Matt Ryan may be coming off a down year by his standards, but in the realm of fantasy sports, he remained a solid option at quarterback.
According to Pro Football Focus' Patrick Thorman, Ryan was one of the most undervalued fantasy QBs last season—in large part because of problems with traditional stats like passer rating.
That metric, created in 1973, doesn't isolate what one player accomplishes. On the other hand, PFF's QB rating, which considers dropped passes, throwaways, spikes and the work receivers do after the catch, paints Ryan in a better light.
In fact, no quarterback had a wider gap between traditional pass rating and PFF's version in 2015.
"Not only did Ryan's PFF QBR rank 10 places higher than his NFL passer rating, but his passing-game grade placed seventh out of 37 qualifiers and was his highest mark since 2012," Thorman wrote.
"Ryan's yards-per-attempt average of 7.5 was in line with a career 7.2 mark and was 12th-best of 42 passers with at least 100 attempts. Where he really fell off, and what kept him out of fantasy QB1 territory for the first time since 2009, was his touchdown rate (3.4)."
Indeed, Ryan's low touchdown total harmed his fantasy value, as did his career-high 16 interceptions.
But on the whole, his performance in 2015 wasn't as much of an outlier as many believe. Ryan was still more accurate than most; though he's not known for his speed, he was one of the few quarterbacks who didn't record a negative PFF grade when under pressure.
With a year of Kyle Shanahan's playbook under his belt and some new weapons on offense, things should be clear again for Ryan and Atlanta's offense in 2016.