According to Todd McClure, an offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons, the Falcons will put more emphasis on the screen game in 2012. This is a major change from their offensive philosophy in 2011 (the Falcons targeted backs a mere 97 times last year out of 594 attempts, one of the lowest percentages in the league), but offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has been making major changes all offseason. The Falcons will pass more, go to the no huddle more, feature Julio Jones more and Roddy White less, and give Jacquizz Rodgers more carries and Michael Turner less.
This is yet another red flag for Michael Turner’s fantasy value. Turner was already set to get significantly fewer carries in 2012. The Falcons will run less overall and Mike Smith said that Turner would have a reduced role, in favor of Jacquizz Rodgers, a talented 2011 5th round pick who the coaching staff really likes. Turner will be on the field less the more the Falcons use screen plays because catching passes out of the backfield is one major weakness in Turner’s game. Let Turner, who is now 30, be someone else’s problem in fantasy football leagues. Rodgers, meanwhile, is a nice late sleeper, especially in PPR leagues.