Falcons QB Ryan should be scary for fantasy players

Falcons QB Matt Ryan should be looked at by fantasy owners this season. (John Bazemore / Associated Press)

Fantasy owners should be cautious in their assessment of Falcons QB Matt Ryan. (John Bazemore / Associated Press)

Teammates of Matt Ryan have said that the quarterback’s improvement has been scary. The ones who should be scared are fantasy players. Words that should send a scare into anybody willing to question the celebrated quarterback darling who is being touted as a breakout candidate this year.

Ryan has been the toast of fantasy football gurus everywhere, and why not? RB Michael Turner turned out to be the fantasy stud we all knew he would be. The team traded for TE Tony Gonzalez. Only the crazies would stay off the “Von Ryan Express.”

But there are a couple of concerns that stand out.

Ryan really struggled down the stretch in 2008 with two touchdowns and four interceptions over his final three games. And let’s not talk about the disaster in the playoffs.

And then there’s Turner and the myth of 370. The common perception is if a running back has 370 regular-season attempts, he falls off dramatically the next year. If you are one of those people who believes in Madden Curses, Super Bowl loser jinxes, NFL.com fantasy magazine jinxes, the ‘Over 30’ curse, etc., then you can’t just brush this one off.

Thankfully, I don’t typically buy all of those jinxes and curses, but you cannot deny that NFC South teams don’t stay on top for very long. The division is one of the most turbulent in the NFL. So the Falcons taking a tumble would not be a surprise.

Sure, the Falcons look good on paper, but experts touted the Saints as Super Bowl contenders last year and they did not make the playoffs.

The Falcons could be facing a similar tumble. Of course, Saints QB Drew Brees nearly broke the single-season passing record, so this could be a boon for Ryan. But Ryan is not quite in Brees’ class just yet.

The red on the Falcons uniforms seem to be flashing like a huge warning sign.

Adam Rank

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