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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

FANTASY FOOTBALL CRISIS POINT: MATT RYAN QB ATLANTA FALCONS

Fresh off the heels of our first Crisis Point on Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy, today we delve into the QB ranks and take a look at the current trouble surrounding Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan.  A Crisis Point on Matt Ryan after throwing 10 touchdowns and 965 yards in the first four games?  The same Ryan that pilots one of the most potent passing offenses in the game under Dirk Kotter?  The same Ryan who is surrounded by an explosive trio of receivers in Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Harry Douglas?  Finally the same Ryan who the one who is typing this article owns in the Experts League and told you all to draft?  Sadly yes.  Allow me to explain.

First off, there is no debating the very good production of Ryan through the first month of the season.  Once again Ryan and the Falcons are throwing all game long and the fantasy football points have been there in abundance.  With Jones healthy and White and Douglas playing well, Ryan should be set up for more success going forward.  However there are two big issues that are very concerning for the rest of the way and the first is the Falcons's penchant for struggling offensively on the road.  Ryan has thrown all five of his interceptions on the road this season and has thrown only 4 touchdowns away from the Dome compared to the six on his home turf.  Being away from the fast and climate-controlled Dome slows down the Falcons' receivers and in turn upsets the timing of Ryan's throws.  Hence the decreased production in the his two games away from home.

In addition to the home/road splits, even more concerning is the awful state of the Falcons' offensive line that lost not one, not two, but THREE starters Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.  This on the heels of the team losing Pro Bowl LT Sam Baker in the opener.  So now we stand here with four starters down from the offensive line and one could clearly see the Vikings rush causing all sorts of problems for Ryan in the second half.  Expect more of that to continue going forward, starting with next week's meeting against the New York Giants who have a big-time rush.  Ryan will be under siege both in that game and for as long as the lineman are out.  There is no way Ryan can throw the football down the field when pass rushers are in his face all game. 

When you put it all together, selling high on Ryan may not be the worst idea in the world.  I expect a very tough time on tap for Ryan against the Giants as the Falcons match up horrible against them.  We may have already seen the best of Ryan this season given the problems on the line and so getting out from under a potential problem could be the way to go going forward this season.

 

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