Facing the Carolina Panthers in Week 4 of the 2012 NFL season, Roddy White of the Atlanta Falcons hauled in eight passes for 169 yards and a pair of touchdowns. While these numbers are indeed impressive, they won't be remembered by history all by themselves. It is more than the numbers that makes White's performance today significant.
Roddy White was already an elite fantasy wide receiver, but there was question as to whether or not he would produce the same way he had in the past. The main reason for that was the presence of Julio Jones.
Jones, the supremely talented wide receiver out of Alabama, was taken sixth in the draft last season by Atlanta. He finished his rookie season with 959 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. His big first season combined with his incredible athleticism and White turning 30 had some questioning who the top receiver would be this season.
If the game against the Panthers is any indication, though, there isn't much question White is still number one for Matt Ryan. With under a minute left in the game and his team pinned back at its own 1-yard line, Ryan threw a 59-yard pass in the direction of White, who hauled in the ball with a great effort.
One throw doesn't make a pattern, however. In their closest game of the season, the Falcons repeatedly looked for White up the field and in crucial situations. White's first touchdown came on another great effort to nab a 49-yard throw. Today, when it mattered most, White was the top target.
It's not all about one game, either. Last season, White finished with 1,296 total receiving yards. Through the first four games of that season, he had totaled 302 yards and one touchdown. At the same point this year, White has 413 yards receiving and three touchdowns.
Granted, White finished very strong last season, with four of his last seven outings finishing with over 100 yards, so he will need to continue to perform to reach those numbers, but the bottom line is, he has gotten it done thus far this season. Fantasy owners can be thrilled with their pick for his potential down the road, but at the minimum, he was huge this week. There are worse minimums.