“Ridley” me this?

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Throughout the years, the Atlanta Falcons have managed to find numerous great wide receivers. Rodney White and Julio Jones are two of the most recent great receivers they have found and developed. Both of these players have set franchise and NFL records over their years in the red and black. A new name can be added to this list- Calvin Ridley!

Calvin Ridley was drafted by the Falcons in round one of the NFL draft 26th overall in 2018. The Alabama product was known for his quickness along with his amazing route running ability. His college production and combine performance had many Falcons fans hoping he was going to be one of the next great wide receivers! Their hopes come true very quickly in 2018, as Ridley burst onto the scene. He earned Offensive Rookie of the Month honors in September of 2018. Not only was Ridley helping the Falcons, he was also rewarding fantasy football managers as well. In his first 4 games alone, Ridley would average 19.9 PPR points a game, including a 41 point game.

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Ridley went on to put together a very respectful rookie season, in both fantasy football and the NFL. Ridley scored 10 touchdowns in his rookie season, breaking the Falcons single season record for rookies. He finished the season leading all NFL rookies in receiving yards and touchdowns. Ridley earned a spot on the PFWA All Rookie Team, becoming only the fourth Falcons receiver to earn this honor. Aside from his NFL accolades, Ridley was also rewarding fantasy football managers. He managed to finish the season with 206.8 PPR points, averaging 12.6 PPR points per game. This would be good enough for a WR22 finish on the season.

Many people leading up to 2019 thought Ridley could make a significant jump in production. Early on in the season, Ridley averaged 12.4 PPR points per game during the first four games. This showed constant production from year one to year two, however, no increase in production appeared to be happening. Weeks 4-8 his fantasy point production increased slightly. He averaged 13.6 PPR points per game, this was a good trend in Ridleys development. Ridley would breakout after the Falcons bye week. He went on to average 18.9 PPR points per game until week 14! Ridley unfortunately would get injured in week 14 and miss the rest of the season, ending his sophomore season. He would finish the season as the WR27 with 197 PPR points in 13 games.

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This year’s offseason was full of hype for Ridley, as he was expected to become of the the great young wide receivers in the game. Questions started to rise on whether or not Ridley could surpass Julio Jones as the Falcons WR1. Most wondered if Ridley’s success was due to the fact that he was facing easier competition. This was due to Julio drawing the coverage of the other teams best defensive backs. Ridley would explode onto the scene with three 100 yard games to start the season. He carried a 27.8 PPR point average during these games. During week 4, he was be shutout by a solid Packers defense. He would then continue his tear over the next three weeks, while averaging 20.8 PPR points. Unfortunately, in week 8, Ridley sustained an injury to his foot which forced him to miss the next two games.

Following his injury, Ridley continued his breakout season. He has averaged 21.7 PPR points since returning in week 11. Ridley currently sits at WR8 on the current season with two weeks left. His 221.3 PPR points is a career high in fantasy production. The most impressive thing about this increase in production is that Julio has missed 5 games this year. In those 5 games, Ridley produced a total stat line of 37 receptions for 583 yards, along with 3 touchdowns. Over Ridleys career he has had 17 games in which he was targeted over 8 times. In these games he produced at a crazy rate. He totaled 119 receptions for 1,842 yards and 16 touchdowns. Seemingly, he has answered the question of whether or not he could be the Falcons alpha receiver.

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This season Ridley has proven that he should be grouped with the great wide receivers in the game. With two weeks left in the season, he is on a path to finish as a WR1 in fantasy football. The Falcons offense has ran through Ridley this season and this should continue for years to come. The 26-year-old player should be in the discussion as a cornerstone piece of anyone’s dynasty roster! Matt Ryan will be in Atlanta next year, and his familiarity with Ridley should only help boost Ridleys production next season. Needless to say, Ridley is a young ascending star in the league and in the fantasy football world!

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