There may not have been a bigger surprise of the 2021 season than Atlanta Falcons RB/WR Cordarrelle Patterson. After years of inconsistency, Patterson finished as a top-10 running back, scoring 11 touchdowns and finishing with over 1,000 all-purpose yards. But after a quiet 2022, how should fantasy football managers react to Patterson’s injury?
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What Happened to Cordarrelle Patterson?
On August 16, it was announced that Patterson would miss several weeks with a soft-tissue injury. In a press conference, coach Arthur Smith confirmed that the Atlanta Falcons would reassess Patterson’s progress after the final preseason game and just before Labor Day weekend.
Falcons HC Arthur Smith said he's "still optimistic" about CB Jeff Okudah when asked if Okudah would return early in the season but declined to put a timeline on when he'll be back.
Also said RB Cordarrelle Patterson is "making good progress as well."
— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) August 26, 2023
There has not been a lot of talk recently about Patterson. Still, with this being Labor Day weekend, we could be close to hearing more from Smith about Patterson.
The Falcons don’t know what exactly caused his injury, but soft-tissue injuries can occur from overuse or acute injury.
What Are the Falcons’ Options If Patterson Misses Time?
The Falcons have as much depth at the running back position as any team in the NFL. Atlanta currently has four running backs on the 53-man roster, including two extremely young, talented players in Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier.
The other running back on the team is Keith Smith, but he is a fullback who will be helping to create running lanes for the Falcons’ running backs.
What Does This Mean for Patterson’s Fantasy Ranking?
Patterson currently sits at RB64 in the PFN Consensus Rankings — he’s being looked at as a handcuff player as a best-case scenario.
Robinson, the rookie phenom, was brought in to be the go-to back, and he figures to have a role similar to Zeke Elliott or Saquon Barkley when they came into the league. Backing up Robinson is Allgeier, a second-year running back who rushed for 1,035 yards and three touchdowns in his rookie campaign.
To expect Patterson to be able to duplicate what he did in 2021 is asking a lot, as the Falcons are just too good at the running back position. If one of those two running backs go down, Patterson could be a sneaky play. Without that, his fantasy value is very low right now.
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