The PYRO Fantasy Football Depth Chart is a rundown of where Team PYRO projects the fantasy production for each team at each position. It is NOT an attempt to inform you of the current starters for each team. For example, we are well aware that Brandon Manumaleuna is currently the starting TE for the Chicago Bears, but if you look at the Bears Team Page, we have Greg Olsen listed at TE. Why? We’re projecting that Greg Olsen will be the most Fantasy Football relevant TE for the Bears this season. Since Olsen will be the Bears leading FF point scorer at TE, it’s his name at the top of the TE column on our PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart.
After saying last season would be his final year, Gonzalez changed his mind in the offseason and came back for a 17th season and continues to post stats that find their way into the record books. This season, he has 65 catches for 678 yards and a team-leading six touchdowns. His three-catch game last week against the Packers extends his consecutive games with a catch streak to 208, the second longest in NFL history.
While everyone in Falcons nation would love to see Gonzalez return for another season, he’s made it clear that’s very unlikely. As he winds down this season and plays in his final three games, he will continue to remember every minute he can from his days as a Falcon and an NFL player.
“I’m really just taking every experience with the fellas on the team, sitting in the meeting rooms trying to enjoy them as much as I can,” he said. “As much as I hate them, I’m trying to enjoy them. That’s what you’ve got to do, I think. It’s the NFL, Not For Long, and I’ve been able to play 17 years so nobody ever needs to feel sorry for me. I’ve gotten everything I’ve wanted out of this league, but it’s that time of the year for me and I’m going to enjoy it.”
Pyro's take: Gonzo has a chance to make some nice memories in this game, as the Redskins rank 30th against tight ends on the season. The reemergence of Roddy White and the improved play of Harry Douglas should free Gonzalez up in this game.
The future Hall-of-Fame tight end has caught a touchdown in each of his last two games, although he has only topped 100-yards once this season back in week 4. Since the Falcons are out it I expect Ryan to make this game a Gonzo game. Get him in your lineup.
Roddy White, who has battled injuries all season, seemed unconcerned after a knee issue surfaced this week.
White said he simply bruised his left knee in last Sunday's 22-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers. It caused him to be limited in practice this week.
"I fell the other day. Well, I didn't fall … I got pushed out of bounds and I landed right on it," White explained. "And it swelled up a little bit. But I'm good to go. I'm fine."
White said the knee shouldn't hold him back as he prepares to face the Washington Redskins on Sunday.
"No, no, it's not going to," White said. "Yeah, I'll be able to play (fast). No doubt about it."
Pyro's take: White has a tasty match-up with the Redskins this week, and I expect him to take advantage of it.
Over the past two weeks Roddy has begun to look more like his old self with 24 targets for 18 catches and 217 yards. He will be just fine this week, and has a good chance to find the endzone for the first time in four weeks.
Falcons running back Steven Jackson, who was returning from a hamstring injury, was held in check in the 27-13 loss to the Cardinals on Sunday.
Jackson, the leading active rusher in the NFL, was held to six yards on 11 carries.
“It was some tough sledding today,” Jackson said. “The Arizona defense came out there and did a really good job against the run. It was definitely not the production that I wanted to see out of myself.”
Pyro's take: We saw this poor outing coming a mile away. When asked last week if he was 100% Jackson had said he was as good as he was going to be. That was the first tip off that he was not 100%, but going to give it a go anyway. Then there was the fact that the Cardinals are one stout defense against the run.
Jackson should be able to find more openings next week against the Panthers, but he would greatly benefit from Roddy White making his return, but there is no guarantee that will be any time soon.
Falcons running back Steven Jackson met with the media today for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury on Sept. 15.
He returned to practice on Wednesday and plans to play against Arizona on Sunday.
Here’s what he had to say:
ON HOW HE FEELS: “Good. Going to get out there this afternoon and see how it feels and just go from there, being mindful that the game is Sunday and now Wednesday.. Looking forward to it.”
ENCOURAGED: “The leg is feeling a lot better. I've seen the doctor more times than I'd like to and finally he and I are on the same page. It's been encouraging enough, the progress that I've made, to give it a go.”
HOW CLOSE TO 100 PERCENT: “I don't think any time after Week 1 you are 100 percent. But I feeling up to this point well enough to give it a go and be out there and be effective like Day One.”
Pyro's take: Hooray, finally SJAX is going to get back on the field. Those of you who have been holding onto him will finally get to reap some rewards with him back in your lineup.
There is no doubt that with Julio Jones gone for the season, and Roddy White still unable to return, Jackson is going to play a prominent role in the Falcons offense. Get him in your lineup.
Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez said he’s not asked for a trade and doesn’t play to “jump ship” as the team has gotten off to a 1-4 start.
“This is what I signed up for,” said Gonzalez on Thursday. “I don’t have any regrets. I’m still as happy as I can be to be a Falcon. I saw the trade rumors out there.
“I didn’t ask for a trade. That wasn’t me. I signed up and this is the team that I came back to play with these guys on this team. I’m enjoying myself, win, lose or draw. Obviously, I’d rather win. That makes it a lot more fun.
