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My Fantasy Ignorance/Bias Against Matt Ryan…

May 16, 2020 12:18 PM
May 16, 2020 5:17 PM

My Fantasy Ignorance/Bias Against Matt Ryan…


Are you like me…do you think Matt Ryan is a pretty bland NFL/fantasy QB?

I respect him, or I say I do…but I really don’t. I never look to draft him in fantasy. Every year, come draft guide time, as I’m studying/projecting/writing, I’m always thinking ‘this is the year he tails off’. I always tend to think of him in the negative…aging, ‘garbage time master’, not as good as the other ‘older’ QBs. When I watch him play in season, I’m never ‘wowed’ by live watch or rewatch tape of Matt Ryan.

On the other hand, thinking of the veteran QBs…

I’m always dazzled by how good Aaron Rodgers looks…what a natural talent (my eyes and mind says)! Any issues Rodgers might have in fantasy, I tend to blame on the coaching plan. Ditto, Mr. Big Ben Roethlisberger. If I were magically in an NFL expansion draft, as a fictitious GM, and I was given the choice of having one of Ryan-Rodgers-Ben as my quarterback…my gut says that I’d pick Rodgers, then Ben, then Ryan.

My mind just works in a Rodgers-Ben…then a step behind is Matt Ryan world. Does yours work that way too?

I’m trying to detox my mind of this ‘belief system’. Why? Because it’s not sound judgement or reality in fantasy. I always joke about never predicting Matt Ryan ‘right’ for fantasy. I think it’s true because I’m always betting more against him or ignoring him…and he ends up better than that. It’s not Matt Ryan’s fault.

In 2019, Ryan was way better, for FF, than Rodgers-Ben (Ben got hurt/out Week 2).

In 2018, Ben was the #2 PPG FF QB in fantasy…Ryan right behind him by a hair at #3…and Rodgers another hair right behind them at #4.

The past two seasons, you’d have been better off rolling with Ryan…but I would have been yelling ‘caution’ the whole time. It’s not right…I’ve been wrong thinking. Ryan has been ‘right’ the past two seasons, but I ran with my recent studies a little further than two years and was surprised at how long I’d been wrongly biased against Matt Ryan in fantasy.

Let me share some numbers I was looking at…and was pretty surprised by. Let’s look at Ryan-Rodgers-Ben over the past 8 seasons and then just the past 4 seasons.




Since 2012 (the past 8 seasons)…



127 games, 66-61-0 record, 36,948 pass yards, 226 TDs/101 INTs = Matt Ryan

112 games, 72-39-1 record, 29,580 pass yards, 232 TDs/46 INTs = Aaron Rodgers

104 games, 64-39-1 record, 29,966 pass yards, 198 TDs/91 INTs = Ben Roethlisberger


Per Game:

290.9 pass yards, 1.78 TDs/0.80 INTs per game = Matt Ryan

264.1 pass yards, 2.07 TDs/0.41 INTs per game = Aaron Rodgers

288.1 pass yards, 1.90 TDs/0.88 INTs per game = Ben Roethlisberger


Fantasy JUST Passing Points per game (4pts per pass TD, 1pt for 25 pass yards, -1 per point INT):

18.43 = Aaron Rodgers

18.24 = Ben Roethlisberger

17.96 = Matt Ryan


Over the past eight seasons, Ryan has been a step behind Rodgers-Ben…but not as far off as my mind would think it.

Ryan has also missed just one regular-season game in that span…so he’s ‘been there’ more than the other guys. I never give credit to Ryan’s durability either.  




The Past Four Seasons (2016-2019)


63 games, 35-28-0 record, 18,429 pass yards, 119 TDs/40 INTs = Matt Ryan

55 games, 33-21-1 record, 14,547 pass yards, 107 TDs/19 INTs = Aaron Rodgers

47 games, 31-15-1 record, 13,550 pass yards, 91 TDs/44 INTs = Ben Roethlisberger


292.5 pass yards, 1.89 TDs/0.63 INTs per game = Matt Ryan

264.5 pass yards, 1.95 TDs/0.34 INTs per game = Aaron Rodgers

288.3 pass yards, 1.94 TDs/0.94 INTs per game = Ben Roethlisberger


Fantasy JUST Passing Points per game (4pts per pass TD, 1pt for 25 pass yards, -1 per point INT):

18.63 = Matt Ryan

18.35 = Ben Roethlisberger

18.12 = Aaron Rodgers


Over the past four years, just from passer numbers…Matt Ryan has been better per game than Ben-Rodgers. Now, there’s all kinds of nitpick items to try and throw out there like… Well, Ben and Rodgers had a few games they left with injury so it skews their per game numbers. Yeah, but even with a small bump for that for Ben-Rodgers – Ryan is either still #1 or RIGHT THERE (I’m shouting at me) over the past four seasons.

One could also think…”Well, Ryan plays in a dome and Ben-Rodgers have weather to deal with.” I agree 1,000%...but then that means I’m a 10,000% idiot for not honoring that in fantasy. I’m not trying to judge artistic nuisances in fantasy – I just want NUMBERS. I don’t care how or why they get them.

In 2020, Ryan is set to play 11 dome games Weeks 1-15 with ONE weather risk all season – Week 16 at KC.

Rodgers, shockingly, has five dome games in 2020 (unusual/nice road schedule) but has cold/frigid concerns Weeks 10-12-13-15-16…when you hit the FF playoff stretch, Rodgers has five home games from Nov 15th to end of the season.

Ben has just ONE dome game this FF season. Check out his Weeks 12-16 geography – at Pitt, at Pitt, at Buff, at Cincy, at Pitt. How’s that going to be great for FF upside?

All those cold weather risks for Ben-Rodgers, while Ryan is in a dome or in L.A. for most of that. It’s an advantage for Ryan for production.


Another factor I’ve held against Ryan (for FF) – he wasn’t much of a runner in his career. From 2013-2017, Ryan had no rushing TDs…while Rodgers had 9 rushing TDs and Ben just 2 rush TDs. I had a right to hold that against Ryan, but what I failed to recognize is… The past two seasons: Ryan has 4 rushing TDs, Ben and Rodgers with 3 rush TDs. Not only is Ryan a hair ahead of them in passer numbers the past two (and four) seasons, and he’s never hurt (by comparison)…he’s now putting up rushing TD output with/better than them as well.

Ryan is a year+ younger than either Rodgers-Ben. He has a better passer environment (home dome). He has put up equal/better numbers than Rodgers-Ben the past two years…the past four years…and not far off looking over the last 8 years. Plus, he’s never hurt.

Why do I seem to dismiss Matt Ryan so out of hand every season?

I just wanted to share these tidbits for anyone who had the same bias as I’ve had the past few years and still had entering the summer of 2020. I’m trying to get my mind right on Matt Ryan…and Ryan v. Rodgers (who I started to wise up to last preseason) v. Ben (does his arm still have ‘the juice’?). Learn from my mistakes…


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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 

Email rc4metrics@gmail.com

Learn more about RC and the Fantasy Football Metrics system >>