|ADP:||Round: 3, Pick: 2|
|Ht / Wt:||6'1" / 222 lb.|
|Born:||August 3, 1994|
|Drafted:||2015 / Rd. 1 (10)|
Gurley registered 63 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries, adding two receptions for 19 yards during Sunday's 23-22 loss to Detroit.
Analysis: With 1:04 remaining in regulation, Gurley burst through a wave of Lions defenders and found himself with an open path to the end zone. Detroit had no timeouts remaining however, and with Atlanta only needing a field goal to win Gurley tried to fall down short of the goal line. Momentum carried his body over the pylon for his second TD of the afternoon, allowing Detroit sufficient time to march 75 yards down the field for a game-winning TD and extra point. While the Falcons lament another loss, fantasy GMs invested in Gurley rejoice, as the two-time All-Pro already has seven rushing TDs through seven weeks of play. An upcoming Thursday night game against Carolina provides a dreamy matchup, as the Panthers entered the weekend allowing an NFL-high nine total TDs to opposing RBs.
Gurley registered 47 rushing yards on 20 carries, adding three catches for 20 yards during Sunday's 40-23 win against Minnesota.
Analysis: Gurley's 2.4 yards-per-carry average was a half yard short of his previous season-low, though he does have 49 combined receiving yards over the past two weeks after managing nine total receiving yards between Weeks 1 and 4. The two-time All-Pro's fantasy value had been buoyed by his five TD runs over the first five weeks of the season, but he was unable to cash in on any of his three red-zone touches against Minnesota. Gurley will next face a Lions defense that held Jacksonville to a measly 44 team rushing yards on 16 carries during Week 6.
Gurley ran for 121 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, adding four receptions for 29 yards during Sunday's 23-16 loss to Carolina.
Analysis: Gurley joined Hall of Fame company with his efforts Sunday, reaching 75 career TDs in his 78th regular-season game. In NFL history the only running backs to have reached that milestone in fewer games are LaDainian Tomlinson (72 games), Jim Brown (72) and Emmitt Smith (77). Though Gurley has just eight receptions and 38 receiving yards through five games as a Falcon, he has been prolific on the ground with 258 yards and four touchdowns the past three weeks. The two-time All-Pro capitalized on a favorable matchup against the Panthers on Sunday, and Week 6 offers yet another optimistic outlook, as the opposing Vikings entered the weekend allowing the sixth-most rushing yards to opposing RBs on the season (495).
Gurley registered 57 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries, also catching his lone target for a six-yard gain during Monday's 30-16 loss to the Packers
Analysis: Brian Griese was marveling on the Monday Night Football broadcast about the fact that the Falcons handed Brian Hill back-to-back red-zone carries on a crucial early-fourth-quarter drive. Lone behold, Gurley retook the field the subsequent play and steered a carry around the left edge of Atlanta's offensive line for a three-yard score, his second goal-line TD in as many drives. The two-time All-Pro has contributed practically zilch in the pass-catching department (four catches for nine yards on the year), but the fact that Gurley has four touchdowns in four outings boosts his value substantially. He faces Carolina in Week 5, and a Panthers defense that has been a fantasy goldmine for running backs in allowing a league-high seven rushing TDs to the position.
Gurley registered 80 rushing yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, also catching one of his two targets for two receiving yards during Sunday's 30-26 loss to the Bears.
Analysis: The two-time All-Pro back enjoyed an efficient afternoon on the ground, as his 5.7 yards-per-carry average against the Bears marks his best since Week 10 of last season. Gurley punched in a 10-yard TD run at the 12:34 mark of the third quarter to provide Atlanta with a two-possession lead, but for a second straight week, the Falcons blew a second-half lead of at least 16 points. He has just three total receiving yards through three games, but a workload of 16.3 rush attempts per game is enough to retain Gurley as a strong fantasy play heading into a Week 4 matchup against the Packers. Coming into the weekend, Green Bay ranked among the NFL's 10 worst defenses with 4.9 yards per carry allowed to opposing RBs on the season.
Gurley registered 61 rushing yards on 21 carries, and he was not targeted during Sunday's 40-39 loss to the Cowboys.
Analysis: Immediate indications of Gurley's overall workload are encouraging, but the lack of passing game usage is slightly troubling in the early going of his Falcons career. That element was crucial to him becoming an All-Pro and fantasy rockstar between 2017 and 2018. Gurley did see his receiving involvement decrease substantially last year as he only garnered 49 targets in his final season as a Ram, but at his peak the two years prior, Gurley accounted for better than 60 catches per year with an average of 684 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns. Through two games in Atlanta, Gurley has just two catches for one yard, while backup Brian Hill has tallied four catches for 19 yards. Gurley does have 35 carries through his first two outings, but given that he's running behind a line that allowed the sixth-most stuffs in 2019, rushing opportunities may not be an uber-efficient route to fantasy production.
