Calvin Ridley 2019 Fantasy Football Profile
Current ADP: 50th Overall, 21st WR
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2018 was better than anyone could have expected for Calvin Ridley’s rookie season. He ended up scoring 10 TDs and finished as the WR22 in PPR formats. Ridley was highly drafted by the Falcons, but no one was predicting a 10 TD season. His overall ranking was in large part supported by his TDs as his yardage numbers left a bit to be desired. Pro Football Focus ranked him as the 51st best WR, which along with the high TD rate is concerning for fantasy purposes. Overall if you took a late flier on him in 2018 drafts or added him off the waiver wire in your league you were very happy.
There are a number of changes that will impact the Falcons’ offense in 2019. They fired their offensive coordinator and are bringing back formed offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. Tevin Coleman left and the Falcons drafted 2 RBs later in the draft to provide depth behind Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith. The biggest focus of the offseason seemed to be improving the offensive line. There was a lot of turnover in that part of the team spending 2 picks in the 1st round on offensive lineman and their biggest free agent moves were signing guards James Carptenter and Jamon Brown. They also signed a tight end that is known as more of a blocker in Luke Stocker.
Everything about Ridley’s 2018 season points to regression. He turned just under 1 of every 6 receptions into a TD, and despite not being a prototypical red zone threat he was very efficient in that area of the field turning 6 targets into 4 TDs. These factors point to his TD total of 10 coming down in 2019. Also if you look at last season, Ridley’s fantasy production is greatly boosted by half those TDs coming in 2 games. If you look closer at his 2018 season he was actually the WR35 over his last 8 games, he trailed off over the 2nd half of the season only scoring 3 TDs in those 8 games.
The Falcon’s defense is unlikely to see as many injuries as they did in 2018 and will likely improve, making it less necessary for the offense to play from behind in 2019. Overall in 2018 this was the 25th ranked defense in the league. The offseason moves indicated they are looking to reestablish the run again in 2019. Almost the entire offensive line was revamped and a blocking tight end was brought in as well. Freeman only played in 2 games last season, but if he is healthy he will be a big part of the offensive both carrying the ball and as a pass catching weapon out of the back field.
Ridley’s draft cost is way too expensive currently, there might be a time a few years from now where he replaces Julio as the team’s top pass catcher and fantasy weapon, but that is not happening in 2019. With how early he is going in drafts he is not going to end up on a single team of mine this year and I am very comfortable with that.