Atlanta Falcons’ wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones combined to miss 14 games in 2013, which played a big role in the team finishing 4-12. With White limited in multiple other games, fantasy owners were left without significant contribution for the majority of the season from two of the top dozen options at the position entering Week 1.
One positive to come out of Jones and White being out was the emergence of Harry Douglas, who topped 1,000 yards for the first time in his career and had a career-high 85 receptions while starting 11 games. Jones suffered the foot injury that ended his season in Week 5 against the New York Jets, and in the following seven games Douglas had 50 catches for 687 yards and two touchdowns while becoming a popular waiver wire addition for fantasy owners.
Fantasy owners that had relied on him were surely not thrilled with an ill-timed two-catch, 20-yard effort against the Green Bay Packers in Week 14, but Douglas had 17 receptions over the final three regular season games to finish what can be called a breakout season.
Could bigger things be in store for Douglas in 2014?
The retirement of tight end Tony Gonzalez has fueled speculation the Falcons will use more three and four-wide receiver sets next season. That would be good news for Douglas, since his playing time would not drop off substantially with White and Jones back at full strength.
Under the assumption White and Jones are 100 percent healthy for the start of the season, and things stay that way all season, Douglas is unlikely to catch 85 passes again in 2014. But I think he can be an asset in PPR leagues, with 60 receptions for 700-800 yards and a few touchdowns a reasonable projection for him.