2013 Team Outlook: Atlanta Falcons
QB Matt Ryan, ATL - Stud (low risk)
Matt Ryan really came into his own last season. He enjoyed career highs in completions, attempts, completion percentage, passing yards and touchdowns. The addition of Julio Jones a couple seasons ago has obviously panned out and Roddy White can still get it done at the age of 31. Bringing in Steven Jackson should only help matters. Michael Turner was a glorified goal-line back last season, while SJax can also catch passes and play on all three downs. Tony Gonzalez is back too for one more run at a title. The point in mentioning Ryan's supporting cast is to illustrate how well Atlanta has surrounded their quarterback with great talent. Ryan should enjoy another big season, although he might not top 2012 statistically.
QB Dominique Davis, ATL - Not Draft Worthy
Dominique Davis was actually teammates with Matt Ryan back at Boston College in 2007. After transferring later to East Carolina, he was part of an offense that threw the ball a whole lot and he accumulated some impressive numbers. The Falcons bought him as an undrafted free agent and he has a tenuous hold on the backup spot with Duke rookie Sean Renfree on his heels.
RB Steven Jackson, ATL - Solid/Safe Pick
UPDATE (10/21): S-Jax hasn't played since Sept. 15th and yesterday, FOX's Jay Glazer reported the 30-year-old runner had suffered a setback in his return. There is no definitive timetable for his return. Jacquizz Rodgers is the back to own and Jason Snelling is also rosterable in deeper formats.
The youth movement going on with the St. Louis Rams was the writing on the wall for Steven Jackson. The 10-year vet has rushed for at least 1,000 yards in eight straight seasons. He's been surprisingly durable given his big workloads, having only missed two games over the last four seasons. Jackson will turn 30 in late July and everyone knows there might not be much tread left on his tires. Even so, the Falcons have enough playmakers on hand to spell SJax when need be. Jacquizz Rodgers figures to be a change of pace backup and it is unlikely he takes anything more than a pittance away from Jackson's production.
RB Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL - Quality Backup
UPDATE (10/21): Due to Steven Jackson's lingering injury, Rodgers has stepped up for the Falcons as both a runner and receiver. Most recently, he rushed for just 16 yards, but also added eight receptions for 46 yards and two TDs. He's a fringe backup or starter depending on the matchup.
Although Steven Jackson's durability hasn't been a concern in a number of years, he will be 30 this season and every back at that age probably heals and recovers differently than they did earlier in their career. Jacquizz Rodgers isn't built to be a full-time featured back, but he can do so in a pinch. In PPR leagues, he should already been on your radar as a deep-league backup or bench player to stash. The Falcons are so productive on offense that fantasy points can come from anywhere.Injury Status: Out - Concussion
RB Jason Snelling, ATL - Not Draft Worthy
UPDATE (10/21): Atlanta was using something close to a split backfield after Steven Jackson's injury. Snelling is in a timeshare with Jacquizz Rodgers, but Snelling is on the short end of the deal. Rodgers and Snelling share something close to a 60-40 split so in most weeks, Snelling doesn't have enough opportunities to score many fantasy points. He should only be rostered in deeper PPR leagues.
About five years ago, Jason Snelling never quite established himself as the heir apparent to Warrick Dunn (remember him?). Atlanta went in another direction and since then, he's toiled deep on the depth chart and played various minimal roles as a scat back and special teams player. He has no meaningful fantasy value.
WR Roddy White, ATL - Stud (low risk)
UPDATE (10/21): White begrudgingly rested in Week 7. Injuries to his ankle and hamstring finally caught up to the former UAB wideout. This caused him to miss a game for the first time ever in his career, ending his streak of consecutive games played. Once he returns to the starting lineup, fantasy owners should give him a shot to start as well.
It's not everyday that a team can be so prolific in their passing game as to support two Top 10 fantasy wide receivers. In some games, Roddy White will be the star of the show and in some other, he will step aside for Julio Jones or maybe even Tony Gonzalez. That's the rub with White. On the bright side, he has been one of the most consistently dominant and durable receivers in the last decade. He has never missed a game, and White has at least 83 receptions, 1,150 yards and six touchdowns in each of the last six seasons. The nine-year vet did see a big drop in his targets from 2011 to 2012 because of Jones, but the Falcons throw the ball enough where that shouldn't devalue White significantly.