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2020 Summer Sleeper: Atlanta Falcons

We pick out a player who could earn some of Matt Ryan’s targets. Could he be a sneaky late-round target?

In our annual 32-part Summer Sleeper series, DLF scribes identify a lightly-touted player on each NFL roster who may be worthy of your consideration. Our subjects all have varying levels of “sleeperness,” but each merits a bit of in-depth discussion here in the Premium Content section. To help everybody along, we are going to be categorizing our sleepers under one of three headings: Super Deep SleepersPlayers who aren’t roster-worthy in 12-team leagues, but are still worth keeping an eye on. Deep Sleepers – An end of the roster player who is more often than not on the waiver wire in 12-team leagues. Sleeper – A likely rostered player who makes for a good trade target. Their startup ADP puts them out of the top-175 or so. Because we aren’t going to give you the likes of mainstream sleepers, most of these players will undoubtedly fizzle. All we are asking is for you to keep an open mind and perhaps be willing to make room for one of these players on your bench. You never know when the next Adam Thielen is going to spring up. Feel free to add your own thoughts about our choice for the designated sleeper, or nominate one of your own in the comments below. The definition of football clockwork, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has put up at least 4,000 yards and 20 passing scores every year dating back to 2011. This includes six seasons of 4,500+ yards (this would undoubtedly have been seven if Ryan didn’t miss his first games since 2009 last season) and six seasons of at least 26 aerial touchdowns. Importantly for fantasy general managers who roster Falcons’ pass catchers in PPR (or 0.5 PPR) leagues, Ryan has ranked in the top ten for number of completions every year during this time frame, including six finishes inside the top four. So why am I mentioning all this? It’s certainly not because Ryan himself is a sleeper, though even despite his age one could argue he deserves to be ranked even more highly given his reliable fantasy proficiency. It’s more because each and every year he proffers up points by the bushel to a multitude of Atlanta skill position players. Receiver Julio Jones has been arguably the most consistent and reliable fantasy asset at his position over the past several years. Positional colleague Calvin Ridley has already vaulted himself to the upper echelon of WR2s in just two short years. Prior to signing with Cleveland in the off-season, tight end Austin Hooper was a back-to-back TE1, including garnering the third-highest average weekly score last season. Solely due to this fact, the relatively unproven (though former first-round selection) Hayden Hurst is already being drafted just outside of the TE1 tier per the July ADP. That’s a lot of meat off the bone already, without even getting into the acquisition of pass-catching running back Todd Gurley. However, as we saw at the tail end of 2019, circumstances might again align to watch a sleeper emerge.

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2020 Summer Sleeper: Atlanta Falcons
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