With young, inexperienced quarterbacks targeting them, Greg Jennings(notes) and Roddy White(notes) were placed in eerily similar situations a year ago. Drafted in the middle rounds, their near duplicate accomplishments transformed them from solid No. 2s into trustworthy No. 1s. Separated by a mere four picks in early drafts (White ADP: 21.92, Jennings: 25.10), which top-10 receiver will be more valuable? Pigskin Docs Brad Evans and Brandon Funston exchange blows over the issue.
Funston opens: In fantasy football, touchdowns are the trump card. And in a comparison between Greg Jennings and Roddy White, Jennings holds the trump card.
The fourth-year speedster from Western Michigan has scored 23 touchdowns in his past 31 games (two postseason tilts included). In White's past 31 games (one postseason contest included), he's scored nine fewer touchdowns (14). Last season, White picked up roughly 90 more receiving yards and the per game fantasy value favored Jennings by only a slight margin. But in both player's '07 breakout campaign, Jennings was roughly a field goal (2.8 points) better than White on a per game basis. In fact, in each of the three years that Jennings has been in the league, he's been a better fantasy wideout (points per game).
Last season, White was targeted 27 more times than Jennings, but that discrepancy could shrink with Atlanta's acquisition of Tony Gonzalez(notes), who led TEs with 154 targets in '08. He'll command a sizeable amount of Matt Ryan's(notes) attention. And, with the second-most rushing attempts and rushing yards in the league last season, you can bet that Atlanta will remain a run-first offense. Let's face it, there are a lot more mouths to feed in Atlanta than in Green Bay.
I'm not going to tell you that there are major differences between Jennings and White from a fantasy standpoint, because there's not. But Jennings has been the more trustworthy touchdown producer, and he owns a larger share of the offensive spotlight in Green Bay.
Evans responds: The paper differences between Jennings and White are practically negligible. Each wideout's non-PPR fantasy points per game (White: 11.3, Jennings: 11.5), targets (148, 140), receptions (88, 80) and scores (7, 9) were nearly identical a season ago. To no one's surprise, they're being drafted in roughly the same round in 12-team drafts per Mock Draft Central (Round 3).
Based on the numbers, it would seem both wideouts are mirror images of one another. However, the similarities end there.
With his pistons greased, Hot Roddy is poised to finish in the WR top-five, leaving Jennings choking on a cloud of rubber-peeling smoke in his wake.
Why? The fifth-year target boasts stronger peripheral influences.
For starters, Tony Gonzalez's presence will undoubtedly entice coverage, freeing the fleet-footed pass catcher from double teams downfield. Secondly, Atlanta's inflexible offensive line and bone-crushing running game are far superior to Green Bay's. Finally, Matt Ryan, who is primed for a major numbers explosion, possesses the necessary qualities to catapult into the upper QB tier. It's due to those potential impacts White's 15.7 yards per catch average and 1,382 receiving yards from last season -- the fourth-highest total among WRs -- are sure to grow.
Presumably, the consistency kings will again sit on the throne of the top-10 by year's end. In fact, the disparity between the two in per game output will likely be less than a point in standard leagues. But White's spectacular accessories make him more fantasy desirable regardless of format.
Fearless Forecast: 152 targets, 91 catches, 1,465 receiving yards, 16.1 ypc, 8 touchdowns
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