Gurley ran for 56 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries during Sunday's 38-25 loss to Seattle. He also caught two of five targets for one receiving yard.
Analysis: The 26-year-old back is extremely familiar with Pete Carroll's defense, having faced off against the Seahawks two times per year during his five-year tenure as a Ram. Gurley was held to a meager 3.4 yards per carry in two appearances against the Seahawks last year, but he was able to punch in three touchdowns during those contests. In his Falcons debut, Gurley came out swinging against the familiar foe, racking up 38 yards on his first eight carries of the afternoon and providing Atlanta's first touchdown of 2020. The two-time All-Pro averaged just 3.0 yards per attempt the rest of the way, as the game script faded his involvement with Atlanta trailing throughout the second half. Week 2 brings a matchup against a Cowboys defense that gets 2018 Pro Bowl linebacker Leighton Vander Esch back in the lineup after he missed seven games in 2019 due to a neck injury.
Coach Dan Quinn praised Gurley's performance during last Friday's scrimmage, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Analysis: "The speed was the thing," Quinn said. "[Gurley] out-ran the leverage on one play. On another one, he got to the edge and made a big play. I felt his speed for certain." As an effort to manage his chronic left knee injury, the 25-year-old has regularly received one rest day for every four days of practice throughout training camp. "We think we've got a good plan in place of how we'd do the right thing by him to make sure that he's at his best on Game Days," Quinn said of Gurley's load management.
Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter wants Gurley to receive at least 15 touches per game during the 2020 season, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Notably, Koetter said "a healthy" Gurley will have such a workload, but his touch count could rise to as high as 25 touches per game. The latter seems like a stretch after Gurley averaged just shy of 17 touches per game in his fifth and final campaign with the Rams in 2019. That's a far cry from the 21.2 touches per game he took on in the first four years of his career, and Gurley barely eked out 1,000 yards from scrimmage (1,064, to be exact) last season. With his new squad, the Falcons have two high-volume wide receivers to feed, too, in Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, so Gurley could be hard-pressed to match last season's output, even if he somehow avoids the injury bug.
Gurley was active during Wednesday's practice and looked explosive when working against the Falcons defense, Will McFadden of the team's official site reports.
Analysis: Gurley got past the defense for a long run during 11-on-11 drills, an encouraging site after he took Tuesday's practice off for "load management". Coach Dan Quinn hinted in July that Gurley's workload would be tempered during the lead up to the regular season, a maneuver intended to increase the running back's durability once game action commences in mid-September. Though Gurley has only missed four of a possible 48 regular-season outings the past three years, his 2019 yards-per-carry average of 3.8 raises concern about the status of his surgically-repaired left ACL.
Gurley and Alex Mack did not participate during Tuesday's practice session because of "load management," Jason Butt of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Analysis: The two-time All-Pro back figures to have his practice repetitions managed throughout training camp, as coach Dan Quinn eluded to as a possibility in late July. Though Gurley passed his physical with no issue upon his arrival to Flowery Branch, there still appears to be caution coming from the Falcons' coaching staff regarding his surgically-reconstructed left ACL. With Ito Smith, Brian Hill and Qadree Ollison behind Gurley on the depth chart, there is an argument that Gurley will benefit from a workhorse-like offensive role. On the other hand, if limitations continue to be imparted on Gurley's practice and game reps throughout the season, Smith or Hill may become more relevant fantasy options in deeper leagues.
Gurley appears to be walking with a limp, but he looks fast and explosive while going through drills, according to ESPN.com's Vaughn McClure reports.
Analysis: It's possible Gurley is dealing with soreness that bothers him when he walks but not when he runs. Whatever the case, the Falcons have essentially acknowledged that the running back's problematic left knee requires management, with coach Dan Quinn suggesting Gurley will have his reps limited throughout training camp. The 26-year-old is working on a one-year, $5.5 million contract, and while it remains to be seen if he can stay healthy and productive, there's no question the Atlanta offense provides a nice opportunity to pile up snaps and touches. The backfield depth chart behind Gurley contains Ito Smith, Brian Hill and Qadree Ollison, a trio with 243 combined NFL carries and 52 receptions.
Coach Dan Quinn said Gurley could have some limitations during training camp, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Quinn also mentioned C Alex Mack and S Keanu Neal as players who could be limited, with the former 34 years old and the latter coming back from an Achilles tear. Gurley falls in the maintenance category, as he missed just one game last season and then passed a physical for the Falcons in June. Signed to a one-year, $5.5 million contract, Gurley will now try to prove that his disappointing 2019 campaign was mostly caused by bad blocking rather than deteriorating skills. Of course, the potential for practice limitations is a pretty clear sign the Falcons have some level of concern about Gurley's oft-discussed left knee.
