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Drake London Dynasty Outlook

Drake London dynasty

Since being drafted with the eighth overall pick in 2022, Drake London’s numbers have been underwhelming. Between Arthur Smith’s questionable schematics and dealing with Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder under center, London has legitimate excuses for his lack of production. A new coaching staff and quarterback in Atlanta brings optimism to London’s dynasty managers — and the hype is warranted.


Drake London Dynasty Outlook

What Makes Drake London Special

At 6’4″, 213lbs, it’s easy to see why London is a dominant presence in contested catches. It’s practically a given for a player of his size. What separates London from other big-bodied, one-dimensional receivers is his route-running ability.

Since his days at USC, London’s ability to separate, or at least boxout defenders, is among his best traits. That’s continued in the NFL despite mediocre box score numbers. Matt Harmon’s Reception Perception data gave London a 71.8% success rate against man coverage in 2023. That score is slightly below veterans Calvin Ridley and Keenan Allen and just above Zay Flowers and Amon-Ra St. Brown. London also shows an ability to get open against zone coverage (81.7% success rate) and press coverage (76.5%).

In all, London is a well-rounded receiver who frequently gets open and makes plays even when covered. He instantly established himself as Atlanta’s top receiver, leading the team in targets in both of his first two seasons. Despite promising underlying numbers, the production is lackluster due to a putrid surrounding environment. Heading into year three, expect London’s surface-level stats to match his talent.


Atlanta’s Quarterback Woes

To put it bluntly, London’s quarterback play in 2024 can’t be worse than what he’s already dealt with. Since entering the league, he’s caught just 62.1% of his targets. Despite being a large player with reliable hands, London ranks 135th and 144th in catch percentage during his first two NFL seasons. That’s in the past now that Mariota and Ridder are backup quarterbacks for other teams.

Insert Kirk Cousins, who just signed a four-year, $180 million contract with the Falcons. Despite concerns about Cousins’ age and health, there’s no doubting the veteran’s consistent efficiency when available. He’s as stable as they come, and that’s a welcomed change from Atlanta’s recent endeavors. After helping Justin Jefferson unlock his upside in Minnesota, Cousins hopes to do the same with an up-and-coming star like London.

With any significant injury, especially at an older age, there’s a chance Cousins is never the same. He could flame out and be nothing more than a hole in the owner’s wallet. But London’s outlook isn’t entirely bleak, even in a worst-case scenario for his aging quarterback. The Atlanta Falcons doubled down at quarterback this offseason, selecting Michael Penix Jr. in the first round. With Cousins right now and Penix for the long haul, there’s a clear path for London to produce this year and in the future.


Brand New Staff

Fantasy football’s least favorite NFL head coach can no longer hold London back. Former Falcons head coach Arthur Smith was fired this offseason after a disastrous pair of seasons, especially offensively. As alluded to above, quarterback play limited everyone’s potential on this offense, even the coaching staff. But a large portion of the blame still lies solely on Smith.

He elected to incorporate journeyman tight end Jonnu Smith in his weekly game plan but not the highly-coveted Kyle Pitts. He also gave backup running back Tyler Allgeier 200 touches after drafting Bijan Robinson in the first round. Smith’s misutilization of weapons in Atlanta cost him his job and ruined the perception of their top players.

Replacing Smith’s system is new offensive coordinator Zac Robinson. Robinson spent the last five years on the Rams coaching staff, primarily working with their quarterbacks and wide receivers. As a descendant of the McVay/Shanahan coaching tree, there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic. Former staff members from the same tree, like Mike McDaniel and Bobby Slowik, thrived in new roles. If Robinson can get the most out of Atlanta’s playmakers, they’ll suddenly become one of the league’s best offenses.


The Cost to Acquire London

Right now, London is valued as a WR1 in dynasty (WR12 on KeepTradeCut) and redrafted (WR10 on Underdog). The price to obtain London in either format is high, especially given the lack of production so far. But there’s plenty of reason to believe the 22-year-old wideout breaks out this season and dominates for years. There’s considerable risk at this price, but it could be a bargain given London’s short-term and long-term upside.

Main Image: Dale Zanine – USA Today Sports


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