It's not uncommon for football fans to have difficulty separating the team and players they love from the fantasy football team they've drafted to win their league.
Lucky for Falcons fans that there are plenty of options on the Falcons to help get wins in fantasy football, according to this Yahoo! Sports fantasy analysis.
Robert Watkins first expresses concern over the age of running back Michael Turner and tight end Tony Gonzalez. While Turner is 30, old for a running according to Watkins, he's still a major part of Atlanta's offense. Head coach Mike Smith has expressed that he's looking to lessen Turner's carries in 2012, but he'll still be the workhorse back. Gonzalez at 36, seems to sidestep father time every season. Last year he had his best year in two seasons and while a drop-off may occur, his above average is still better than many tight ends in the lea
Watkins points to the arrival of rookie center/guard Peter Konz as a sign that the Falcons and quarterback Matt Ryan will take to the air more in the coming seasons. The arrival of offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter could also help usher in a new era in Ryan's career. With the receiving tandem of Julio Jones and Roddy White, the passing game is in good hands. Jones should take the next step after a rookie season that almost eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards and White is already established as one of the best in the NFL and doesn't appear to be slowing down.
"This tandem will be even better in 2012 where a combined 2,500 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns is very possible," Watkins wrote.
The arrival of Asante Samuel at cornerback should only help Atlanta's defense. Watkins says the defense can be trusted to help win in fantasy football and that's usually a sign that a defense is playing extremely well on the real field of play as well.
He also mentions the schedule as favorable for the Falcons. While Atlanta faces some tough NFC opponents, they also play teams from the AFC West, a division they've won against regularly under Smith.
What does it mean for the Falcons' 2012 season? Not much, but if the Falcons have players doing well in fantasy, it's likely that they'll be winning games as well. With all the weapons on offense, Falcons fans will have plenty of home-team favorites from which to chose. Though Watkins doesn't mention him, one sleeper Falcons player that could have a breakthrough year is second-year running back Jacquizz Rodgers, a versatile weapon on offense.