Matt Ryan moving to the Colts let’s not beat about it- let’s dive into the fantasy impact. After 14 years starting in Georgia, including 4 Pro Bowls, an MVP, and the most memed Super Bowl loss in history, Matt Ryan has a new home. He’s been traded to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2022 3rd round pick. The Colts were incredibly needy at QB after trading away Carson Wentz and it seems like Ryan just wanted a fresh start. The Falcons were in on Deshawn Watson but failed there – who knows what’s next for them at QB? I’ll be breaking down the trade for fantasy impact.
Winner – Michael Pittman
Michael Pittman is going into his third year in the NFL. So far, he’s had Jacoby Brissett and Carson Wentz as his quarterbacks. Despite that, Pittman managed to break 1,000 yards last year. He finished as PPR WR17 in 2021, helping teams with a pretty high level of consistency throughout the year, with only 4 games under 9 points in PPR leagues. Pittman will only get better with a better quarterback throwing to him, and that’s what he’ll be getting in Ryan. At 6’4 with 32 inch arms, Pittman is a similar contested catch threat to Ryan’s favourite target from his career in Atlanta. I’m not saying Pittman will become Julio Jones, but I’d expect a big uptick for him with his new quarterback.
Loser – Kyle Pitts
Kyle Pitts seems to have divided the fantasy community more than any other player, despite only being in the league for a year. He dominated for Atlanta in year one, going for over a thousand yards, although he only finished as TE6 in PPR due to only scoring one touchdown all season (it was a good touchdown though – I saw it live in London!). Pitts truthers will be confident that he’ll succeed despite his situation, but I’d be inclined to disagree. With Atlanta’s QB situation up in the air, I don’t think you can trust Pitts as a top 5 TE this season. Yes, he’ll get volume, but the quality of those targets is sure to go down. That will also be the case with red zone targets, as Pitts is likely to get all of them, but it’s unlikely Atlanta will have that many trips down the field. Pitts is an elite talent but he’s the only quality receiving weapon for a team likely to be quarterbacked by either Marcus Mariota or a rookie. I’m out at the cost for next year.
Winner – Matt Ryan
Ryan has been declining as a fantasy starter for the last few years. After a QB2 finish in 2018, he’s declined each year, finishing as QB20 last year with a very disappointing stat line. However, things are looking up with his move to Indy. Not only will he have better weapons, with Jonathan Taylor a home run threat from any screen he sees, but he’ll be facing the Texans and Jaguars twice a year. These should provide some nice easy wins for Ryan, despite a tough AFC. I’d be happy with Ryan as my QB2 for a few years, as I think he should see some nice volume with a decent receiving core.
Loser (kind of) – Jonathan Taylor
JT is only a small loser in this one, but it’s worth talking about. He’ll get his carries, but he’s less likely to see 25 rushing attempts in a game because Carson Wentz can’t complete a pass. With a competent quarterback that Frank Reich can trust, JT might see a slight downturn in volume. However, he’s still my RB1 going forwards – it’s just that there are other competent pieces in the Colts offense now!
Winner – Julio Jones
Indianapolis need a WR2. His old QB has just been traded there. He’s a free agent. I think the stars are aligning for this one.
Image Credit: Jim Dedmon – USA TODAY Sports