Russell Gage Fantasy Outlook Booming as Falcons' De Facto WR1 - Roto Street Journal
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Russell Gage Fantasy Outlook Booming as Falcons’ De Facto WR1

It used to be the norm for Falcons’ wideouts to put up big-time numbers with Matt Ryan under center. But with Julio Jones sitting on someone else’s injury report and Calvin Ridley taking time off to deal with mental health issues, a boatload of targets opened up for the other pass-catchers in the Atlanta offense. With Kyle Pitts unable to adjust to NFL double-teams, Russell Gage has been that guy for Ryan over the past few weeks. Gage saw 12 targets in Week 13 against the defending world champions and snagged 11 of those for a career-high 130 yards.

With Gage still available in 66 percent of leagues, Ryan’s WR1 is a must-add off the Week 14 waiver wire.

“He made some plays and toughed it out at the end,” Ryan said of his receiver. “I appreciate that.”

Ryan also appreciates Gage’s breakout because not only is he picking up the slack to move the chains, but he also recorded the team’s first 100-yard day by a wideout this season. Both Pitts and Patterson have hit that plateau, yet Ridley’s void has been massive on an offense dying for a perimeter playmaker.

Excluding his Week 10 goose egg against the Cowboys, Gage has seen at least seven targets in every game since Week 9. While his numbers typically look like those of a slot receiver, Gage proved on Sunday he can exceed over 10 yards a reception.

While Gage is not a long-term No. 1 wideout in this league, he could be a valuable fantasy wideout for the remainder of this season — with or without Ridley in the lineup.

Gage moved up to WR40 on The Wolf’s Rest of Season Rankings and should see a bump on his Week 14 Rankings. The Falcons get the Panthers, 49ers, Lions, and Bills to round out the 2021 fantasy season.

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