Atlanta Falcons Depth Chart and Fantasy Preview: Bijan Robinson’s Upside and a Drake London Breakout?

    The Falcons' fantasy preview is reasonably straightforward and much more optimistic than it was 12 months ago -- can Drake London and Kyle Pitts break out?

    The Atlanta Falcons preview is an optimistic one, even if their shocking drafting of Michael Penix set the NFL world into a spiral. This team has invested tremendous draft capital on the offensive side of the ball lately, and 2024 could be the year in which those actions pay off in spades in fantasy football.

    Atlanta Falcons Fantasy Depth Chart

    QB
    Kirk Cousins, Michael Penix Jr., Taylor Heinicke

    RB
    Bijan Robinson, Tyler Allgeier, Avery Williams

    WR1
    Drake London, Casey Washington, Austin Mack

    WR2
    Darnell Mooney, KhaDarel Hodge, Chris Blair

    WR3
    Rondale Moore, Ray-Ray McCloud, Josh Ali

    TE
    Kyle Pitts, Charlie Woerner

    Kirk Cousins’ Fantasy Outlook

    I’ll admit it: Cousins’ profile is littered with red flags. He is entering his age-36 season in a new system coming off a torn Achilles and has just seen his new employer spend the eighth overall pick on a college prospect at the same position.

    That sentence alone is enough to have some managers automatically pass on Cousins out of principle, and I can’t say that’s wrong.

    That said, fantasy managers that are circling around Cousins have waited to address the position and are thus in the business of selecting two in the later rounds with their eyes on his upside.

    Cousins has that. Lots of that.

    The Achilles tear happened in the middle of the regular season, giving the veteran QB a little more leeway in terms of recovery ahead of this regular season.

    Of course, a major injury like that is impactful, but at least Cousins is not a player who relies on mobility for fantasy purposes (he’s never reached 200 rushing yards in a season and scored just six times on the ground in six seasons with the Minnesota Vikings).

    Prior to the injury last season, another year with 4,200+ passing yards was looking on the cards, and he averaged over two touchdowns per game for the third time in four seasons.

    This team doesn’t have a Justin Jefferson on it, but you could (and I would) argue that the overall skill position talent at his disposal in Atlanta is greater than what he had access to in Minnesota last season.

    Assuming health (keep tabs on this situation), Cousins should be able to produce the same stat line we’ve come to know and love. The ceiling isn’t elite, but the floor is high enough to justify drafting him in the second half of the proceedings should you wait to address the position.

    Bijan Robinson’s Fantasy Outlook

    Is it possible to “reach” on Robinson in 2024? I’m not sure it is.

    We, as a community, were up in arms about his usage for the majority of his rookie season. We were the ones that started the “fire Arthur Smith” chants. We were the ones going out on Halloween night dressed as the ghost of Robinson, with his fantasy stock close to translucent for the price paid on draft day.

    • 1,463 scrimmage yards
    • 8 touchdowns

    Those are his numbers. Those are the numbers Robinson finished his rookie season with in light of everything that went on. Should we be viewing that as something of a floor as this offense develops and something that could improve in short order?

    He put up that stat line in a season in which he didn’t have his second 15-carry game until mid-November and had a pair of droughts that lasted over a month without a rushing score.

    READ MORE: 2024 Dynasty Mock Draft 

    The upside when he is handed the ball is no secret, and his ability to thrive in the passing game gives him a chance to be fantasy’s best player in 2024.

    As a rookie in a simple offense, Robinson averaged 8.4 yards per catch for the season and hauled in 4.1 passes per game over his final seven. He’s a 22-year-old who is capable of doing everything we could possibly ask and doing it at an elite level.

    Could he be peak Dalvin Cook, a star running back who thrived with Cousins under center? From the start of the 2019 season through the end of the 2020 season…

    Cook’s per 17-game production

    • 2,169 total yards
    • 18 TDs

    That’s not a likely outcome, but I don’t think it’s far from a stat line Robinson could reach this season. The fact that such numbers can be mentioned tells you all you need to know — he is the top back for dynasty purposes without much question, and his ascent to the top of the position for redraft could happen as soon as September.

