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2021 Fantasy Outlook: WR Calvin Ridley

What should fantasy owners expect from Calvin Ridley in 2021?

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We’re on the cusp of fantasy football season, as some leagues may have already started drafting, while others will be sometime in the upcoming weeks. I’ve already covered sleepers for all 32 NFL teams, but it’s time to now focus on the Atlanta Falcons and what you can expect from a few of their players in fantasy football.

We currently have no idea how impactful the departure of Julio Jones to the Tennessee Titans will be for the Falcons, at least in the real world. In the fantasy football world, Calvin Ridley remains “the guy.” Ridley, who will be the focus of today’s fantasy outlook, finished the 2020 season as the fantasy football’s 4th best wide receiver in standard scoring and 5th best wide receiver in PPR scoring. That was despite sharing a field with Julio for half the season and missing a game, so it’s fair to say his outlook for 2021 is good.

Ridley will enter the 2021 season as one of the safest fantasy football draft selections and his current ADP (average draft position) is 24, so don’t expect him to get past the second round. To me, this is low for a wide receiver who should be viewed as an instant top-5 wideout and WR1 in all fantasy lineups.

For the sake of being critical, the “cons” for taking Ridley is that he’s in a new offense and we’re not certain what Matt Ryan’s passing volume will be and exactly how large Ridley’s share of it will be. Although Jones may be gone, the team now has tight end Kyle Pitts who is expected to play a big role in this offense, and Russell Gage and Hayden Hurst are still here. With that, and the potential of the team finally having a decent run game again, Ridley’s numbers could technically dip in 2021.

In all, when it comes to fantasy football it’s easy to be swayed and go against your gut, but don’t. Always go with your gut feeling and your common sense, as most of the time you’ll find out it was the right decision. My gut tells me to go all-in on Ridley, as he is a lock to receive at least 100 targets in 2021 and his floor is very low. Due to Jones’ injury last year, we already witnessed what Ridley can do as “the guy,” so I’m not worried about him taking that over full-time this season.