The Atlanta Falcons have some great fantasy football start options and free agent pickups heading into Week 2, as names like Jacquizz Rodgers, Antone Smith, Devonta Freeman, Steven Jackson and Devin Hester all could be valuable options heading into the next matchup and this comes after Matt Ryan and the Falcons won big in Week 1 against the Saints in a very exciting matchup and they also should start Week 3.
The Falcons had a big debut to the season and now they have four solid options at running back and that is very rare for a team these days. Fantasy Football owners actually kind of hate this since it decreases everyone's touches, but with Jackson and his injury issues, the Falcons likely are smart to keep Rodgers, Freeman and Smith around. The group of backs gives the Falcons some great flexibility and versatility in the offense and while he didn't do much, Smith showed that he has some talent and could be a factor in deeper leagues.
Any owner that has Rodgers and Jackson, the top two backs, would be smart to add at least one handcuff and right now the more likely early productive option is Freeman, but Smith could be better long term. Last week on Sunday Jackson had 12 carries for 52 yards along with a reception in the game, but he had hamstring issues last year and is getting up there in age and that could allow for exciting players like Rodgers and Freeman to get into the mix. Jackson rushed for over 1000 yards in every season in his career since back in 2005 apart from last year and he is hoping to have a bounce back year after going for just 542 yards last season, his lowest since being a rookie.
Rodgers has the most experience behind Jackson and he is the top pickup option, but he likely has been grabbed in most leagues or drafted. Rodgers had a solid season last year with 52 catches and he has been over 50 receptions in each of the past two seasons, making him valuable in PPR leagues. Rodgers had 333 rushing yards last season and he ended up with six carries for 34 yards with one reception and he had over 5.0 yards per carry. Rodgers had the highlight of the game on his TD and that could be the first of many for the season.
Antone Smith did not have many touches, but he ended up with a receiving touchdown on a nice 54 yard play on a reception and he ended up with three touchdowns for over 60 yards in the game. Smith is an option if injuries come up and he could be a solid pick up in deeper leagues and the Falcons could end up using him more as the season wears on with Jackson.
Freeman and Hester are also names to look at, as Hester is getting involved in the offense and Freeman has shown some strong ability. Freeman had 15 yards on two carries and two catches for 18 yards and going forward he could be a deep league option. Hester had a strong game and ended up with five catches for 99 yards and if he continues playing in the offense, he could make an impact for owners there and in special teams as a return man.