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Fantasy fallout: Impact of Matt Ryan trade for Colts

Indy worked out a deal to acquire the veteran QB from Atlanta. We go over the fantasy football implications for 2022 for the Colts.

Running back Jonathan Taylor #28 of the Indianapolis Colts gives a stiff arm to corner back Tyson Campbell #32 of the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on January 9, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Jaguars won 26 -11. Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts have found their new starting quarterback at least for this season as they acquired Matt Ryan from the Atlanta Falcons on Monday. Ryan is coming off of a solid 2021 season and will hope to replicate that in Indianapolis with head coach Frank Reich. We will take a look at how Ryan will either hurt or help the Colts’ playmakers in fantasy football this season.

Fantasy football fallout: Matt Ryan to Colts

How trade affects Ryan

With Ryan heading to Indianapolis, he will not have to throw the football an insane amount of times as he has an outstanding running back to lean on in Jonathan Taylor. Last season, the 36-year-old quarterback had 560 attempts, which is low for him, especially when you look at the prior three seasons (over 600 pass attempts). At his age, Ryan is still one of the more accurate QBs in the league and has thrown for 20 or more touchdowns in 13-straight season. He should be able to hit that mark with Michael Pittman Jr. likely becoming his top option at wide receiver.

Impact on Jonathan Taylor

If you are Taylor, this is good news because you are coming off a season, where you had to carry the Colts’ offense. The former Wisconsin standout had 1,811 yards on 332 carries and 18 touchdowns, along with 40 receptions for 360 yards and two scores. Taylor will still get his touches, but the defense won’t be able to stack the box, with a competent quarterback under center. Taylor will still be a top running back in fantasy, but likely won’t have 330-plus carries this upcoming season.

Impact on receivers

Pittman Jr. could end up having another 1,000-yard season with Ryan under center as he’s the Colts best receiving option, alongside tight end Mo Alie-Cox. The second-year receiver posted 88 receptions (129 targets) for 1,082 yards and six touchdowns. The young wideout will still get his targets with Ryan, plus the other receivers will still play a major role.

Over the last two seasons in Atlanta, we saw Ryan get other guys involved in the offense, especially when the Falcons did not have Julio Jones or Calvin Ridley. If he can build a rapport with you, he will get you the ball to make a play. We should expect an uptick in production from Alie-Cox, Parris Campbell (if healthy), and whoever else they bring in via free agency or draft.