Thursday - Jan 17, 2019

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The forgotten Wide Receiver

Let me hear it. I forgot Roddy White. Shame shame; everybody knows your name! That’s a fumble that even Adrian Peterson would be ashamed of. But I find it kind of funny that out of all the elite wide receiver talent, that White would be Mr. Irrelevant. It seems in fantasy circles that he is just starting to gain headway into the Top 8 or so fantasy options at the wide receiver position. Perhaps people are having a hard time forgetting the first couple of Atlanta Falcon seasons, the seasons where he appeared to be a first-round bust for the dirty birds. But exit Michael Vick and enter Matt Ryan, and White gains relevance. Not really a shocker there due to the fact that Vick was a running back trapped at the quarterback position. But regardless, since the entrance of Ryan, White’s stats have been pretty solid to say the least. He has had at least 1,000 yards and six touchdowns for the past three seasons. That’s pretty consistent. But he seems to do it so quietly that it goes almost unnoticed.

In a keeper format, what wide receiver seems to be in a better long-term situation? Larry Fitzgerald has no immediate help besides last year’s pick Beanie Wells. Reggie Wayne and Peyton Manning aren’t getting any younger. Randy Moss will most likely be a free agent after the season. I’d guess that the only two situations that are close would be DeSean Jackson and Calvin Johnson. Both have good offensive talent and young quarterbacks at the helm (the Eagles more than the Lions, obviously). Granted, this is a long-term evaluation in a keeper sense. Miles Austin and Tony Romo have short-term keeper value based on the question of whether Jerry Jones will pay

Austin
elite money. The only piece of the puzzle that seems to be chipping away for White is Tony Gonzalez. Gonzalez is still elite and needs to be watched by defenses, therefore opening the gates a little wider for White to run. But Gonzalez has a lot of miles on the tires. He’s not going to be playing too much longer. This obviously isn’t a giant problem, but that’s the biggest point. The only downside to White’s long-term potential is an aging tight end. That’s a lot of potential future production.

There are a couple of things to be aware of before making White your number one option. First off, besides Gonzalez, who is a receiving threat on the Falcons? Michael Jenkins? White needs some more company to open up a little more breathing room. Secondly, Gonzalez and Michael Turner are redzone matchup nightmares. Both of them have spent a lot of time celebrating in front of the field goal posts. White may not be targeted within the 20 as much as other elite wide receivers like Calvin Johnson and Randy Moss due to the effectiveness of Gonzalez and Turner. The only other problem is White’s conversion rate. He had something along the lines of 165 targets last season. How many catches? HALF! Eighty-five is a good amount of catches, but that’s a pretty low percentage for an elite wide receiver. How long will it take until Ryan establishes a more consistent chemistry with a different wide receiver?

All in all, I’d like to say, “Sorry Roddy.” I didn’t mean to discount you. I’d place him in the Top 10 options for next season, and probably number 8-9 overall positional in a keeper format. White belongs behind  Andre Johnson, Randy Moss, Reggie Wayne, Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, DeSean Jackson and Miles Austin. I’d place him in the Brandon Marshall category, which isn’t bad company to be in.

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