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Roddy White Is The Best Receiver No One Is Talking About

Roddy White has been Atlanta's best receiver for the past three seasons but now - two games into his sixth year - he is raising the bar and setting his sights on becoming the NFL's best.

Whoever owns Roddy White in your fantasy league is about to start crowing. The league's best kept secret can't stay under wraps for long.

With his seventh grab against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, Roddy White became only the tenth player - and second Atlanta Falcon - in NFL history to catch 20 or more passes during the first two weeks of the season. White was the first player to do so in seven years before Miles Austin of the Dallas Cowboys became the 11th player do so later the same day.

After averaging 85.3 catches the previous three seasons, White is on pace for 160 catches this season. While maintaining that pace is unrealistic, the odds that White sets a career-high are in his favor. The previous nine players to begin the year with 20 or more receptions finished with an average of 92.6 receptions at season’s end. White’s career-best is 88 catches set in 2008.

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If White can stay red-hot against the New Orleans Saints, he could find himself in further elite company. With 11 catches, White would tie the record for catches through the first three games of a season of 31 held by Troy Brown of the New England Patriots and Clark Gaines of the New York Jets. If he manages ten receptions, he’d tie the Falcons’ record of 30 set by Eric Metcalf in 1995.

He's already fourth on the Falcons' receiving list and with 26 more catches he'll pass Alfred Jenkins and move into third behind only Terance Mathis and Andre Rison. Has White reached his full potential? We may not know yet. Every year he’s been in the league his targets have increased and now, after two games, he leads the NFL in targets. Embrace the chart.

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The national media hasn’t fully embraced White as an elite receiver, instead saving their praise for Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Randy Moss, but fans in Atlanta know just how great White has become. The scary part for the rest of the league is he’s getting better.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.