Matt Ryan Boosts Fantasy Draft Status Versus Bengals

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 16: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons rolls out against the Cincinnati Bengals at Georgia Dome on August 16, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The fifth NFL season for quarterbacks is supposed to be a time they truly reach their prime. This appeared to be the case with Matt Ryan Thursday night. We break down the fantasy implications.

The Falcons left their first-string players out for extended action against the Cincinnati Bengals, and Matt Ryan made the most of his time on the field. The fifth-year quarterback completed 18 of 21 passes for a whopping 174 yards along with one touchdown in a little under two quarters of play.

Analysis: Fantasy owners have to be drooling over the potential here. The Falcons are making it clear they intend to pass the ball quite often this season. Ryan played into the middle of the second quarter, finishing with a phenomenal quarterback rating of 117.1. His offensive line was shaky at times, but they managed to settle down as the game went on.

Ryan threw several screen passes, including a few to Michael Turner, which is an extremely rare thing to see in Atlanta. It's clear the offense is progressing for the Falcons, and Ryan's fantasy owners will reap the benefits in 2012. Given his average draft position right now, he's one of the best values on the board

For more on Ryan and the Falcons, check out The Falcoholic.

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