I recently wrote about "new" Falcons' quarterback Joey Harrington and what this opportunity would mean for his fantasy value. A bigger and better question is: "Will this mean better things for the Falcons' receivers?"
I say hell yes! Here's my rough attempt to project the Atlanta passing offense this year.
Last year the Falcons finished with 2,602 passing yards. For the entire season. Yes, seriously. No matter how much you might mock him, there's no way a healthy Joey Harrington is going to throw for fewer than 2602 yards this season. No. Freaking. Way.
In 2007 he threw for 2236 yards in 11 games. Prorate that out to a full sixteen games and you have 3252 passing yards. I'll use 3250 as an estimate for this season.
First, you have Alge Crumpler. Crumpler was Vick's leading receiver, his safety valve, his security blanket. Harrington will need a security blanket too. I put Crumpler down for the same 800 receiving yards he had last year.
Next up is the new Falcon receiver, Joe Horn. If Horn is healthy, he's a 1000 yard receiver. But, let's face it; he hasn't been healthy for years. So I put him down for 800 yards as well.
Last year the Atlanta running backs finished with 453 receiving yards between them. That's a good enough estimate for this season as well.
Using my projection of 3250 passing yards for Harrington, there are still 1200 passing yards to distribute - and here's where I think it gets tricky. Michael Jenkins had the quietest seven TD catches in the league last season. With Joe Horn taking the #1 WR pressure off his shoulders, he could be an 800 yard receiver himself, leaving the remaining 400 for Roddy White. Or he could flame out, with both Jenkins and White finishing around 600. Obviously, this isn't a detailed, scientific estimate. But hey, at least it's better thought out than "Who's Now?".
I think that the Falcons' receivers are a significant fantasy upgrade with Harrington throwing the ball. Horn could be a great late round fantasy #2, and Michael Jenkins is capable of putting up numbers comparable to Braylon Edwards or Mark Clayton. While everybody is pointing at Harington and laughing, it might be Jenkins, Horn and White that have the last laugh.