Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed had an injury riddled rookie season in 2013, as he missed a game early in the season with a quad issue and ultimately missed the final six games with a concussion. In nine games played he had 45 receptions for 499 yards and three touchdowns, including a strong five-game stretch from Week 6-Week 10 when he had 31 catches for 381 yards and two touchdowns (at least four receptions in each game). The new coaching regime in Washington seems to be enthralled with Reed, which is clearly good news for his fantasy prospects.
Reed played basically half a season as a rookie, with just one catch for 12 yards in his final game Week 11 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Based on his averages in the other eight games he played, Reed would have finished with 88 receptions for 974 yards and six touchdowns along with 116 targets over 16 games. Those numbers would have put Reed in the top-five among tight ends in catches (first), yards (second) and targets (fifth), along with a touchdown total that would have been tied for sixth-most at the position.
Reed has been cleared from last year’s concussion, and will not be restricted at all through offseason work and training camp.
Washington ranked ninth in the league in pass attempts last season (38.2 per game), due at least in part to a defense that allowed close to 30 points per game. That said, new head coach Jay Gruden brings a somewhat pass-oriented offense with him and the Redskins may still be throwing a fair amount this year.
Reed also suffered a concussion during his senior season at Florida, and a recent report suggested he may had issues with headaches and nausea prior to last season’s head injury going public. Multiple concussions puts him at significant risk for another, which is a big concern for Reed’s long-term outlook.
Washington made an effort to bolster their group of pass catchers this offseason, as they signed DeSean Jackson after he was released by the Eagles and also signed Andre Roberts in free agency. Add in Pierre Garcon, who led the NFL in targets last season with 184, and Reed may struggle to find a consistent role.
Reed has tremendous fantasy upside if he can stay healthy this year, which is of course the key question and adds risk to drafting him. I don’t advocate avoiding him based purely on injury risk, but owners that do draft Reed should strongly consider drafting a second tight end as a potential fallback option.
Bye Week: Week 10
Projected Round: Seventh or Eighth (12-Team Leagues)
Auction Value: $1 (ESPN.com)