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Projecting Receptions by Position: NFC South

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Atlanta Falcons

2017 Totals
Matt Ryan: 342 completions on 529 attempts
WR Group: 214 Receptions
RB Group: 68 Receptions
TE Group: 61 Receptions

2018 Projections
Matt Ryan: 340 completions on 525 attempts
WR Group: 220 Receptions
RB Group: 65 Receptions
TE Group: 55 Receptions

Continuity is the name of the game in Atlanta. Every key member of last year’s offense is returning this year, from Steve Sarkisian to Austin Hooper. In fact, the only notable change to the offense is the addition of first-round draft pick Calvin Ridley, giving Matt Ryan a premier 1-2 punch he hasn’t had since Roddy White was lining up opposite Julio Jones. However, it seems unlikely that Matty Ice’s new toy will translate to an increase in pass attempts. The defense continues to gel and improve while the Falcons’ brass has made a point of wanting to use Tevin Coleman more this year. Between the two, we’re likely up for another year of ground-and-pound from the Falcons. I’m projecting Ryan to pretty much match his attempts and accuracy from last year, around 340 completions on 525 attempts.

Despite the addition of Ridley, I don’t anticipate much of a change in target shares with regard to position groups. With no notable turnover in the RB room, there’s no reason to believe they will lose target shares in the same scheme as last year. There’s some turnover in the TE room, but only with regard to the backup TEs. Last year’s starting TE Austin Hooper is still around, and he ate up most of the TE targets. At best I see some of the backup TE targets from last year getting moved to the WR group. Realistically though, most of Ridley’s production will come at the expense of the other WRs. Projecting exactly how that WR room shakes out, however, is an exercise for another time.

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