Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press
With one of the top receivers in the NFL on the sideline, the Atlanta Falcons will have to find other pass-catchers ready to step up in the lineup.
Julio Jones suffered a hamstring injury and will miss Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears, negatively affecting the entire Falcons offense that relies on the receiver’s big-play ability.
However, this is still a high-powered offense and Jones’ injury could open up the door for some big games from a few different options.
Calvin Ridley is already in most fantasy lineups, but he could be in for a major boost with WR1 upside. It makes him a top option for daily fantasy leagues as well.
The rest of the pass-catchers could also see more snaps and targets, including Russell Gage.
The third-year player performed well last season after Mohamed Sanu was traded away and he has kept it up in 2020 with 160 yards and one score in two games. Without Jones, Gage should be in most fantasy lineups with a relatively high floor for such an unproven player.
Matt Ryan is still going to throw the ball a ton and Gage could be looking at double-digit targets for as long as Jones is out.
Tight end Hayden Hurst could also improve upon his early play to start the season, especially in the red zone where his size at 6’4″, 260lbs could be an asset. Inconsistency likely kept him out of fantasy lineups, but he could be a TE1 going forward.
Olamide Zaccheaus becomes the next man up at receiver and could be added in deeper leagues, providing a lot of upside in a pass-heavy attack. However, he shouldn’t be near your lineup until he proves himself on the field.
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