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  • Three Potential Landing Spots for Calvin Ridley

    Jersey Giveaway
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    Eagles, Jets, and Bears — oh my! Calvin Ridley’s days as an Atlanta Falcon may be numbered, and here are three landing spots where he could end up.


    A year ago, Calvin Ridley was considered a top dynasty asset, someone people would pay up the nose to have on their fantasy football rosters. Today, the Falcons’ star receiver is one of the diciest fantasy topics.

    After just five games, Ridley announced he would step away from the team to address and focus on his mental health. It’s been radio silence since, but trade rumors sprouted wings that he wanted out of Atlanta. After all, the franchise is approaching a changing of the guard under center, as Matt Ryan turns 37 in May after posting a mere 46.1 QBR — 21st among QBs. 

    Of course, nobody needs a stat to see that Ryan’s best days are in the rear-view mirror.

    While Falcons owner Arthur Blank said he would “love” to have his franchise receiver back in 2022, he openly admitted it is Ridley’s choice. Should he decide to leave, the market will be robust. Fantasy owners should pay attention, as each offers serious pros and cons.

    Fantasy Breakdowns of Ridley’s Three Most Likely Landing Spots

    New York Jets

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    In my opinion, this is the best landing spot for Ridley, and where I think he ends up. 

    Ridley would be stepping into an offense in dire need of a true alpha. Last offseason’s big fish was Corey Davis, who spent much of 2021 on the shelf. Davis is a good player, but an ideal WR2 on the outside. Second-round pick Elijah Moore, a rising star himself, controls slot duties in a favorable role, thanks to his steady hands and route running.

    The vacancy next to Davis on the outside is open to be filled, with Ridley as the prized jewel. Zach Wilson showed some flashes as a rookie, but ultimately lacked a healthy set of weapons to showcase his talents. 

    Ridley can walk in with a 20% target share at least, with 25% a real possibility. Wilson should throw the ball earlier and often than he did as a rookie. Wilson’s average pass attempts per start was the fourth-lowest among rookie quarterbacks since 2017, with at least six starts. The three lowest — Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, and Mitchell Trubisky — increased in passing attempts by 1.9 in their second season.

    If you give that increase to Wilson per game, his 17-game pace in 2022 would be 533.8 attempts. That’s above the league average from last season and a welcome sight for Ridley managers.

    That conservative 20% target share would give Ridley 107 targets, a nice number that seems like his floor. It connects him with a young quarterback who has a high ceiling, as sophomore leaps can be incredibly productive. This has the greatest boom-bust potential, as the Jets need Wilson to progress, but Ridley makes all the difference for a young quarterback. He would be a top 15 option with a top eight upside.

    Chicago Bears

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    The New York Jets aren’t the only ones looking to help their young franchise QB. The Bears failed once at supporting their first-round QB in Trubisky, so it’s safe to say they have every incentive to support Justin Fields. The WR2 in Chicago in recent years has been as follows:

    2017: Josh Bellamy (376 receiving yards, WR89)

    2018: Taylor Gabriel (688 receiving yards, WR41)

    2019: Anthony Miller (656 receiving yards, WR56)

    2020: Darnell Mooney (631 receiving yards, WR50)

    2021: Allen Robinson (410 receiving yards, WR83)

    Not great. That’s a mistake Chicago will look to rectify this offseason. A duo of Ridley and Darnell Mooney with Cole Kmet at tight end would make for a fierce offense. Thanks to his cannon of an arm, Fields holds even more upside than Wilson. Ridley would fit perfectly aside Mooney who can stretch the defense while Ridley fits the “X” mold to perfection.

    Fantasy-wise, it would be a change of pace. Mooney isn’t going anywhere — he’s talented in his own right — and Chicago clearly hasn’t supported multiple fantasy receivers in five years. But if Fields is who the Bears — and myself — believe him to be then this move makes perfect sense.

    This would be the best landing spot for Ridley. Fields proved that he is not afraid of peppering one target — Mooney’s 140 targets are more than double than the next Bears receiver (Robinson, 66) — and fantasy owners know how valuable Ridley can be with a massive target share. 

    Treat him like a middling WR1 with Fields becoming a favorite sleeper for MVP as everyone shouts their share of sophomore breakouts.

    Philadelphia Eagles

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    It’s time to close the book on the Jalen Reagor experiment. And then open the door and throw it out. 

    It’s OK for fantasy owners to groan at this spot. It’s only natural, but head coach Nick Sirianni’s first season went as well as the Eagles could reasonably expect. They made the playoffs, Jalen Hurts didn’t look hopeless, and the defense took a huge step forward from its pitiful 2020 unit.

    The biggest question mark remains whether Hurts is “that guy.” He did not show enough as a passer to feel confident about it, but his dual-threat ability suggests a ceiling that is worth patience. For liability and integrity reasons I feel obliged to share that I do not believe Hurts is the answer. His arm, decision-making, and ball security remain serious red flags.

    What I think doesn’t matter here. The Eagles are set to play Hurts once more, as alternative options are far from desirable. So now the only right course of action for Philadelphia is to arm its signal-caller with weapons.

    Enter Ridley. Bringing some of Alabama’s success to The City of Brotherly Love would be a step in the right direction. Hurts, Ridley, and DeVonta Smith shared a locker room before, and it makes sense to do so again.

    The former duo dominated at Alabama, as Ridley accounted for 33% of Alabama’s receiving yards (931) and 31% of its receptions (63) in 2017. He would be a top-20, WR2 option with some volatility given Hurts’ inconsistencies and the Eagles’ rushing focus — a larger share of a smaller pie.

    Armed with two first-round picks, the Eagles have the capital to pay, and to properly evaluate Hurts, they should pay the piper.


    Thank you for checking out my article on three potential landing spots for Calvin Ridley! You can read all of my articles on my IDP Guys’ author page. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @Michael__Sicoli and @IDPGuys (we have offense too) and please check out our website at idpguys.org.

    Michael Sicoli

    A dynasty enthusiast and fantasy football addict, there's not much more I'd prefer to write about. I'm a New Yorker at a Connecticut university -- Quinnipiac -- who's a firm believer that the NFL doesn't have an offseason.
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