Fantasy Football: Trade For Atlanta Falcons' Roddy White

By kylesoppe
USA Today Sports

Roddy White got his legs tangled up in the corner of the endzone of a preseason game on Aug. 15, likely around the time you were getting ready to draft. Experts acknowledged that he was a bit hobbled, but every report that came out in the following week or two seemed to downplay the injury, pointing to White’s track record as evidence that the Atlanta Falcons‘ most consistent receiver would be ready when his fantasy owners needed him most. While White has in fact extended his consecutive games played streak to 132 through four weeks this season, his 10 catches for 84 yards and no touchdowns has left him on many a fantasy bench, not the ideal spot for a player you drafted as your WR1 (his positional ADP was no worse than tenth on any major site).

But your faith will be rewarded sooner rather than later. White, who, prior to this past September hadn’t caught fewer than 18 passes in a four game month since emerging as a fantasy stud in 2007, is clearly getting healthier; that’s not just me talking from watching him play every week, the Falcons’ coaching staff clearly agrees. Since acknowledging that the ankle was more injured than he first let on after a season opening loss to the New Orleans Saints, the soon to be 32-year-old wideout has seen a steady increase in the percentage of offensive snaps he is on the field for (from 53.1 percent to 71.2 percent to 97.3 percent) and targets (from three to four to nine). While the nine targets only resulted in three catches for a disappointing 28 yards, it matched his average target rate from last season. Expecting White to record his seventh straight season with at least 83 catches for 1,100 yards and six touchdowns probably isn’t reasonable, but expecting that type of per game production (six catches for 75 yards and a touchdown every other week) after the Falcons’ Week 6 bye is well within reason.

Now is the time to buy very low on White, as his current owners are frustrated (he’s being started in less than 40 percent of leagues), and likely will be listening to offers. There are only two quarterbacks in the entire NFL who rank in the top 10 in total pass attempts and have completed a higher percentage of passes than Matt Ryan, and they are two guys you might have heard of  — Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.

No part of me hesitates to label Matty Ice an “elite” fantasy quarterback, and the “back of the trading card” speaks volumes for White’s ability to produce when healthy. The NFC South is an entertaining division, but they play very little defense, something that will help elevate White back to WR1 status in PPR leagues for the final 10 weeks of the fantasy football season. The one thing that tends to slow down pass oriented offenses as the season moves along is poor weather, but the Falcons play two at two cold weather venue’s all season long.

Wide receivers ranked in the top 50 that I prefer White to include: Torrey Smith, Jordy Nelson,  DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon and Andre Johnson, just to name a few.

Need a running back fill in this week, as week five seems to be the week of the injured/bye week RB? Or maybe you have a quarterback conundrum that you need help with? Whatever your fantasy concern, I’m here to help. Shoot your questions to me @unSOPable23, and if I really like it, it’ll be the next topic for discussion in an article.

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