Matt Ryan is now 35 and entering his 13th year in the NFL. Ryan has nine straight 4,000+ yard seasons, making him a trusted QB for fantasy purposes. However, when zooming in on the last four seasons, you see a “yoyo” of production:
2019 – QB10
2018 – QB3
2017 – QB15
2016 – QB2
Which Matt Ryan will we get in 2020?
Despite a low-end QB1 finish in 2019, I believe Matt Ryan is set to rebound once again in an even year and have a top-five finish at the QB position. A couple of things point to this uptick in production. The first being Ryan’s pass plays per game in 2019 of 45.9, which was #1 in the NFL. I do not see the passing rate dropping much in 2020. Ryan still has two extremely talented WRs in Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. Additionally, he has a new shiny toy in TE Hayden Hurst, a first-round pick in 2017, who sports an 81st% speed score. Although the Falcons did add Todd Gurley this offseason, his health is still a concern. So, I cannot foresee Gurley being force-fed the ball in the run game. But, he could see plenty of dump-offs in space.
The next factor pointing to a better 2020 for Ryan is positive regression. In 2019 Ryan had 4,466 yards 26 TD, which is 141 yards and 3 TDs less than his average from the past four years. His 14 INTs are also 4 more than his four-year average. The math points to Matt Ryan improving statistically on his 2019 campaign.
Another thing to consider is Ryan’s excellence while playing on the road:
#NFL Road Rankings (2016-2019)
*Min. 750 attempts—Including Playoffs
No. 1 in Passer Rating#MattRyan (102.8)
No. 1 in TD Passes#MattRyan (68)
No. 1 in Passing Yards#MattRyan (9,683)
No. 1 in Completions#MattRyan (827)
— Ryan Michael 🏈 (@theryanmichael) August 4, 2020
With the uncertainty of the logistics and execution of the 2020 season, could Matt Ryan find himself playing more “road” like games? At this point, it is foolish to think the season will go exactly as planned. And seeing Ryan’s performances on the road, he is great at playing out of his comfort zone which could be the norm in 2020.
As a dynasty asset, I believe Matt Ryan is fairly valued at QB10 by MFL ADP. Because he is 35, his value is sinking, with him being passed up by the younger QB with more perceived upside. However, if you are contending, Matt Ryan is a great option for your team. I believe you can lock Matt Ryan into a top 12 finish in 2020, making him a fantastic QB2 on a SuperFlex team or a very solid QB1 in a standard league. At 35 years old, Ryan still appears to have plenty in the tank. It is safe to bet on Ryan playing for another 3-4 years, but it would also not surprise me if Ryan plays into his 40s like Brady and Brees.
For this reason, you should not view Ryan as a short-term option at QB. As his value drops due to his age and perceived regression after a down 2019 year, the time is now to go after Ryan on your contending dynasty teams.
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