WR Roddy White, Free agent
HT: 6-1, WT: 201, Born: 11-2-1981, College: UAB, Drafted: Round 1, Pick 27
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Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: R Mathews (41), A Luck (42), Roddy White (43), T Gerhart (44), M Crabtree (45)
Position: P Garcon (39-WR15), V Cruz (40-WR16), Roddy White (43 - WR17), M Crabtree (45-WR18), C Patterson (49-WR19)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: L Fitzgerald (38), V Cruz (39), Roddy White (40), M Stafford (41), M Crabtree (42)
Position: L Fitzgerald (38-WR15), V Cruz (39-WR16), Roddy White (40 - WR17), M Crabtree (42-WR18), C Patterson (48-WR19)
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Roddy White is the Falcons' #2 wideout despite entering the 2014 season at 32 years of age. Unfortunately, White only managed 93 targets for 63/711/3 receiving over parts of 13 games last season - he was hampered for a long stretch of the season with a high ankle sprain and pulled hamstring and didn't really recover top form until late in the year. Over the three seasons prior to 2013, White averaged 102 receptions, 1,345 yards receiving, and 8.3 TDs per season, although the reception numbers did decline from 115 to 100 and then 92 during 2010-2012 as Julio Jones came increasingly to the fore as the Falcons' top threat at wide receiver. Together, White and Jones form one of the most-feared tandems of starting wide receivers in the NFL. In addition, now that legendary tight end Tony Gonzalez is in retirement, White and his compatriots at wide receiver - Jones and Harry Douglas - are likely to see even more opportunities to catch the football during the upcoming NFL season as the wide receivers will inherit some of the 120-130 targets and 80-90 receptions that Gonzalez handled annually while with the Falcons.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - The Falcons' starter was in and out of the lineup all during the first few series and was limited to two catches in this game. The first was a sideline comeback on a scramble drill where he made an excellent boundary adjustment to make a leaning catch whle dragging his feet in the first half. The second catch was a short flat route where the Saints' zone gave White the shallow area to make the catch and gain a few yards to the Saints' 3. There was a third target, but White broke inside and Ryan threw the ball outside. Overall, White didn't look like anything more than a decoy because he was not releasing off the line with acceleration. His head and shoulder pads remained high and he was not making hard breaks as we are accustomed to seeing from one of the best route technicians in the NFL today. White's issues became so notable to the Saints that the New Orleans cornerbacks were abandoning its coverage of White to help defender shallow routes before the ball was even in the air. Considering that White has missed three-and-a-half weeks of practice and still had to convince the Falcons staff that he could play today is a good indication that White is not near full strength. Fantasy owners can begin to consider White a safe option once he can begin practicing 2-3 days in a row.
Week 2 - White looked better in this game, but he still doesn't look like the player who this passing offense leans on when he's healthy. White started the game, but after a couple of plays he was sent to the sideline until the two-minute warning. He caught a five-yard in-cut during the first half's two-minute drill. He then had two catches in the fourth quarter, including another incut for eight yards and a six-yard hook for a first down just inside the two-minute warning. None of these passes were routes in tight coverage and the Rams defense was giving up these short plays. As White indicated on Twitter, until he practices during the week he won't be useful for fantasy owners.
Week 3 - White looked better in this game, but only incrementally so. He is still not running routes that make him one of the best receivers in the game: deep outs, deep comebacks, hooks, digs, and slants. He's essentially running crossing routes and sitting down under zone as part of trips and twins sets in contrast to when he's healthy and the single receiver facing man coverage. That said, White was a little quicker and able to stop and adjust to the football in a way he hadn't the past two weeks. He nearly made a diving catch in the third quarter but lost control of the pass as he fell chest-first to the turf. Earlier in the play, he got open on defensive back Nolan Carroll on a crossing route in the back of the end zone, forcing Carroll to apply an arm bar and draw an interference foul. This set up a play action touchdown to rookie tight end Levine Toilolo. Otherwise, White's targets came underneath zone in those bunch sets and until he's practicing daily, he's not ready to perform to his potential.
