In this weekly series, we're exploring every NFL team’s defense to provide in-depth fantasy football analysis for key IDPs. We'll focus on projected depth charts, what each IDP’s role will be heading into the 2020 NFL season and what we can expect from them for fantasy purposes. Plus, we'll cover a bonus name to watch for each team.
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The Falcons aren’t necessarily known for their pass-rushing ability, finishing near the bottom of the league in both sacks (28th) and total pressures generated (29th) in 2019. One of the lone bright spots is DT Grady Jarrett, who generated 46 total pressures and eight sacks last season, which was among the best in the NFL for DTs. With Jarrett in line for another 700-900 snaps this coming season, there is no reason to believe he will be anything less than a second-tier DT with the potential to move up into the top tier for IDP.
Takkarist McKinnley has spent the last three seasons struggling to live up to his first-round draft stock from 2017. Last season, McKinnley only managed four sacks on 33 total pressures, both of which were career lows. A big step up for “Takk” is going to have to happen during a crucial Year 4 for IDP owners to feel comfortable starting him.
Dante Fowler Jr. joins the fold from the Los Angeles Rams coming off his best season. Fowler will look to continue his resurgence with Atlanta and should be good for another 800 snaps or so. Fowler had more sacks last season than Atlanta’s top two edge rushers combined, which is one reason the Falcons landed on PFF’s list of most improved pass-rushing units this offseason. If Fowler continues to improve as a pass-rusher, he should start to make his way into top-15 territory for edge-rushers in IDP.