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NFC South Dynasty Capsule: Atlanta Falcons

SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 11:  Michael Turner #33 of the Atlanta Falcons runs past Dashon Goldson #38 of the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on October 11, 2009 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Ken KellyContributor IIIJune 22, 2010

We’re very excited to unveil a new series of articles here on DLF this summer. The Dynasty capsules are designed for you to take an in-depth look at a particular team to evaluate some existing stars, potential sell candidates, and discover some possible sleepers. We’re starting in the NFC South today by featuring the Atlanta Falcons as the first of the 32 article series.

The Falcons ended their season with a 3-game winning streak to finish at 9-7. This was a pretty impressive accomplishment considering the injury to Michael Turner and mild Sophomore slump of QB Matt Ryan.

The Falcons feature a host of players in different value categories. As with all team capsules, we’ll take a look at some players in each of those.

Players in their Prime

Matt Ryan QB
He experienced a little bit of a stepback last year (his completion percentage and yards were down, while his INTs were up). However, it’s obvious he possesses the “it” factor and much of his troubles can be attributed to being forced into some tough game situations and losing his best offensive weapon in Turner. This should be the season where Ryan transcends to “elite” QB status in Dynasty leagues.

Roddy White WR
They say WRs really break out in the 3rd year. There may be no greater case study to prove that than Roddy White. He had 59 receptions for 952 yards and 3 TDs in his first two years combined. In season three, he had 83 catches, 1,202 yards and 6 TDs. Now that’s improvement! He’s followed that up with two very solid seasons and there’s really nothing wrong with having him as a lower tier No. 1 WR or a very solid No. 2 WR for your fantasy squad.

Players with Falling Values

Tony Gonzalez TE
Gonzo has been an absolute monster for a long, long, time. Last year was solid with 83 catches, 867 yards, and 6 TD's, but he’s 34 and won’t play more than another season or two.

Michael Turner RB
In my opinion, Turner is going too high in dynasty drafts. While he did have a monster season in 2008, he’s 28 years old and the days of 376 carries in a season are all but over. Many people believe he has a lot left in the tank since he was never relied on to carry a full load, but I see a 28-year-old who broke down after being overworked. Turner’s a great guy to have, but not as a No. 1 RB anymore.

Michael Jenkins WR
Jenkins is easily one of the biggest teases in fantasy football. Just when you think it’s over, he has a big game. Last year's 50 catches, 635 yards, and 1 TD year showed no more than what we’ve seen before. He’s a guy who flashes unrealized potential. I believe we’ve seen what he is and that’s a mediocre starting NFL WR.

Rising Player
Harry Douglas WR
It was unfortunate he experienced that torn ACL last season. He should not be forgotten, though. Douglas showed enough to really impress the coaches with his slot ability and was even starting to push Michael Jenkins for a starting spot. A solid offseason of work should do him some wonders and create some opportunities.

Sleeper
Jason Snelling RB
It’s not out of the question that Snelling gets another opportunity to start some games this year. If not for some serious struggles on the goal line, Snelling’s 4.3 yards per carry and 4 TD's would have been even better.  He did have 5 double-digit fantasy performances, though. It was also obvious the team had faith in him to carry the ball in some serious games. If I’m a Turner owner, I’m a Snelling owner, too.

Super Sleeper
Dmitri Nance RB
Now this is REALLY going out there, but Nance is a guy to keep an eye on in camp.  He may not make the team, but he showed some flashes of talent at Arizona State.

Summary
The Atlanta Falcons boast a mixture of players with varying dynasty values. It’s up to you to evaluate this group and consider moving or acquiring one of these aging veterans or maybe taking a stab at one of the sleepers or risers.

It’s important to look at each team-by-team capsule to get your mind in a position to truly evaluate each player based on their own surroundings. Becoming more and more familiar with each team’s roster will get you into a power position when it comes to trades, wire pickups, or drafts.

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