Atlanta Falcons Fantasy, News, and Notes as Camp Nears

Training Camp Only Days Away Now………….

Big Corey Starts on PUP List


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.

Julio Jones

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.

Roddy White

How much will injury concerns drop Roddy and JJ in fantasy?

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.

Steven Jackson

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.

Matt Ryan

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.

Angerer a camp body or Smitty VPP?

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.

Will Motta Play in 2014?

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.

Only a matter of hours

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.

175 thoughts on “Atlanta Falcons Fantasy, News, and Notes as Camp Nears

  1. Ken Strickland

    RODDYRULES-The bad coaching decision had to do with Smitty making the same stupid 2nd half decision against the 49ers that almost cost us a playoff win against the Seahawks. That decision was to shut down the same passing OFF that gave us a 17pt 2nd half lead & going to his totally conservative & predictable SMITTYBALL. Name another HC who would stop doing in the 2nd half what created a 17pt playoff lead in the 1st half, & spend the entire 2nd half doing what you’ve had trouble doing throughout the regular season?

    That STUCK ON STUPID decision created far too many 2nd/3rd & long situations for MRyan & the OFF, especially against 1 of the NFLs top DEF. It virtually eliminated all of the scoring opportunities we enjoyed in the 1st half. If we had scored some 2nd half pts we would have won that gm regardless of the 2 plays you mentioned. In 2012 we were one of the NFLs worst scoring 2nd half teams, if not the worst, but one of the NFL best scoring 1st half teams, if not the best. That was the result of SMITTYBALL, not any dropped pass or bad snap, or fumble.

  2. John Waynesworld

    It is so hard to deduce, in hindsight, whether a loss can be blamed on a coaching decision or a mental or physical mistake made by the player, or both…ON EVERY PLAY.

    Was it…

    The Right Guard who on 1st down let the opposing Nose Tackle jump in and stuff the run for no gain, causing a 2nd and 10? or
    The Wide Receiver who slipped and fell making a cut on 2nd down pass for an incompletion, causing a 3rd and 10? or
    The Head Coach who on 3rd down called a long developing pass downfield, knowing his QB had porous protection that day?

    So here we are, fuming over past mistakes. Sure we’ve seen the glaring mistakes, made by our HC, our QB, our WRs and others, but what about the other plays, leading up to that point, that put us in those situations?

    Everybody on the team deserves a slice of the 4-12 pie.

  3. Ken Strickland

    PADDY O-When it’s all said & done, it doesn’t really matter because we’re all Falcon fans who want the best for OUR TEAM. When I breakdown the OFF & DEF, I see nothing but a formular for success. We have a very big, strong & aggressive veteran 3/4 DL with 3 players that have reputations as solid run stuffers & pocket pushers. We have 2 inside LBs who were rookie UDFAs that got thrown into the fire unexpectedly & still ended up finishing 1st & 2nd in total tackles, despite starting fewer than 16gms each.

    Biermann is a proven commodity at OLB, & a younger, quicker, faster & more athletic JMassaquoi should have no more trouble converting from 4/3 DE to 3/4 rush OLB than JAbraham had last yr. The same holds true for Osi, Goodman & Moponga. CBs Trufant & Alford represent the NFLs best young CB duo, & WMoore is definitely one of the NFLs best young SS. In fact, we just might have the NFLs highest rated overall CBs, and they’re all young & progressing. We’ve acquired Asomoah, who’s one of the NFLs better RGs, especially when it comes to pass blocking, & we drafted the highest rated & most technically sound OT to come out of the draft in the last 2-3 yrs.

    Add a new & improved JHawley at OC, old reliable JBlalock at LG, a bigger, stronger & healthier SBaker at LT, & we have the makings of a very solid & potentially above average all around OL. We definitely have one of the NFLs top 2 WR duos, & the NFLs best 3 WR trio without a doubt, which features three 1000yd WRs. We definitely have one of the NFLs best & most successful QBs, and we’ve finally acquired the overall depth that’s been missing for at least a decade or more.

    I just can’t see how anyone can objectively look at what this team has accumulated on both OFF & DEF, & still question whether this team has the ability to win more than 9 gms. We’ve won 13 gms twice & 11 gms once over the last 6yrs, & we did it with far less overall OFF & DEF talent, ability & depth than we have now.

  4. Ken Strickland

    CAGERS-Check this out, especially the following statement:

    On the offensive line as a whole, Smitty said that he didn’t want to comment on the specifics of the scheme they’ll be adopting under Mike Tice, but did point to a change from last season. Smith said, “we want these guys to be bigger & stronger, we also want them to be athletic because we are going to ask them to do a whole lot of different things. Not only in run blocking but in pass protection as well.”