Coach Dan Quinn has not yet made a decision on what Gurley's workload will look like during training camp, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Gurley passed his physical upon arriving in Flowery Branch in early June, and according to statements from his head coach and quarterback appears to be in excellent shape. The two-time All-Pro missed just four games over his final three seasons with the Rams, but diminished performance during the 2018 playoff run had many wondering about the status of his surgically-repaired left ACL. He was held to just 3.2 yards per carry during the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl and eventually yielded the lion's share of the workload to C.J. Anderson. With Gurley seemingly back near 100 percent and primed to rebound after an inconsistent 2019, Quinn wants to balance getting his star back up to speed without subjecting him to excessive early-season tread on the tires.
Gurley isn't confident in the NFL's restart plan, 92.9 The Game reports. "It's really not structured right," Gurley said. "There's not a proper plan in place that I'm comfortable with."
Analysis: Gurley said he's prepared to not play at all or to only have half a season, noting that the NFL's last-minute approach to figuring things out has contributed to his pessimistic outlook. On a more positive note, he says his surgically repaired knee is feeling good, and he doesn't anticipate any trouble whenever he's able to first suit up for the Falcons. The soon-to-be 26-year-old is poised to replace free agent Devonta Freeman as Atlanta's lead back, coming in on a one-year, $5.5 million contract after spending his first five seasons with the Rams.
Gurley's one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Falcons should be considered "an absolute steal," per Jeff Kerr of CBSSports.com.
Analysis: The former Georgia standout and 2017 AP Offensive Player of the Year returns to the Peach State on a "prove it" deal, as the Falcons exchange one veteran back for another, releasing Devonta Freeman for the 25-year-old Gurley. Despite having 5,404 rushing yards and 57 rushing scores to his name in five professional campaigns, the prolific Gurley still finds himself with something to prove entering 2020. His production slipped substantially during 2019, as he dropped from a 4.9 yards-per-carry average in 2018 to a 3.8 yards-per-rush clip last year. Gurley also won't be working behind the most impressive offensive line of his career when he first suits up for Atlanta. Pro Football Focus graded the Falcons' offensive line as 24th in the NFL following the 2019 season, and the only notable upgrade the team has made since is acquiring third-round center Matt Hennessy.
Gurley traveled to Atlanta and passed a physical examination Monday, Orlando D. Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Analysis: Gurley signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Falcons on April 10 but wasn't able to meet with a team physician until two months later. He recently took part in private workouts with Matt Ryan, who said he was impressed by the veteran running back. Gurley will turn 26 in August, and while he wasn't effective in Los Angeles last season, he could be headed for a big 2020 workload as the No. 1 guy on what's arguably the weakest backfield depth chart in the NFL. The Falcons have Ito Smith, Brian Hill, Qadree Ollison and Craig Reynolds behind Gurley.
Matt Ryan has been pleased with what he's seen from Gurley during private workouts in California over recent weeks, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: While the veteran running back has not yet been able to take his physical because of the Falcons' team facility remaining closed to players, he seems confident concerning the status of his surgically-reconstructed left ACL. Amidst workouts with Ryan in Huntington Beach, CA, Gurley has steadily earned praise from his new quarterback during both on-field sessions and philosophical football discussions. "I've gotten to work with Todd and he's awesome," Ryan told ESPN. "I was really impressed with his ability to retain information. You don't have to tell him twice. He's on it." Gurley's success in 2020, of course, hinges largely on how well his body continues to hold up against the physical demands of the RB position, but early indications are positive as he builds camaraderie with Ryan.
Falcons' offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said that he won't be able to confirm what Gurley's workload will be until the running back can be evaluated in person, Kelsey Conway of the team's official site reports.
Analysis: Given that Gurley has still yet to take his physical with the Falcons as result of the ongoing pandemic, Koetter was unwilling to guess at precisely how often he is expected to play. "He can do everything. He's an excellent runner, he's good in the pass game [and] he can protect," Koetter explained. "The main question no one seems to know is, 'What's his health status? What is his workload?'" Gurley accounted for a career-worst 1,064 scrimmage yards during 2019, causing many to attribute his reduced productivity to a report that indicated the presence of an arthritic component to his knee. Now heading back to the state of his college alma matter, Gurley's health remains a question mark as he begins a journey to revitalize his career within the Falcons's high-powered offense.
Gurley still hasn't taken a physical exam to finalize his deal with the Falcons, DirecTV's Andrew Siciliano reports.
Analysis: Gurley remains in California, unable to meet with team doctors in the midst of a pandemic. The Falcons don't expect this to be a major issue, as they presumably signed him to a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the understanding that his oft-discussed left knee is far from ideal. While the quality of his play hasn't exactly been consistent, Gurley did play 14 or more regular-season games each of the past four years for the Rams.
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