Week 4 - The veteran looked a lot better in the first half of this game than he has all year. He was more explosive off the line of scrimmage and even made some nice dips and breaks. He actually did a good job of driving his coverage deep ad working back to the ball on a curl for six yards in the first half. He appeared as if he was almost all the way back, but as the game progressed it became apparent that White is likely multiple weeks away. His most effective plays in this game still weren't catches. At least one of those plays was actually a target, and a deep one at that. White got behind Aqib Talib, who played well all night, and forced the defender to inflict a pass interference foul and put the Falcons inside the Patriots' 30. On the following play, White was even with his coverage up the right sideline that had a shot of being a touchdown reception if White didn't get his legs tangled with the coverage. However, the rest of White's best plays were as a trips receiver with Tony Gonzalez stacked behind him. White would initiate contact with the defender within the first five yards and maintain that contact to allow Gonzalez to work underneath for chain-moving completions. Even so, another positive in this game was that White earned the potential game-winning target on a 4th and 7 crossing route, but Ryan led White a little too far and his diving attempt in tight coverage was dropped.
Week 5 - The Falcons receiver continues to see the routes called for him expand as the week progress. He ran more hooks and comebacks in this game than in previous outings. He also got open on a slant route. However, White's breaks continue to lack the control and sudden change of direction that have been the hallmark of his game for years. The Falcons are compensating for White's slow recovery by featuring Tony Gonzalez as the backside receiver opposite trips sets and using him on some of these sideline routes. The result is reliable yardage, but the tight end lacks the speed to run routes of the same depth as quickly as a fully healthy White can. The veteran receiver fumbled the ball twice in this game. One of those plays was the aforementioned slant where he made the catch, had the ball knocked loose, and fortunately watched Julio Jones save the day by scooping the ball from the turf and gaining another 15 yards. White then had the ball knocked loose on a quick-breaking route underneath the defense, but Atlanta also recovered this late-half reception. White suffered a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter and missed the final frame. Stay tuned for reports on its severity.
Week 10 - White began the game with an intermediate cross from the slot on a dig route against zone for 20 yards. Richard Sherman and the Seahawks' pass rush shut down White and the Falcons' passing game most of the day, limiting Matt Ryan to short routes. Even so, White demonstrated a lot more confidence with his burst off the line of scrimmage and his general movement as a route runner. He was more fluid and didn't appear limited. The only things that held back Whtie as his conditioning - something his coaches explained would be the case before the game - Richard Sherman's coverage, and the Seahawks' pass rush.
Week 11 - White had an up and down day, but he still doesn't look the same despite showing signs of getting a little closer each week. He caught a 2nd and 10 pass in the first half where he fought for extra yardage near the first down marker and voluntarily fumbled the football when two different defenders were pulling White's legs in opposite directions like a wishbone. Tampa recovered and it ended a promising drive. White did get behind Johnathan Banks and DaShon Goldson on a deep cross but Matt Ryan overshot the throw. In the second half, White dropped a 3rd-and-one throw over the middle that was low and away; a ball White often catches but he let bounce of hits mitts and he seemed a half-step slow. He was also a half-step slow on a comeback just at the edge of the boundary where Ryan threw to a spot. White also dropped a 4th-and-one pass over the middle after getting hit by the DB. White might re-emerge as a viable fantasy threat during the fantasy playoffs if he continues to get healthy but the fact he still appeared a half-step slow and worried about his legs, is a telling sign not to count on it.
Week 12 - His first catch was a 10-yard gain on a crossing route on 3rd and 17 in the second series for the Falcons' offense that set up Atlanta's first field goal. His next catch came in the fourth quarter for a 14-yard gain on a crossing route where he slipped behind Keenan Lewis on 3rd and 10 to get Atlanta outside its own 20 with 6:00 in the game. Otherwise, the cornerback Lewis limited White in this contest. The way the Falcons are using White demonstrates that the receiver still lacks the explosiveness and stability of movement to be the precision, hard-cutting, move-the-chains force he has ben in Atlanta for years.
