Atlanta Falcons running back Mike Davis is channeling his inner Rodney Dangerfield. He’s not getting any respect from fantasy managers. He signed a two-year, $5.5 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons, including a $1.5 million signing bonus and $3 million guaranteed. Davis’ contract implies he’ll be featured, but should you draft him in fantasy football this season?
What is Mike Davis’ fantasy outlook in Atlanta?
Davis joins a Falcons team under new head coach Arthur Smith, who was previously the offensive coordinator of the Titans. Last year, Tennessee’s offense averaged 385.4 total yards per game, which ranked fifth in the NFL. While the Titans ranked second in rushing attempts per game (32), they came in at 30th in pass attempts (30). Tennessee leaned heavily on play-action passes and pre-snap motion last year.
Will Davis emerge as Smith’s version of Derrick Henry in Atlanta?
Henry was the engine that propelled the Titans’ offense. He averaged 24 opportunities, 125.3 total yards, and 20.6 PPR fantasy points per game. Smith may not have Henry on the roster in Atlanta, but Davis worked hard to look the part this offseason. As a reminder, a photo of his legs from earlier this year nearly broke the internet.
Davis is in a prime position to have the best statistical season of his career. In fact, he had a higher yards per carry average than Christian McCaffrey last year. However, you may be thinking about Davis’ fantasy production in 2020 filling in for McCaffrey.
The veteran running back started the 2020 season strong from Weeks 2-6. Davis averaged 21 PPR fantasy points per game, but that trend changed for the rest of the year. In Weeks 7-17, Davis averaged just 11.6 PPR fantasy points per game.
Nevertheless, one difference between Davis and Henry is his receiving ability. Davis saw the fifth-most targets (70) among running backs in 2020. As a result, his particular set of skills became very attractive to Smith and the Falcons’ coaching staff — especially after Todd Gurley fizzled out in Atlanta.
Davis projects to lead the Falcons’ backfield, with not a lot competing with him for touches.
What will the Falcons’ offense look like under Smith?
I project that Atlanta’s running backs will be actively involved as runners and receivers out of the backfield. They could combine for around 500 opportunities. Nevertheless, the Falcons will lean on quarterback Matt Ryan, wide receiver Calvin Ridley, and tight end Kyle Pitts. Ryan could come close to 600 pass attempts. Yet, Atlanta’s offensive line is still a work in progress after some key losses this offseason.
Should you draft Mike Davis in 2021?
Absolutely. Davis is a solid RB2 with upside for your fantasy team. Many may hesitate to invest in the 27-year-old running back because he’s been a backup for the majority of his career, but you shouldn’t allow that to influence your decision-making.
Davis’ current ADP
According to Fleaflicker, Davis is the RB23 with an ADP of 56. In pay-to-play formats, such as the National Fantasy Championship, Davis is the RB25 with an ADP of 63.13.
Opportunity share is a valuable commodity in fantasy football, and Davis is in a great position to see the highest number of touches in his career.