Draft Zone: 6th Ranked Quarterback – Falcons Matt Ryan

Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan is the 6th ranked quarterback in this year’s 2013 fantasy draft standings. With an Average Draft Position (ADP) of 41, he’s likely to be taken sometime in the third or fourth round of most fantasy drafts.

2012 was Ryan’s best season in just about every statistical aspect. With a completion percentage of 68.6%, he racked up 4,716 receiving yards to go along with 32 touchdowns against only 14 interceptions.

Ryan threw for 542 more yards in 2012 than he did in 2011, and needed only 49 more attempts to do it. This is a result of the team integrating a much better short passing game than in previous years. Ryan has the luxury of having three fantastic receivers on the field during almost every down with Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez.

Many of Ryan’s completions last season were screen passes, helping him to soar to the best yardage total of his career. The screen game sort of took the place of the Falcons running game, as the team ranked 29th in the NFL in 2012 with 1,397 rushing yards.

With veteran running back Steven Jackson joining the Falcons, the team should have more success gaining yards on the ground. Jackson is coming off of 8 straight 1,000 yard rushing seasons and is a tremendous upgrade from the plodding Michael Turner who finished last season with 800 yards.

With such an explosive receiving core, Ryan shouldn’t have trouble repeating similar numbers this season. 4,400 yards is probably the lowest one can expect from him and another 32 touchdowns is certainly within reach.

Ryan is probably worth your fourth round pick, but you can certainly wait on quarterback in order to find better receivers and running backs in the early rounds. You may have a more complete team if you wait it out and take Matthew Stafford or Tony Romo later in the draft.

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