2013 Fantasy Football Preview: Don’t Pick Philadelphia Eagles’ DeSean Jackson Too High
DeSean Jackson is just about as explosive as they come. In five seasons as a pro, he’s made some dazzling plays as a receiver, runner and punt returner. But Jackson’s character issues and injury concerns have diminished his superstar status considerably since back-to-back Pro-Bowl years in 2009 and 2010. He’s no longer a Pro-Bowl shoe-in or even close to a guaranteed 1,000-yard receiver, so my advice is this: don’t make the mistake of drafting Jackson too high for your fantasy team.
Since 2009, Jackson’s touchdown totals have decreased every year. Defenses are catching on to the fact that he’s a major deep threat, but he doesn’t like to go over the middle. He’s one of the hardest fantasy players to figure out, but my instinct tells me that Chip Kelly‘s offensive approach for the Eagles won’t resurrect Jackson’s fantasy prowess.
The Eagles’ quarterback situation also hurts Jackson’s fantasy stock. There’s currently a three-way competition for the starting job and none of the candidates have proven to be overly efficient. Whether it’s Michael Vick, Nick Foles or Matt Barkley under center, the passing game will be somewhat of a work in progress. Jackson won’t benefit from that.
When all of the top-tier receivers have been taken in your fantasy draft, Jackson’s name will stand out among remaining options on your draft sheet. It will be tempting to grab him in one of the early-middle rounds given his talent. But please refrain. He might not be reliable enough to grab as anything higher than a No. 3 wide receiver option despite his big upside. He’ll make some big plays this year without a doubt, but in the end, you’ll be happy you didn’t jump the gun and draft him early.