Value Pick: Calvin Ridley
Shoutout to @fantasypollsnow for this article on Ridley. We both love him at his current 4th round ADP.
Everyone wants to find the next Chris Godwin, because having a player like that means you get a WR1 at great value, helping you potentially win your fantasy league. Like the Buccaneers, there are plenty of open wide receiver targets up for grabs with Mohammed Sanu and Austin Hooper no longer with the team. Both the Buccaneers and Falcons are very pass heavy. The Falcons had a 66.97% passing rate, highest in the league. The Buccaneers, on the other hand, had a 62.34% passing rate, 7th highest in the league. Like Chris Godwin, Calvin Ridley has a WR1 ahead of him to take the pressure off from facing top cornerbacks.
Now, let’s look and see just how much Ridley can succeed when given the chance to shine. In three games that Ridley played without Mohammed Sanu or Austin Hooper, he did VERY well. He averaged around 7.33 receptions, 10.67 targets a game, and 106.33 yards per game. This set him with 22.47 points per game (PPR formats). While I don’t think he will average this much, he could very realistically average 18+ points per game.
Even if Ridley just averages 8 targets a game, he can do very well. In his two years in the league, he has 8 games with 8 targets or more. In those games, he averaged 24.15 points per game (PPR formats). His WORST performance in those 8 games? 17.1 fantasy points. With how many targets Ridley should be set to see, he is bound to succeed.
The only concern is that Todd Gurley and Hayden Hurst are entering the offense. But with Devonta Freeman, Austin Hooper, and Mohammed Sanu out, there are plenty of targets. Freeman (70 targets in 14 games), Sanu (42 targets in 7 games), and Austin Hooper (97 targets in 13 games) combined for a total of 209 free targets. Even if Gurley, Hurst, and even Russell Gage could see a bunch of those, and Ridley would still easily inherit 30 of them, resulting in an uptick in usage and a breakout season.
Everyone is missing the fact that Ridley was set to break out last season. Before his injury, he was on pace for 1066 yards and 8 touchdowns with a WR14 finish. Don’t be late to the hype, draft Ridley.