Fantasy Football: Roddy White Vs. Greg Jennings

Matthew BeckCorrespondent IAugust 5, 2009

SEATTLE - OCTOBER 12:  Greg Jennings #85 of the Green Bay Packers warms up prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks on October 12, 2008 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. The Packers defeated the Seahawks 27-17. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)

Roddy White vs. Greg Jennings

After great 2008 seasons, both Greg Jennings and Roddy White will be among the top wide receivers taken in this year’s fantasy drafts.  But which one should you choose first when you’re on the clock?

The Falcons were a surprise team last season, as was their number one wide receiver White.  He was able to find the end zone seven times on 1,382 yards receiving.

Heading into 2009 the Falcons have high expectations for White, but they did acquire the best tight end in the league in an off-season trade, Tony Gonzalez.  Gonzalez may take away some of White’s receptions, since Matt Ryan is still a young and growing quarterback in the NFL.

The offensive line for the Falcons is ranked third in the NFL, which means that Ryan will have plenty of time to get the ball down field to White.  The rest of the Falcons receiving core didn’t have much of an impact at all in 2008, in which the second leading receiver was Michael Jenkins with 777 yards receiving and only three touchdowns.

White’s 2009 projected stats according to Sporting News:

Receptions:  86, Yards:  1,276, YPG:  80, Touchdowns:  7, Fantasy Points:  168.3

Although the Packers finished the season 6-10 without a playoff berth, the team seemed to find a great tandem in Aaron Rodgers and Jennings.   Jennings finished in the top 10 in both receiving yards (6th) and touchdowns (8th) last season, while Rodgers made himself a top fantasy quarterback.

Jennings inked a huge contract in the offseason that should make him play loose in the upcoming season.  The 2009 receiving core consists of Jennings, Donald Driver and Jordy Nelson, with rising star Donald Lee at tight end.

If the offensive line for the Packers, who is ranked 15th heading into 2009, can continue to give Rodgers time to air out the ball then Jennings will flourish as the number option on the team.  He led the NFL with eight receptions of 40 yards or more in 2008, with an average of 16.2 yards per catch for the Packers.

Jennings’ 2009 projected stats according to Sporting News:

Receptions:  82, Yards:  1,309, YPG:  87, Touchdowns:  9, Fantasy Points:  182.9

The winner:  Greg Jennings

What I like best about Jennings is that he gets plenty of big plays opportunities each game, and the fact that the Packers offense is more of a pass-happy offense unlike the Falcons.  Jennings should receive the bulk of the pass attempts, now that Driver is starting to show signs of aging.

The downside to White is that Ryan is now entering his sophomore year, which to quarterbacks means that he may enter a slump and the Falcons could rely on their running game more.  Another problem for White could be the loss of red zone targets with the newly acquired Tony Gonzalez taking them away from him.

Either way, both of these players will have good seasons heading into 2009.  Just make sure you look past the numbers before you make your selections on draft day.