2012 Team Outlook: Atlanta (Page 2)

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2012 Team Outlook: Atlanta

A fantasy football preview of the Falcons this year. Profiled players include Matt Ryan, Luke McCown, Dominique Davis, Chris Redman, and Jacquizz Rodgers.

Jason Snelling has seen his role in the Falcons offense diminish in each of the last two seasons and is now third on the depth chart thanks to the emergence of rookie Jacquizz Rodgers last season. If Turner were to go down, Rodgers would get the first shot at the starting job, but Snelling has excelled when given the opportunity in the past; keep an eye on Snelling this season, he could be worth a speculative pickup off the wavier wire at some point.

Michael Turner has rushed for over 1,000 yards in three of the last four seasons and has scored double-digit touchdowns in four consecutive seasons. However, there are legitimate concerns that the heavy workload will start to take its toll. Turner is also 30 years old now and is not a factor in the passing game, which hurts his value in point-per-reception leagues. Turner remains a low-end number one or a solid number two fantasy option, but he is a potential bust candidate with clear warning signs.

Julio Jones, Atlanta's highly touted first round pick, displayed a propensity for breaking big plays during his rookie season and is poised for a breakout sophomore campaign. With Pro Bowl wideout Roddy White drawing away defensive attention, the Alabama product will have plenty of opportunities to burn opposing defenses with his blazing speed this season. Jones will be highly sought after in all fantasy leagues this fall.

One of the top receivers in fantasy football, Roddy White has been a model of consistency over the last five years, recording at least 80 receptions and 1,000 yards over that stretch. With second-year wideout Julio Jones poised for a breakout season, White's numbers could drop slightly, but he remains a stud at the wide receiver position worthy of being one of the top five players at the position taken on draft day.

Harry Douglas resigned with Atlanta this offseason after the most productive season of his career in which he caught 39 passes for 498 yards with one touchdown. Douglas is now two years removed from a knee injury that cost him all of the 2009 season, but has yet to truly breakout as many expected. Douglas is a shifty slot receiver, but with Roddy White and Julio Jones ahead of him in the pecking order, targets will be hard to come by this season.

Kerry Meier was drawing rave reviews during training camp of his rookie year back in 2010, but then suffered a season-ending knee injury during a preseason game. Meier returned last season and played in 12 games last season, but did not record a catch. Atlanta likes what Meier brings to the table, which may make him worth a shot in the deepest of fantasy leagues this season.