Fantasy Reaction: Atlanta Falcons Release Mike Davis (Fantasy Football)
On Monday morning, the Atlanta Falcons released veteran RB, Mike Davis, who just turned 29 in February. The Falcons will save $2.5 million against the cap by moving on from Davis, who was signed last year as a free agent after a late breakout campaign in 2020 while playing in Carolina after Christian McCaffrey struggled to stay on the field due to injury. In 2021, Davis accounted for 196 total opportunities, including a 39.5% share of the rushing attempts and a 10.5% target market share, but he was largely ineffective with this role, averaging just 3.6 yards per attempt and 2.59 yards after contact per attempt, which ranked 45th among 58 qualifying RBs.
Over the back half of the season, Davis was slowly phased out of the offense in favor of the more explosive and productive player in Cordarrelle Patterson. From a fantasy perspective, Patterson is the most obvious beneficiary of this transaction. Even with Davis on the roster last season, Patterson saw 221 total opportunities and now stands alone at the top of the Falcons’ RB depth chart. Behind Patterson, the team has veteran journeyman Damien Williams, and 5th Round rookie out of BYU, Tyler Allgeier.
On an offense void of talent behind Kyle Pitts and 1st Round rookie WR, Drake London, Patterson should be heavily involved both as a runner and a receiver for the Falcons in 2022. Last season, Patterson’s 2.24 yards per route run ranked 11th in the league among all players who saw at least 50 targets, and he also averaged 4.0 yards per attempt on the ground, proving to be a weapon in both the receiving and running game for Arthur Smith’s Falcons. In redraft leagues, Patterson will likely be a boom-bust RB2 option thanks to a lack of competition for touches, but there’s genuine concerns regarding the effectiveness of Atlanta’s offense with Marcus Mariota now under center. In dynasty, C-Pat is a player to consider trading away before the season starts. He’s 31 years old and is only under contract through the 2023 season. Atlanta can also move on from Patterson after the 2022 season for just a $3.75 million dead cap hit.