Fantasy Reaction: Tony Gonzalez Back in Atlanta

| 4 years ago

Fantasy Reaction: Tony Gonzalez Back in Atlanta


Future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez is 100 percent coming back to Atlanta. According to a report released by Jay Glazer today, “Tony Gonzalez officially informed the Falcons that he will be coming back and his agent and the Falcons are working out a deal right now.” This is huge news for the Falcons organization and the entire offense as Gonzalez has been a huge, consistent target for Matt Ryan.

Before the 2012 season, Gonzalez said he was 95 percent sure it would be his final season. Once the season began, he immediately made an impact. In his first five games, he averaged nearly eight receptions and more than 75 yards per game, while he hauled in four touchdowns. There’s no question Gonzalez was playing at a high level and at the age of 36 finished the entire 2012 football season with 93 catches, 930 yards, and eight touchdowns. He finished as the No. 2-ranked tight end in PPR leagues and No. 3 in standard leagues.

What was Gonzalez’s value to the Falcons? He was targeted 17 times in the red zone and scored eight touchdowns. Julio Jones and Roddy White were targeted 20 times each with White scoring four touchdowns and Jones scoring seven touchdowns. Gonzalez led all Falcons receivers in fantasy points in the red zone.

Gonzalez Career Statistics

Games

REC

YARDS

Yards/Rec

TD

254

1,242

14,268

11.5

103

 

                                                                                                                                                      

 

“Mr. fill in the blank here

Gonzalez could be described with a lot of different words. He could be called Mr. Durability due to the fact that he has only missed two games in his entire career. He could be called Mr. Consistency because he has only finished outside of the top-5 tight ends four times in his 16-year career. He could be called Mr. Tight End. He holds the career receptions, yards, and touchdowns marks for tight ends for an NFL career. He is behind only Jerry Rice in career receptions in NFL history.


Behind the Numbers

As the 2012 season wound down, Gonzalez said he was 97 percent sure he would not be returning in 2013. Well, the 3 percent won, and there is one number that brought Gonzalez back to Atlanta for another ride. One number that he cannot seem to attain. One. ONE Super Bowl appearance. ONE Super Bowl Victory. ONE Lombardi Trophy. Behind all the records, money, Pro Bowls, and at some point hall of fame inductions, Gonzalez has not had the opportunity to play for ONE Lombardi trophy. His first victory in the playoffs came this NFL season with a win over the Seattle Seahawks in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. With the loss in San Francisco, everyone expected Gonzalez to hang up the cleats. Now it looks like ONE more season to make the dream a possible reality.

 

Fantasy Implications for Gonzalez’s Return

Gonzalez was third on the team in total targets with 124 (White had 143, Jones 128). He finished with the most points scored by an Atlanta receiver in the Red Zone with 56.5 points or 40 percent of his total production. He also finished tied with Roddy White with three touchdowns in goal line situations. Gonzalez was also targeted 37 times on third down with 22 resulting in first downs—a 60 percent success rate, first on the team.

Gonzalez’s stock will not change much. Although his ADP is listed relatively low as a result of him considering retirement, expect him to be taken in most drafts in Rounds 5-7. With his durability and consistency, expect him to play 15 games and catch 80 balls for 900 yards and eight touchdowns again this season.

 

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