For the 2016 Fantasy Football season, it finally looks as if players are ready to throw in the towel on Matty Ice…
Currently, he’s an 11th-round pick. Fantasy players actually have so little faith in Ryan this year that Marcus Mariota is being drafted ahead of him. In fact, Fantasy players are even drafting Mark Sanchez just one pick behind the 31-year old quarterback.
As I said, a lot of people have finally given up on Ryan.
But should you?
Let’s take a look at his performance in the 2015 Fantasy Football season, as well as his outlook for 2016.
2015 Fantasy Football Review: Matt Ryan
In 2015, Ryan posted the second-worst touchdown pass totals of his career (21), and he threw the second-most interceptions (16).
Ryan didn’t have a lot of weapons outside of Julio Jones, but that has been the same story for the past several years. He did have the fifth-most passing attempts in the NFL last season, but 204 out of his 614 passes were thrown towards Jones.
Second-year back Devonta Freeman stepped up as a receiver, but there wasn’t enough depth behind Jones for Ryan to target even if he wanted to pass it to someone other than Jones or Freeman.
Ryan did finish with the fifth-most passing yards last season, though, but his touchdown totals were too weak to land him in a top-10 spot for Fantasy quarterbacks.
He finished the year as the 19th-highest scoring quarterback.
It’s true that Matty Ice was only a seventh-round pick in 2015, but I have the feeling players who draft him are always expecting more than his usual mediocre results.
So, how is his 2016 shaping up?
Matt Ryan: 2016 Fantasy Football Weapons
As long as Jones is healthy, Ryan will keep feeding him the ball. There isn’t going to be anything that changes with that relationship.
Veteran Roddy White will no longer be in the lineup, so the Falcons are hoping Mohamed Sanu and Justin Hardy can help take some of the attention away from Jones in 2016. Ryan and tight end Jacob Tamme showed some rapport in a few games last season, but don’t expect Tamme to be a consistent Fantasy option.
Freeman will once again have a major role in the lineup, but he may lose some time this season to Tevin Coleman.
There isn’t much that is changing for this offense in 2016.
Matt Ryan 2016 Fantasy Football Outlook
I’m still not a huge fan of Ryan.
Ryan finished as the eighth-highest scoring quarterback in 2010, the seventh in 2011 and 2012, and the 15th in 2013. I don’t know where this impression or idea came from that he has been worth a mid-round pick, but Fantasy players finally woke up.
Of course, they are overreacting this year because he has been drafted too early the past several seasons.
But I would be more than happy to have him as a backup on my teams this year.
One of the reasons is that he is very durable. Since 2008, he has played in a 16-game season every season except 2009. Outside of Joe Flacco, it’s hard to find a quarterback that dependable.
Outside of being a reliable backup, Ryan also has some great streaming opportunities. He faces the New Orleans Saints twice, and two of his three best Fantasy performances in 2015 were against the Saints.
His other best performance was against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who he will face twice this season as well.
Overall, Ryan has a decent Fantasy schedule in 2016. He has the 16th-easiest Fantasy schedule for quarterbacks.
Ryan has value, but you just have to make sure you are judging it in the right way. Don’t look at him as a starting quarterback anymore, but also make sure to not completely dismiss him.
If he starts off with a decent season, he will be excellent trade bait for the players who normally draft him. If not, he’s not going to hurt you as an 11th-round pick.