Fantasy Football: Matt Ryan An Early-Round Star
The season is quickly approaching, which means it’s almost time to get drafting in fantasy football. Quarterbacks have a huge impact on your fantasy roster, and Matt Ryan is well worth selecting.
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Ryan was the ninth-highest scorer in all of fantasy last season, finishing seventh amongst quarterbacks with 284.26 points.
This was courtesy of his 4,694 passing yards for 28 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Ryan won’t be selected as high as the few elite quarterbacks in the NFL, but he can certainly give you excellent value a little later on.
What will he bring to your team?
First of all — yards, and plenty of ’em. The Atlanta Falcons’ offense will once again be rolling in 2015, and there will plenty of opportunities for Ryan to shine once again.
Yes, we can expect more from the running game, but this will be of benefit to the pass. If rookie Tevin Coleman or second-year Devonta Freeman can get into a groove, or a combination of the two, space will open up for the receivers.
Defenses would be forced to respect the run, which would open up the play-action passing game. With more defenders committed to stopping the back, Julio Jones would naturally get less attention.
Dec 21, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws the ball prior to the game against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Speaking of Jones, he happens to be one of the best wide receivers in the National Football League. He caught 104 passes for 1,593 yards and six touchdowns in 2014, and is poised to explode in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
Ryan also has plenty of options with experienced Roddy White, who still has plenty left in the tank. Rookie Justin Hardy will be fighting to be the slot receiver, and he’s been impressive so far this offseason.
The Falcons will be expecting improvements on defense, but any success they have this season will once again be down to the high-octane offense.
Matthew Berry of ESPN ranked Ryan sixth among quarterbacks in his latest fantasy football rankings. You can find the full list here.
Ryan is below Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson and Drew Brees, but is above Tony Romo and Ben Roethlisberger.
So where will Ryan be available?
It’s likely the first round will be stacked with the league’s premier running backs and wide receivers, and it’s possible quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers or Andrew Luck could be off the board in the opening two rounds.
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Ryan will likely be passed on in the opening three or four rounds, which will allow you to stock up on top players to fill your RB1 and WR1 spots, as well adding other talented players. You can then turn to quarterback and pickup Ryan.
Matty Ice isn’t regarded as the top fantasy quarterback by any means, but he has the potential to put up even higher numbers than he did a year ago. If the offense gets even better, it’s even possible he could break into the top-5 among fantasy quarterbacks.
If you miss out on Rodgers or Luck, Ryan could be the man to help your team capture a championship. In the first few rounds, fill your roster with the likes of DeMarco Murray, Antonio Brown or even Julio Jones, and then turn your attention to Matt Ryan a little later on.