It doesn't seem like long go when Todd Gurley was the first player drafted in fantasy football leagues. Gurley, who is just 25 years old, was released by the Rams in the offseason and picked up by the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons, who released veteran running back Devonta Freeman in the offseason, will look to Gurley to be the main guy in their rushing attack this season. But there is one problem: No one really knows how healthy Gurley is.
A few weeks ago when asked about Gurley, Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said "the main question is no one seems to know his health status." Due to COVID-19, team doctors have not had a chance to get a good look at Gurley, but I'm pretty sure there isn't much of a mystery. If he were healthy, why would the Rams cut a player they just gave big money to?
Falcons Insider Terrance Moore sums it up nicely stating, "Goodness knows, the Falcons needed a running back after they averaged just 85 yards per game last season. Only two of the NFL's 32 teams had worse numbers. As a result, the Falcons whacked former Pro Bowl running back Devonta Freeman and his injury-prone ways in search of doing better. Um, Todd Gurley?"
If Atlanta thought they were tired of Freeman and his injuries, how could they be expecting much more from Gurley?
Right now, in early fantasy football drafts, Gurley is going off the board as the RB17. Chris Carson and Le'Veon Bell are a pair of running backs going after Gurley that I would be more interested in. Gurley deserves credit for having a nose for the goal line, but that was the case in Los Angeles with a more high-powered offense. That doesn't mean that it will carry over to the Falcons.
Brian Hill is the most likely option to split time with Gurley in Atlanta. He showed flashes at times last season and will probably have limited fantasy value, but you don't have to pay up for him. Ito Smith is also still on the roster but he has been a major disappointment. I could see Freeman returning to Atlanta on a more team-friendly deal, but Freeman just tuned down $4 million to play for the Seahawks.
When it comes to fantasy football and the Falcons, I will be drafting the players in the passing game. I think the rushing attack will struggle again this season.
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