The Atlanta Falcons tricked me. I’ll admit it. I thought that they fixed their offensive line woes and were on the way to having a return to form after a down 2019. Boy, I was wrong. Dan Quinn’s midseason playcalling duties change may be an instance where rearranging the deck chairs actually saved the Titanic. That having been said, a lot of negativity swirled around the Atlanta Falcons in 2019, and it’s time to correct the record on some things as we head into the offseason. Here are the five things to remember about the Atlanta Falcons’ 2019 season as we head into the long, dark abyss of the offseason.
What to Remember from the 2019 Atlanta Falcons Season
- A lot of ink was spilled about Julio Jones’ troubles this season because he continued his touchdown problems. However, at the end of the fantasy football season, he ranked third in wide receiver fantasy points despite missing a game. The Falcons stalwart did it with yardage, notching the second-most 100-yard receiving games of the season. He turned in just six touchdowns during the fantasy football season, but this is a normal bugaboo for Jones. In the end, he consistently averaged 94 receiving yards and 6.6 receptions per game. Julio was a stud, even without the touchdowns.
- Calvin Ridley hit the IR on December 10 with a lower abdominal injury. In the four games prior to that, he finally turned a corner to become a reliable target for Matt Ryan. In those four contests, he averaged over 100 yards per game and turned in three touchdowns. During that four-game span, he was the #2 wide receiver in half-PPR. In that span, he was just 0.675 fantasy points per game behind Michael Thomas.
- Austin Hooper suffered an MCL injury in week ten that had a recovery time of about a month, from early reports. He missed just three weeks and clearly was not 100% in weeks 14 and 15. This, and the game with his injury, crushed his season-long numbers. Prior to the knee injury, Austin Hooper was the #1 tight end in all of fantasy football in half-PPR leagues.
- The Atlanta Falcons Defense rejiggered their playcalling duties during their week nine bye. Prior to this moment, the Falcons allowed 31.25 points per game to opponents, en route to winning just one-of-eight games. After the bye week, the Falcons super slammed the Saints, 26-9. In weeks ten through sixteen, the Falcons went 5-2 and allowed just 18.1 points per game. Over the last five games of the 2019 fantasy season, they scored the third-most fantasy points. We don’t know if Dan Quinn and company will return in 2020, but right now, it looks like they found a formula that works on defense.
- Matt Ryan suffered an ankle injury in week seven, and that led to a sharp decline in all of his statistics. Prior to the week seven game where he suffered the injury, Matt Ryan had 335 yards, 2.5 touchdowns, and 1.2 interceptions per game. Ryan scored the fifth-most QB fantasy points per game prior to his injury. After the ankle injury, Ryan had 283 yards, 1.4 touchdowns, and 0.9 interceptions per game. This was only good enough for QB18 in that span. He should be a great bounce-back candidate in 2020.
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