If you plan on adding a receiver from the Atlanta Falcons to your 2016 Fantasy Football roster, you obviously want to own Julio Jones.
Between the 2014-2015 seasons, Jones has averaged 1,732 receiving yards and seven touchdown receptions. And in his last 31 games, Jones has totaled 100 or more receiving yards in 16 of those games.
But outside of Jones, is there any other receiver worth targeting on the Falcons? Is Matt Ryan going to focus on any other receiver outside of Jones?
Let’s take a look at the receivers on the Falcons entering the 2016 Fantasy Football season.
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook: Julio Jones
Jones is just entering his prime at 27, and he’s been one of the most dominate receivers not named Antonio Brown over the last two seasons.
If you have an early pick in your draft, you should be targeting Jones.
His only knock is his touchdown totals, especially considering he was targeted 368 times over the past two seasons. But keep in mind that Ryan only has one season in which he has thrown more than 29 touchdown passes.
Since 2010, Ryan has averaged 27.33 touchdown passes per season, so don’t expect Jones’ touchdown totals to climb much higher than the 8-10 range.
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook: Mohamed Sanu
The Falcons have moved on from Roddy White, and the 34-year old receiver is leaving behind 43 receptions and 506 yards for another player to scoop up.
The Falcons are hoping that Player will be Sanu.
Sanu’s most relevant season was in 2014, when he posted a 56-790-5 stat line. But that was mostly because the Cincinnati Bengals were decimated by injuries. And in his increased role, Sanu tied Reggie Wayne for the second-most drops (9) in the NFL.
One thing Sanu has going for him, though, is that he is extremely athletic. Sanu played quarterback in high school, and he can be utilized in the Wild Cat formation.
But being athletic simply isn’t enough to make you a consistent wide receiver.
Sanu has decent speed (4.54), but his overall abilities may not be up to the level the Falcons need to offer Jones a truly complimentary receiver.
But because the depth chart is relatively light, Sanu isn’t a bad addition to your roster if Jones were to get hurt. Outside of tight end Jacob Tamme, Sanu should be one of the biggest benefactors if Jones is one the sidelines for any reason.
He’s currently being drafted in Round 11, according to FantasyFootballCalculator.com.
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook: Justin Hardy
Hardy popped up as a Fantasy sleeper last season, and he’s still on that list for some Fantasy players this year.
Ryan said that Hardy appears to be a lot more comfortable with himself and the offense, and Ryan was particularly impressed with the second-year receiver at OTAs.
One knock on hardy from his draft profile, though, was that he had trouble creating separation. Head coach Dan Quinn says Hardy still needs to work on creating space and getting open.
Hardy doesn’t have any remarkable measurables as a 5-foot-10, 192-pound receiver who runs a 4.56 40-yard dash, but some players believe opportunity alone is enough of a reason to draft the 24-year old receiver.
Like I mentioned, there isn’t much depth behind Jones. So if you’re not a big believer in Sanu, you could take a late-round flier on Hardy in the hopes that he would see enough volume to be Fantasy relevant if Jones went down.
Bottom Line: If you have an early pick in your draft, you should target Julio Jones. Outside of that, Mohamed Sanu and Justin Hardy only really have value if Jones is hurt. You can draft Sanu in Round 11, or wait until the last rounds of your draft to add Hardy to your roster.