When it comes to Matt Ryan, I’ve normally been right.
While I wasn’t targeting him specifically in 2016, I told Fantasy players I was more than happy to have him as backup. He had a career year in 2016, recording 4,944 yards and 38 touchdown passes.
Of course, his production slipped in 2017…
Whenever I draft a player, I always ask how likely is it they they will exceed their totals form the previous year.
For Ryan, it looked impossible for him to improve.
New Ebook: Welcome to the 2018 Fantasy Football Season
That’s why I thought he was being drafted way too early.
His production decreased in 2017, which is why you can draft him in Round 9, according to data from FantasyFootballCalculator.com.
However, I’ve seen him being drafted as late as Round 13.
And if he’s available at that spot, I’m taking him all day…
The 2018 Fantasy Football Outlook for Matt Ryan
Like I said in 2016, I don’t want to rely on Ryan as my starter.
But I’m more than willing to add him as a backup.
In 2018, he can still target Julio Jones, one of the best receivers in the league. In addition, he now has speedster Calvin Ridley to help the offense.
Outside of Jones and Ridley, the coaching staff is expecting tight end Austin Hooper to step up. If he can, this will just make Ryan’s Fantasy season that much more productive.
Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman are also two of the better pass-catching backs in the league in a committee. Last season, they combined for 616 receiving yards and four touchdown receptions.
The weapons are there.
In terms of his schedule, Ryan has the 13th-easiest Fantasy schedule in the NFL this year.
Some of his best performances last year were against division rivals, and he gets to square off against all of them a total of six times in 2018.
In Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers, he scored 18.4 Fantasy points. In Week 12 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he scored 16.8 Fantasy points.
To finish the season, he scored 18.1 Fantasy points against the Panthers.
These aren’t mind-blowing numbers, but even in a down year, he still had some of his best games against teams he constantly faces.
Look, if he finishes somewhere in the middle of how he’s played the past two years, he’d throw 29 touchdown passes and record 4,519 passing yards.
Those number should be good enough to crack the top 10.
Last season, Matthew Stafford was the seventh-highest scoring Fantasy quarterback with 4,446 passing yards, 29 touchdown passes, and 10 interceptions.
If he exceeds expectations, that’s even better.
But if he doesn’t, you only have to draft him as a backup. I especially love drafting him in MFL10s because you don’t have to try and figure out when he might have a good game.
For me, I’d like pairing Ryan with Kirk Cousins, Philip Rivers, or Patrick Mahomes.
That way, if Ryan bombs, you still have a quarterback with plenty of upside.