Week 13 - White isn't all the way back, but he played well enough to earn targets on routes that I haven't seen him run all season. This includes back-shoulder fades, deep outs, deep digs, and deep comebacks that require speed cuts or strong acceleration. White was good enough to threaten the deep-intermediate zone of the Bills defense and win single coverage with athletic cornerbacks Leodis McKelvin and Stephon Gilmore. White almost won a back-shoulder fade up the right sideline against McKelvin in the first half, but he turned a little late to the ball and only got a hand on it. However, White beat McKelvin on the next play with a double move up the right sideline for a 30-yard gain. He also beat Gilmore on a deep cross in the third quarter and made some tough catches on tight-window throws over the middle to get the Falcons into short down and distance situations that Atlanta had a much easier time converting thanks to White forcing the Bills to respect his play and not double-team Tony Gonzalez or anticipate the type of routes that Harry Douglas runs beyond the short zone because White couldn't make plays for most of the season beyond the short zone as a wide-open check-down.
Week 14 - The Falcons re-installed some short passes off play action that rely on the receiver to get open fast and make plays in tight coverage. White began the day earning a first down on a quick play action throw as the backside receiver. He also got open on a variety of hooks, slants, and crossing routes. White also executed a nice swim move over Sam Shields on a deep go route up the left sideline that Matt Ryan overthrew in the first half. This play had a shot to be a touchdown if the timing was better. White's best catch was a 3rd and 9 slant at the Packers' two in the first half where White had to make the play against Sam Shields in tight coverage. This play set up a two-yard touchdown pass to Tony Gonzalez. White's biggest gain was a 31-yard corner route on the second pass of the final series in the waning seconds of the game. The fact that Atlanta is returning to some of White's bread and butter plays is a good sign even if the elements limited this week's upside in the passing game.
Week 15 - White's best gain of the day was a 19-yard catch on an out past midfield during the first drive of the game. Otherwise he was used on hitches and crossing routes. He converted a couple of first-down targets, but his most effective contribution to Atlanta overall was lining beside Tony Gonzalez in trips sets and forcing the opposing defense to choose one to double and give Matt Ryan an easy underneath option with the other. White is much healthier than he was to start the season, but he won't be the same player until 2014.
Week 16 - White still isn't all the way back, but he's probably 85-90 percent based on what he did against the 49ers. It should be noted that a lot of White's coverage was against off man or zone looks where he was able to make hard breaks under or between the zone. However, White's acceleration and cutting was markedly better than it has been up to last week where it was looking much improved but not quite this good. White ran a number of comebacks, outs, digs, and hitches with strong acceleration off the line and burst and control with his breaks. His 12 catches for 141 yards included a 39-yard post route where he made a beautiful adjustment late in the route to earn more cushion between safeties to make the catch. The placement of the throw was Matt Ryan's doing, but the adjustment was equally good and made the game close in the fourth quarter. In fact, the reason this game was so close was White converting multiple third downs in the short and intermediate range of the field on in-cuts, hitches, comebacks, outs, and digs. This is the Roddy White that most fantasy owners expected to begin the year. White will be an undervalued commodity in 2014 among those who have not watched his late season play.
Week 17 - Physically, White continues to look better every week since recovering from his high ankle sprain. He was open for most of the day against zone coverage and Atlanta continued to incorporate hard-breaking perimeter timing routes. However, White had four drops in this game and three of them were plays where he made the initial catch but failed to secure the ball because he looked away from the pass to locate the zone defender over top. White's first drop was a pass over the middle where he had to reach away from his body on a pass high and behind his momentum on a bad throw. Even on this play, the ball slipped through his hands. White continued to make plays in this game, including a 39-yard post pattern for a score. He beat Quentin Mikell by two steps and caught the ball over his inside shoulder in stride on this second-half play. A healthy White paired with a healthy Julio Jones should make both receivers good fantasy starters like they were in 2012.