Career paths cross Sunday in Atlanta when Tennessee cornerback Cortland Finnegan and Falcons receiver Roddy White meet in the Georgia Dome. Finnegan’s 2011 path has him on the way up, while White’s looks like it is going down.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Titans are the seventh best team in the league in the Website’s pass coverage rankings. Finnegan, Tennessee’s top corner, is allowing 6.3 points per game to fantasy receivers in Athlon’s half-PPR scoring format.
The feisty corner has been thrown at 49 times, given up 31 catches for 296 yards and just two scores. That line per game comes out to 3.4 catches, 32.8 yards and .2 TDs for the 6.3 fantasy points receivers playing against Finnegan are producing.
It’s hard to justify, as a fantasy player, sending out your No. 1 receiver and knowing he will get you just 6.3 points. If Julio Jones is out with the hamstring that knocked him out of last week’s game, then the focus will certainly be on shutting down White, making life even tougher on the Falcon receiver.
The best production Finnegan has allowed against a team’s receivers is 14.9 fantasy points when Houston had a five-target, five-catch, 64-yard, one-TD game.
For comparison’s sake, here’s how Finnegan stacks up against the likes of Darrelle Revis, Nnamdi Asomugha and Ike Taylor this season, according to Pro Football Focus.
Finnegan 49 targets, 31 catches, 296 yards, long of 33, two TDs (14.9 fantasy points the worst day)
Taylor — 58 targets, 20 catches, 211 yards, long of 31, one TD (9.1 the worst day)
Revis — 44 targets, 15 catches, 271 yards, long of 53, no scores (9.9 the worst day)
Asomugha — 26 targets, 14 catches, 217 yards, long of 38, one TD (10.7 the worst day)
The addition of Jones to the team, the emergence of Harry Douglas and QB Matt Ryan’s dependency on TE Tony Gonzalez has brought White down from the elite class quickly. He was fantasy’s No. 1 WR at the end of last year, its No. 9 at the end of 2009 and currently sits as its No. 20.
White has been held to 78 yards or less in all but one game this season — a 17-target, nine-catch, 140-yard, no-TD day against Tampa Bay in Week 3. He had nine games of 78 yards or more last season. White has scored above 14 fantasy points just once (Week 3) and has been held to single digits in three of the last four games.
White is no longer the deep threat he once was as his yards per catch have dropped to a career-low 12.0 through nine games season. The Titans are 18th in the NFL in passing yards per game allowed (224.2), but are ranked fourth in yards per catch (6.2).
Between Finnegan’s play this season going up, White’s going down, this certainly looks like it will be advantage Finnegan and disadvantage you if White is in your starting lineup.
By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter