Falcons’ Drake London, Cordarrelle Patterson Fantasy Trade Tips Before Deadline
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The fantasy football trade deadline is fast approaching, and the Atlanta Falcons trio should be spoken to in that vein.
Kyle Pitts and wide receiver Drake London both underwhelmed, raising the question of whether they are good candidates to buy low.
On the other hand, running back Cordarrelle Patterson returned to the lineup Sunday after missing a month with a knee injury.
The Falcons didn’t hold him back against the Los Angeles Chargers, and he finished with 18.3 points per reception after scoring a pair of touchdowns for 53 yards on 14 touches.
Should enterprising teams look to offload Patterson while his fantasy upside is high? Alternatively, is it worth it for fantasy players to try to add Patterson even if the price is high?
Here’s a breakdown of all of the above.
The Falcons have been an anomaly this year.
On the surface, they appear to have two star pass-catchers in Pitts and London, who were selected fourth and eighth overall in the last two NFL drafts.
But no player was featured this year. Pitts has 23 catches on 46 targets for 285 yards and two touchdowns in eight games. London has 33 receptions on 56 targets for 369 yards and two scores in nine games.
Pitts was also feast or famine. He had five catches for 87 yards against the Seattle Seahawks and five receptions for 80 yards and a score against the Carolina Panthers. Otherwise, he has just 13 catches for 118 yards and a touchdown. He didn’t collect more than three catches or 27 yards in any of those contests.
London has been good through the first three weeks (16 catches, 214 yards, two touchdowns). However, in the six games since then, he’s had just 17 catches for 155 yards and zero touchdowns. He averaged just 5.2 targets during that span.
Before the season, FantasyPros ranked Pitts as the No. 32 player and No. 3 prospect in PPR leagues. London was a borderline flex player at No. 94 overall and No. 39 among wildouts.
However, according to FantasyData, Pitts is just 17th among teams in PPR leagues, making them a backup team at best. London is the No. 52 wide receiver, so he’s a bench option at best if he’s not on the waiver wire.
The talent is undoubtedly there for both players.
The 6’6″, 246-pound Pitts, who collected 43 catches for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Florida Gators in 2020, was incredible as a rookie with 68 catches for 1,026 yards and one touchdown.
London, a former USC star, had 88 receptions for 1,084 yards and seven scores in eight games for the Trojans last year before suffering a fractured right ankle.
The primary problem is that the Falcons are running the ball 60.1 percent of the time, the second-highest mark in the NFL, according to Fantasy Football Today. Their 22 pass attempts per game are the second fewest in football.
For context, the Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers throw the ball twice as often, leading the league.
The Falcons start with dual-threat quarterback Marcus Mariota, who rushed 60 times for 304 yards and three touchdowns. They’re tailoring the offense around his strengths, and that means a run-first offense that includes Patterson, Tyler Allgeier and Caleb Huntley.
When Mariota was with the Tennessee Titans, they found success with a similar offense that featured Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray.
It would be hard to trust Pitts or London in any capacity to thrive for the sole reason that the opportunities just weren’t there.
On the other hand, Patterson is a player to hold onto or try to trade.
The leading rusher totaled 1,166 yards and 11 scores (153 rushes, 52 catches) last year. He was no. 1 runner and the team’s No. 3 receiver.
The Falcons’ 2021 MVP has done well again this year thanks to 421 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns in just five games. He is the No. 14 leading rusher in fantasy points per game.
Given the Falcons’ propensity to run the ball, Patterson should be prominent going forward, making him a borderline RB1 in fantasy. Keep him running if he’s on your team. And if Patterson is available in your league, see if you can work out a deal.
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