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Falcons fantasy football outlook 2020: What to expect from RB Todd Gurley

Will the new Falcons running back be worth an early selection in drafts?

Harry How/Getty Images

As we inch closer to June, the fantasy football season is effectively now upon us. Leagues are forming, draft orders are being randomly selected and fantasy owners are scrambling to find out all the information that they can on specific players.

In case you missed it, myself and fellow The Falcoholic writer Adnan Ikic have looked at Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones. Today, I will be looking at somewhat recently-added running back Todd Gurley.

Looking at Gurley’s more recent history, he’s been one of the best fantasy running backs in recent years. In 2019, Gurley finished tied with the 4th most rushing touchdowns by a running back with Dallas CowboysEzekiel Elliott. Gurley also had two receiving touchdowns, which put him as the 14th best fantasy running back last year. Additionally, Gurley finished as the 1st overall running back in 2017 and 3rd overall running back in 2018.

2019 Fantasy Production

Standard/PPR: 14.5 points per game (ppg)

Three-Year average: 21.0 ppg (3rd best)

2019 Rank: No. 14

Stats: 223 carries, 857 rushing yards, 14 total touchdowns

2020 Outlook

When it comes to Todd Gurley, the biggest question for fantasy owners is simple: “How is his knee?” Gurley unfortunately has arthritis in his knee, which flared up during the 2019 playoffs which caused the Los Angeles Rams to limit his usage. This type of ailment doesn’t just disappear, and can flare up at any time. The ood news is that it’s not something that will necessarily prevent Gurley from being productive, but it’s a concern.

Yes, Gurley has recently posted videos online displaying his knee isn’t an immediate issue but I need to see it on the field, over the course of a 16-game (or more) season. When you combine that with Falcons’ offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter’s struggles with running the ball, there’s not a ton of optimism that Gurley will return to a top-5 rushing year.

With that being said, Gurley is still an excellent runner and has use in the pass game even though the Rams didn’t utilize him much. There were several situations in 2019 where the Gurley would get the Rams into the redzone and they would vulture his touchdown by using one of their other stable of running backs. Gurley in my opinion, remains a top-15 running back entering fantasy league drafts this summer. Say what you want about last season, he still scored 14 times. I have a hunch that a lot of fantasy owners will shy away from Gurley due to the negative press on his knee, which could provide you with solid value as a potential RB2. We won’t know for sure what Gurley’s usage will be though until the Falcons can fully evaluate him, but he’s the lead back in this committee until further notice.

Thanks for reading, and if you’re interested, you can check out my pre-training camp fantasy football rankings here.