It might be spring, but it's never too early to start preparing for the upcoming fantasy football season.
With the draft completed, hundreds of free agents signed and training camp inching closer, writers have begun shaping their fantasy analysis for 2016. ESPN's first positional rankings have been released and, unsurprisingly, two Falcons are high on their respective lists.
Julio Jones, of course, is among the top wide receivers. Tristan H. Cockcroft slotted the Falcons star at No. 3, behind Odell Beckham, Jr. and Antonio Brown, as does ESPN's consensus rankings. Mike Clay has Jones at No. 2, trailing only Brown.
Devonta Freeman is also considered a premier option. Cockroft believes the 24-year-old is the No. 5 running back, the consensus rankings place him at No. 6 and Clay has Freeman at No. 7.
Freeman's value in the passing game is undoubtedly a big reason why he's viewed so favorably—especially in leagues that offer points for every reception. In 2015, his 80 catches and 578 receiving yards were third among running backs.
Although fantasy football probably doesn't mean all that much (if anything) to Dan Quinn and Co., the fact that they have two excellent skill position players is encouraging. In today's NFL—a pass-happy, high-scoring league—it's important to acquire game-changing athletes on the offensive side of the ball. The Falcons have those assets in Jones and Freeman.