Matt Ryan Fantasy Outlook Down to Fringe QB1 Status in 2021

Adam Taylor McKillop
Matt Ryan's fantasy outlook comes with fringe QB1 status heading into the 2021 season.
Matt Ryan's fantasy outlook comes with fringe QB1 status heading into the 2021 season. / Michael Reaves/Getty Images
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For all but three of the past nine seasons, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has performed as a firm QB1 option for fantasy managers. He's been reliable and even terrific at times, finishing as the second-best fantasy quarterback in two of those seasons.

But, heading into the 2021 campaign, Ryan appears poised to finally take a step back in his fantasy production. It won't be a major decline, but for maybe the first time in a decade, Ryan projects as a fringe QB1 choice for fantasy managers.

Matt Ryan Fantasy Value

Ryan's potential step back in 2021 comes thanks to a variety of reasons. For one, he's entering his age-36 season and that can't be ignored. But, more importantly, the Falcons will have a different looking feel and roster this year. For the first time since 2011, Ryan will be without his favorite target Julio Jones, who averaged close to 150 targets each season.

Also, the Arthur Smith factor. The new Falcons head coach was hired this past offseason after spending two years as the Tennessee Titans' offensive coordinator. Yes, Derrick Henry plays a factor, but the Titans finished top-10 in rushing attempts per game during that span. On the other side, the Falcons ranked top-10 in total passing attempts every year since 2018.

Simply put, Ryan won't put up the same level of volume this year. In 2017, the last time the Falcons finished out of the top-10 in passing attempts, Ryan put up QB15 fantasy points.

Matt Ryan ADP

Heading into the year, Ryan owns an average draft position of 132.4 overall and QB15, according to data from FantasyPros. He ranks as QB15 on The Duel's preseason fantasy football rankings.

He's one of the more favorable backup fantasy quarterbacks this season and should be great in streaming situations, but we wouldn't recommend drafting Ryan as the clear-cut No. 1 QB on your fantasy roster this year.


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Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel. 

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