“There is no way that I would think about jumping ship because I love playing for this team and I love playing for this city. Like I said, we still have a chance. If I start thinking like that, that means I don’t think we have chance. We’re not there yet. Not, even close.”
Pyro's take: Tony G is saying all the right things while he is still in Atlanta. If the Falcons drop another game it would be in the best interest of the organization to shop Gonzalez around to see if they can get a windfall for the future Hall-of-Famer.
The fact is that Gonzo came back to win a Super Bowl, and no matter what he says, it is not going to happen for him if he stays in Atlanta. The NFL did a smart thing by moving the trade deadline back to week 8, but trades (like that of Trent Richardson this season) of big time players are a rarity. The difference here is that this is likely the last season, maybe one more, for Gonzalez and there are definitely teams out there that could use his services to make a Super Bowl run.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White (ankle, hamstring) was injured in the fourth quarter of the team's loss to the New York Jets on Monday Night Football in Week 5. The Falcons have a bye in Week 6, but it is possible that White could miss games in the weeks after that, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Pyro's take: The best way to describe what is happening in Atlanta right now would be in the words of Col. Sanders from Spaceballs: "She has gone from suck to blow!"
Julio Jones is out for the season and now Roddy White has injured himself again, and now could miss the next few games following their bye this week. So what does this mean in terms of fantasy? It means OY VEY!!!
Matt Ryan has just lost 2 pro bowl receivers on the same day. So when the Falcons do hit the field again it will be Harry Douglas lining up as the #1 and Drew Davis lining up as the #2. Needless to say Ryan is not going to give owners the points they need with his top 2 weapons gone.
This could be good news for Steven Jackson, if he ever returns, as the Falcons should try to lean on the running game while White is out.
According to Chris Mortensen Julio Jones is now confirmed out for the year. The news came through his twitter account @mortreport stating "Julio Jones will have surgery next week after Dr. Robert Anderson confirmed his fractured foot."
Pyro's take: This is the same foot Jones had surgery on in 2011, by Dr. Anderson. Harry Douglas should be considered in all leagues as he will be filling in for Julio Jones.
“Julio injured his foot last night. He saw our doctors this morning. He is going to have a second opinion tomorrow over in Charlotte, North Carolina. The first reports were not encouraging, but we will wait to see what the second opinion comes back as.” -Coach Mike Smith
Pyro's take: First off... F!!!
Second off... I hate that new turf these stadiums are using now (both indoor and outdoor), it's killing these players feet.
Third off... F!!!
I have him in all 4 of my leagues, and he's been a beast. It's an impossible void to fill, but like any owners out there, ya can't sulk - ya gotta figure it out.
This should help Roddy White and Harry Douglas bigtime fantasy points wise, as Julio has more catches than any other WR and is 2nd only to Jimmy Graham. I hope he can make it back this year, and it's nothing too serious. Love Julio as a person and a player.
Atlanta Falcons running back Steven Jackson has been ruled out for Monday's game against the New York Jets because of a hamstring injury, coach Mike Smith said Saturday.
Smith held out hope that Jackson might recover in time to suit up. But the veteran running back was simply an observer at practice throughout the entire week.
Pyro's take: Well now it looks like you can peg week 7 after the Falcons bye for Jackson's return. This will give Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers another week to split the carries. Jackson had better come back with a vengeance when he returns to help ease the pain he has caused fantasy owners this season.
In his quest to become 100 percent healthy from a high right ankle sprain, Falcons wide receiver Roddy White suffered a set back after playing extensively against New England.
He played his most action of the season against New England. He played 74 of 76 (97 percent) of the offensive snaps.
“Yeah, and I learned a very valuable lesson from that,” White said. “I ain’t where I need to be yet.”
Asked if he was 100 percent, White said, “I don’t know. I’ll tell you after the bye week.”
Pyro's take: This is troubling news for White owners as they would rather him just miss a game or two and come back 100%, instead of gutting it out and hurting his fantasy production. It looks like this may be another tough week for Roddy and that is just not the news we were looking for.
Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports that White said Friday that he still isn’t where he wants to be in his recovery from the injury, but will once again “gut it out” against the Patriots on Sunday night. McClure adds that White also said that he’ll rest up during the team’s bye week, which comes after they host the Jets in Week Five.
Pyro's take: Roddy has been dealing with a high ankle sprain and he has not been able to be the player we are used to seeing. White has been used mainly as a decoy so far this season, and the fact that he is admitting he is still not fully recovered from his injury makes him a risky start this week. If you do end up starting him you can take heart in the fact that they should be in a high scoring game against the Patriots.
Atlanta Falcons running back Steven Jackson could be out longer than originally anticipated because of a lingering hamstring injury, ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure reported Monday.
According to the report, Jackson will be out another 2-3 weeks — which could keep him on the sidelines until Week 7. He will likely miss this week’s game against the New England Patriots, as well as the following week’s matchup against the New York Jets. The Falcons have a bye in Week 6.
Pyro's take: This is not the news we were looking to hear on Jackson's injury. The good news is if your team is able to survive until his return he should be 100% healthy and ready to use those fresh legs to his advantage in the second half of the season.
