Desmond Ridder is a Late-Round Flier in SuperFlex & Best Ball Formats

May 11, 2022
Desmond Ridder is a Late-Round Flier in SuperFlex & Best Ball Formats

After countless social media debates, plenty of smoke screens from NFL teams, and a few-round QB slide, it was the Atlanta Falcons who selected Desmond Ridder with the 74th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. He’ll join his closest NFL comparison, Marcus Mariota, in Atlanta’s QB room to compete for a shot to play in his rookie campaign.

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When asked, head Coach Arthur Smith didn’t shut down the idea of Ridder getting on the field in 2022, saying “As with any position, the best guy is going to play.” If the rookie does get substantial playing time this season, he has some young talent around him on a team in the midst of a rebuild.

Desmond Ridder as a Bearcat

As a four-year starter for Cincinnati, Ridder threw for 10,239 yards and 87 touchdowns, with 28 interceptions. He also ran for an additional 2,180 yards with 28 scores on 501 attempts. The 22-year-old leaves Cincy with school records in both total yards and passing touchdowns and was undefeated at home as a Bearcat (26-0).

Ridder’s arm strength is arguably the best at his position in this year’s draft class, and he also has the legs to get out of trouble and make plays, which is something fantasy managers love to chase. Some of the knocks did include accuracy and decision making, which are things that can be improved upon with maturity.

Fantasy Outlook with the Falcons

Ridder landed in a wonderful spot from an opportunity standpoint, as the only QB standing in his way is Mariota, who’s been an NFL backup since 2019 and has had his own battle with erratic play and injuries. The rookie will be given a chance to win the job this summer, and if not, could also see the field at any point in 2022.

Atlanta may be rebuilding, but they have some legit weapons, and aren’t to be dismissed for fantasy purposes. If Ridder plays sooner than later, he’ll have hybrid-trailblazer Cordarelle Patterson, young TE Kyle Pitts (who can also be considered somewhat hybrid), and fellow rookie Drake London to work with, all of whom have the potential for fantasy goodness this season.

If Ridder does see significant playing time, his rushing prowess will also plump up his seat at the fantasy table, maybe providing an extra cushion for comfort.

Let’s not get too carried away as far as Ridder’s fantasy value is concerned though, as he’s not draftable in 1QB formats, and should be considered more of a waiver wire add, dependent upon playing time as the season progresses. In SuperFlex and 2QB leagues, the Cincinnati product will get scooped up in double-digit rounds based on the potential for a latter-season surge. Consider him a very late-round stab in season-long best ball formats.

Bottom Line

  • With a big arm and fantasy-desirable wheels, Desmond Ridder landed in a great spot as far as opportunity, and will compete for starting duties with Marcus Mariota.
  • Regardless of games played, Ridder is not on the radar in 1QB redraft leagues, but should be drafted in SuperFlex and 2QB formats in the double-digit rounds.
  • When it comes to best ball, the rookie’s current Underdog ADP is in the 18th and final round as QB36, but that could easily rise if he showcases starting ability when training camps get underway.
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