Fantasy Impact of DeSean Jackson to the Redskins
By: Dylan Elder – Editor-in-Chief
RGIII takes the snap, fakes the handoff to Alfred Morris, looks left for Pierre Garçon (covered), switches his vision to the middle of the field with big target Jordan Reed and elusive slot man Andre Roberts (both covered), evades the rush, then steps up into the pocket and delivers an absolute 40 yard dime to DeSean Jackson running down the sideline.
At least, that’s certainly how Redskins fans picture it.
Sure, Jackson’s arrival looks mighty fine on paper, but from a fantasy perspective, the only one it really helps is RGIII.
The Washington QB is looking golden right about now. Last year, Garçon provided a reliable safety net for Griffin, but other than him, there were not many acceptable options to throw to. TE Jordan Reed showed flashes of brilliance but was not trustworthy for the majority of the season, same goes for wideout Santana Moss.
Now, with the additions of Jackson and Andre Roberts, RGIII has a plethora of targets to throw the ball to. That dynamic in an offense is extremely hard to guard, and once you throw in Griffin’s scrambling ability, his fantasy stock shoots way up.
However, for the marquee signing, things will be much different than in Philadelphia.
Last season, Jackson had a career year with 82 receptions, 1332 yards, and 9 touchdowns. But lest we forget the frantic pace of Chip Kelly’s offense; the Eagles ran the most plays in the league a season ago.
The Redskins move at a snails pace compared to Philly; Washington was 26th in the league in terms of number of plays run.
The lack of plays in Washington will simply force Jackson to be less productive, not by any fault of his own.
Likewise, the presence of Pierre Garçon will likely cause Jackson to have less opportunities to shine. In Philly, DeSean was a relative one man show. Sure, Riley Cooper had a nice season, but he’s closer to be an average receiver than a great one, and certainly doesn’t instill fear in opposing defenses.
Garçon led the league in receptions (113) last season and was tied for the league lead in targets (181) as well. Throw in a competent slot receiver in Andre Roberts and a potential monster tight end in Jordan Reed and chances are going to be tougher to come by for Jackson.
Furthermore, DeSean doesn’t have the luxury of the best rushing attack taking attention away from him every snap. Alfred Morris is no slouch, but he’s also not on the same level as LeSean McCoy.
Similarly, just as Pierre Garçon will take away targets from Jackson, DeSean will take targets away from Garçon. Don’t expect Pierre to reach his lofty reception totals from a year ago, but he shouldn’t completely suffer either. Somewhere between 80-90 receptions is reasonable.
All in all this is a fantastic move from a football perspective for both Washington and Jackson, but in fantasy, this transaction leaves much to be desired.