    It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to see that I was right about ABlank giving our Coordinators and their assistants more input & decision making authority as far as how they’ll construct & run their areas of responsibility. Not long after Tice was hired I predicted he would change, modify and/or adjust our blocking scheme to better fit the talents, skills & abilities of our OLinemen. Before this yr, Smitty forced all of our OLinemen, who were better fits for the ZBS, to function in his one dimensional PBS, regardless of whether they were good fits or not.

    We’ve not only drastically upgraded our OL talent & depth, but our OL blocking scheme as well. MRyan has already mentioned how we should be able to utilize screens more often, with the upgrades to our OL, blocking scheme & RBs. The reason RB DFreeman is looking so good in practice is because of our new & improved blocking scheme & his ability to read his blocks & react quickly. This blocking scheme should be similar to the one Koetter used so successfully in Jacksonville.

    None of these changes, modifications and/or improvements are the result of any decisions made by Smitty. He was simply forced to accept them in order to get a 1yr extension. I am puzzled by his comment about SJackson definitely being ready by the 1st gm. So what if he is, he nature of his injury(hamstring) certainly won’t allow him to be in playing condition by that time. It will be interesting to see how ABlank reacts if Smitty insists on starting an out of shape SJackson & he grossly under performs like he did last yr.

  5. Dewey

    Unless the hamstring is torn, which could involve surgery, a hamstring injury won’t keep SJax from being able to do most conditioning drills(except for quick change of direction stuff, and nothing top speed, but can get close to it). So SJax should be in playing condition game #1. Also, I don’t believe the Falcons were planning on going with mainly 1 back, but more of a RB by committee, so SJax was probably looking at 20-30 plays tops anyway. And SJax keeps himself in tremendous shape all year long. Lastly, if A Blank starts sticking his nose into what personnel needs to be on the field, we might as well start rooting for Jerry and his Cowboys.

  6. The Time is NOW

    Also from McClure:

    Wide receiver Roddy White essentially became an Atlanta Falcons player for life when the team gave him a contract extension through 2017. White, who turns 33 in November, expressed a desire to play three or four more years.

    Prior to the revised contract, White was due to count $6,325,000 against the cap this season. Now, he’ll count $6,212,500, so there’s no real difference. He received a signing bonus of $7,550, 000.

    Here’s how the entire contract breaks down:

    White’s Extension
    Here is a breakdown of Roddy White’s contract extension:

    Base salary: $3,000,000
    Cap value: $6,212,000
    Cash value: $10,550,000
    Dead money: $8,875,000
    Cap savings: -$2,662,500
    Base salary: $2,200,000
    Cap value: $5,540,625
    Cash value: $3,700,000
    Roster bonus: $1,500,000*
    Dead money: $6,662,500
    Cap savings: -$121,875
    * Roster bonus on June 3. Additional roster bonus of $46,875 per game on 53-man roster; max value $750,000. Additional roster bonus of $15,625 per game 46-man; max value $250,000. Up to $3,250,000 escalator available.
    Base salary: $2,750,000
    Cap value: $5,540,625
    Cash value: $4,250,000
    Roster bonus: $1,500,000^
    Dead money: $3,775,000
    Cap savings: $2,268,750
    * Roster Bonus of $62,500 per game on 53-man roster; max value $1,000,000. Additional roster bonus of $31,250 per game on 46-man roster; max value of $500,000. Up to $2,625,000 escalator available.
    Base salary: $3,000,000
    Cap value: $6,293,750
    Cash value: $4,500,000
    Roster bonus: $1,500,000#
    Dead money: $1,887,500
    Cap savings: $4,406,250
    # Roster Bonus of $62,500 per game on 53-man roster; max value $1,000,000. Additional roster bonus of $31,250 per game on 46-man roster; max value $500,000. Up to $2,625,000 escalator available.
    Source: ESPN Stats & Info

  7. JB Falcon

    Arno, loved that link about Freeman. He’ll go a long way with that attitude. He knows that nothing is free and will work for what he wants, which isn’t much. That attitude is something a lot of young folk don’t have.

  8. JB Falcon

    According to Peter King (If my name was Peter I’d change it) the Saints are better than the Falcons so I suppose the very first game of the year will be very interesting. Hmm. the Saints were 3-5 on the road last year and they play that game here. Even more interesting.

  9. Greg Mendel

    The Peter King link posted by TIME reminded me of something. So often in the Cage there’s a whole lot of nervous obsession over every single weakness, potential weakness, and possible weakness of the Falcons. (“What if a meteor hits the practice squad!!!”) Well, the team has strengths, and it’s a mistake to overlook them. Ken S. does a good (and thankless) job of pointing them out.

    We all fret and worry, gang. But think — just for a moment — about Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Roddy White. Just them. Healthy, and in their groove. I guarantee the New Orleans Saints think about them. The Saints ain’t thinking about Smittyball or an injured SJack or injured SBaker or Peria Jerry. The Saints are thinking about Ryan-Jones-White and Jake Matthews. And Hester. And the new D-line.

    Wanna see real pessimists? Go huddle with the Saints.

