2015 Outlook: Despite a well-deserved reputation as one of the game's top WRs, Jones has never finished better than eighth in fantasy points. That figures to change with new OC Kyle Shanahan, who will make the Falcons a bit more run-heavy but has a history of relying on his top wideout. Jones finished third in targets (163), receptions (104) and receiving yards (1,593) in 2014, and it's conceivable that he can improve in all three of those departments this year while adding to his underwhelming touchdown total (six). Playing in the comforts of a dome with Matt Ryan at QB, Jones has the upside to be this season's No. 1 overall fantasy WR.
2015 Outlook: Despite missing a pair of games last year, White compiled his seventh career season with 80-plus catches, 900-plus yards and six-plus touchdowns. With Tony Gonzalez out of the picture, White actually saw an uptick in usage relative to the 2013 season. But that was in Dirk Koetter's pass-heavy offense. Kyle Shanahan, the Falcons' new playcaller, promises a more balanced attack, which means White's 124 targets from 2014 are sure to take a hit. With Julio Jones locked in as Matt Ryan's top target, White's upside is the lowest it's ever been.
2015 Outlook: For all the love he gets in fantasy circles, Ryan has never ranked higher than the No. 7 QB in a season. It's true that new OC Kyle Shanahan believes in a downfield passing game, and that could boost Ryan's stats. But Ryan has problems when good defenses bring pressure: In each of the past four seasons, his Total QBR has decreased when opponents blitz, in large part because his offensive line has been shaky, an issue that went mostly unaddressed in this spring's draft. Talent, volume and throwing to Julio Jones make Ryan a definite fantasy starter. We just can't quite get behind him as a breakout candidate for 2015.
2015 Outlook: In his rookie year, Coleman presents a conundrum. He landed on one of the NFL's RB-neediest teams, where only Devonta Freeman figures to threaten his workload. But is Coleman ready to be a star? He was incredibly productive as a collegiate junior (2,036 rush yards), and when he hits a crease he's gone. But even in Kyle Shanahan's one-cut zone scheme, creases could be tough to find behind a subpar O-line. Coleman doesn't make tacklers miss with great vision or cutting in the open field -- skills Freeman possesses. We're guessing Coleman will lead Atlanta's platoon, but Freeman could be a legit drain.
2015 Outlook: Freeman can be an important part of a good NFL team, but he might not be feature-back material. A second-year pro who played sparingly as a rookie, Freeman faces the same challenge as backs like Andre Ellington, Tre Mason and Jerick McKinnon. He's got legit chops between the tackles and has the cutting ability to make onrushing tacklers whiff, but his size (5-8, 206) makes him a shaky bet to stay healthy if he gets 300 touches. The Falcons drafted Tevin Coleman this spring, which means some form of platoon is in the offing. Our early guess is that Coleman, a true sprinter, brings more big-play value in 2015.
2015 Outlook: Bryant finished last season fifth in fantasy points per game for kickers with at least six appearances. When Matt Ryan and the Falcons' offense have been healthy, Bryant has generally been effective, if not nearly elite, in per-game production. An average of nine fantasy points per game nearly assures a top-10 season; Bryant has averaged 8.8 fantasy points over the past three years and hasn't missed from between 40 and 49 yards in the past two years. We'll take a kicker like that working with a strong passing offense in an indoor environment.
2015 Outlook: After playing with Peyton Manning for seven straight seasons, Tamme is off to Atlanta to give Matt Ryan another receiving option. Problem is, Tamme isn't a particularly good player. True, he was trapped as Julius Thomas' understudy in Denver, but there were opportunities for him to establish himself -- especially when Thomas and Wes Welker were injured -- and Tamme couldn't do it. While it's possible he'll become the Falcons' third receiving option and a fantasy bye-week filler, it seems much more likely that he teases one game and disappears for two.
2015 Outlook: New coach Dan Quinn has his work cut out for him. Outside of its 28 fantasy points in Week 3 against Tampa Bay, Atlanta was among the league's worst fantasy defenses on a weekly basis last season. The Falcons did finish sixth in takeaways (28), but their pedestrian pass rush resulted in a tie with the Raiders for the second-fewest sacks (22). Atlanta also gave up a league-high 279.9 passing yards per game. The offseason signings of Adrian Clayborn and Brooks Reed, in addition to rookie edge rusher Vic Beasley, will help the pass rush, but only marginally. This unit still has a way to go.