Is Russell Gage a Worthy Week 2 Waiver Wire Budget Drainer Or a Fantasy Catfish? - Roto Street Journal
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Is Russell Gage a Worthy Week 2 Waiver Wire Budget Drainer Or a Fantasy Catfish?

Sammy Watkins, Case Keenum, Marlon Mack, and Marquise Brown were fantasy catfish who drew you in with seductively high production in Week 1. If you reeled them in, you learned a harsh reality. You chased that same high all year, just to find out it was all a lie.

Hopefully, everyone’s hip to Watkins, who’s trying to get us reeled in again this year after his 7-82-1 line in Week 1.

Another prime candidate to fool spendy free agent fishers? Russell Gage.

A Breakout Performance

After catching nine passes for 114 yards on 12 targets, Gage’s Week 1 production shined. While he doesn’t have the well-known ceiling of a Sammy Watkins, he’s on a team that’s set to throw the ball a lot this season.

If he’s on your Week 2 waiver wire, Week 1’s WR11 is bound to cost a pretty penny from your FAAB budget to get him. Even if it’s WR2/FLEX production the rest of the season, it’s worth a shot if you’re already finding yourself hunting for receivers. But is that what we should expect from Matt Ryan’s third perimeter option?

Unusual Factors To Keep In Mind

Consider everything that needed to happen in order for Gage to eat. Ryan threw for 450 yards, his most in a game since Week 4 of 2016. Since then, Ryan has only exceeded 400 yards in one other game during that span.

Yes, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley also had 100-plus yard receiving games against the Seahawks. But before you assume there’s enough aerial pie for all three receivers to eat, remember that Todd Gurley and Hayden Hurst only combined for 39 receiving yards. The Falcons didn’t let Devonta Freeman and Austin Hooper walk if they thought they couldn’t find suitable producers to replace them.

And even if Gurley and Hurst continue to struggle, realistically you should expect Ryan to return to the mean, averaging 292 passing yards-per-game since 2016. You’d be relying on Gage to outproduce one, or both, of Jones and Ridley, to come close to his Week 1 production moving forward.

An Add Out Of Necessity, Not High Expectations

If you have receivers like Michael Thomas, Chris Godwin, or DeVante Parker who could be forced to miss time due to injury, it’s understandable if you must take a crack at Gage. Otherwise, full context suggests that you let this shiny performance pass, in a preseason-less, volatile Week 1, before getting catfished.

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