2017 Outlook: Jones missed two games with a toe injury, but still managed to finish sixth among wide receivers in fantasy points last season. Jones' target share dipped a bit, but Matt Ryan's top target thrived in the breakout offense of the year. Despite eclipsing eight touchdowns in a season just once in his career, Jones has finished as a top-11 fantasy receiver during four of the past five seasons. Durability continues to be an issue for Jones, as he's missed at least one game during four of his six NFL seasons. The Atlanta offense will surely come back to earth a bit this season, but 28-year-old Jones is arguably the game's best talent at the position. Select him in the middle of the first round.
2017 Outlook: Freeman registered 57 fewer touches in 2016 than he did when he led all running backs in fantasy points in 2015, but the dynamic young back produced only 32 fewer fantasy points. Freeman posted a healthy 4.8 YPC, thanks, in part, to terrific blocking (3.2 yards before contact per attempt ranked seventh) and high-value carries (his 16 carries inside the opponent's 5-yard line ranked fifth). Freeman ranked ninth in rushing yards and fifth in receiving yards at the position. He posted seven top-10 fantasy weeks. The presence of Tevin Coleman, departure of Kyle Shanahan and some offensive regression to the mean will lead to a statistical step back for Freeman, but he's still a back-end RB1 option in all formats.
2017 Outlook: The Falcons' offense absolutely exploded during Kyle Shanahan's second season calling the plays and although Shanahan is off to San Francisco, we shouldn't expect anything more than some regression to the mean. Ryan enjoyed a career-best season in 2016, ranking second in passing yards, passing touchdowns and fantasy points. He averaged an absurd 9.26 yards per attempt, which is the best we've seen in the NFL since Kurt Warner hit 9.88 in 2000. Ryan benefited from the league's most help after the catch (6.2 RAC) and second-lowest drop rate (2.8 percent), but his superb accuracy (fourth or better in off-target percentage each of the past five years) and the presence of Julio Jones will allow him to post another strong fantasy season.
2017 Outlook: Coleman was Atlanta's third-round pick in 2015, but Devonta Freeman's dominant play has kept him from fully emerging. Coleman has been terrific in his own right, especially as a pass-catcher. He totaled 11 touchdowns on only 149 touches last season, and though that is far from sustainable, he averaged 4.4 YPC and 13.6 YPR. Coleman's upside will be limited as long as Freeman is on the field, but he has some stand-alone flex appeal and is one of the most valuable handcuffs in fantasy.
2017 Outlook: Bryant's career production has been quite the roller coaster, but it all led to the veteran pacing all kickers in fantasy points last season. Bryant has finished as a top-five fantasy kicker four of the past seven years but landed 12th or worse during the other three campaigns. He posted a top-10 fantasy week 13 times last season, which was four more than the next-closest kicker. He made 34 of 37 field goal attempts (91.9 percent) and, vaulted by Atlanta's terrific offense, converted an NFL-high 56 of his 57 extra point attempts. Atlanta's offense will come back to earth a bit this season, but Bryant will get enough work to post another strong fantasy campaign.
2017 Outlook: It's rare for a rookie tight end to make a fantasy impact, so it's hardly a surprise that Hooper finished 2016 with only 19 receptions. The Stanford product appeared in 14 games and averaged 27.3 snaps per game. Although Jacob Tamme's shoulder injury forced the team to use a committee at the position, Atlanta tight ends still combined for 788 yards and 10 touchdowns. Hooper is expected to play a much larger role in his second season and will thus be responsible for a hefty share of those looks. The 2016 third-round pick will make for an intriguing late-round flier in Atlanta's high-scoring offense.
2017 Outlook: Getting waived by the Browns is often a bad sign for a player's prospects, but that didn't stop Gabriel from exploding onto the fantasy scene in Atlanta last year. Gabriel was a situational player throughout the year (he was on the field for 51 percent of the pass plays when active), but his targets and, in turn, his production went way up in the second half. Gabriel's best fantasy week was 58th during Weeks 1-7, but he managed six top-30 weeks during his next seven outings. On the year, Gabriel averaged 11.5 yards per target (second) and 7.8 yards after catch (first). Atlanta's offense is going to come back to earth this year, and Gabriel will follow, especially considering he didn't see more than six targets in a single game last year. He's likely to be picked too early in your draft.
2017 Outlook: The Atlanta offense ranked second in total offense last season, so Sanu's 59-653-4 line is certainly underwhelming, considering he was one of the Falcons' top offseason signings. Limited by his slot role, Sanu's 8.0 average depth of target was near the basement of the league, but he caught 75 percent of his targets (sixth). Sanu has posted one top-10 fantasy week over the past two years and 16 top-30 fantasy weeks in his five-year career. That's not good. Sanu will return as a complementary target and is worth no more than a late-round flier.
2017 Outlook: The defending NFC champions allowed the sixth-most points (406) and eighth-most yards (5,939) last season, but leveled out their fantasy production with the fifth-most forced fumbles (17), third-most passes defensed (87) and five D/ST touchdowns. Atlanta's D/ST hasn't posted a top-15 fantasy season since 2011, but this is a unit on the rise. Dontari Poe was signed away from Kansas City and joins a solid defensive line that also includes emerging Vic Beasley Jr. Deion Jones, De'Vondre Campbell and Kemal Ishmael form an intriguing, young linebacker group and this is a talented secondary led by Desmond Trufant and Keanu Neal.