2014 Fantasy Football: Don't Be Too Optimistic About DeSean Jackson

By Alexander Muir
Desean Jackson
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

After a magical season in which DeSean Jackson posted career-highs in receptions (82) and yards (1,332), and tied his career-high in touchdowns (nine), it’s hard not to get excited about what the speedy wideout can accomplish this season.

Jackson finished the 2013 NFL season as the 10th overall ranked wide receiver in all of fantasy football. He really excelled in first-year head coach Chip Kelly‘s high-octane offense. However, due to a large salary cap hit and questionable off-field activities, the Philadelphia Eagles decided to part ways with their star wide receiver.

At 27 years old, Jackson is reaching the peak of his career, so the move was a tough pill to swallow for the Eagles. However, it’s something that could help them in the long run.

One of the reasons that the move was so tough for the Philadelphia was the location where Jackson found his new home. He chose to stay within the NFC East division and sign with the Washington Redskins. After a year that ended horribly, the Redskins have appeared to turn over a new leaf pretty quickly. They got a new head coach in Jay Gruden, a finally healthy star quarterback in Robert Griffin III, and one of the most dynamic receivers in the NFL with Jackson.

Naturally, fantasy football owners will be looking to cash in on Jackson’s big season last year and draft him quite highly. However, in order to fully judge the value of a player, one must judge the player’s situation as well. Coming from the Eagles’ offense, Jackson was fed the ball a lot more due to the absence of Jeremy Maclin. Also, the team was never afraid to sling the ball down field, whether it was Michael Vick or Nick Foles under center.

The Redskins have good receivers, but they are a run-first team with Alfred Morris in the backfield and RGIII running the read option, which will cap the amount of receptions Jackson hauls in. Speaking of Washington having good receivers, Pierre Garcon should lock down the No. 1 receiver position, and second-year tight end Jordan Reed can line up just about anywhere on the field.

Those two factors will limit the value of the explosive Jackson this season. Expect him not to even crack the top-25 overall in 2014, which is why he should be considered a mid-round selection by fantasy owners.

Alexander Muir is a writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @AmuirAlex, “Like” him on Facebook or add him on your network on Google.

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