2013 Fantasy Football Draft: Vincent Jackson Is Consistently Inconsistent

By Dustin Manko
Vincent Jackson
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The only consistent thing about Vincent Jackson is his inconsistent play. The man has almost everything that you would want out of your starting wide receiver, but he continually disappears.

Despite setting career highs in 2012 in yardage (1,384) and receptions (72), Jackson owners need to understand when and where those numbers are coming from before setting that lineup.

2012 is a perfect microcosm of Jackson’s career. A quick review of his weekly fantasy scores:

Week 1: 4 points

Week 2: 18 points

Week 3: 2 points

Week 4: 16 points

Week 5: BYE

Week 6: 18 points

Week 7: 27 points

Week 8: 4 points

Week 9: 14 points

Week 10: 5 points

Week 11: 15 points

Week 12: 9 points

Week 13: 5 points

Week 14: 19 points

Week 15: 8 points

Week 16: 10 points

Week 17: 5 points

As the statistics above illustrate, Jackson’s point totals swing from top of his position to getting outscored by Tim Tebow. This trend was not limited to just last season.

2011 saw Jackson net fantasy points in much the same way:

Week 1: 3 points

Week 2: 29 points

Week 3: 6 points

Week 4: 16 points

Week 5: 3 points

Week 6: BYE

Week 7: 1 point

Week 8: 4 points

Week 9: 32 points

Week 10: 2 points

Week 11: 22 points

Week 12: 2 points

Week 13: 13 points

Week 14: 5 points

Week 15: 8 points

Week 16: 4 points

Week 17: 12 points

What we can learn from this is when to play him, sit him, and where to draft him. Most mock drafts I’ve seen to this point put Jackson in the 39-45 ADP range, listing as a top-10 wide receiver. While I love the ceiling, I have major concerns about Jackson’s floor. Do you really want to burn your third- or fourth-round draft spot on a guy who will average 10 points or less in half your games? If I can grab him as my WR2 or flex around rounds six through nine, I would go for it.

One of the hardest things about fantasy football is knowing when to trust your gut. I know how tough it is to sit a guy and watch him score 15 points while sitting on your bench. Is that better than starting him and watching him post four points? If you have Jackson, unless the matchup is too good to pass up, I would recommend sitting him right after he has a good game.

I prefer to grab guys who are less reliant on the big play and put up consistent numbers. Granted, every player will eventually lay you an egg, just as they will eventually go off big and win you a game almost single handedly. However, you generally have a better idea what to expect out of the “consistent” player over the home-run hitter. I see those guys having higher floors, while the ceiling is still in the same neighborhood.

I think you are better off looking at Jackson as a WR2/flex player as opposed to your WR1. He is just too hit or miss for my liking to be my No. 1 guy. Even the schedule this season is inconsistent. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have two games apiece against the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons, as usual. They also play the Detroit Lions and New England Patriots. I’ve used this space before to emphasize that those teams score points. Tampa Bay will have to score to keep pace, but those games account for less than half of the schedule. The majority of the rest of the schedule has teams with solid defenses. Week 16 and 17 also feature the San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams, both teams with stout defenses, and neither are a good matchup for your fantasy playoff.

Outside of the tier-one receivers (Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant, A.J. Green), I think you are better off with Reggie Wayne, Demaryius Thomas, Brandon Marshall or Julio Jones. Those guys are the primary options for their team, are a little more consistent and have a better quarterback situation.

As always, I welcome your comments. If you think I’m wrong, I’m willing to listen. Just back it up with some facts and solid evidence. Thanks for reading and good luck this season.

Related Links

2013 Fantasy Football: Vincent Jackson is a Must-Have at WR

Overrated and Underrated Tampa Bay Buccaneers Players Heading Into Fantasy Drafts

Dustin Manko is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DustinManko, ”Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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