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What to do with Calvin Ridley in Week 5 fantasy football

Will a matchup vs. the Texans wake up the Falcons’ passing attack and Calvin Ridley this week? We look at whether you should play or bench the WR on Sunday.

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley tackled by Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Sidney Jones during the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Many predicted touchdown regression this season for Calvin Ridley, but what they didn’t expect was full-blown regression. Through four games, Ridley (and the Falcons’ offense overall) has struggled mightily, averaging four receptions for 51.7 yards per game. Had it not been for a 27.5-point performance in Week 2 vs. the Eagles, Ridley would be in bust-watch right now. He was a non-factor last week in a bad loss to the Titans (three catches, 36 yards) and has essentially been surpassed by journeyman Mohamed Sanu as Atlanta’s second WR behind Julio Jones.

Fantasy football analysis, Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley

But with so much going wrong right now for the Falcons and Ridley, there is a glimmer of hope. Bill O’Brien! The Texans are allowing 283.3 receiving yards per game this season, which isn’t an exorbitant amount. But they’ve also allowed 110 receptions, which is tied for second-most through four games. This matchup favors Jones a bit more, but realistically with the game script playing in favor of a shootout, Ridley should benefit as well. His big-play ability could come out with Houston focusing on Julio, and Atlanta’s gotten nothing from the run game, so we can safely assume QB Matt Ryan will throw at least 35-40 times.

I guess the issue is Ridley is a risky play for Sunday. I’d put him around WR2-3 territory, but more of a FLEX play with upside. In deeper formats, Ridley should make it into your lineup. In 8- or 10-team leagues, maybe you’ve got more appealing plays, so Ridley’s on your bench until he shows you something. Though keep in mind, if this game does pop, Ridley should give you at least double-digit points in PPR.

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“All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS contests.”