By Thomas J. Harrigan, Fantasy Sports Writer
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Wide receiver Roddy White has been with the Atlanta Falcons for a looong time.
He's one of two players still on the team who played with Michael Vick, and Vick last played in Atlanta in 2006. That was so long ago that Julio Jones was a junior in high school, Jeff Francoeur was still viewed as a potential star with the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta-based hip-hop duo Outkast were still making new music.
Vick's last season with the Falcons was also White's last season below 1,100 receiving yards ... prior to 2013. Due to injuries, he played just 13 games and had 711 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 63 catches.
But White should be right back up with the high-end WR2s in 2014, only fantasy owners can snag him 10-15 picks later than players like Vincent Jackson, Keenan Allen, Pierre Garcon and Victor Cruz.
White averaged 94 catches, 1,296 receiving yards and eight touchdowns from 2007-12. He's now 32 but injuries, not a loss of skills, were the cause of his 2013 downturn. Prior to 2013, White had never missed a game in eight NFL seasons, so it's not like we're dealing with an injury concern here.
Some fantasy owners may be throwing White's name into the "Never Again" pile because of the frustrations he caused from the get-go last year.
Not only did he suffer a high ankle sprain in the preseason, he opted to play hurt for the first five games. If White had simply sat out a week or two, his ankle injury would have healed much sooner and owners wouldn't have had to decide whether or not to stick with him the first five games. Anyone who did play him was given 14 receptions, 129 yards and zero touchdowns before a hamstring strain knocked him out for three games.
White had just 80 yards and a touchdown on six catches in his first three games after returning to the lineup, but he had to match up with Richard Sherman in the first and Darrelle Revis in the second.
He recorded 502 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 43 catches in the last five games, but by that time even the most ardent White backers had likely moved on from him.
Jones is now Atlanta's top receiver, but Tony Gonzalez' retirement should open up enough targets to keep both Jones' and White's owners happy on a week- to-week basis. Plus, unlike White, Jones actually is an injury concern after missing 14 games his first three years.
A lot has changed since White joined the Falcons in 2005, but the receiver is still the same player he was from 2007-12 and his production is going to reflect that in 2014.
Now, if only we could get Outkast to start putting out new music again.
07/07 20:30:15 ET