2012 Fantasy Football Profile and Projection: Falcons WR Roddy White

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2012 Fantasy Football Profile and Projection: Falcons WR Roddy White
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Atlanta Falcons receiver Roddy White has been a model of consistency.

Over the past two seasons, White has had more than 100 receptions and 1,200 yards each season. Going back five years, White has had 80-plus receptions and 1,100-plus yards every year. As impressively, White has yet to miss a regular season game in the seven seasons, so far, of his NFL career.

Not only does White hold the record for most 1,000-yard seasons in Falcons' franchise history (five), he's the only Falcons receiver to reach 1,000 yards since 1999. And only Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald (6,480) has more receiving yards than White (6,422) during the past five years.

White led the NFL in targets (181) last year and has ranked either first or second in targets in each of the past three seasons.

That might change, however, with teammate Julio Jones entering his second season.

Although he fell short of 1,000 yards—primarily due to missing three games with a hamstring injury—Jones averaged more receiving yards per game than Cincinnati's A.J. Green. Green became the first rookie receiver since Marques Colston to have a 1,000-yard season.

The disparity in targets last season between White and Jones (96) was enormous. That gap should narrow in 2012 and beyond. In other words, Jones should get more targets and White should get less.

But the offense seems ready to transition to more of a passing offense than in years past, especially considering Michael Turner turned 30 this offseason and is coming off back-to-back 300-carry seasons.

If so, Jones may see a big bump in his targets and White only a modest reduction.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Although White (100) had nearly twice as many receptions as Jones (54), they had the same number of touchdowns (eight) and Jones had a much higher average yards per reception (17.8 to 13.0).

Meanwhile, quarterback Matt Ryan set career highs in passing yards (4,177) and touchdowns (29). After the Falcons' bye, Ryan was especially good and posted a 20:4 touchdown-to-interception ratio

 

(Strength of) Schedule

Based on the cumulative fantasy points allowed to wide receivers last year by all of the Falcons opponents this year, White and Falcons' receivers have one of the top-10 most favorable schedules from a fantasy perspective and a top-five favorable schedule in the fantasy postseason (Weeks 14-16).

All three of the Falcons' opponents from Weeks 14 to 16 ranked in the bottom 11 against the pass last year: Panthers, Giants and Lions. 

 

2012 Outlook

White was targeted so often that even if the Ryan threw it to him 25 percent less last year, he still would have finished with 136 targets. That is one more than what Buffalo's Stevie Johnson had, and he ranked ninth in the league.

White should still be one of the most targeted receivers in the league and finish with his franchise-record sixth consecutive 1,000-yard season—even as Jones becomes even more of a focal point in the passing game. Both White and Jones are ranked inside my top 10 fantasy wide receivers this year. 

 

Dynasty Outlook

About to turn 31 in November, White is better in redraft formats than dynasty leagues, but he should have several more highly-productive seasons. If I could own only one Falcons receiver on a long-term basis, however, that guy would clearly be Julio Jones.

 

Projection: 95 Receptions, 1,190 Yards and Eight TDs

 

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