Jeff Ratcliffe

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White Hot

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

“Fantasy owners I'm playing Monday.”


That’s what Roddy White tweeted out on Sunday, and on Monday night, play he did. After being limited in practice this week with a groin injury, White racked up 102 yards and a score on eight catches against the Broncos.


There was speculation from some fantasy pundits this offseason that White would be on the decline in 2012. I wasn’t buying it then, and I’m not buying it now.


White now has 189 yards and 14 catches on 19 targets through the first two games of the season. He’s not going to top the 175 targets he saw in 2011, but 150 is not out of the question, especially in this new-look Dirk Koetter offense. White has shown no decline in his skills, and still remains a trusted target for Matt Ryan. WR1 production out of him is not only possible, it's probable.



Manning Face


The Manning face was out in full force on Monday night.


Peyton Manning started out Monday night’s contest by throwing three picks in the first quarter. Things didn’t get much better from there as an aggressive Falcons defense created confusion for Manning all night.


What can we take away from this performance? For starters, any hope that Manning was going to return to his former elite-level fantasy production is gone at this point. That’s not to say that he can’t still be a productive low-end QB1, but he’s not someone you can expect to ride right into your fantasy championship in December.



Broncos at Falcons Random Thoughts


*Julio Jones dropped a sure touchdown in the end zone. He absolutely needs to make plays like that moving forward.


*Michael Turner looks extremely slow. Yes, he had the number-padding 15-yard run to seal the game, but he had no burst whatsoever on his 17 carries.


*Conversely, Willis McGahee showed that he still has plenty of tread left on his tires. Still, we don't know how many more weeks like this we'll see out of him this season, so it might be a good opportunity to sell high on McGahee.


*The nickel may just be the Falcons base package this season. After playing nearly 85% of their Week 1 defensive snaps in their nickel subpackages, the Falcons again turned almost exclusively to the nickel in Week 2.


*William Moore was all over the place in this game. The Falcons safety battled injuries over his first three seasons, but now is finally playing up to his potential. Owners in IDP leagues need to take notice.



The Other Rookie Richardson


Initial speculation was that Steven Jackson was benched following an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty he received after spiking the ball following a blown-call by the replacement refs at the goal-line. Coach Jeff Fisher later insisted that Jackson was not benched, and that a groin injury was what sidelined him. He went on to say that Jackson would have reentered if Daryl Richardson had struggled.


Regardless of the reasoning behind this curious move, the takeaway is clear – Daryl Richardson can play. As it stands, Richardson has shown to be a more than capable change-of-pace back. But if Jackson were to miss any extended period of time, Richardson would stand to see a heavy workload as Jeff Fisher’s bell cow. He absolutely needs to be owned in all leagues.



J.C. Superstar?


Jamaal Charles played just 21 snaps on Sunday, and rushed six times for three yards.




After looking relatively solid in Week 1, Charles had absolutely nothing against the Bills and was essentially non-existent in the second half. Some have suggested that Charles isn’t playing at 100%, and coach Romeo Crennel confirmed that he’s dealt with some knee soreness.


Is it time to pull the ripcord on Charles? Not just yet. Remember he’s still just 12 months removed from that ACL injury. He has a juicy Week 3 matchup against the Saints, so let’s wait another week and then reevaluate his fantasy stock.



NFC Quick Slants: Ahmad Bradshaw’s status for Thursday’s game is up in the air after suffering a neck injury in Sunday’s win. ... The Redskins lost LB Brian Orakpo (torn pectoral) and DE Adam Carriker (torn quad) for the season. This is a huge blow for the Skins. ... Coach Lovie Smith said Monday that Matt Forte does not have a high ankle sprain, as was initially reported. The Bears addition of Khalil Bell indicates there’s a good chance Forte does not play this week. ... Coach Mike Shanahan said that if Pierre Garcon (foot) did play last Sunday, it would have been in a limited role. His status for Week 3 is still up in the air. ... Jeremy Maclin (hip) isn’t expected to practice on Wednesday. The fact that he couldn’t return to play doesn’t bode well for his status in Week 3. ... Eagles C Jason Kelce will undergo arthroscopic surgery on Tuesday to determine the full extent of his Week 2 knee injury. ... Todd Heap is day-to-day with a sprained PCL. ... Fred Davis suffered a concussion in the Redskins’ Week 2 loss to the Rams.


AFC Quick Slants: Not only did the Patriots have to suck up an ugly loss at home to the Cardinals, but they also lost jack-of-all-trades TE Aaron Hernandez, who is expected to be out until October at the earliest after Julian Edelman rolled up on his ankle. ... Darren McFadden will continue to wear the visor he sported after he was poked in the eye in the first quarter of Sunday’s game. ... Blaine Gabbert (toe, hamstring) is expected to be ready for Sunday’s game against the Colts. ... Kenny Britt (knee) is expected to see an increased workload moving forward after he emerged from Week 2 unscathed. ... Austin Collie (concussion) was again inactive on Sunday. Day-to-day has turned to week-to-week for Collie. ... Bernard Pollard has a rib contusion, but should be able to play in Week 3. ... Denarius Moore isn’t quite in football shape, and experienced cramping in Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins. ... Coach Norv Turner did not want to risk Antonio Gates getting further injured on Sunday, and called Gates “day-to-day.” ... Chris Johnson will not lose his starting job according to coach Mike Munchak. It’s pretty sad that this needs to be confirmed. ... Ryan Mathews is expected to practice on Wednesday and all signs point to him playing against the Falcons in Week 3.

Jeff Ratcliffe is a football writer and IDP analyst for Rotoworld as well as the Assistant Managing Editor of Pro Football Focus Fantasy. He can be found on Twitter.
Email :Jeff Ratcliffe

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