We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2010 fantasy football questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2010 Atlanta Falcons Fantasy Football Preview comes courtesy of The Falcoholic.
1. Last season the Falcons passed the ball 59% of the time, whereas the season before they passed 44% of the time. This seems mainly due to the loss of Michael Turner. Was there any other reason behind that? And now with Turner back do you see that number moving down near 44% again?
I think you’re going to see a very near 50/50 split between passes and carries this season, with perhaps a slight tilt toward the ground game. With healthy backs, this is a running team first and foremost. That said, Coach Mike Smith’s confidence in Matt Ryan appears to be growing by the week here in the off-season, and he could be in line for a big season.
In the end, you’ll see balance.
2. Harry Douglas looked poised to compete for the #2 wide receiver position, but has had trouble recovering from his torn ACL. Does Michael Jenkins hold the #2 slot again this season?
We’re all excited to see Harry Douglas return to the field. That said, I’d be stunned if he took the #2 slot away from Jenkins. Fair or not, Jenkins has developed a reputation as a top-flight blocker, something advanced metrics strenuously disagree with. I think the prototypical #2 in this team’s system is a tall guy with good hands. We’re still looking for the long-term solution there.
3. If you were to draft Michael Turner who would you want to back him up? Jason Snelling or Jerious Norwood?
I’ve always been a big fan of Jerious Norwood, but in this stage of their respective careers, I’d prefer Jason Snelling. He’s a classic big back who demonstrated in 2009 that he can carry the load, and his goal-line struggles can be improved with a little conditioning. Norwood is a great home run threat, but injuries have been hurting his production and there are serious doubts about his ability to handle 15-20 carries a game.
4. Is there any reason to think Matt Ryan won’t have a productive comeback season? Now that he’s in his third year do you see coach Smith giving him more ability to change plays at the line of scrimmage?
He’s going to get every opportunity to succeed. He’s spent a significant portion of his off-season watching tape of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, and the team is really opening up the playbook and focusing on the no-huddle offense. That should give Ryan a chance to really take over games. This will be the season where we see if he’s an elite or merely a good quarterback.
5. If an offensive starter was injured and out for the season, what position would you feel most comfortable with the backup taking over the starting role?
At this point, the single position where I’d feel most comfortable would be at guard. If we lost Justin Blalock or Harvey Dahl, rookie Mike Johnson looks like the real deal at the position. He’ll probably have a learning curve, but Blalock has been only semi-effective anyways.