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Falcons Land Kirk Cousins/Darnell Mooney

Kirk Cousins gives the Atlanta Falcons their franchise quarterback. How does he elevate the offense and what impact does new WR Darnell Mooney have?

The Falcons are probably one of the biggest winners of free agency as they land the quarterback they wanted all offseason in Kirk Cousins. Cousins signs a four-year, $180 million deal with the Falcons. The deal includes $90 million guaranteed over the next two seasons, with an additional $10 million in 2026. Cousins should be a Falcon for the next four seasons, but what does this do for his dynasty value moving forward? Also, how do Cousins change the Falcons offense and the skilled players for fantasy? We will also break down Darnell Mooney, who signed a solid deal to join the Falcons.

Kirk Cousins History

We know Cousins has been a solid fantasy quarterback over the years, but how good has he been? He has been a top-12 fantasy quarterback in the last three seasons. Even before getting injured, Cousins was on a historic pace for his career, and he was QB6 through eight weeks. In 2023, Cousins had six of eight games with 20 plus fantasy points. He ranked in the top ten in deep ball and pressure completions via Playerprofile. Cousins was elite when playing against zone coverage last year, ranking first among all quarterbacks. Throughout Cousins’ career in Minnesota, he has averaged 3877 passing yards, 28 touchdowns, and nine interceptions per season. His accuracy in Minnesota was solid, with a 67.9% completion percentage over five years.

One big issue with Cousins is his injury, which he is recovering from. He tore his Achilles in week eight of the 2023 season. Usually, that is a nine-month recovery for athletes, so if everything goes well, he should be ready for the start of training camp.

Let’s not forget that Cousins will be 36 years old so that the recovery could have lasting effects on an older player. We hope he will return to his normal self and, thankfully, doesn’t rely on his legs for fantasy points. Cousins did post a video on his X showing him taking dropbacks on that leg, which is promising. Cousins said it’s an interesting recovery, but in just four months, that looks pretty good for a player who tore his Achilles.

The Falcons Offense

Cousins may come into a familiar situation with the Falcons. OC Zac Robinson comes from the Sean McVay tree, as Kevin O’Connell did before he left for Minnesota. We saw the effect that O’Connell had on Cousins after he arrived. Robinson will likely run a heavy dose of 11 personnel, similar to the Rams.

Last year, the Falcons ran an NFL-low 16.8 % of their snaps from 11 personnel. The Rams used 11 personnel on 94.5 of their snaps in 2023. We’ve seen coaches under McVay find success when they move to become head coaches or offensive coordinators elsewhere. Cousins shouldn’t skip too much of a beat besides the small stuff that Robinson will change. They will likely be a team that wants to attack the defense with the passing game.

How Does Cousins Improve the Offense?

Cousins is going to be a significant upgrade for this Falcons offense. If we look at the quarterback room in the last three years, it has not been a pretty sight. The quarterback room has been terrible, and we have not been able to get over 20 passing touchdowns. They’ve had 43 interceptions in the last three seasons.

Falcons QB room the last three years.

Cousins should be able to bring experience and the upside of his passing traits to this Falcons team. He has been a player who has thrived on his passing ability and takes the opportunity to score passing touchdowns. Cousins had more passing touchdowns last season in eight games than the Falcons had all of 2023 or 2022. Cousins has not been a quarterback who turns the ball over much, so having that type of quarterback can go a long way. Cousins’ signing is an upgrade for the Falcons and an A-signing for the team.

For dynasty, Cousins is a great sell high this offseason. I am concerned that he may not be the same coming off the Achilles injury, especially with his age. He will be 36 years old and joining a new despite being in a similar offense. We aren’t sure if Robinson will become an excellent offensive coordinator since he has never called plays before.

If we can get a first-rounder and another player for Cousins, I will be looking to move him, especially before the draft happens. Cousins is an improvement for the Falcons, but the hype surrounding him in this offense is a good selling point for the dynasty.

Drake London

The one that everyone is going to love is London. It makes perfect sense since we know Cousins loves to favor one receiver in his offense. London has the build to be a WR1 for an NFL team, but he has had a bad quarterback over two seasons. He still has managed 800 yards in both seasons. The one thing I’m going to want to see is more deep targets toward London’s massive frame downfield. London was 26th and 24th in deep targets and air yards. Cousins, in 2022, during a full season, was seventh and third in deep ball attempts and completions.

(Photo Courtesy of Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire)

Cousins should be able to help London take a significant step in his development in 2024. I’d assume London may get over the 130-target mark this season with Cousins at quarterback. It will be hard to buy London again in fantasy since he likely has regained multiple rookie draft pick values with Cousins signing. I’d expect a spike in his touchdowns as well. He has WR1 upside going into this season unless the Falcons draft an elite receiver with the seventh pick.

Kyle Pitts

We will find out in 2024 if Pitts can be a legit tight end for dynasty. After 1,000 yards in his rookie season, he has not produced in two seasons over 1,000 yards. He is a unicorn for the position, but hopefully, we can see a passing OC mind use Pitts the right way.

Cousins has done well throwing to tight ends over his career. In 2021, he targeted Tyler Conklin on 87 targets, and TJ Hockenson had over 120 targets combined over two seasons, with Cousins despite playing only a half season together in both years. Cousins loves targeting his tight end, so Pitts is getting that bump in dynasty with a good quarterback.

Let’s not forget a player like Jordan Reed when Cousins was in Washington, as he focused on him as a reliable target. Like London, Pitts also could see a positive regression in his touchdowns. Both players have combined for 11 touchdowns in two seasons. Pitts is going to be another player. It will be harder to buy.

For those who may not believe in the talent, it may be hard to sell if folks don’t want to pay for it yet. If you believe in the talent, then best believe you are buying high on Pitts and London right now. 

Darnell Mooney – Newly Signed

Mooney has signed a three-year deal worth up to $39 million with the Atlanta Falcons. This is a fantastic signing for Mooney and his value moving forward. He can complement London on the other side of the field.

Mooney has dealt with injuries and poor passing quarterback play over the last few seasons. He had his breakout season in 2021, with over 1,000 yards and four touchdowns. Mooney was a player during his breakout season that thrived on deep passes downfield, being 13th and 15th in deep ball targets and air yards. He can bring a speedy approach that meshes with London’s jump ball ability.

In Mooney’s case, I’d look to sell off on his signing. He is a fine player, but I am concerned that the Falcons will take a receiver in the top ten of this year’s draft. I’m doing that if I can get a second-round pick based on the signing.

(Photo Courtesy of Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)

Mooney will be 27 by the end of the season, and I’d like to get a part of this receiver class. He could be a player who gets 85 targets in his first season with the Falcons. Cousins from 2021/2022 did target four pass catchers(non-RBs) individually over 80 times during those seasons, and he probably would have done it in 2023. Mooney is fine, but I don’t know if he’ll get back to his 2021 production at any point with the Falcons.


If we look at Cousins’ history with backfields, he usually isn’t one to force targets to the position. Looking over the last three seasons, the targets have been solid but not to the elite level Bijan Robinson had as a rookie.

In 2021, Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison did combine for over 80 targets, but in 2022, they led the way with 56 targets. In 2023, through eight games, Mattison had 32 targets from Cousins, which could have ended up around 60 if he had played for the whole season. Cousins coming off the Achilles could make things different for his mindset. His pocket presence may focus more on dumping the ball off due to his age and injury recovery. Bijan Robinson should likely see more overall work, especially on the ground, but his targets may not go away as some may think. Robinson is still a great buy high.

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