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Desmond Ridder start or sit: Week 1 fantasy football advice

We break down the fantasy football outlook of Desmond Ridder ahead of the Falcons Week 1 matchup against the Panthers.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - AUGUST 18: Desmond Ridder #9 of the Atlanta Falcons rolls out to pass during the first half of a preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on August 18, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

The Desmond Ridder era with the Atlanta Falcons begins in earnest as they take on the Carolina Panthers in Week 1. Desmond Ridder has been named the starter for the 2023 season and while he possesses some intriguing upside, he remains a relatively unknown quarterback at the NFL level. For fantasy managers looking for some upside, is the Falcons’ new signal-caller worth a start in lineups?

Fantasy Football analysis: Falcons QB Desmond Ridder

Ridder has been given the reins to the starting quarterback job after four uneasy starts in his rookie season. He completed 63.2 percent of his passes and averaged 6.2 yards per attempt while throwing two touchdown passes without an interception. He also added 16 carries for 64 yards on the ground.

Start or sit in Week 1?

Sit. Ridder presents some intriguing upside with his mobility and is surely worth a roster spot, but starting him in Week 1 could be risky. The Panthers did allow the 11th-most fantasy points on average (17.4 ppg) to opposing quarterbacks, but the fact of the matter is that we’ve only seen a small sample size of Ridder. He is a good runner and the ability to make plays with his legs offers some stream consideration, but he’s by no means a sure thing to kick off the 2023 season.

For players in smaller leagues, you can surely find better options for Week 1. As for fantasy players in larger leagues, you would only consider Ridder if you’re able to hedge his risk with more secure options at your RB or WR spots.

Player(s) you would start ahead of Desmond Ridder

Matthew Stafford, Kenny Pickett, or Brock Purdy would be more secure options at quarterback over Ridder. While none possess the ability to make plays with their legs, each has at least one season’s worth of starting experience with their teams. Pickett and Purdy in particular have no shortage of weapons around them to add some upside to their fantasy Week 1 value.