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Fantasy Impact: Matt Ryan Traded to Colts

After years of decline in Atlanta, Ryan's fantasy stock should increase in Indy.

Is this the National Football League … or is it a fantasy football league?

There’s been another blockbuster trade involving a big-name quarterback, this time it’s Matt Ryan on the move. He’s been dealt to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a third-round pick in a trade that should improve his stock in 2022 fantasy drafts.

Ryan’s fantasy point-per-game average has declined in each of his last four seasons, culminating in a brutal 13.1 points per game in 2021. Of course, Ryan was at a disadvantage without Calvin Ridley, and his best option in the pass attack was a rookie  Kyle Pitts. Now with the Colts, his weapons will certainly be much improved.


Their offense fields the best running back in fantasy football, Jonathan Taylor, and a good young wideout in Michael Pittman Jr., who is coming off his first 1,000-yard year. The WR17 last season, Ryan’s presence will keep him in the WR2 conversation. The Colts do have some question marks beyond that, however, but the team has available cap space (according to Spotrac) and will no doubt make additional moves.

As for Ryan, his stock increases to that of a more attractive No. 2 fantasy quarterback in 2022 drafts. Carson Wentz ranked 13th in points at the position under Frank Reich last season, and that’s certainly an attainable goal for Ryan entering his age-37 season.

In Atlanta, the team has signed Marcus Mariota and reunite him with his former offensive coordinator and current Falcons head man, Arthur Smith. The team could also decide to use the No. 8 overall pick in the draft on a quarterback like Liberty’s Malik Willis, who would then presumably sit behind Mariota for his rookie season.

Until a final decision is made at quarterback, fantasy fans will have to wait on making a call on the value of Pitts. He’ll likely remain a top-five tight end with whoever might be under center, but his stock could rise or a fall a spot or two until a decision is made. With only Pitts and Cordarrelle Patterson having any significant appeal in the offense, the Falcons could end up being one of the least fantasy-friendly teams in the NFL.

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Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business!