If you take all season branches in Atlas - you can skip this.
I will not take all branches, and not going for mythic gear. Also quite limited in time, so was calculating, how to get maximum shards having limited glory - like is it better to take the whole branch, or beginning of all, or half of two branches, for example. I intentionally not counted other prizes, and focused only on shards.
Below is the figure which shows the average cost of 1000 shards in Atlas badges, as it changes with progression over branch:
Each branch has 56 prizes. The lowest cost is near 1st and 2nd gear item (once they are taken). So, if you are limited in badges and don’t care about mythic gear (or has already taken it), the best approach would be to take “1/4th” of each Atlas gear branch (up to first gear item), then go for 2nd gear item in each branch, and only then, if you have badges, go for 3rd / 4th gear item in any order.
Gear branches key points:
Prize 14: 0.8M shards for 34k badges - 42.3 badges per 1000 shards
Prize 28: 1.4M shards for 101k badges (counted from the beginning of branch) - 71.7 badges per 1000 shards
Prize 42: 2.15M shards for 196k badges - 91.2 badges per 1000 shards
Prize 56: 3.55М shards for 329k badges - 92,7 badges per 1000 shards
Obviously, all other branches are worse in terms of badges per shards. Though, it is worth to take 1st prize in each primarch branch
Prize 1: 25k shards for 1.25k badges - 50 badges per 1000 shards
Prize 8: 50k shards for 10k badges - 200 badges per 1000 shards
Prize 29: 125k shards for 36k badges - 290 badges per 1000 shards
Rider branch (thanks to Morreion’s table here, as mine branch is opened already, so I can’t see price in badges):
Prize 14: 165k shards (all types, from 15k to 45k) for 17k badges - 101 badges per 1000 shards.
Then subsequently grow till 200 badges per 1000
Prize 49 (whole branch w/o 1 prize): 985k shards for 158k sigils - 160 badges per 1000 shards