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Fantasy fallout: Impact of Falcons signing Marcus Mariota

We go over the fantasy football implications of the Falcons signing Marcus Mariota

Quarterback Marcus Mariota #8 of the Las Vegas Raiders runs off the field after the team’s 35-32 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Chargers at Allegiant Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images

The Falcons have signed quarterback Marcus Mariota after trading away franchise quarterback Matt Ryan. Mariota was unable to hold onto a starting job after being picked 2nd overall by the Titans, but has shown some renewed promise in spot work behind Derek Carr in Las Vegas.

The Falcons are in full rebuild mode now, but still have a couple of fantasy stars in tight end Kyle Pitts and running back slash wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. Mariota isn’t guaranteed the starting job, but right now he’s the guy. The Falcons are more likely to draft a quarterback who wouldn’t be ready to start from day one than sign another veteran, which would end up giving Mariota the job.

Fantasy football analysis: Marcus Mariota

Fantasy outlook for Marcus Mariota

Mariota didn’t get much time at all on the field behind Derek Carr, but the few times he did were positive. He was wanted for his rushing prowess more often than not. In his two seasons, he rushed 22 times for 175 yards and two touchdowns while completing 18 of 30 passes for 230 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

He will rejoin Arthur Smith, who he played under at Tennessee, which should help him cut down the learning curve a bit. His fantasy outlook relies a lot on how much he’ll run the ball. His passing ability could surprise us, but we can’t rely on it. He’s going to have a low downside, but enough upside to be on deep league rosters.

How signing impacts Kyle Pitts, Cordarrelle Patterson

This isn’t great news for the Falcons receivers, as Mariota has averaged just 181 yards passing per game in his career. Arthur Smith did help turn Ryan Tannehill’s career around, so there is a chance Pitts and Patterson could be fine, but we have to expect this offense to be one of the worst in the league.