It is a longstanding theory within the NFL that wide receivers can often be elevated above and beyond their actual abilities on the back of a superstar quarterback.
Pierre Garcon and Dallas Clark have struggled to live up to their lofty statuses achieved behind the influence of Peyton Manning. On a similar note, the same quarterback has lifted Eric Decker out of obscurity and created a top-10 receiver.
Tom Brady is another who falls under the same accusation in regards to many a wideout, most notable Deion Branch. Branch excelled under Brady in the final season of his first stint with the New England Patriots, but never lived up to his standing after swapping the northeast corridor for the northwest.
Branch’s career was on the slide after four seasons with the Seattle Seahawks until Brady reached out to aid his resurrection; the following two seasons back with Brady saw better numbers than the previous three with the Seahawks.
Just to hammer home the point, let’s keep the examples rolling and talk Drew Brees. The notorious Robert Meachem earned a big-money move to the San Diego Chargers in 2012. He impressed in a bit role with the New Orleans Saints and Norv Turner offered him the opportunity to step up as the leading franchise receiver.
Three starts, 207 receiving yards and two touchdowns later, Meachem was back with the Saints to hide behind the comforting consistency of Brees and his plethora of better receivers.
Eight weeks into the 2013 season, and it appears that we have another candidate for induction into this infamous class. After seven highly successful seasons with the Green Bay Packers, Greg Jennings was given the opportunity to be ‘the guy’ with the Minnesota Vikings.
What began with Brett Favre was picked up and continued by Aaron Rodgers; Jennings standards rarely slipped during his time in Wisconsin, though he was eventually shunted out of favor as the Packers continued to roll outstanding receivers off the production line. Seven games into the season, and Jennings is not even the leading receiver on the Vikings roster, let alone in the league.
Plenty of us are clinging onto Jennings in the fantasy football ranks in hope that things are sure to improve. News flash — it’s not going to happen. Touchdowns are lucrative in this game, and Jennings’ only two of the season so far came in the same game: a 92 receiving yards, double-score outing in Week 4 at Wembley Stadium. Other than that triumph against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jennings has failed to register a double-figure fantasy outing in six other attempts.
The once-vaunted wide receiver returned to his home away from home at Lambeau Field in Week 8 and came away with his worst outing of the season so far. Against a Packers outfit that allows an average of 22.6 fantasy points to wide receivers this season, Jennings hauled in one catch for nine yards and a miserly 0.90 points in what is sure to be the last straw for those who have kept the faith.
Quite staggeringly, Jennings is still owned in 90.7 percent of standard leagues on NFL.com though he has proven to be unworthy of even being an insurance option. With the likes of Marvin Jones and Terrence Williams still floating around on waiver wires, it’s time to cut your losses on what has been one of the most disappointing wide receiver returns of 2013 thus far.