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Projecting Atlanta Falcons skill position depth chart and fantasy impact

The Falcons lost eight games last season by seven or fewer points. New HC Arthur Smith hopes to turn that trend around.

Calvin Ridley #18, Matt Ryan #2, and Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons take the field during the second quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 23, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons let head coach Dan Quinn go after he started the season 0-5 and replaced him with interim head coach Raheem Morris who ended up with a 4-7 record. The team lost big leads late in the game on more than one occasion and lost eight games by seven or fewer points. Atlanta went on to hire ex-Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith to take over as head coach. They hope his more-disciplined style will help get them over the hump in those close games.

Quarterback

  1. Matt Ryan
  2. AJ McCarron

Running back

  1. Mike Davis
  2. Cordarrelle Patterson
  3. Qadree Ollison
  4. Tony Brooks-James

Wide receiver

  1. Julio Jones
  2. Calvin Ridley
  3. Russell Gage
  4. Olamide Zaccheaus
  5. Frank Darby
  6. Christian Blake
  7. Cordarrelle Patterson

Tight end

  1. Kyle Pitts
  2. Hayden Hurst
  3. Lee Smith

Biggest offseason changes

The Falcons decided to keep Matt Ryan and Julio Jones around to see what they could accomplish with another season. But they did let go of their whole crew of running backs, as Todd Gurley, Brian Hill and Ito Smith are all gone. To replace them they’ve brought in ex-Panthers running back Mike Davis and ex-Bears WR/RB Cordarrelle Patterson. But, their biggest addition was rookie tight end Kyle Pitts, who they took with the No. 4 pick.

Biggest questions for fantasy football

The running back position is weak, but Davis handled himself well in replacing Christian McCaffrey in Carolina last season. He’s not going to elevate the offense much, but he has the ability to keep the train on the tracks. His fantasy upside will be based on workload, which looks to be high without much talent behind him at the moment. He should be a popular pick for those going with wide receivers early in drafts.

It will be interesting to see how quickly No. 4 pick Kyle Pitts can get on the field. With Hayden Hurst there already, he could end up getting eased in. But, the team will want to get him out there as soon as they feel comfortable with his knowledge of the playbook and blocking assignments. They probably will even get him chances on a limited basis even if he is behind in his blocking, but he’ll need a full workload to be consistent in fantasy.