Falcons running back Steven Jackson left Sunday's game against the Rams with a first-quarter thigh injury. Jackson apparently was injured when he scored on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan in the first quarter. Jackson was escorted to the locker room during the ensuing kickoff.
Pyro's take: So much for Jackson's revenge as it turned into Montezuma's revenge for him leaving with a thigh injury. This is the same type of injury that happened to him in 2011 and caused him to miss 2 weeks. It will be important to see if he can practice this week, but you should have a backup plan if he is inactive.
Jacquizz Rodgers would step into the starting role, and could give you a decent 1 week replacement, but he will not come close to putting up the fantasy points that Jackson will in this offense.
“I mean, I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to get the win. Of course I want to get the win, but I have to come out there and just remain in the zone, in my focus and not get too up. When you allow emotions to take over, your wind becomes shorter, you are not even thinking, you’re not on your A-game, so I have to remind myself to stay in control, have the intensity that I normally play with and dial in and treat this game as (any other) I have done over the years.”
Pyro's take: This should be the game that Jackson had circled on schedule as soon as it came out. Jackson was sent out of St. Louis with the coaching staff wanting him to accept a committee role in the running game. Jackson is now the workhorse back for the Falcons and had 77 yards on 11 carries in week 1, including a 50-yard run. Jackson should see a lot more carries this week as his new team looks to help him exact some revenge on his old team.
Julio Jones didn’t practice. Jones has a knee injury, according to the practice report.
Pyro's take: Jones should be fine, and it seems like the Falcons are just getting him some rest to be sure he is ready to go on Sunday. There is nothing to worry about at this point as they are saying he will be ready to play on Sunday. If he continues to be held out of practice all week then this could become a concern.
Roddy White still dealing with a high ankle sprain
Roddy White concedes that he’s not the guy he normally is because of a high ankle sprain suffered during the preseason.
“They wanted me in certain areas to do certain things so that they couldn’t just bracket guys,” White tells D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution...“That’s what we did.”
White was in some respects a decoy. He was on the field, but he was impaired in comparison to what he otherwise can do.
“It’s hard to cut,” White said. “It’s hard to do just about everything at the position.”
Pyro's take: This is rough news for fantasy owners who selected White, and who heard all week long that he was 100% to go against the Saints. White obviously felt bad, and now has come out and said that it is a high ankle sprain he is dealing with.
These are nagging injuries and can sometimes take up to 8 weeks before it is feeling back to normal. This makes starting Roddy White in week 2 a major question mark at this point. We will be closely monitoring his participation in practices this week to determine his value for fantasy owners in week 2, but at this point plan on benching him this week.
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said Wednesday he hopes White would be ready for the season opener against the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 8, and coach Mike Smith went a step further. Smith said White will, indeed, be ready for Week 1 and denied whispers that the receiver suffered a dreaded high ankle sprain, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
That lines up with a report from NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, who was told by a source earlier this month that White is dealing with a (less-dreaded) low ankle sprain.
Pyro's take: This is no surprise to us as Roddy is going to be just fine and will have had over 3 weeks to recover from the ankle sprain. White is a pro and knows what it will take to be ready for the Saints and will have a chance to put up big numbers against an improved, but still poor defense.
Julio Jones ready to take his game to another level...scary
Those who have watched Julio Jones say that his route running has sharpened, that he runs patterns like he's less than 6 feet tall. His body control has improved greatly. He has cut beef and pork out of his diet, which makes him feel better. All of this positivity has him primed to make the leap toward the tier of receivers...then there is the aspect of Jones' game that has drawn the attention of head coach Mike Smith. "He looks stronger at the ball...and to me, there's going to be so many tightly thrown balls, the coverage is such where you gotta be strong at the ball. That's something where that stood out to me."
Pyro's take: We have always been huge believers in Julio Jones and all of this is just more proof in the pudding that Jones is ready to be considered a top 3 receiver by the end of this season. Jones also has the support of his quarterback who said, "Jones is ready to take the next step". That is awesome, considering most of the receivers in the league would like to be on the step he was on last season. Jones is ready to be a bigger part of the offense in our opinion and we fully expect him to be the main guy in Atlanta this year...move over Roddy White.
Roddy White Worked out with Larry Fitzgerald in the offseason
Roddy White spent some of his offseason working with Larry Fitzgerald.
Pyro's take: This is always great news when any receiver goes and works out with Larry Fitzgerald. The fact that a receiver as accomplished as White decided to workout with him this year just shows his dedication to being even better in 2013.
White is a player who is dropping down the rankings in the wide receivers, but this nugget should help to see him moved back up a few slots.
White is a veteran who knows his way around the league, but when a receiver as good as him decides he can be better at this point in his career is a sign that he is not ready to be forgotten in fantasy. In my mind White is still a legitimate WR1, but more towards the back end this season.
Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice said that he was too sore after the game against the Saints last weekend to play in the Pro Bowl on Sunday. Falcons WR Roddy White will take his place on the NFC roster.
Pyro's take: Roddy has been a beast the last three seasons, putting up 80+ receptions and 1,150+ yards in each. He also set his own career best in touchdowns this year with 11 and will be making his second straight Pro Bowl game appearance in Miami.