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Fantasy fallout: Impact of Matt Ryan trade for Falcons

Atlanta dealt the veteran QB to the Colts. We break down the fantasy football impact on the Falcons for the 2022 season.

Kyle Pitts #8 of the Atlanta Falcons carries the ball after a reception as Ross Cockrell #43 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defends during the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 05, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons have reportedly traded quarterback Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts, bringing an end to the veteran’s 14-year tenure with the team.

The Falcons have taken several blows as an organization over the past few weeks. Top wide receiver Calvin Ridley received a year-long suspension from the NFL for gambling on games and fellow wideout Russell Gage departed for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers via free agency. And after the team struck out on acquiring the services of Deshaun Watson, they have apparently decided to go full steam on a total rebuild by parting ways with their franchise quarterback.

The immediate question will become who will take snaps under center for Atlanta in 2022. For now, we’ll take a look at how this trade impacts the Falcons’ skill position players from a fantasy point of view.

Fantasy football fallout: Matt Ryan to Colts

How trade affects Kyle Pitts

Imagine in your mind the scene from the final episode of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air where Will is standing alone in an empty living room. That’s pretty much the position second-year tight end Kyle Pitts is in right now as he will be THE receiving option for whoever is throwing passes to him this fall.

That bodes well for him from a fantasy perspective as he’ll rake in plenty of targets throughout the season while trying to carry the Falcons’ offense.

Impact on running backs

Similar to Pitts, running back Cordarrelle Patterson will stand to gain from a fantasy perspective as he’ll be called upon to carry a huge load. The veteran re-upped with the organization after an impactful 2021 campaign where he was a Swiss Army knife in both the run and passing games. He’ll definitely have RB2/flex potential for the upcoming season.

Impact on other receivers

Unless the Falcons use their first-round pick on a receiver like Garrett Wilson or Chris Olave, it’d be wise to stay far, far away from any of their receivers in fantasy this year. Guys like Olamide Zaccheaus showed flashes of brilliance here and there but they will not be worth a roster spot with the way things are going in Atlanta.