Pierre Garçon Poised to Deliver Value
Pierre Garcon is coming off a quietly productive 2016 season. – 1,041-yards on 79 receptions, but only three TDs – a WR32 finish. Yet despite a massive upgrade to his situation, his 2017 ADP is WR38, 94th overall, late eighth round. Shoe-in for the X-receiver role in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, Garçon’s production should only increase. He is a virtual lock for 1,000 yards, with upside for much more. From the eighth round on he presents a tremendous value proposition.
Shanahan and QB Brian Hoyer finished 7-9 together in Cleveland Josh Gordon’s breakout year. They are back together in San Francisco, and Garçon will have Gordon’s role as the X-receiver. But not only is the starting QB familiar with Shanahan’s system, so is Garçon. Say what you want about GM John Lynch’s decision to hand out such a big contract ($9.5MM makes him the 16th highest paid WR in the NFL right now) – they plan to use Garçon and that much is clear.
Shanahan’s playbook is not too complicated: feed the X-receiver early and often:
– Santana Moss (McNabb) 2010: 93 receptions on 146 targets for 1,115 yards, six TDs. This is a decent year from an average WR and a good QB – very comparable to Jarvis Landry’s statistics (more on that later).
– Jabar Gaffney (Grossman) 2011: 68 receptions on 115 targets for 947 yards, five TDs. Considering neither player is very good, 950/5 is not awful.
– Garçon (RGIII/Cousins) 2013: 113 rec(!) on 183 targets(!) for 1,346 yards(!) and five TDs. Cousins is certainly a step up from Hoyer, but Hoyer, for all of his faults (turnovers, especially under pressure), has never had difficulties feeding his WR1 (Recall that DeAndre Hopkins breakout season was thanks in large part to inordinate volume from Hoyer).
– Julio Jones (Ryan) 2015-16: 219 receptions on 333 targets for 3,280 yards and 14 TDs (30 games played)
Garçon was targeted specifically by Lynch and Shanahan because he knows Shanahan’s system, is a reliable veteran, and the staff is comfortable with him as the leader until they can rebuild WR through the draft. He will provide safe, reliable volume, and a high floor – albeit with limited touchdown upside.
Garçon hauled in 79 receptions on 114 targets in the Redskins offense last year. We can safely project a bump in targets to at least 140, which would put Garçon in the 90/1,100/4 range. 180 targets (which Garçon achieved with Kyle Shanahan in 2013) would put him in the 100/1,300/6 range.
Compare his production to Jarvis Landry – 94 receptions on 131 targets for 1,138 yards and four TDs in 2016 – who is being drafted in the fourth round as WR18.
As it stands now, Garçon is a steal at his current ADP. He is a safe, consistent floor WR2-3 who is being drafted as a WR4. He presents mid-range WR2 upside from the back half of your draft. Keep him on your radar and be ready to pull the trigger a round earlier than your draft client has him ranked. You don’t want to miss this value.
Nick Zychowicz is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Nick, follow him @NJZychowicz.