Training Camp Only Days Away Now………….
It’s not only days until the dead zone is over, but really it’s more a matter of hours (66 hours as of 9:30 Tuesday night, but who’s counting). The long suffering of the deadzone is almost finally over. And regardless of how you feel about the Falcons being featured on Hard Knocks, we’re set to get a really close look at our Falcons in two weeks. The dark clouds are almost over! This post is kind hodge-podge of sorts since there have been a few moves heading up to training camp. Also, a guest writer did a piece for The Cage on some fantasy football news and that’s what we’ll lead with……..
Courtesy of Guest Writer Thomas Devine
Where to Draft Falcons Fantasy Football Studs in 2014
Anyone who is a fan of a particular team will find it difficult to not play favorites in fantasy football. After all, when you watch one team every single week, there is always going to be some type of bias. This guide should help anyone trying to be realistic as far as individual expectations are concerned for 2014. Atlanta is coming off a frustrating season, but the offense should put up plenty of nice numbers.
At the beginning of 2013, Jones was on pace to have a huge season. However, a broken foot robbed him of the last 11 games of the regular season. Fantasy football owners should consider that a fluke injury, as he is easily a top 10 wide receiver. Overall, he should project to be somewhere in the 20-25 range. That means he is a solid 3rd rounder in most standard leagues.
White will rejoin Jones, and both will be hungry for bounce back seasons. He is starting to get up there in age, and that makes him a little less indestructible than in the past. He isn’t what he once was, so that is why fantasy football players should be patient with him. He’s still a top 20 wide receiver, but he taking him in the first 40 overall picks is a reach.
With no dominant running back on the roster, Jackson appears to be their best weapon on the ground. He is over the hill as far as running backs are concerned, and he played banged up last season. He adds depth at running back, but he barely makes the top 25 at his position at this time. Overall, the 55-60 range seems like a good bet for fantasy football owners.
Most Atlanta fans would agree that Ryan is one of the most overlooked quarterbacks in the game. He is a fringe starter in fantasy football, and that is why he drops to around 100th overall in most projections. With a healthier roster surrounding him, he could be a steal if taken a little earlier.
Falcons Sign LB Pat Angerer
In a flurry of moves days before camp starts, this one is the most surprising. The Falcons signed Angerer today (Tuesday) and the fact that they brought in a veteran linebacker isn’t necessarily the biggest surprise, but rather the timing. They had the chance to pick up the former Colt when Spoon was initially injured, but went with Tim Dobbins. Honestly, this probably is nothing more than filling bodies in anticipation of camp, but the fears of Smitty’s “Veteran Preference Program” might start slipping in to fans minds.
The former Iowa Hawkeye had his best season in 2011, pulling down 148 total tackles, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 interception, playing in all 16 games. Since then, he’s played 11 games each year since and hasn’t come close to matching that one season. Likely just a camp body, but you can never discount it with the head man in charge.
Also Add WR Jeremy Ebert
Yeah, had to google the guy. Where Angerer is a veteran, Ebert definitely is a camp body. He did make the Jacksonville Jaguars roster last season and caught 3 balls for 18 yards. Perhaps just a receiver for the QB’s to throw to after Drew Davis would miss at least the next 6 weeks and probably more.
Corey Peters, Zeke Motta Put on PUP List
The Falcons also announced that both DT Corey Peters and S Zeke Motta were place on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. The PUP list is a designation where the players cannot actually practice with the team, but they can attend meetings and benefit from all the medical facilities and trainers. On the preseason PUP list, players can be taken off the list at any time and can rejoin the team with no missed time in the regular season.
If the players remain on the PUP list once the regular season begins, however, the player must miss the first 6 games of the regular season, regardless of when they are ready to return. Once that time passes, the team has a 5 week window to have the player return to practice. From the first day of practice, they have 21 days to decide to have the player remain on the PUP list for the remainder of the season (essentially injured reserve, lost for season) or bring them up to the 53 man active roster.
Neither of these are a surprise. Peters tore his achilles in the next to last game of the end of the season. They always said he would miss training camp and did the honorable thing bringing him back. This surely played a part in their decision to bring back Babineaux, sign Paul Soliai and Tyson Jackson, as well as drafting Ra’Shede Hageman. Honestly, getting Peters back at any point would be icing on the cake (hopefully at least), but it does leave the Falcons with only Soliai and Hageman as bigger DT options going forward.
In terms of Motta, some wondered aloud if he would play either season or at all again due to his neck injury. He suffered a Cervical Fracture at C1 and underwent surgery late last season. Smith even said he would not see any off-season activities, but he did mention the hope was to look towards training camp. Research on the injury shows it being of a very serious nature because of it’s ability to affect the motion of the head. The Falcons free safety situation is precarious at best with either Dwight Lowery or rookie Dezmen Southward likely starting, but at this point in time, it would be a shock to see Motta get action in 2014.