Welcome to a new beginning. I’m not sitting here saying this will be a new era of success in which our wildest dreams as Falcons fans come true (although that would be really nice), I’m saying that Atlanta’s victory against the Carolina Panthers to begin the 2023 season is literally “new” — this is the first time in five years where the Birds have won a season opener and it’s the first time they’ve been above .500 at any point since 2017.
What’s not new is this article series — this will be the sixth year where I’m writing this series.
We won’t get into the actual game itself too much in this article — I strongly encourage you to check out some of the actual deep dive analysis pieces we have here at The Falcoholic — instead, here we will look at things from purely a fantasy football perspective, meaning nothing but cold hard statistics.
On a weekly basis, we will highlight two Falcons players in each game — one who was a standout fantasy performer and one who did not live up to expectations.
Only fantasy relevant players will be featured in this series. A wide receiver at the end of the bench or a 4th string running back who isn’t on anybody’s fantasy team will not be looked at.
Expectations are of course always higher for players who were drafted at higher ADPs, so they will be under added scrutiny when dissecting fantasy performances.
Now, let’s get right into this week’s fantasy stud and dud, shall we?
Fantasy Stud/Dud 2022 History:
Past Studs: Tyler Allgeier (4), Cordarrelle Patterson (4), Drake London (3), Marcus Mariota (2), Kyle Pitts (1), Younghoe Koo (1), Olamide Zaccheaus (1)
Past Duds: Kyle Pitts (4), Drake London (4), Marcus Mariota (2), Younghoe Koo (2), Cordarrelle Patterson (2), Falcons D/ST (1), Desmond Ridder (1)
Yearly Fantasy Stud/Dud History:
Past Studs: Matt Ryan, Austin Hooper, Calvin Ridley, Cordarrelle Patterson
Past Duds: Devonta Freeman, Mohamed Sanu, Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley
Fantasy Stud - Tyler Allgeier
Stat Line: 15 carries, 75 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 3 catches, 19 receiving yards: 21.4 standard league points; 24.4 PPR points
Always be wary of consensus hype trains pedaled by the fantasy football industry. Let me tell you what I mean — Bijan Robinson and Jhamyr Gibbs were both running backs taken in the top 12 of the NFL Draft and the hype around both of them was pretty insane all offseason and into fantasy draft season. Robinson had a first round ADP while Gibbs (despite the presence of David Montgomery) had an ADP in the third round. It almost felt like fantasy analysts were intentionally trying to erase every single potentially negative circumstance surrounding either of them, in their analysis.
As such, the Tyler Allgeier erasure among fantasy “experts” was pretty insane to witness. Don’t get me wrong, Bijan is great and he had a wonderful Week 1, but Allgeier was never going anywhere after breaking Atlanta’s franchise rookie rushing record just a season ago. Today, he took the goal line carries, scored two rushing touchdowns, and had 18 touches to Bijan’s 16.
I’m not saying that Allgeier will continue getting more touches than Robinson or that he’s a better fantasy option — he’s not. But he’s still very valuable as a fantasy commodity in an Atlanta offense that likes to distribute touches to multiple running backs.
Allgeier handling goal line duties is very promising for those who spent a double digit round pick on his fantasy services, although the return of Cordarrelle Patterson could change the algorithm of that.
Drake London: 0 catches, 0 receiving yards, 0 standard league/PPR points
Atlanta’s passing offense was brutal throughout most of the afternoon. The pass protection routinely broke down, Desmond Ridder hardly ever looked downfield, and there were only 115 total passing yards to go around.
Drake London, who was drafted in legitimate WR2 range with a 5th-6th round ADP in most leagues, got none of those yards and a total of 0 catches. It was a nightmare scenario for those who plugged the USC man into their lineups hoping for his good chemistry with Ridder from the end of last season to carry over.
What’s even more concerning is that London had just one target out of the 18 that Ridder threw, and he did not help himself with a pretty bad drop on that throw. He was still one of just two receivers to register a look in his direction, along with Mack Hollins.
Week 1 in the NFL is normally very wonky, and London will be a very involved member of Atlanta’s passing attack. I would not advise selling him off (as this may be the lowest his value will be) and will tell you to stay patient, but today is a stark reminder of how the floor can fall out from either he or Kyle Pitts during any given week with how Atlanta’s offense operates.