Gage followed up likely the best game he’ll ever have with a solid outing at Carolina. He caught 4 of 6 targets for 64 yards, highlighted by a 36-yard deep grab midway through the 1st quarter.
Gage tied for the team lead, while claiming 21.4% target share. He has now seen 6+ targets and caught 4+ balls in 4 straight games and 5 of the past 6. Gage will remain a solid PPR play at San Francisco this week and then at home against Detroit in Week 16. A fantasy finale at Buffalo looks like a tougher spot.
We can probably go ahead and write in Sharpie that Gage’s 11-130 receiving line in Sunday’s loss to Tampa Bay will be his biggest of the season. His 12 targets beat his nearest teammate (Kyle Pitts) by 5 and made up 29.3% of Matt Ryan’s total attempts for the game.
Gage has been a strong target bet for most of the past 5 weeks, though. He got shut out on just 3 looks in a terrible all-around offensive effort at Dallas in Week 10. But Gage sandwiched that between 8-target games. He has caught at least 5 balls in 4 of his past 5 outings and topped 60 receiving yards in 3 of those. Gage has claimed a 25.5% target share over the past 5 weeks.
Next, however, comes a visit to a Carolina defense that allowed Matt Ryan only 146 yards -- despite 20-of-27 passing -- in their Week 8 meeting. Gage finished that game with 0 targets, despite Calvin Ridley’s absence.
We’ll bet on Gage beating that performance in the rematch, but let it remind you that he’s far from a safe bet for good PPR production. Matchups with San Francisco and Detroit the following 2 weeks look more favorable for receiving numbers.
Gage caught 6 of 7 targets for 62 yards and 1 TD in the Falcons' Week 12 win over the Jaguars.
Gage led the Falcons in all receiving categories and was the only Atlanta player to catch more than 3 passes. He’s benefiting from the absence of Calvin Ridley and the extra defensive attention on Kyle Pitts.
Gage has WR3 potential in a good matchup against the Bucs pass defense in Week 13.
Gage didn’t officially catch a pass at Dallas, though 1 grab was negated by a penalty. He was 0 for 3 in targets that counted. WR Tajae Sharpe caught the only pass thrown to him, but for no gain.
Sharpe hasn’t scored a TD since 2019. Gage has 1 this season but has played in just 6 games, starting 3, in 2021. If RB/WR Cordarrelle Patterson can’t play this week, there isn’t a go-to WR on the roster. Instead of watching Atlanta Thursday night, Falcons fans should concentrate on following scouts as they scour Saturday’s college games for WRs to draft.
Since his return in Week 7, Gage has been very up and down. In Week 7, he caught 4-67-1 vs. the Dolphins then followed that game up with a 0-0-0 line vs. the Panthers. In Week 9, Gage had a solid day for PPR, securing 7-64 vs. a good Saints D. The good news for fantasy managers is Gage was utilized as the top WR as he did tie for the lead in routes on the week.
Moving forward, Gage will have his solid games when the Falcons have to throw as he looks to be the defacto #1 WR behind Kyle Pitts. Relying on Gage week in and week out is not advised as his floor doesn’t match his ceiling. That’s why we recommend fading him for Week 10 as Dallas has been tough vs. interior WRs this year.
If you see Russell Gage, then please call the police. He needs your help. Not even the Falcons are bothering to look for him.
The guy who is supposed to be the new #2 wideout drew just 2 targets in the opener and caught neither of them. Of course, that did actually rank 2nd among Falcons WRs for the game. But 5 other players drew more -- including FB Keith Smith.
Gage will obviously have some better days, but Week 1 showed us why Julio Jones’ departure doesn’t automatically make the next WR relevant. Keep Gage far away from your fantasy lineups until he gives you a reason to use him.