Javian Hawkins Fantasy Outlook Includes Sleeper Handcuff Potential Behind Mike Davis
After finishing the 2020 NFL season with a 4-12 record, it was obvious that the Atlanta Falcons had to make a lot of changes over the offseason. One of the things to fix was Atlanta's abysmal run game, which put up just 95.8 rushing yards per game (28th).
The Falcons addressed that issue by bringing in veteran running back Mike Davis via free agency and by bringing in Javian Hawkins as an undrafted free agent. Hawkins certainly has some sleeper handcuff potential ahead of the 2021 NFL season.
Javian Hawkins Fantasy Outlook
Davis is joining the Falcons after a career year with the Carolina Panthers that saw him put up 1,015 total yards from scrimmage and 8 touchdowns in 15 games (12 starts). Considering how he had only started in 10 games before 2020, the jury's still out on whether or not he's a legitimate starting RB.
With that being said, that means the potential is there for Hawkins to cut into Davis' workload as the season progresses. The undrafted rookie showed what he could do over the last two seasons with the Louisville Cardinals, totaling 2,532 total yards from scrimmage and 17 touchdowns in 21 games.
Davis has spent most of his career as a backup, typically excelling in passing downs. That means that Hawkins could see more work during Atlanta's rushing plays, which could increase as the season progresses and depending on the rookie's performance.
There's also the fact that Davis has been injury-prone throughout his career, having played in just 62 out of a possible 96 regular season games. Even if you don't think that Hawkins will steal more touches just by his performance alone, it's worth picking him up in the event that Davis ends up on the sidelines.
Hawkins is currently listed as RB65 on Fantasy Pros and is even unlisted on The Duel's fantasy football rankings, which means that he could go under a lot of people's radars. If that's the case and you end up drafting Davis, picking up Hawkins as a handcuff could be a smart idea.
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