Calvin Ridley is back! I have been waiting for this for what feels like forever.
No stories or jokes, we are just getting right into this one. I am too excited to be clever.
Calvin Ridley, WR JAC
Ridley was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2018 NFL Draft. Wasting no time, Ridley put up a solid rookie year with 64 receptions, 800 yards, and ten touchdowns. Julio Jones who, am I right? His second year was just as solid with almost identical stats, but just three fewer touchdowns. Third-year breakout is a saying for a reason, and Ridley is one of those reasons. Finishing the season with 90 receptions, 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns vaulted Ridley to the dynasty WR8 heading into the 2021 season.
After a rocky start to the season, Ridley stepped away from the Falcons for mental health reasons. A few months later, it came to light that Ridley was being suspended for an entire season by the NFL for gambling. If you haven’t read his article talking about his struggles during this time, I highly recommend it.
During last season, the Falcons traded Ridley to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Now that he is reinstated into the NFL, the 28-year-old wide receiver will be walking into a much-improved situation. He has a creative head coach, an outstanding group of wide receivers, Travis Etienne in the backfield, and oh, yeah, Trevor Lawrence throwing the ball.
All of this being a very specific circumstance makes valuing Ridley’s startup and trade value very difficult. While I cannot help you with the draft value part, I can definitely use the DLF Trade Finder and Trade Analyzer to go find some deals and see how we feel about them.
I actually really like Pat Freiermuth as a player and as a fantasy asset. He is extremely consistent in a position where that is not the norm. He is also not a top-tier talent at the position and since this league isn’t premium scoring for tight ends, I would send this/accept this for Ridley very quickly.
I will point out that I do not believe Ridley will come back into the league and immediately return to his 2020 form and be a top-ten wide receiver (though it is definitely in the range of outcomes). I also believe that talent doesn’t just disappear and this will be the best offense he has played in during his time in the NFL. I would take that swing on the upside versus the steady hand at tight end.
I do like this trade in the other direction if I am a rebuilding team though. Shedding a decent amount of age and getting that steady producer at a one-off position is a very solid move.
In the same light as the last trade, this is something I would be very good with spending to acquire Ridley and also a price I would feel good about receiving if I was pushing my team toward a rebuild. There is not much to say about this one but I figure this will turn into a very popular trade as we near the season.
This is a 12-team superflex league.
Look, I get it, Purdy looked very good at the end of last season. He also just had major elbow surgery that will keep him out for at least the beginning of the season and there is still the situation where Trey Lance is the starting quarterback for the 49ers. I can’t imagine sending Ridley away for this. Even in a rebuild, there needs to be something better.
This is why it pays to hold onto running backs who are entering into free agency. There will always be someone who is excited about a running back landing in a new spot. I am sure David Montgomery will be pretty good in Detroit with Jamaal Williams heading to the Saints but I don’t see Montgomery and Ridley being close enough in value that a third-round pick bridges that gap.
This was the only trade I could find where Ridley was a major part of the trade and I would take the other side. This is either real respect for Ridley or real disrespect for Pittman.
I don’t know what “journalistic integrity” is or anything but clearly it should be said that I am a huge Calvin Ridley fan. I did as best as I could to find trades that I would be able to land on either side or at least understand the logic behind them. It really does seem to me that the possibility of Ridley being very good isn’t baked into his price yet. Of course, there is also the chance he flames out and that thought can make people want to trade him away quickly and maybe not for the best price. If you are in a league with me and you feel that way, feel free to hit that “send trade” button.
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