Although it’s only May, the start of the fantasy football season is just around the corner. Fantasy leagues are beginning to form, draft orders are being selected, and before you know it, league drafts will commence.
Today, I want to take a closer look at Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Looking at his recent history, Ryan has been one of the best quarterbacks in all of fantasy football. From 2017 through 2019, Ryan has the highest fantasy points scored per season average among quarterbacks with 368. After finishing as the fifteenth-best fantasy quarterback in 2017, Ryan placed second in 2018 and eleventh in 2019.
2019 Fantasy Production
Standard/PPR: 21.2 points per game (ppg)
Three-Year average: 23.0 ppg
2019 Rank: No. 11
Stats: 408/616 passes, 4,466 yards, 26 touchdowns, 14 interceptions
The 2020 Falcons are going to look a bit different from what we are used to. As of this moment, we don’t really know what to expect in the run game, the lack of which last season is why Ryan had the most completions among all quarterbacks. With the addition of running back Todd Gurley, hoping the run game improves, Ryan’s passing volume could come down, although that doesn’t necessarily mean his production will.
The biggest obstacle for Ryan is overcoming the loss of tight end Austin Hooper, who departed for the Cleveland Browns in free agency. Hooper was one of Ryan’s most reliable targets in 2019, and Ryan struggled fantasy-wise when Hooper missed time with an injury in the second half of the season.
With that being said, the Falcons still have tremendous weapons in wide receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, along with tight end Hayden Hurst who they acquired from the Baltimore Ravens via trade.
Historically, Ryan does tend to bounce back from down seasons. This could easily be a year where the former NFL MVP finishes inside the top 10 once again. You’ll likely be able to get Ryan late in your drafts, as quarterbacks like Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes will definitely go several rounds before him. With the upside Ryan brings to the table, he’s definitely still a QB1 and should be drafted as such, in the later rounds.
Be sure to check out my 2020 pre-training camp rankings here.