    Tyler Allgeier’s Fantasy Outlook

    There aren’t many handcuff running backs that I’d burn a roster spot on, but Allgeier is one of them.

    We saw him average 4.9 yards per carry as a rookie in 2022 with nearly 1,200 yards. That sort of production doesn’t happen by accident, so I’ll be comfortable labeling him as a starter if Robinson were to get dinged up — if, and only if, Robinson gets dinged up.

    The optimism I described for Robinson implies an uptick in volume and that results in food coming off of Allgeier’s plate. I don’t think he gets anywhere near the 209 touches he was given last season, and that means he will be occupying a spot on your bench until his role changes.

    He’s not a must-roster player, and if you play in a league with shallow benches, I won’t blame you for looking elsewhere. That said, be aware that he is a Robinson rolled ankle away from being a startable player in all formats.

    Drake London’s Fantasy Outlook

    London was the eighth overall pick in 2022, and while he has shown glimpses of promise, his first two seasons can safely be labeled as underwhelming, given expectations.

    Due to limitations under center, the Falcons have been unable to strike fear in opposing defenses. As a result, London saw the fourth most average yards of separation in 2023 — Atlanta’s opponents didn’t want to give up a single big play through the air, knowing that they’d eventually get a stop if they forced the 2023 version of this team to string plays together.

    I don’t expect that to be the case in 2024 with Cousins under center, which leaves the door wide open for London’s raw talent to shine through.

    He’s not Justin Jefferson, but Cousins had no issue featuring a WR and that is valuable to have proof of. In Cousins’ last full season, Jefferson saw 10.8 targets per game, good for a 28.7% share.

    That sort of upside is being folded into his second-round ADP. London won’t come cheap in your draft, but you get what you pay for. There’s no reason to expect anything short of his first 1,000-yard season and a doubling of his career touchdown total (six).

    The upside? I don’t think he can be a top-five receiver this season, but ranking inside the top 10 is certainly plausible, if not likely.

    Darnell Mooney’s Fantasy Outlook

    Remember back in 2021 when Mooney cleared 1,000 receiving yards and caught 81 balls?

    That feels like a long time ago — he has totaled 71 catches for 907 yards since. The speed he brings to the table is real and should be an asset for the Falcons as they try to snap a six-year playoff drought, but counting on him for consistent fantasy production is unwise.

    His role upside is no higher than fourth on this team in offensive opportunities, and given the type of routes he is likely to run, that’s not nearly enough volume to put him near starting lineups.

    Will he have a big week now and again? Yes! And that makes him an interesting best-ball flier or DFS punt play, but as someone who digs into these numbers as deep as anyone — there’s little rhyme or reason as to when he makes the occasional splash play.

    Kyle Pitts’ Fantasy Outlook

    After recording the second most receiving yards as a rookie TE in NFL history (1,026), Pitts’ fantasy production has been underwhelming (1,023 yards in 27 games).

    The pedigree was nothing short of elite entering the NFL, and there have been flashes, but not nearly enough to satisfy fantasy managers who have paid up for his services.

    After the 2023 season ended, whispers cropped up about him battling through injuries despite appearing in all 17 games, and that tracks with what the film shows.

    His average depth of target (aDOT) has been second to none at the position over the past three seasons, and that role (along with his physical gifts) gives him a week-to-week upside that is nothing short of special. With a viable signal-caller, he should realize that potential on a more consistent basis and thus remain in my top 10 at the position.

    T.J. Hockenson averaged 8.6 targets per game during his time with Cousins under center, and while I’m not projecting that number for Pitts, his returning to the 6.5 looks that he averaged as a rookie is very much in play.

    The top tier of the tight end position in fantasy has expanded since Pitts entered the league, and that means he’ll cost you less on draft day.

    KEEP READING: Dynasty Fantasy Football Trade Value Chart

    He’s not a tier 1 option for me, given the proven downside, but the potential is there to elevate into that class is there, and it’s going to come at a discount this summer.

    I’m back in … what could possibly go wrong?

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