In The Blitz, RotoViz writers react to the latest fantasy football news and help you place it within the context of our 2020 research and recommendations.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley put up a massive stat line in a 38-25 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Ridley caught nine of 12 passes for 130 yards and two scores, the third multi-touchdown game of his career. Ridley’s 12 targets were tied for the team lead with Julio Jones and Russell Gage (groin) as Atlanta ramped up their passing attack in an effort to make a comeback. If the 25-year-old gets volume like this – which could be likely given the way Atlanta’s defense played – he should have no trouble smashing his ADP. He’ll next take on a Dallas Cowboys team with some question marks in the secondary.
We labeled Ridley one of the 10 Most Undervalued Players in Redraft, and his Week 1 fit our thesis perfectly. Can he keep it up and deliver a league-winning campaign for fantasy owners?
During his first two seasons, Ridley demonstrated a strong affinity for the end zone. His 17 career touchdowns through two years highlight his ability to score from various parts of the field. His elite route-running ability, coupled with his solidified role on the pass-heaviest football team, affords him ample opportunity.
A late-season injury cut short an otherwise impressive sophomore campaign for Ridley. The departures of Mohamed Sanu and Austin Hooper opened up even more opportunity for him heading into 2020, and he already demonstrated a strong rapport with quarterback Matt Ryan.
No team has been more pass-heavy than the Falcons over the last two seasons. We already know they play in a competitive, high scoring division, and their defense was shredded in Week 1. Russell Wilson carved them up to the tune of 322 passing yards and four scores, forcing Ryan to attempt 54 passes. That mixture of lousy defense and high passing volume should afford Ridley ample opportunity this season.
The next six games (Weeks 2-7) look promising for Ridley and the rest of the Falcons receivers. According to our Strength of Schedule Streaming tool, they have the sixth-most manageable schedule. Ridley could very well continue his blistering start.
Ridley is someone I suggested you buy high last March, and I still feel the same today. If one of your leaguemates thinks now is the time to sell high, make sure you’re the one to buy. I don’t mind paying a premium for players who will only continue to improve and grow on their respective offenses. The presence of Jones, for as long as that remains, affords Ridley single coverage each week. When Jones decides to hang it up, Ridley will finally be the alpha on an elite offense.