How the Falcons stack up in fantasy without Julio Jones

In the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast, NFL and fantasy analyst Chris Liss joins Scott Pianowski to break down the fantasy fallout in Atlanta after the departure of WR Julio Jones to Tennessee. Subscribe to the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

Video Transcript

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: So let's transition to what's going on with the Falcons in a post-Julio Jones world. This may be the more interesting part of it. Because now if you liked Calvin Ridley, I would think you have to really like Calvin Ridley. It makes me nervous about Matt Ryan. They have Kyle Pitts, who's supposed to be the tight end who breaks all the rules. Chris, what's your take on the fantasy value of the major Falcons right now?

CHRIS LISS: I swapped, you know, Tannehill and Matt Ryan. It's not a big deal. Ryan, I think, is still gonna throw 540 times if the line protects him. Pitts, I actually should move him up. I think I have him as six or something like that, five or six, but I'll move him to four. And in the NFFC, he's going right behind the big three, Kittle, Kelce, and Waller.

And then Ridley is top three now, right? I mean, Ridley if you look at his numbers when Julio was out last year, they were huge. He runs deep routes. His average depth of target was among the biggest in the league. He had the most air yards in the league, meaning it's not just targets that he gets. He gets valuable targets.

He doesn't have the Julio end zone allergy apparently. I don't know if that's just a random longstanding fluke, or I don't know what it is, but they throw down the field to him. So, yeah, I think this is a team that isn't probably gonna be very good. They're gonna maybe be in some shootouts. And I think Ridley, you know, he's gonna get 155, 160 targets.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: I don't think this changed much because of this trade. But just since we're talking on the Falcons, just to put a bow on them, I think Mike Davis is gonna get a ton of touches. And I think he's a good football player. I was impressed with-- he wasn't Christian McCaffrey, but he was, what, 80% of McCaffrey, 85% of McCaffrey, 75. Whatever it was, he was a valuable football player last year.

And I think because I don't trust the depth behind him, I think he's gonna be a really valuable player. The Falcons kind of look like-- to me, I always think they're gonna be a 7 and 9 team. I guess with the 10th game, I have to decide if they're a 7 and 10 or an 8 and 9 team. I don't think they're gonna be very good real life, but for fantasy I think they'll be good.

Just any feeling on Mike Davis? Are you in, out, green light, red light, yellow light?

CHRIS LISS: I'm sort of agnostic on him. He was good when he-- I actually picked him up in the Brad Evans league. And I lost Barkley, so it was like I needed him. And he was great for me. For like five weeks, it was like I had Barkley in there basically. But then he really kind of faded the second half of the season.


CHRIS LISS: And sometimes those guys, the Kevan Barlows or whatever-- I don't know why I thought of him. Maybe because we put him on our magazine in like 2005. There's that guy that's like a backup, comes in, looks really good for a while, and then it starts to show that, OK, this is now game six and he doesn't look as crisp and fresh as he was. And all of a sudden, he just looks like just a guy.