  10. JB Falcon

    GM, You can count me in for one of Ken’s partners. I know being an optimist in the cage is like pissing up a tall pine tree since a lot of cagers are in the show me stage. I don’t understand that attitude but to each his own.
    I don’t read the Saints blogs and am glad to hear they have pessimist over there, or wherever you were referring to, we have enough of them over here.
    Anyway, I tend to look at the positive side of everything, and yes I’m going to live forever! So far I’m doing pretty good at it. (Will Rogers)

  11. dawsondevitt Post author

    Greetings Cage! —- Hope all is well. Working on new post, it may be short, but I’ll try to get us some “clean sheets.”

    Here’s why I’m not full bore optimistic……………………. Head Coach Mike Smith. While I’m not on board with being extremely optimistic, I don’t begrudge those that are, but I’m not sure the same favor is returned.

    In-Depth Record Breakdown

    Record vs. Teams that Made Playoffs at End of Year

    13 wins – 29 losses; (31% winning percentage)

    Total Record Analysis
    Percent of Total by Wins Over Teams with 8 Wins or Less

    46 Wins / 60 Wins = 77%

    Number of Wins Over Teams with 11 Wins or More

    4 Total Wins = 2008 Carolina Panthers; 2010 New Orleans Saints; 2010 Baltimore Ravens; 2012 Denver Broncos

    Record vs. NFC South ……….. .50%

  12. dawsondevitt Post author

    But speaking of the opening Saints game, here’s the worst of all……………….

    Mike Smith vs. Sean Payton = 2 – 8 (20%)

    In terms of getting beat up for being on the pessimistic side, I’m used to it because I’ve been a Mark Richt “hater” for years and been used to being the outcast.


  13. Hamad Meander

    Optimism: much better defensive and offensive lines, healthy WRs, new 3-4 defense.
    Pessimism: Still being coached by Mike Smith.

    I think the personnel changes and move to the 3-4 will help this team be successful despite having one of the worst game time and 2nd half coaches in the league. If we stay healthy and aren’t successful this season, it will be painfully obvious where the problem lies. I really have no concerns about this team’s make up at all. It’s a very solid roster. If this team stays healthy, they will win 10+ games.

  14. dawsondevitt Post author

    Hamad — Perfectly said!!!! Definitely expressed my concerns and hope very well. Totally agree on the roster. May be the most talented one we’ve had in Smith’s tenure.

  15. Ken Strickland

    Try this on for size. QB MRyan operated behind the NFLs worst rated OL, had absolutely no help from the NFLs 2nd worst rushing OFF, & got sacked 44 times, which was the NFLs 3rd highest total. He was also hit & hurried more than any other QB & his 2 top WRs, JJones & RWhite, were either ineffective due to injury, or on IR for most of the season. Yet, with all of this going against him, he still managed to finish 4th in total passing yards, 3rd in completion %, yards per game, & completions, while finishing 2nd in overall pass attempts.

    Now can you imagine what he’ll be able to do this yr with a very functional OL that can pass & run block, having his top 3 WRs healthy, an actual rushing OFF & time in the pocket to go through his progressions? With the changes, modifications & improvements to our OL & blocking scheme, we should easily have a top 5 overall OFF. With the caliber of our secondary, we won’t necessarily need a ton of sacks from our pass rush, just a ton of collapsed pockets & QB hurries, which should lead to more INTs.

  16. RoddyRules

    Ken, with all due respect dude, how can you say Ryan turning the ball over when the Falcons were in scoring position in the 2cnd half of the NFC game against the Niner’s didn’t have anything to do with the outcome of that game??? Was it so called “Smitty Ball” when we were running from the shotgun and Ryan fumbled? I mean come on, was it “Smitty Ball” when Douglass has the whole Niner team beat on a pass play and falls down. Was it “Smitty Ball” when the Falcons get called 15 yards for roughing the passer on 3rd and 18 in the 4th quarter?? IMHO, Mularkey, and then Koetter after him has always had the play calling duties. Mike Smith does not call the plays, now or ever. Does Mike Smith say go for it or punt? Absolutely, but he does not call the plays.

    Mike Smith does not call the D plays in the 1st Qtr any more than he does in the 4th Qtr. Nolan has called 99% of the Defensive plays since he’s been hired. Koetter has call,ed 99% of the Oline plays since he’s been hired. Does Mike Smith decide to go for it on 4th and 1, YES, WITHOUT A DOUBT. Does Mike Smith make the play call in that situation? HELL NO, Koetter does. Should a Championship team have the OL Personnel to pick up a 4th and 1 when needed? HELL YES they should. If they don’t have the personnel, which the Falcon’s have not, that falls on one OVERPAID, OVER-HYPED, and NEPOTIMISTIC (is that a word?) GM with Spikey hair who loves to hang with Lying Cheaters for bike rides. I think we all know his name.


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