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Fantasy Football: Start or Sit Matt Ryan in Week 12?


Matt Ryan has been one of the surprise sleepers of the 2016 fantasy football season. He was a relatively forgotten person who went widely undrafted after his disastrous 2015 campaign. However, he has proven us all wrong, bouncing back from his red zone inefficiencies that plagued his 2015. Despite being relatively undrafted, Ryan has turned in an incredible performance this season. He’s gone for 325 yards, 2.5 scores and 0.5 interceptions per game in an incredible return to form after his pathetic 2015. While Ryan has been incredible this season, this is likely a week that you’re going to regret playing him.

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Not to detract from any of Matt Ryan’s accomplishments, but he has racked up a lot of his fantasy points against bunny opponents. He has benefitted from an incredible schedule this year and has struggled outside of his top matchups. So far this season, Ryan has played ten games. Six of them have been against the top half of the league for fantasy points per game to the quarterback, and four have been against the bottom half.

In his games against the top half, he’s ripped off an amazing 74% completion percentage while throwing for 351 yards, three scores and 1/3 of an interception a game. In his four games against the bottom half of defenses in fantasy points allowed, he has gone for 286 yards, 1.5 touchdowns and 3/4 an interception per game.

That touchdown figure is buoyed by the surprising punch in the mouth he gave to the Seahawks in Seattle. In his other three games, he’s thrown for one score each.

This week Ryan and the Falcons take on the Cardinals in a Bird Battle against the #30 team against the quarterback this season. They have stymied nearly every quarterback to face them. Case Keenum is the only QB to throw for multiple scores against them, and he, Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert are the only ones who have gotten 2+ scores (and the Niners QBs are the only ones to get over 20 fantasy points against them).

It’s an odd group of quarterbacks they’ve allowed good weeks, and an even weirder group of QBs they’ve shut down (Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, and Jameis Winston).

The saying goes “don’t sit your studs,” so I can fully understand if you can’t bring yourself to slide Matt Ryan outside of your starting lineup. He has performed his best against the bottom half of the league and has struggled against the top half.

This week he takes on a Cardinals squad that is one of the best this year at stopping the QB. While it is unlikely Ryan crushes your week, you should fully expect to have him drop fewer than 20 fantasy points this week.


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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]