It’s been a weird season for quarterbacks in fantasy football. Usually, they are the most trustworthy position, yet this year, was a bit different.
Tom Brady, whom many drafted in later rounds because he was slated for a four-game suspension, is one of the top quarterbacks, but has slowed down in recent weeks due to injuries to his receivers. Cam Newton has probably been the most consistent of the quarterbacks, and no one expected this after Kelvin Benjamin went down before the season started.
After those two, Blake Bortles and Carson Palmer were ranked outside of the Top 10 and even Top 15 by most, yet both finished in the Top 5. Then there’s Russell Wilson, who struggled early in the season, but has taken plenty owners to the title after his recent run. Even Kirk Cousins won a few championships after nine total touchdowns in the final two weeks.
Matt Ryan is one of the many QBs that didn’t live up to their draft stock, struggling to show much consistency after the first few weeks. Ryan’s struggles coincided with the Falcons as they fell from undefeated to out of the playoff race. One of the more surprising stats is that Atlanta has failed to score more than 23 points since Week 5. This was an offense that had Ryan, Julio Jones and breakout running back Devonta Freeman, yet there was no consistency or explosiveness.
But for everyone that wasted away with Ryan as their starting quarterback all fantasy season, he may have a chance to redeem himself in Week 17.
Of course, it will have to be through daily fantasy.
Ryan and the Falcons are coming off a solid showing after taking down the previously undefeated 14-0 Carolina Panthers. Ryan finished with 306 yards and a touchdown against one of the better defenses in the league.
This week, he faces one of the worst defenses in the league that tends to give up points in bunches to opposing quarterbacks. The first time these teams met (also the start of Atlanta’s downfall), Ryan was serviceable for fantasy standards, throwing for 295 yards and a couple touchdowns.
This game has the makings of the best game of the year for Ryan. Neither one of these teams has much to play for and points should be aplenty. The Falcons had a great defensive showing last week, but coming off a high, could easily fall back to earth against Drew Brees. Because of that, Ryan and the Falcons will have to keep up and this comes a week after New Orleans gave up 368 yards and four touchdowns to Blake Bortles.
The Saints have given up at least three passing touchdowns in seven of their past nine games, which is slightly ridiculous. Unsurprisingly, they are the No. 32 pass defense according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA.
Since Ryan has struggled this season, his price in daily fantasy has dropped considerably since early on. He is just $5,500 at DraftKings and $7,600 at FanDuel.
Ryan’s price is much more enticing at DK as he’s $2,000 less than Cam Newton ($1,500 less at FD). Finding cheap quarterbacks that can score a bunch is usually the best way to go in daily fantasy, so you can spend on the less predictable positions.
Of course, there is risk with Ryan, as there has been all season. In addition, Ryan took a shot to his hip last week and was a little sore after the game, although he practiced Wednesday. At DraftKings, he hasn’t scored more than 20 fantasy points since Week 11 and his upside has been limited.
However, he’s at home playing the Saints. That’s reason enough to give Ryan a shot in this game and maybe stack him with Julio Jones, who could easily have another 150-yard performance.
Ryan hasn’t had a great season, but can at least go out on a high note. He should hit at least 300 yards and two touchdowns against the Saints, with possibility for more… hopefully.