Next up in our Dynasty Outlook series; Calvin Ridley 2020 Dynasty Outlook . In Dynasty, there are certain players that tend to hold more uncertainty, or are more divisive than others. The Dynasty Outlook series takes a deeper dive into those players that the RotoHeat community noted as the guys they are most interested in hearing about. Engage with 1,400+ passionate dynasty players and let the RotoHeat content team know what topics YOU want to hear about by visiting our RotoHeat Facebook page.
Calvin Ridley 2020 Dynasty Outlook
Alabama WR Calvin Ridley was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round (26th overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft. Ridley was the second WR selected that season, only two picks after the Carolina Panthers selected Maryland’s D.J. Moore.
In Ridley’s 3 years at Alabama, he totaled 224 receptions for 2,781 yards and scored 19 touchdowns. In the National Championship against Georgia, (his last at Alabama), he had four receptions for 32 yards and the late game-tying touchdown to help force overtime in the 26–23 victory.
Ridley entered the draft with a lot of assets to his game, the most notably were his speed and his exceptional route running. Ridley ran a 4.43 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine that year. His speed and route running made it tough on opposing defensive backs in college. Ridley also possessed a second gear to break downfield and was dangerous with the ball in his hands after the catch.
Landing in an offense like the Atlanta Falcons was a dream scenario for Ridley. Joining fellow first round selections Matt Ryan (2008), and Julio Jones (2011), not to mention RB Devonta Freeman and TE Austin Hooper, enabled Ridley to fill a roll in the offense without the need to be the guy in his rookie season.
In his rookie season, Ridley finished with 64 receptions on 94 targets for 821 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 821 yards and 10 touchdowns led all rookies in 2018. He ended his first season as WR22 with 206.8 PPR points.
Entering the 2019 season, Ridley was looking to build off a successful inaugural campaign. Matching the 10 touchdowns he scored as a rookie, however, would be a tall task. His season was limited to 13 games due to an abdominal injury. On the year, the Ridley had 866 receiving yards and seven touchdowns on 63 catches. He fell 1 reception shy of his rookie season total, exceed his yardage by 45, and saw a decline in touchdowns by 3. He did this all in 13 games vs. 16 the season before. His 16 game pace in 2019 was 77 catches 1065 yards and 9 touchdowns. He ended the season as the WR27 with 197 fantasy points.
Ridley averaged 12.9 PPR points game as a rookie, and elevated that number to 15.2 points a game as a sophomore. Calvin Ridley, ladies and gentlemen, is the real deal.
In 2020, I expect Calvin Ridley to add his name to the list of wide receivers that broke out in their third season. One could make the argument that he has already broken out, as his 2019 pace would have seen him finish at WR12 overall .1 PPR points ahead of Cleveland’s Jarvis Landry.
The trade of Mohamed Sanu to the New England Patriots in October of 2019 paved the way to opportunity for Ridley in the pass happy Falcons offense. In addition to Sanu leaving, Atlanta, TE Austin Hooper departed to the Browns via free agency this offseason. In 2019, the games that Ridley appeared in without both Sanu and Hooper, he averaged 11 targets, 7 catches 106 yards and .7 touchdowns per game. For those keeping score at home, that works out to 176 targets, 112 catches 1,696 yards and 11 touchdowns (347.6 PPR points).
As big of a fan of Calvin Ridley as I am, even I don’t think those numbers are achievable. The 347.6 point pace in those three games would have landed Ridley at WR2, 71.5 points clear of #2 Chris Godwin and 27 points shy of #1 Michael Thomas in his record setting 16 game season last year. Ridley is not a top 2 fantasy WR, but he can, and will comfortably break into the top 12 in 2020.
Since 2014 there have been three occasions in which two WR’s from the same team occupied the top 12 at the end of the season. 2014 Jordy Nelson & Randall Cobb, 2016, Jordy Nelson & Devante Adams, and 2018 Adam Thielen & Stefon Diggs. The Atlanta Falcons added former Baltimore TE Hayden Hurst via trade to fill the Hooper role, and the Sanu role is likely to be split between Russell Gage and Laquon Treadwell in Atlanta in 2020. Atlanta will still be a heavy passing offense even with the addition of RB Todd Gurley. The Falcons over the past three seasons have averaged 610 pass attempts a season. Atlanta will continue that trend in 2020.
In 2020, Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones will become the 4th set of teammates to record top 12 fantasy seasons on the same team since 2014.
Calvin Ridley Dynasty Outlook – Beyond 2020
I stopped talking about the decline of Julio Jones a season ago. I had enough of the WR making me look foolish annually. The reality is, entering the 2021 season Julio will be 32 years old. As great as Julio is, he will one day assume the Roddy White roll in Atlanta as Calvin Ridley takes on the Julio Jones role. White declined at the age of 34, while Julio was 26.
Ridley will be 26 entering the 2021 season. He will be a perennial top 12 WR, and he will be a player that wins you dynasty championships. We tend to throw the title “stud” around in the dynasty community a little too loosely in my opinion. Calvin Ridley however, is just that–a stud.
Ridley entered the league in 2018 and his start-up ADP was #64. After his rookie season, it climbed to #44 in 2019. As we enter 2020, his start-up ADP has risen to #38.
I currently have Calvin Ridley ranked 36th overall and as my WR18. If you can buy Ridley at his current value, I strongly advise it. I am pretty sure that I will be moving him up in my rankings very soon. If I owned the 1.01 pick in the 2020 in a 1QB league, I would be comfortable selling it for Ridley. In a Super-Flex league I would trade the 1.04 down for him.