After being almost nonexistent in a Week 1 loss, Atlanta Falcons rookie wide receiver Calvin Ridley has officially arrived. And if you’re one of the fantasy football owners who held onto him after the zero-catch showing in the opener, then you get a pat on the back.
Ridley looks every bit like the real deal and is fresh off a monstrous Week 3 performance in which he caught seven passes for 146 yards and three touchdowns. The Falcons now draw an interesting matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals and while rookie wideouts can be tough to trust, fantasy football owners are surely itching to use Ridley.
The matchup isn’t perfect for Ridley and the Falcons wideouts in Week 4, but it’s not terrible either. Let’s break it down a bit further and evaluate whether Ridley is a start or sit this week.
Calvin Ridley’s Week 4 Fantasy Value
I love Ridley’s game, watching him play is just enjoyable. To be honest, though, I didn’t expect the breakout to happen this quickly for the No. 26 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. But we can have to go off the eye test and evaluate how he’s being utilized, and it’s an interesting spot for Ridley this week.
The Bengals have allowed 42 receptions for 448 yards and three touchdowns to opposing wideouts, numbers that place them in the middle of the NFL against the position. But their three games to this point have been against the Indianapolis Colts in Andrew Luck’s first game back, the Baltimore Ravens and the Carolina Panthers.
All three of those teams have solid passing games, but nothing near what the Falcons have to offer. Based on that, it’s not enough to sway the fantasy decision on Ridley.
Two things that do make the decision somewhat easier is the fact that we know roughly how many snaps Ridley will play. In each of the first three weeks he’s played at least 56 percent of Atlanta’s offensive plays, and two fo the three weeks featured 62 percent or more, per Football Outsiders.
Even more important is the fact that Matt Ryan is looking Ridley’s way, as he’s seen his targets increase in each week (two, five and eight). He’s also taken on the role of the Falcons’ home-run hitter, which is a big deal considering Julio Jones draws so much attention whenever on the field.
Should You Start or Sit Calvin Ridley?
What this really comes down to is that there isn’t a strong enough argument not to start Ridley, specifically in 12-team leagues with flex spots or 14-team leagues. It comes down to how your roster looks and what other options you have at wideout and in the flex. As for 10-team leagues, Ridley can likely remain on the bench.
Unfortunately, this call isn’t easy considering most fantasy football owners who have Ridley likely drafted him in a bench spot, so they have solid starters around him. His matchup is fine, the upside is tremendous and he’s getting love from his quarterback.
If you’re up in the air about using Ridley or a player rated fairly close to him, there’s a good chance his upside alone is worth giving him the edge this week. But if you have top talent at wide receiver, don’t overthink it and force the Falcons wideout into your lineup.
Source: Heavy Sports