I’ve never been a fan of Matt Ryan in Fantasy Football.
In 2014, I thought Fantasy players were overvaluing him. In 2015, I felt the exact same way. Ryan is always a candidate as a top-10 quarterback like I stated, but the problem is that Fantasy players think they are pulling a fast one when they draft him.
For whatever reasons, there always just seemed to be the belief that Ryan could be a sneaky top-five quarterback.
Most of my argument against Ryan the past two seasons was that if he was only a mediocre Fantasy quarterback with a healthy Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez, why would he get any better with a lack of options in the passing attack?
So after his 21 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in the 2015 Fantasy Football season, it’s not a surprise that he’s being drafted near the end of Round 11.
But because of his fall from grace in the Fantasy community, this may be the year I actually draft him…
Before I get to that, let’s take a look at his Fantasy performances over the years. This will highlight why I’ve never been a huge fan of “Matty Ice.”
Matt Ryan: Fantasy Football Performances
NFL Fantasy only has data up until 2009, which is Ryan’s sophomore season.
2009: 15th– most Fantasy points, 11th-most touchdown passes
2010: 8th– most Fantasy points, 7th-most touchdown passes
2011: 8th– most Fantasy points, 7th-most touchdown passes
2012: 7th– most Fantasy points, 5th-most touchdown passes
2013: 15th– most Fantasy points, 9th-most touchdown passes
2014: 7th-most Fantasy points, 11th– most touchdown passes
2015: 19th-most Fantasy points, 19th-most touchdown passes
Ryan isn’t a strong candidate to finish a season with a large amount of touchdown passes. He’s only exceeded 30 touchdown passes in one season, and he has four seasons with 26 or fewer touchdown passes.
In his 2012 campaign, in which Ryan threw the 5th-most touchdown passes in the NFL, Jones, White, and Gonzalez all played a full 16-game season. But again, he no longer has that type of talent around him.
His touchdown production has declined 34% from 2012 to 2016, so why would I finally be interested in drafting Ryan?
2016 Fantasy Football Profile: Matt Ryan
Right now, Ryan doesn’t appear to have enough options around him (excluding Jones of course) to stop his touchdown decline.
The Falcons added Mohamed Sanu, there is hype around Justin Hardy, and Devonta Freeman was one of the best pass-catching backs in Fantasy Football last season. But Ryan is no where close to having the type of weapons he did when he threw the most touchdown passes of his career.
I’m not going to trust Ryan as a starter. But I love the ability to land him in Round 11 because of his excellent streaming matchups.
Last season, the defense for the New Orleans Saints allowed the most points in the NFL. The defense for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers allowed the 20th –most points.
Ryan only averaged 14 Fantasy points per game in regular scoring settings, but two out of his three best Fantasy performances of the season came against the Saints. He scored 18 and 19 Fantasy points in his matchups respectively, and he scored 19 points in his first matchup with the Buccaneers.
I also love the possibility of Ryan stringing together a series of successful Fantasy performances and turning into trade bait.
While I’m not expecting a top-five performance for Ryan, I think he’s trading at an insane discount as a backup and for streaming purposes.
We’ll see as the season gets closer if he moves up…