Quarterback Matt Ryan will finish as a top-10 quarterback in 2014, but he is going to disappoint his fantasy football owners by the end of the season.
Despite the struggles of the Atlanta Falcons, Ryan was still able to finish with the fourth-most passing yards among his fellow quarterbacks in 2013. With the return of playmaker Julio Jones and a healthy Roddy White added into the mix, it seems like ‘Matty Ice” should be able to crack his way into a top-five quarterback role in 2014. This assumption, however, is very wrong.
According to fantasyfootballcalculator.com, Ryan has been the ninth quarterback off the board in mock drafts. I think owners of Ryan are optimistic of what he can do with his favorite targets back in action, but fantasy players may be holding off on a quarterback because of unreal expectations placed upon the starter for the Falcons.
Ryan accumulated the most interceptions of his career last season, but his touchdown production remained consistent with his totals since 2010. He threw 28 touchdown passes in 2010, 29 in 2011, 32 in 2012 and 26 in 2013. His touchdown production may decrease slightly in 2014, however, as Ryan will also be without reliable tight end Tony Gonzalez.
From the 2010-2012 seasons, Ryan has finished near the end of the pack for top-10 quarterbacks in NFL.com leagues. He finished eighth in 2010, eighth in 2011 and seventh in 2012. He finished outside the top 10 in 2013, but that was due to his interceptions, as well as the depth at the position last season. He passed for the second-most yards of his career in 2013, and he will once again return to the top 10 with a decrease in interceptions.
I think the four-win season that the Falcons had last year has clouded the judgement of fantasy owners who think they are getting a steal with Ryan. He should finish in the top 10, but expect him to be in the back of the pack. He is a serviceable option, but there is a reason why he is being drafted later than Nick Foles and Tom Brady.
Hopefully the rest of your roster is stacked, because if you plan on Ryan leading your fantasy team to glory, you are going to have a very long season.