Every year we give our premium content members a team-by-team, player-by-player look at the NFL season that was. The coverage will be in-depth, but because the Dynasty Capsule series begins immediately after the regular season, we won’t use it to discuss free agency or the draft. Come see us in early May once Mr. Irrelevant is off the board for another 32-article series giving you the same detailed discussion you’ll see below.
Buckle up dynasty fans, because you’re about to be reminded why our motto is, “There is no off-season.”
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While their final standing on the season comes down to one more game, the Atlanta Falcons had a wild ride this year on both sides of the ball, culminating with the big showdown in Houston. They ended the year 11-5 and came in second place in the entire NFC. They also led the league in offense and put on a show complete with gift bags and confetti for fantasy owners. Not surprisingly their offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is likely headed to new lands as a head coach, but the future is quite bright for these sharp winged birds from Hot Lanta.
Matt Ryan should be the MVP. Well, if it must be given to a quarterback it should be given to the 31 year old from where my train is currently passing, good ole Exton, Pennsylvania. He led the league in touchdown percentage, yards gained per attempt, Quarterback rating, QBR, and was second in total touchdowns, yards, and yards per game. All while being 17th in passing attempts and being the eighth-most sacked quarterback this year. That’s some incredibly impressive efficiency. Ryan led his team to the best offense in the league and death grip on the NFC. He is poised for continued success, don’t expect top quarterback numbers all the time, but he’s about as good as you can hope for from a QB1 in fantasy and at his age, a great dynasty QB that you can still get in the later rounds.
Apparently Matt Schaub is on the Falcons now? I guess he’s a capable backup? He was alright for the Ravens last year till he got injured and had some glory days in Houston before becoming a pick-six master. Schaub is a UFA in ’17, so I wouldn’t run out to grab him as a handcuff to Ryan in deep 2QB leagues.
The third year man out of Florida State had quite the season. Freeman racked up 227 rushes for 1079 yards (4.8 yards per) and 11 rushing touchdowns. He also caught 54 passes for another 462 yards and two touchdowns. His rush average was his best yet, while his number of rushes per game did go down. A major question coming into the year was if he or Tevin Coleman would secure the lead rushing role, it’s clear that Freeman was the lead back with 53% of the teams rushing attempts. In 2015 this split was a bit larger (63%) but there was a cavalcade of injuries to both he and Coleman last year. This year, the two formed an impressive pair, often trading off big runs. Freeman put it on for fantasy owners however, ending the year as RB6 bolstered by his reception totals. It’s clear he is going to continue to produce at a high level, but if he is the better value with and ADP of 18 overall is up to you. It’s worth noting as well is that Freeman is a free agent after the 2017 season, so barring a big extension he may not be on the team, however most expect him to stay with the Falcons.
While there were those who expected Coleman to run away with the lead back job this year, it just didn’t happen. In his sophomore campaign, the second-year player from Indiana still put together a very fantasy friendly year. He ended as RB20 in PPR leagues even after missing three games in the middle of the season. Coleman rushed 118 times for 520 yards at a rate of 4.4 yards per rush. His saving grace from a fantasy perspective was racking up eight touchdowns. He also added 31 receptions for another 420 yards and three touchdowns through the air. Coleman, who has a sickle cell trait, worried fantasy owners when it was revealed he may not be able to play in Denver due to the low oxygen levels at Mile High. It’s not a major concern but something for owners to remember going forward. Speaking on the future, it seems like this might be one of the few backfields where both running backs hold their own value. Both look like startable assets and with an ADP of 62 (that’s 44 spots lower for you mathletes), Coleman is a steal for a player with RB2 upside.
Well here we are, another year and another dominant performance from Mr. Quintorris Jones himself. Even after missing two games with that ever-lingering foot problem, Jones ended the year as WR6 in PPR leagues and led the league in yards per game for the second year in a row with 100 yards per. He added 83 receptions on 129 targets, 1409 yards (second only to T.Y. Hilton), and six scores. Jones was targeted further downfield than ever before notching a second best in the league 17 yards per receptions. Again, hampered by his foot, he was a burden at the end of the fantasy season and into the playoffs, he missed weeks 14 and 15, and was lackluster in the finals during week 16. I would quickly forget these transgressions for a brighter future of league dominance. Not much more needs to be said.
The 27-year-old Sanu was finally out of Cincinnati on to seemingly greener pastures after signing a five year 32-million-dollar contract with the Falcons in the off-season. He walked on as the second-best receiver on the team and had a decent year as the number two man. In PPR scoring he ended the year as WR51 while missing one game. He posted a modest line of 59 receptions on 81 targets for 653 yards and notched four scores. In reality the team ended up not needing to throw all that often, attempting the 26th-most passes. If that number begins to change, Sanu should see a notable rise in statistics and projects as a healthy WR3 for fantasy purposes. Will he ever reach Roddy White #2 status? That remains to be seen, but he’s a nice set it and forget in deep lineup leagues.
The former Brown was signed for pretty modest amounts in the off-season to little fanfare. He actually tied Julio Jones in touchdowns with six and added a few very long scores to bolster his yards. I don’t really expect him to be more than a field stretcher with some boom/bust upside going forward, however he could be a nice roster rounder in deep leagues.
In his sophomore season, Hardy had a quiet year, only hauling in 21 receptions for 203 yards. He did add four scores, which shows some promise for the future. The former record-setter in college is still a nice stash, but would need a massive third year breakout to really gain any value. A smaller player, he could develop into a slot type possession guy since he does have a great pair of hands.
Similar to Hardy in size, Robinson is not more than a major dart throw. He did tear up the preseason but that’s not saying much for the former sixth rounder.
Well the 31 year old tight end started the season off pretty good, looking quite startable, but tapered off after the first two games of the season. The journey man was placed on injured reserve after week eight with a shoulder injury. He is an unrestricted free agent in this off-season and I don’t think he will be a Falcon in 2017, they have some interesting cap concerns going forward.
While this rookie tight end had about as good of a season as you can expect from a rookie tight end, the future seems bright. Hooper showed some serious hands, going eight weeks into the season without missing a single target thrown his way. With Tamme on the way out he could be in for an improved role in the offense in the coming years. This may be contingent on the incoming offensive coordinator. With play makers flanking him on all sides, he may never be more than a stash at the same time. I’m tempering my expectations, but as far as tight end stashes go, the one on an offense such as this is pretty solid.
He tall. Other than that, the fifth-year man has never really reached any level of success and is a free agent in 2017. He doesn’t really block well or catch well, but somehow saw the field more than either of the other tight ends. He only started in 11 games showcasing his use primarily as a blocker on run plays. I wouldn’t be rostering him except in deep 2TE leagues, or if you play in a league that rewards players for being 6’8”.
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