2020 Stats: 165 rushing attempts, 642 rushing yards, 6 rushing touchdowns, 1 fumble lost, 59 receptions, 373 receiving yards, 2 receiving yards, 70 targets. Finished as RB 12.
2021 Projected Stats via My Fantasy League: 175 rushing attempts, 706 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns, 1 fumble lost, 45 receptions, 297 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown, 53 targets. Projected as RB 31.
Mike Davis 2021 Dynasty Outlook
Mike Davis has been in the NFL for seven seasons now, and prior to last season, his best season came in 2018 with the Seattle Seahawks. That year he finished as running back 36. He then signed with the Chicago Bears, ahead of the 2019 NFL season, to be their starting running back. However, he got beat out by then-rookie David Montgomery, allowing the Bears to release Davis. Shortly after his release from Chicago, he singed with the Carolina Panthers.
Up to this point, Davis has been looking for an opportunity to be an RB1 on an NFL team. 2020 came and starting running back Christian McCaffrey couldn’t stay healthy, and Davis was able to take advantage.
Why Atlanta Is The Perfect Fit For Davis
The last time the Falcons had a 16 game starter at running back was in 2016 with Devonta Freeman. The Atlanta Falcons are hoping Davis solves their running back issues going into the 2021 season. Davis signed a two-year, $5.5 million contract this off-season. Davis is replacing Todd Gurley who signed a one-year deal last off-season. In 2020, Atlanta ranked fourth in passing attempts with 628, behind only the Steelers, Cowboys, and Chiefs. As for their rushing, Atlanta ranked twentieth with 409. Additionally, quarterback Matt Ryan targeted his running backs with 105 targets behind only his wide receivers (396). Tight ends came in third with 103 targets.
As we approach the 20201 season, expect the Atlanta Falcons offense to look more balanced than in years past. This is great news for Mike Davis’ skill set and his fantasy outlook for this season as mentioned above.
Will Atlanta Sign A Free Agent Running Back?
Here is a list of the top remaining NFL free agent running backs.
- James Conner – Potential Landing Spots (Steelers, Dolphins, Jets, Cardinals, Patriots)
- Todd Gurley – Potential Landing Spots (49ers, Chiefs, Cardinals, Falcons but unlikely)
- Duke Johnson
- Adrian Peterson
- Le’Veon Bell
- Jerick McKinnon
- Wayne Gallman
- Rex Burkhead
Since a reunion with Todd Gurley is unlikely, the only other running back that could hurt Davis’ 2021 potential as an RB1 is James Conner. Even though Conner (25) is in the prime of his career, it looks like he’s generating interest from teams other than Atlanta. Additionally Conner, like Gurley, has injury concerns and Atlanta is looking for someone more dependable. Lastly, the Falcons rank 13th in available cap space for 2021 according to Spotrac.com. I don’t see them pursuing Conner. Could they sign one of these others for depth like Duke Johnson, sure but I think they will look to add running back depth in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Will Atlanta Draft A Rookie Running Back Early In The 2021 NFL Draft?
Here is the current running back depth chart behind Mike Davis. As of now, this looks very promising for Davis’ 2021 fantasy outlook as an RB1. The last hurdle he has to clear is the NFL Draft.
Depending on where you look, some sites have the RB position as an area of need for Atlanta and some don’t.
Due to there not being much in the way of reliable depth behind Davis, I do expect the Falcons to address the running back position in the upcoming draft. However, I don’t think it will happen in the first couple of rounds. Even if they do take a running back with their round 2 or 3 pick, I don’t see that rookie taking Davis’ hold on the RB1 position, at least to start the season. Here are the picks the Falcons have in the upcoming draft and who is being mocked to them.
Round 2 (No. 35 overall)
Round 3 (No. 68 overall)
Round 4 (No. 99 overall)
Round 5 (No. 132 overall)
Round 6 (No. 163 overall)
While one mock has the Falcons taking a running back early in the draft, the other two don’t, having them addressing other team needs. I tend to think that Atlanta won’t spend a high draft pick on a running back, which makes Mike Davis a great value pick or trade target that could provide you low RB1 or high RB2 numbers this season. His current ADP has him being undrafted. While I expect his ADP to rise over the coming months, now is a great time to try and acquire Davis especially before the NFL Draft. I think Davis is a perfect fit in Atlanta and a perfect fit for those dynasty owners in need of an RB upgrade.