July 26, 2012; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) drills during training camp at the Atlanta Falcons Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE
I think it's about time we talked a little fantasy football for 2012, for those of you who enjoy playing on an annual basis. Consider this your little guide to the most valuable Falcons this season.
Keep in mind that this is all solely the opinion of a long Falcons fan and long-suffering fantasy footballer. Take it with as much sodium as you need, just as you would some delicious Buffalo Wild Wings. Sponsorship: It's the greatest!
Three To Target
If you target one Falcon this year, it should probably be Julio. Whether you're going with traditional scoring, PPR or something more esoteric, Jones is likely to be one of the best receivers going and a huge upgrade to your fantasy team. Look for anywhere from 60-80 receptions. over 1,000 yards and 10+ touchdowns. In leagues where the owners are blatant AFC homers or teams just don't value receivers quite as highly, you may even be able to steal him.
Ryan's actually likely to be undervalued by the mouth-breathing hordes who insist Jay Cutler and Joe Flacco are better quarterbacks, so you may be able to grab him a couple of spots lower than should be humanly possible. Even if you have to take him as one of the first seven or so quarterbacks off the board, he'll be well worth it.
This may be the last year I say this, but roll with Turner. Even though his numbers are likely to decline, everyone's read that by now and is likely to let him slide a bit further than normal. He's still going to be good for close to 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns, I'm willing to wager, and that makes him a damn fine RB1. Unless you've got like, Ray Rice, in which case he'd be an RB2.
While I love the man sincerely and think he's the greatest tight end of all time, simple mathematics will tell you there won't be as many targets available for him in 2012. He's a perfectly fine option at tight end regardless, but you should be looking at higher-upside players with your early-to-mid-round picks.
People are still comfortably asleep on the Falcons defense, the addition of Asante Samuel notwithstanding. If you want to sew up a defense that should be good for plenty of turnovers and better-than-average numbers across the board, you could certainly do much worse.
Weigh in with your own fantasy picks in the comments.