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2023 NFL Team Offseason Roundup: Atlanta Falcons

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It’s time to look ahead to the 2023 NFL season! Follow along with all our fantasy football team offseason roundups here.

It’s been a very busy NFL offseason, with free agent signings, coaching changes and several new players entering the league via the NFL Draft. As we prepare for the 2023 fantasy football season, it’s critical to have a full understanding of each team’s offseason moves. Our NFL team roundup series today covers the Atlanta Falcons.

 

2023 NFL Team Roundup: Atlanta Falcons

2022 Results

Record: 7-10; Tied for 3rd in the NFC South 
Season End: Beat Tampa Bay, 30-17, but missed the playoffs

Atlanta Falcons Offseason Summary

Draft 

1.08: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
2.38: Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse
3.75: Zach Harrison, EDGE, Ohio State
4.113: Clark Phillips, CB, Utah
7.224: DeMarcco Hellams, S, Alabama
7.225: Jovaughn Gwyn, G, South Carolina

Bijan Robinson, RB (1.08)

The dominant Robinson was the best player available, and Atlanta jumped at the opportunity. For a Falcons team that ranked second in the league in rushing play percentage (55.3%) and first at home (58%), Robinson immediately becomes a feature piece of this offense. 

Matthew Bergeron, OT (2.38)

The second-round Syracuse product has a legitimate chance to start at left guard in Week 1. If he doesn’t start, Bergeron is a quality backup for one of the NFL’s best offensive lines. 

Zach Harrison, EDGE (3.75)

Harrison should learn behind six-time Pro Bowler Calais Campbell. The 6-foot-6 Ohio State product should see his role grow throughout his rookie season.

Additions

Free agent signings: QB Taylor Heinicke, WR KhaDarel Hodge, WR Mack Hollins, WR Scott Miller, Edge Bud Dupree, DL Calais Campbell, DL David Onyemata, LB Kaden Elliss, CB Trey Flowers, CB Mike Hughes, S Jessie Bates, P Bradley Pinion
Trades: TE Jonnu Smith, CB Jeff Okudah

Calais Campbell, DL

Calais Campbell Atlanta Falcons Atlanta Falcons 2023 Fantasy Football NFL Offseason Roundup

Calais Campbell spent the past three seasons with Baltimore, earning a Pro Bowl nod in his first year with the Ravens. A versatile lineman, Campbell posted 5.5 sacks, 36 tackles and two forced fumbles on a Baltimore defense that finished third against the run (89.8 rushing yards allowed per game) in 2022. 

David Onyemata, DL

David Onyemata is reuniting with his former defensive line coach, Ryan Nielsen, with both coming over from New Orleans. Onyemata’s presence (23 career sacks) should discourage teams from doubling DT Grady Jarrett.

Taylor Heinicke, QB

Taylor Heinicke provides veteran stability behind second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder. Heinicke had a 12-11-1 record the past two seasons with Washington, and is one of the best backup quarterbacks in the NFL. 

Jonnu Smith, TE

Head coach Arthur Smith reunites with Jonnu Smith, who had his most productive years in Tennessee. His 41 receptions, 448 receiving yards, and eight touchdowns in 2020 were all career-highs. 

Departures

QB Marcus Mariota, WR Damiere Byrd, WR Olamide Zaccheaus, TE Anthony Firkser, TE MyCole Pruitt, OG Colby Gossett, OG Elijah Wilkinson, DL Abdullah Anderson, DL Jaleel Johnson, LB Rashaan Evans, CB Rashad Fenton, CB Mike Ford, CB Casey Hayward, CB Isaiah Oliver, S Erik Harris

Marcus Mariota, QB

Mariota actually was better than expected strictly as a fantasy option, posting two top-six overall fantasy quarterback performances in Weeks 6 and 8. He was serviceable, but gave way to the upside of Desmond Ridder

Olamide Zaccheaus, WR

The 25-year-old Zaccheaus posted a career-high in targets (61), receptions (40), receiving yards (533) and air yards (741) in 2022. He is now in Philadelphia with Mariota. 

Casey Hayward, CB

Hayward was in the final year of the two-year, $11 million deal, and suffered a torn pec that ended his season in Week 6. 

 

Atlanta Falcons Fantasy Outlook

The four most interesting Falcons fantasy options:

Bijan Robinson, RB

The dynamic rookie with massive draft capital has already been featured in a variety of positions at mandatory minicamp. Following the footsteps of big rookie seasons by Ezekiel Elliott, Saquon Barkley and Najee Harris, Robinson is a popular Round 1 draft pick in all fantasy formats. He currently carries an Underdog ADP of 10.4, going at RB3. 

Drake London, WR

Drake London Atlanta Falcons 2023 Fantasy Football NFL Offseason Roundup

The first-round draft pick from USC had a sneaky good rookie season, with 72 receptions and 866 receiving yards in a run-first offense. If the Atlanta rushing attack dominates the defensive attention, London could easily provide solid WR2 weekly fantasy production. He is only being drafted as the WR23 in best ball drafts on Underdog. 

Desmond Ridder, QB

The Falcons coaching staff gave Desmond Ridder a huge vote of confidence, touting his upside with impending free agents during the offseason. We have yet to see Ridder’s 4.52 speed utilized in this offense, which translates to massive fantasy upside at his current QB30 ADP. 

Kyle Pitts, TE

The hyper-athletic Kyle Pitts has yet to live up to his lofty promise at the fourth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Last season he was limited by MCL and hamstring strains, only playing 10 total games. Fantasy drafters still believe in Pitts, putting his current ADP at 70.3, translating to the overall TE5. 

2023 Outlook

DraftKings Sportsbook Wins Over/Under: 8.5 (-120)
NFC South odds: +215

Everything has lined up for a big season in Atlanta. Their offensive line is ranked third in our FTN previews, and their strength of schedule is ranked second per opposing Vegas projected win totals. They have solidified their defense and will look to control the football through their running game and limit their opponents opportunities. There is high upside for the Falcons, and their +215 odds to win the NFC South is even more attractive than betting their over on the 8.5 win total. With quarterback questions in Tampa Bay and Carolina, and the addition of Robinson, I am backing Atlanta to win this division and hit the over at -120 to crest nine or more victories. 

Previous Sleepers, Busts and Bold Predictions: The 2023 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Next Whitestone’s Waiver Watch: NFBC Main Event (6/26)