The Atlanta Falcons have become a dominant NFL team, earning a playoff spot for the past three years. The Falcons have boosted the talent on the team by drafting quarterback Matt Ryan in 2008 and then wide receiver Julio Jones in 2011.
While the young players have brought success to the team, one veteran on the offensive side of the ball has proven to be an asset the team won’t replace. I’m talking about wide receiver Roddy White, who is entering his ninth season in league.
Amongst the receiver position, all the fantasy talk is geared towards Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall. White seems to be a forgotten dominant fantasy football receiver. With all the attention on other receivers, White’s stock has fallen, which is a good thing for fantasy players eyeing White in the draft.
Last season, White gave his fantasy owners 1,351 total yards with seven touchdowns on 92 catches. In comparison to his highly sought after counterpart, Jones, White recorded more total yards (+153) but less touchdowns (-3).
What can we gain out of this information? Well, first of all, it proves that Ryan has no favorite target and likes to spread the ball around. On a pass heavy offense, White will not be forgotten.
Second, the two are interchangeable as far as which one to draft with both receivers virtually being the No. 1 receiver on the team.
The veteran, White, has yet to show any decline in performance. White’s superior route running and sheer athleticism create numerous opportunities for Ryan to get him the ball. In the second half of the 2012 season, White went over the century mark in four games and saw at least 10 targets in five games. These are the type of numbers a fantasy player wants to see if they are going to draft White in the 2013 season.
A major factor in White’s and the Falcon’s success is that the team is placed in the NFC South Division. They play very porous defenses for six games of the season. The Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers accumulated a total of 1,211 points against them during the 2012 season, providing White with plenty of scoring opportunities.
Currently, White is positioned as the 12th-best receiving option in fantasy football. While he may not post top-five fantasy numbers, White will not disappoint. As a consistent, productive weapon on the Falcon’s offense, which plays against some less-than-stellar defenses, White will not fall any lower than his No. 12 ranking.