It’s very difficult to keep your emotions out of our fantasy football draft. Yes, everyone has their favorite teams and players, but loving a player in real life is different than making a good fantasy football decision. If you are looking to have a lineup that you like the most – you probably won’t win many championships. No one is advocating drafting all the stars from your team’s rivals, but there is a happy medium.
Matt Ryan is a prime example in 2009. Atlanta fans love him after a great rookie season and the look of an NFL star quarterback. That can easily persuade a fantasy player to reach for a guy like Ryan on draft day. I’ve actually seen owners try to get as many players from their favorite team as possible. Other than the 2007 Patriots, that probably wouldn’t be a good strategy.
Ryan is a winner on the field and very valuable to the Falcons in 2009 and beyond, but not an elite fantasy football player. Here’s why: The Falcons are a team that is committed to the run and will win most of their games by Matt Ryan throwing under 30 passes a game and controlling the clock. That’s even more important in 2009 with a young defense to protect. Just with a lot fewer attempts and a strong running game, Ryan is lower in the rankings than Aaron Rodgers, Matt Schaub and Donovan McNabb. Ryan is a good value in the middle of the draft, but using a 5th round or higher selection is not ideal.