The Atlanta Falcons have been a mess this season to say the least, but they should look at least a little more like their old selves when they play host to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday because of All-Pro wide receiver Roddy White returning to action. Offensive injuries have decimated this team and made it a shadow of the NFC contender it had been over the past several seasons.
Quarterback Matt Ryan was a borderline elite passer according to many experts heading into 2013, but has quickly dropped from that conversation because of inconsistent play and some head scratching throws. Expect to see a Matt Ryan effort that looks more like what Falcons fans were used to now that he has Roddy White back. The offense probably will still not be at full strength with Julio Jones out for the year, but getting back a perennial Pro-Bowler is going to be a major boost.
If you have been waiting on Roddy White to get healthy so that he can help your fantasy team, the wait has finally paid off for you. If you don’t have him on your roster, he is a phenomenal buy low candidate if you can convince the owner that he is risky given that he was forced from action for the first time in his career due to his injury. Some of you may not even have to trade for him, he is somehow a free agent in nearly 10 percent of ESPN leagues.
I mention his fantasy value because his production floor is so high once he takes the field again. Matt Ryan has struggled to find an option he can trust in the passing game without Roddy White and Julio Jones. Getting back a reliable target he has years of experience with will be too tempting for him to pass on often. A plethora of targets are certainly going to be headed his direction, making him embody the rare, consistent wide out fantasy owners crave. Think Brandon Marshall level targets.
Taking on Seattle and the tough Seahawk defense is no easy task, but the Matt Ryan and the Falcons know that at 2-6 they are playing for their postseason lives. Four games back in the AFC South and four games back in the wild card race means that winning out is probably the only way they will have a shot at a playoff berth.
That is precisely where Roddy White will come in. Matt Ryan knows how to win in this league, and he knows he has had little trouble winning when throwing the ball to White. Expect Ryan to attempt to cut down on the 8 turnovers this offense has given up over the past two games by force feeding White throughout the game.
The last time that Roddy White played the Seahawks, he was able to find success against Richard Sherman and the rest of the stingy secondary. Bringing in five catches for 76 yards, White also hauled in a 47 yard touchdown grab to help the Falcons. Expect at least that production in his return to the field Sunday.