Losing Matt Ryan not tragic for other Falcons 

December, 1, 2009
12/01/09
11:02
AM ET
I can't think of many cases in which I call an injury a "good thing" in fantasy football, but the fact is, those who have been relying on Matt Ryan shouldn't be too upset about the Atlanta Falcons' quarterback already being ruled out for the team's Week 13 game against the Philadelphia Eagles because of turf toe. If you noticed the trend in our rankings, we weren't counting on Ryan for much anyway, as he's been struggling for much of this season and rarely approaching his draft-day value. Now you have no choice but to sit him, which you should have been doing anyway.

Ryan will be replaced by Chris Redman, who looked pretty good in relief Sunday, throwing for 243 yards and two touchdowns for a nice 17 fantasy points. But since it was against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it's foolish to overrate the performance and expect that against the Eagles. Is Redman as good as Ryan? Of course not. But does this quarterback change, obviously forced because of injury, hurt other members of the Falcons? I don't think it hurts one bit.

On the contrary, the way Ryan had been playing, and with health question marks at running back, I wonder if I might actually bump up Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez in my rankings this week. White hasn't had a bad season by any means, despite Ryan's inconsistent play, and one of fantasy's top wide receivers the previous two seasons was targeted 13 times Sunday. What do we always infer when a backup quarterback -- young and raw, or old but rusty -- enters a game and must start the following week? That he'll lean heavily on his star players, and certainly White and Gonzalez are of that caliber. The Eagles can prepare for Redman, a career backup who has started just 10 times in a 10-year career, and there's little chance I would expect Redman to deliver another 17 fantasy points, but he's going to be throwing the ball plenty, and as such, his targets retain their value.