Another year is in the books, and the Falcons have finished the campaign with a 7-9 record for the second consecutive season. The season was much worse than the record indicated, but that’s a discussion for another article. This one will be centered around fantasy football.
The end of the season is meant to be a period of reflection in regard to who you drafted to represent your fantasy team — did they meet/exceed expectations or did they ruin your chances? Every team has their share of players who were valuable fantasy contributors and those whom fantasy owners regret selecting.
Throughout the season, I have been putting together a weekly fantasy stud and dud column looking at Falcons who delivered for fantasy owners and those who disappointed on a weekly basis. We brought this year’s version of that column to a close last week, but the only fitting finale to such a series is to make an article looking at the fantasy stud and dud for the whole year.
Looking at strictly fantasy numbers, this is that article.
Fantasy Stud/Dud 2019 History:
Past Studs: Austin Hooper (3), Julio Jones (3), Younghoe Koo (2), Matt Ryan (2), Calvin Ridley (2), Atlanta Falcons D/ST (1), Russell Gage (1), Devonta Freeman (1)
Past Duds: Calvin Ridley (3), Matt Ryan (3), Austin Hooper (2) Devonta Freeman (1), Mohamed Sanu (1), Julio Jones (1), Mohamed Sanu (1), Matt Bryant (1), Brian Hill (1), Younghoe Koo (1)
Year Fantasy Stud/Dud History:
Past Studs: Matt Ryan (2018)
Past Duds: Devonta Freeman (2018)
Season Stud - Austin Hooper
Stat Line - 75 catches, 787 receiving yards, 6 receiving touchdowns: 116.7 standard league points; 191.7 PPR points
Julio Jones absolutely deserves a shoutout here — finishing as the WR3 in all of fantasy football in PPR leagues (which is the new standard) — however, fantasy football is about getting as much bang for your ADP buck as possible.
Julio was taken in the first or second round in almost all leagues, while Hooper was taken as a late round flyer and ended up as the overall TE5 in PPR leagues.
Hooper finished as a top five player in his position despite missing three games due to injury and then not being at 100% when returning. The Stanford alum was a top 6 TE on a weekly basis five times in the first six weeks of the season, and was overall TE1 before his injury in Week 10.
Austin Hooper may not have won anybody their league in the playoffs but he sure helped many teams get to their fantasy postseasons. He won’t be as much of a late round sleeper next season.
Season Dud - Mohamed Sanu
Stat Line - 59 catches, 520 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns, 3 carries, 11 rushing yards: 65.1 standard league points; 124.1 PPR points
I know what you’re thinking — Sanu technically is no longer an Atlanta Falcon, and his ADP wasn’t very strong to begin with. Both are correct points to make. However, he did spend about half the season as an Atlanta Falcon, and was drafted in fantasy football as a Falcon.
In truth, Sanu finds himself as this season’s dud almost by default. No other fantasy relevant Atlanta Falcon failed to meet their ADP expectations — Julio Jones was taken at the first round/second round turn and was the overall WR3, Matt Ryan was taken in the middle rounds and was a QB 1 in 12-team leagues (meaning that he was one of the 12 highest scoring QBs) despite missing a game, Calvin Ridley was taken around the fifth round and was a solid overall FLEX play (not to mention a solid WR2 before missing the last quarter of the season), even Devonta Freeman finished as a RB2 in 12-team PPR leagues (finishing as a top 24 scoring RB).
That just leaves Sanu, who finished as the overall WR58 in PPR leagues. Part of that is because he was downright unplayable in all but one game as a New England Patriot, failing to reach 25 receiving yards in six of eight games after the trade.
Sanu was taken as a late round dart throw in many 12-team leagues and put up numbers that would not have gotten him drafted in hindsight.