Atlanta Falcons 2022 Fantasy Football Sleeper, Breakout & Bust

Tyler Allgeier

Every summer, we take a deep dive into the fantasy football average draft position (ADP) of players on each real-life NFL team. We do this so that we can determine which guys are undervalued, overvalued, or valued just right. As we Goldilocks this ADP, our draft board forms based on our opinions of players and where they go in fantasy football drafts. Since drafters draft (mostly) by site algorithms, site algorithms drive ADP on that site. So, we use FantasyPros’ aggregate average draft position data in order to smooth out those edges. To really smooth out the edges, I will use the half-PPR average draft position, which you can find here.

The Atlanta Falcons had one of the rougher offseasons in the NFL. They struck out on Deshaun Watson and ticked off Matt Ryan in the process. So, Ryan is now a Colt and the Falcons have Marcus Mariota under center. This all came after the NFL handed down a season-long suspension for stud wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who stepped away from the team last year to handle his mental health struggles. To top that all off, the Falcons lost Russell Gage to division rival Tampa Bay. But, from chaos, we can find order. After all, the Falcons were a mess last year, and they still brought us, Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Pitts, so there’s still some value to be had here. Who are the sleeper, breakout, and bust for 2022 fantasy football from the Falcons?

Sleeper: Tyler Allgeier, Running Back (RB58, 184 OVR)

Allgeier doesn’t wow you if you carry a combine-focused evaluation for rookie running backs. But, if you like to look at a player’s résumé to evaluate his talent, it’s hard to overlook Allgeier. Allgeier led all FBS running backs with 1,847 rushing yards after contact in the last two seasons, as well as the second-most rushing touchdowns in the last two years (36). He also forced the fourth-most broken tackles over the last two seasons and did all this as a converted linebacker. Allgeier played running back full time for two seasons in college, and in those two seasons he racked up 426 carries and 52 catches for 3,104 total yards and 36 total touchdowns, in 24 games. That comes out to 129 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game. He was a battering ram for BYU, and he will likely do the same for the Falcons.

The only running back that poses a threat to Allgeier’s workload is in actuality, a converted wide receiver and kick returner, who is also on the wrong side of 30. Cordarrelle Patterson is the only threat to Allgeier’s touches, and I have my hesitations about CPatt (more on that later). Allgeier is basically free, going outside the 180 picks in a standard 12-team draft while carrying top-24 upside. There’s no reason to not take a kicker or DST over Allgeier.

Breakout: Kyle Pitts, Tight End (TE3, 30 OVR)

Wow, the TE3 off the board is going to be a breakout? What a great and insightful bit of information! Thank you! Well, hold on one gosh-darned second. Kyle Pitts finished as TE12 in fantasy points per game last season, so yea, this is a huge breakout campaign for him. And why is it a huge breakout campaign for him? Pure, unadulterated touchdown regression.

We all know that Kyle Pitts is very good at football, and if you think otherwise, let me tell you: Kyle Pitts is very good at football. But, what if he was just as productive as an average tight end, given his opportunity last season? On average, tight ends scored a touchdown every 18 targets, every 128 air yards, and every 132 receiving yards. If Pitts scored at that rate, that would come out to between 6 and 8 touchdowns, depending on the metric. So, tack an extra 6 touchdowns onto Pitts’ totals in 2021, and that moves him up into top-five territory. And he did all of that as a rookie. The sky is the limit for Kyle Pitts, so TE3 isn’t as crazy as it seems, even on what will likely be a putrid Falcons offense.

Bust: Cordarrelle Patterson, Running Back (RB30, 86 OVR)

Cordarrelle Patterson as RB30 is fitting, as he is over 30 years old and topped 30 yards just one time in his last four games. Patterson was the talk of fantasy football in the first half of the 2021 season, as the converted kick returner averaged 86 yards per game prior to a week nine injury. After that point, he averaged just 56 yards per game, including 88 total yards in the three games of the fantasy football playoffs. There’s a very good reason for this: Cordarrelle Patterson had 205 touches last season after averaging 31.5 touches per season in the eight prior seasons. His prior season high was 2020, where he had 85 touches, before that, it was 2018’s 63 touches.

So, you can see the problem with Cordarrelle Patterson. He literally hasn’t been built up to be a big part of an offense for any sustained period of time. You can draft Patterson if you’d like, I don’t doubt the talent. But, I’d also try to get out from underneath him while the draft pick looks like a good investment. He’s likely to fall off a cliff again this season, which is another reason why I like Tyler Allgeier in drafts.


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About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

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