NFC South fantasy roundup: Where do Buccaneers rank?
By Dylan Grimm
Going in alphabetical order here so we will start with the almost super bowl champions of 2017, the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta has a new offensive coordinator in Dirk Koetter who Bucs fans know all too well. This will be Koetter’s second stint in Atlanta and he should have similar success as his first go around there. The Falcons have a total of four players that appear in Berry’s top 100: Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley make up the group.
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Quarterback Matt Ryan is coming off of a phenomenal fantasy season in which we saw him rack up 4,924 yards and 35 touchdowns to only 7 interceptions while completing 69 percent of his passes. Ryan’s 2018 season closely resembled his MVP season in 2016 where he had 4,944 yards, 38 touchdowns and 7 interceptions while completing 69 percent of his passes.
The only reason we didn’t hear about Ryan for league MVP again was because the Falcons went 7-9 on the season. Matt Ryan is finally getting the respect he deserves in fantasy drafts and is the highest ranked quarterback in Berry’s rankings coming in at 81st overall.
Next on the list for Atlanta is the former Florida State Seminole, Devonta Freeman. Freeman is coming off of a down 2018 in which we saw him suffer an early injury after an already slow start to the season.
Freeman appeared in two games all season, totaling 68 yards on 14 carries. Freeman coming in at number 35 on the list might be surprising to some, but the departure of Tevin Coleman has opened the door for Freeman to once again be a bellcow like we saw in 2015 and 2016 where Freeman topped 1,000 yards and hit 11 touchdowns in both seasons.
Freeman, now healthy and primed for a heavy workload behind a new revamped Falcons offensive line, should finish as a RB1 if healthy. Freeman is a PPR dream as well since he can do damage out of the backfield as a receiver.
Atlanta has two wide receivers that make the cut but are very far apart from one another in the rankings. Julio Jones checks in at number 11 overall and is locked and loaded as a first round pick in all formats. Julio Jones has played in at least 14 or more games each of the last five seasons; health is crucial for a first round pick. In each of the last five seasons Jones has had at least 80 receptions, 1,400+ yards and 31 touchdowns.
The other receiver on the list is the second year receiver, Calvin Ridley. Ridley is coming off of a great rookie season as we saw him burst onto the scene early and often. Ridley finished the season with 64 receptions for 821 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Ridley should improve on his reception total as well as his yardage total but expect a decline in touchdowns as it is hard for anyone to hit back to back double digit scores. Ridley is ranked as the 84th overall player. Ridleys ranking is a little low, and expect another great season in this high powered Falcons offense.