With the NFL Draft just over a month away, I’ve been breaking down top prospects and their ideal fits for Dynasty fantasy football, continuing with Desmond Ridder. If you need a refresher on Dynasty, I wrote about how fun it can be in my previous articles. Here are the prospects I’ve covered so far:
- Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
- Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
- David Bell, WR, Purdue
- Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M
Lucio Vainesman also broke down the best landing spots for these prospects, too:
- Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
- Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
- Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
- Drake London, WR, USC
- Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
- Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State
Today, I’m breaking down the best Dynasty situations for Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder. I believe these teams would be the best places for Ridder to see long-term success in fantasy football. Keep in mind, this series focuses more on best fits for the player as opposed to the team.
DESMOND RIDDER, QB, CINCINNATI
Ridder has the traits to be a long-term starter in the league but he’s far from a finished prospect. Joe Marino specifically noted Ridder’s ball placement and decision-making as areas of potential improvement. Still, there are many reasons for a team to fall in love with Ridder, perhaps even toward the end of the first round.
“For a team with a sound infrastructure and running game that can be relied upon, Ridder has the makings of a reliable starting quarterback with appealing physical traits, experience, and leadership qualities,” said Marino via Ridder’s scouting report.
5 BEST DYNASTY FITS FOR RIDDER
The common theme with Ridder’s best Dynasty fits is for him to sit and develop. He’d get that opportunity in Atlanta. The Falcons just signed Marcus Mariota to replace Matt Ryan and while Mariota will get a chance to rejuvenate his career, there’s no guarantee he becomes the face of the franchise. That could open the door for Ridder down the road or even sometime this season if Mariota doesn’t play up to par. Ridder also seems to fit what Head Coach Arthur Smith hopes this offense can be. Last season, they had the 19th-most passing attempts in football, yet they frequently resorted to two-tight end sets—an indictment of Smith’s time in Tennessee. Don’t expect a vicious passing attack next season. A more run-based approach, like Smith had with Derrick Henry, could do wonders to mask Ridder’s passing deficiencies. Like Marino said in Ridder’s scouting report, a situation like Atlanta would do wonders for his development. Count the Falcons as a top team for Ridder to reach his true fantasy potential.
On the surface, this isn’t a fit I love for Ridder, at least not right away. Jared Goff isn’t exactly the Lions’ quarterback of the future so I can see a rookie like Ridder being thrust into the spotlight earlier in Detroit than he would be in the other destinations on this list. With that said, Goff proved to be somewhat serviceable down the stretch of last season. That could be enough for Ridder to stay on the bench and—you guessed it—wait his turn. What I like about Ridder’s fit with the Lions comes down to the two premier traits from top fantasy quarterbacks: volume and rushing ability. As long as the Lions stay in rebuild mode, we should expect them to continue to be in the top half of pass attempts per game. As for rushing ability, Ridder checks that box.
“He is an outstanding runner where his size, vision, and ability to break tackles shine. Because of his mobility, the entire playbook is available for Ridder and he doesn’t have any physical limitations,” said Marino. This situation looks even better when you remember Goff has a potential out in his contract next offseason.
You know that quote I threw in earlier from Joe Marino in Ridder’s scouting report? The one about a sound structure in a reliable running game? Yeah, that fits the Colts. For a team that just finished with the second-most rushing yards in the league, Indianapolis has room to improve at quarterback. Perhaps that’s why they just traded for Matt Ryan. But he’s 36 years old with two years left on this deal. After Carson Wentz‘s abysmal finish to the season, the Colts may leave Ryan on a short leash if he performs poorly. That all sounds like music to the ears of any rookie quarterback, especially Ridder. While his playing opportunities may be limited in his rookie season, Ridder could sit and develop before being thrust into the driver’s seat of a well-oiled machine. If Ridder is drafted by Indianapolis, he should be a top Dynasty pick in rookie drafts.
Since Pittsburgh’s dealt with Ben Roethlisberger for the past 17 years, we haven’t really gotten to see them develop a young quarterback (sorry not sorry, Mason Rudolph truthers). That’s probably why the Steelers signed Mitchell Trubisky to a two-year contract. But similar to the Falcons, the Steelers can still use a long-term plan at quarterback. Enter Ridder, who can take his time to grow as a passer before taking over for Trubisky—either this season or next. The Steelers could also have a friendly offense toward fantasy quarterbacks. They threw the ball at the third-highest rate in the league in 2021. Another factor that helps passers produce in fantasy is a solid supporting cast. It’s even better when two of those teammates—Najee Harris and Diontae Johnson—are young, proven pass-catchers. I find it hard to believe Mike Tomlin and Co. wouldn’t eventually get the best out of Ridder.
For my money, Tennessee is the best long-term fit for Ridder. They have everything a young quarterback like Ridder could want—at least from a Dynasty standpoint. Wide receiver A.J. Brown is here to stay, Henry can take the load off any obstacles Ridder may face and Ryan Tannehill is a fine quarterback with not much long-term upside. Besides, it’s not often a rookie quarterback can land with a No. 1 seed. Ironically, Ridder’s pro comparison in his scouting report is Tannehill. Ridder would be a near-lock to be used in the run game since Tannehill has rushed 40+ times in each of the last two seasons. For what it’s worth, Tannehill also ran for 260+ yards and seven touchdowns in both years. But where Ridder offers immense fantasy intrigue is down the field. Ridder arguably has a bigger, better arm than Tannehill so even if Ridder just slides right into Tannehill’s current role, he could still make an impact in fantasy. Ridder’s Dynasty value lies in what he can bring to the Titans’ offense, not what’s already there. And I love what he can bring if given the proper amount of time to develop in Tennessee.