Roddy White has sucked to this point in the season… which makes me really like him. It’s probably fair to say that I’m a contrarian to the point that it actually hurts me sometimes (I tried to trade Peyton Manning immediately after his 7 TD performance… and was only saved by not having any willing trade partners) but that’s just who I am and I feel like over the long term you have to go against the crowd or you’ll end up right where they are. I think the broad sentiment on Roddy White is about 180 degrees from where it should be right now.
Roddy is actually being dropped in some shallow leagues which means that his trade asking price is getting close to zero. I recently gave Larry Fitzgerald to get Cecil Shorts and Roddy White. Shorts is leading the league in targets while a healthy White can probably outproduce Larry Fitzgerald on his own. The interesting thing is that right when White’s trade asking price is bottoming out, his prospects are actually improving. I re-watched White’s targets from the Sunday night game and saw some room for encouragement. First, he had 9 targets so that’s good. Also he drew a DPI on a deep target. A severely hobbled White shouldn’t be drawing DPIs in the deep part of the field. White also had a target at the NE 2 yard line that probably should have been a completion (and maybe a TD) if Matt Ryan hadn’t thrown the ball 3 yards behind White. The uptick in targets is encouraging if you’re hoping for Roddy to get healthy; then a game that was poor on the stat sheet but encouraging in other ways is another part of the case. To be clear, you wouldn’t be able to acquire Roddy White this week if that pass near the goal line ends up a TD. It’s only the really shitty results to date that open up the opportunity to get White as a throw in on a trade.
I don’t know if White will be any good this week as the Falcons get the Jets. But after that Atlanta has a bye which should allow him to get fully healthy. I probably wouldn’t have done the Fitz deal if I only got Shorts back, but when Roddy White went into the deal I thought it became a no brainer. I get Shorts this week against the Rams secondary (that gives up 2.7 FP/target on deep passes even if you adjust by throwing out their biggest plays) and then hopefully at some point I’ll get a healthy Roddy White back. I have two ways to win the trade and only one way to lose it. If White returns to his historical level of production, I win. If Cecil Shorts benefits from the return of Justin Blackmon, I win that way too. It may seem impossible for Shorts to benefit from Blackmon’s return, but keep in mind that not all of Blackmon’s production has to come at the expense of Shorts. Ace Sanders is currently seeing close to 7 targets a game (and not doing anything with them) so Blackmon can pick up targets from Sanders too. But even if Shorts doesn’t lead the league in targets going forward, he can be more efficient with the targets he does see. It’s possible to imagine that happening if you just realize that he won’t be the only decent Jags skill position player on the field going forward. And yes, I realize… Gabbert.
Back to White for a second. For daily game players you might pay attention this week to see if Roddy gets in a full day of practice on Thursday or Friday. If he does then that could be a signal that he’s returning to full health and he’s probably going to have a low salary on most sites.