2024 Fantasy Football Overvalued, Undervalued & Sleeper: Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons hit a hard reset on all the bad parts of their offense. They swapped out Desmond Ridder & Marcus Mariota for Kirk Cousins under center, and they mercifully let Head Coach Arthur Smith depart to the hinterlands (Pittsburgh) and replaced him with Raheem Morris and offensive coordinator (and Sean McVay disciple) Zac Robinson. Expectations are high for the nascent fantasy football options in Atlanta, but how will their plans play out for 2024? How does the ADP shake out? Let’s dive into the undervalued, overvalued, and sleeper pick for the 2024 Arizona Cardinals! The ADP below is built from the Footballguys.com Average Draft Position consensus data.

Undervalued: Kirk Cousins, Quarterback (QB17, Pick 123 Overall)

Granted, Kirk Cousins is coming off of an Achilles tear, which is generally the kiss of death for a lot of positions. We don’t have a lot of data for quarterbacks with Achilles tears (only 5 quarterbacks in this sample, which doesn’t include Aaron Rodgers & Cousins, who are currently working their way back), but what we have is somewhat encouraging. Quarterbacks return from injury 100% of the time (so far), and they miss a couple extra games from pre-injury. Given that their return time is 309-344 days, that likely comes from recovering from injury, and not re-injury.

There’s a bit of concern for me there, however, as Cousins injured his Achilles 315 days before week one of this season, which puts him as missing up to a month. That’s not great and is likely a reason why Cousins is a great value right now.

Luckily, once Cousins returns, I have no qualms about his ability to continue to play at the same level as he did in Minnesota. His game isn’t predicated on athleticism, so an Achilles injury is more about stability than cutting and running. He finished last year averaging 291 yards, 2.3 touchdowns, and 0.6 picks per game, at a 7.5 yards per attempt clip. His yards per game were set to be the highest since 2016, and his touchdowns per game were set to be the highest of his career, and the third time in four seasons that he topped two touchdowns per game.

He will finish as a top-10 quarterback in fantasy points per game once he returns, and you can get another quarterback to pair with him in the meantime. He’ll carry your fantasy squad in the second half of the season, no question.

Overvalued: Drake London, Wide Receiver (WR12, Pick 22 Overall)

Every year, we end up with a player whose rank finalizes based solely on the Fantasy Football “Wouldn’t It Be Cool” Postulate. In this case, it would be really cool if Drake London was a top-twelve wide receiver because Kirk Cousins is in town. You’d expect to see some underlying metrics that prove that Drake London was floundering under a bad quarterback and bad regime, but instead, you see a wide receiver who didn’t even really command a lot in a low-ceiling offense. If you look under the hood at his PlayerProfiler.com page, you can see the problems.

Among receivers with at least 500 snaps last season (86 receivers), London ranked 66th with an 86.25% true catch rate, which adjusts for bad throws. His unrealized air yards per target (a measurement of how many yards were left on the field) ranked 51 of 86 receivers, just ahead of D.J. Moore, Brandon Aiyuk, Justin Jefferson, and Jaylen Waddle. Nobody is saying any of those receivers left a lot on the bone out there, but that narrative is bubbling up for London.

Finally, his yards per team pass attempt, which is a measurement of his production inside the confines of the offense, he ranked 28th out of the 86 receivers with at least 500 snaps. His peers were Zay Flowers, Chris Godwin, Diontae Johnson, Adam Thielen, and Cooper Kupp; none of those players are going as WR1, yet Drake London persists.

I am not saying that Drake London is going to be bad, per se. It’s players like London that made me nix the “bust” label when writing these pieces. He’s getting Amari Cooper & D.J. Moore Syndrome. For years, fantasy analysts applied the “Wouldn’t It Be Cool” Postulate to these players, ranking them as WR1s, without any real reason for it. D.J. Moore finally pushed through last season, but it was folly more than profit most seasons.

Sleeper: Darnell Mooney, Wide Receiver (WR65, Pick 151 Overall)

On the flip side, you have Darnell Mooney. Now, I want to stop and say that I don’t think that Mooney will surpass Drake London (I’m not stupid), but those same under-the-hood statistics that made London seem a little overpriced give me a tad bit of excitement for Mooney. His unrealized air yards per target sit nearly 2 yards per target higher than London, indicating that he would strongly benefit from the quarterback upgrade. He did this with a 96.8% true catch rate, which tied with Curtis Samuel for fourth among wide receivers with at least 500 snaps. He will greatly benefit from a quarterback upgrade, and he is completely free in drafts. He should end the season inside the top 45, making him a bench player in all leagues.

About Jeff Krisko

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

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