We are just over three months away from the kickoff of the 2015 NFL season in Foxboro, when a likely Tom Brady-less Patriots will host the Steelers. With a new season comes hope — I’m not talking about the Atlanta Falcons, I’m talking about our fantasy football teams.
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Can Falcons’ receiver Roddy White help your team this year?
The 33 year old was the 26th-highest scorer among wide receivers last year, so you’re not going to get a real game-changer by drafting him, but he’s a reliable contributor — his 132.10 points in 2014 averaged out at 9.44 per game.
If you’re wanting a Falcons player in your team at the position, the obvious choice is Julio Jones, although #11 will be in high demand by fantasy owners so you would be smart to take him early.
White should be available in the mid-to-late rounds in most leagues, and would be worth picking up to be your WR3 or to add depth on the bench. At best, he could be a decent WR2, but that would be a risky move.
Dec 14, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy Whit (84) carries the ball after a catch against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Schauf of DraftSharks.com agrees, and believes expectations should be lowered this year:
"“White’s decline would be more worrisome for his fantasy outlook if drafters were still treating him like a top-24 wideout. But they’re not. MyFantasyLeague.com’s public-league drafting through late May found him going in low WR3 range, early in Round 7 on average. White finished last season 17th in points per game among PPR wideouts. He doesn’t need to even do that well to present solid value this time around.”"
The great fantasy expert, Matthew Berry of ESPN, ranked White 36th among wide receivers in his latest 2015 fantasy rankings. He sits just above the likes of Victor Cruz, Larry Fitzgerald and Percy Harvin, and below Torrey Smith and Eric Decker.
From an Atlanta Falcons’ perspective, White will likely post another solid season and will be the perfect complement to Julio Jones in the passing game. If he stays healthy, White will be the WR2 in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
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As a fantasy owner, I would be cautious.
If he’s there late on, he’s worth taking. As a WR3 or player you can rotate in from the bench, he can be productive. He will benefit from playing in one the NFL’s best passing offenses led by Matt Ryan. Jones will draw a lot of attention from defensive coordinators, and this could open up opportunities for White to make receptions.
White won’t be the man to save your team on a Monday night when you need a savior. But what he can be is a solid piece to your lineup, who will contribute consistently and help accumulate points for your team.
If in need of depth at receiver late on and #84 is there — grab him.