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The 2021 NFL season may barely be in the books, but Dave Richard is already getting a jump on his 2022 preparation by highlighting at least one key statistic to know for each NFL team that had a major bearing on their 2021 performance and could mean a great deal for their 2022 outlook. In this space, Dave dives into the Atlanta Falcons.

More Early Prep (AFC): BAL | BUF | CIN | CLE | DEN | TEN | HOU | IND | JAC | KC | LAC | LV | MIA | NE | NYJ

More Early Prep (NFC): ARI | ATL | CAR | CHI | DAL | DET | GB | LAR | MIN | SEA | NYG | WAS | PHI | NO | TB | SF

Atlanta Falcons stats to know

The most polarizing Falcon for Fantasy managers is Kyle Pitts. Despite becoming the second rookie tight end to total over 1,000 yards, his debut felt like a dud because he scored just one touchdown and finished 11th in PPR points per game among tight ends.

Here are some advanced stats when it comes to the end zone as well as deep targets:

  • Pitts had a 20% target share from 10 yards or closer, seventh-highest among all tight ends.
  • He ran 31 routes from 10 yards or closer, eighth most among tight ends. By my count he was double-teamed on seven of those routes.
  • He was targeted in the end zone six times, 15th-most among tight ends.
  • Pitts had 25 deep targets (passes that traveled at least 16 air yards), catching 12. Both were second-most among tight ends.
  • He also had three drops on those deep targets.

With 110 overall targets in 2021 (fifth-most among tight ends), and roughly 23% of them coming on deep throws, Pitts already has the kind of volume we crave from tight ends. The production inside of 10 yards was awful, but the 20% target share shouldn't be overlooked.

The Falcons' wide receiver group may undergo some changes this offseason but Pitts has a real chance to be the team's lead target-getter. Get used to the idea of Pitts being one of the first three tight ends drafted this summer.