He was proper up there amongst the league leaders in running-back touches and earned a primary down on 45.5% of his rushes. The Falcons had been punishing as a dashing workforce and the Saints have traditionally been a tricky outing for working backs.

It would in all probability be finest for one more again on this roster to step up and keep wholesome to take some of the grinder carries away from Patterson to maintain him recent. However, Patterson appears like a real NFL working again and so long as the Falcons offense stays afloat, he will go down as certainly one of the most under-ranked gamers from this fantasy draft season.

A glimmer of Cowboys hope?

I needed to share this as a result of it is a good reminder that when Cooper Rush began for Dallas final yr, all the air did not exit of the balloon. That being stated, this ecosystem is dramatically worse than what the Cowboys rolled out final yr.

Rush was nonetheless aggressive when he obtained on the subject final Sunday, main all quarterbacks in common depth of throw. So perhaps we are able to get some air yards going CeeDee Lamb’s path. To be clear, issues are nonetheless fairly bleak but it surely’s simply value noting.

Tua Tagovailoa had the lowest common depth of throw (5.0) amongst QBs when pressured in Week 1

Conversely, he ranked top-six in aDOT when stored clear, per Pro Football Focus.

It’s essential to notice this as a result of the Dolphins are coping with accidents on the offensive line. Left sort out Terron Armstead is questionable for Sunday and proper sort out Austin Jackson was positioned on short-term IR Friday morning.

Tyreek Hill was the greatest addition this workforce made in the offseason however an improved offensive line was an enormous a part of the thesis for why Tua’s life can be simpler in 2022. It’s not ultimate to see accidents this early in the yr. We’ve seen over the previous few seasons that Tua modifications as a passer when there’s further warmth. He additionally ranked final in aDOT underneath stress final yr. He has playmakers that may function extraordinarily effectively after the catch but it surely simply caps the ceiling of this complete operation.

The Ravens had a cakewalk matchup towards their outdated good friend Joe Flacco in Week 1 however they actually appeared again to kind from a pass-defense standpoint. Fantasy managers with any stage of curiosity in the Dolphins do not wish to see them teeing off vs. Tua behind a compromised offensive line.

Top-five groups in situation-neutral tempo of play

1. Lions

2. Cowboys

3. Eagles

4. Texans

5. Panthers

The Panthers stand out to me on this record. Ben McAdoo’s offenses historically play quick and with tempo. He’s introduced that strategy to a Carolina offense that desperately wants it.

While I did not love what I noticed out of Baker Mayfield or the passing sport in Week 1, I’m prepared to offer a short lived go. Mayfield appeared like a man who hasn’t spent a lot time with this workforce. This is smart — as a result of that is the case.

The Panthers offense appears like what we would like from a structural standpoint. I’m nonetheless assured in the optimistic projections on guys like Christian McCaffrey and DJ Moore

The Eagles rank eleventh in impartial scenario passing price

That appears far more like the Eagles’ play-calling from the early a part of final yr, not the unit that completed the season in the basement in phrases of go makes an attempt. The distinction between final yr’s early, pass-heavy Eagles’ workforce and the one we noticed in Week 1: It labored this time.

It helps to have a transformative expertise like AJ Brown.

If this sort of operation retains up in Philadelphia we are going to must essentially change how we perceive this offense and its gamers. Brown may end as a top-five receiver, Jalen Hurts would put up bonkers numbers and, ultimately, there will probably be a trickle-down impact for the different go catchers on the roster.

Top-5 RBs in yards earlier than contact per rush

1 – Leonard Fournette 3.24

2- Javonte Williams 3.14

3 – D’Andre Swift 3.07

4 – Clyde Edwards-Helaire 2.86

5 – Cordarrelle Patterson 2.82

Leonard Fournette and the Bucs working sport appeared nice regardless of a litany of offensive line accidents. The veteran again appeared decisive and ran extraordinarily effectively on Sunday. There’s a bizarre perception in some fantasy circles that Fournette is not a great again and simply advantages due to his circumstances. Enough already; Fournette is an effective beginning NFL again. He was an under-drafted participant and deserves to be larger in rest-of-season rankings (make sure you monitor his standing for Sunday, as he is reportedly coping with a hamstring damage).

The Broncos did numerous work to verify Javonte Williams was out in area each as a rusher and as a receiver in Week 1. I do know they simply made an enormous commerce for Russell Wilson in the offseason and everybody was (overly) enthusiastic about their receiver corps however the workforce that took the subject in Week 1 appeared like a unit the place their finest participant was the working again. Williams will possible get extra manufacturing as a rusher going ahead.

Top-5 gamers in yards after contact per rush

1 – Saquon Barkley 6.83

2 – D’Andre Swift 6.53

3 – Miles Sanders 6

4 – Jalen Hurts 4.76

5 – Rashaad Penny 4.67

I’ve just a few ideas right here.

Saquon Barkley is back-again He’s been a bit extra of a growth/bust runner than most wish to admit courting again to his school days. However, the Week 1 model of Barkley ran decisively and barreled defenders over, persistently incomes further yardage. If we get that model of Barkley for 17 video games he’ll be part of the Tier 1 of fantasy working backs with ease.

I simply gushed over the Eagles’ passing sport early however they’re dynamic on the floor, as effectively. Miles Sanders is rarely going to be a constant fantasy choice however he has some upside as a big-play runner tethered to a great offense and wholesome dashing ecosystem.

You’ll discover D’Andre Swift is on each these top-five lists up there. Love to see it. Fantasy managers had been irritated by that Jamaal Williams siphoned the aim line work in Week 1. You’re simply going to must study to dwell with that and never let it hassle you; Williams is just not going away. What’s extra essential is that the Lions’ gifted offensive line is shut to totally operational (though they’ve some accidents this week) when it typically wasn’t final yr and Swift appears superior as a runner.

That additionally wasn’t all the time the case final yr. The excessive goal totals from early final yr in all probability aren’t returning for Swift this season Amon-Ra St. Brown a featured participant. But if he could make up the floor as a rusher, it will not matter a lot.

Top-5 RBs in routes run

1 – Darrell Henderson 39

2 – Joe Mixon 38

3 – Jonathan Taylor 34

4 – Aaron Jones 28

5 – Javonte Williams 28

Just a few of those gamers had been boosted by sport script and time beyond regulation in Week 1 however we did get some readability on receiving roles.

Darrell Henderson was already locked into passing work for the Rams forward of Cam Akers and now with rookie Kyren Williams — a pass-protection maven in school — on IR, he ought to maintain that gig down simply, working effectively forward of Akers so long as he is wholesome. Until this rotation modifications, Henderson is a top-15 fantasy again.

Joe Mixon can be attention-grabbing right here. Some analysts had been down on him with the historic lack of involvement as a go catcher. Yet, he ran a route of 58% Joe Burrow’s dropbacks and accounted for 17% of the workforce’s objectives. He’ll push for a top-five working again end if that receiving utilization is the new norm.

For the love of God, let’s hope we see extra present for receiving utilization Aaron Jones in Week 2. He tied for the workforce lead in routes run with a few the receivers however wasn’t a featured piece in the goal pecking order. He’s going to seem like an enormous Round 2 attain — on a number of of my groups, by the method — if that does not change.

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