Why DeSean Jackson Will Be A Top-30 WR (2020 Fantasy Football)
Throughout the offseason, Kyle Yates will be highlighting several marquee fantasy players as he walks through his projection process. These projections are subject to change based on injuries, signings above/below them on the depth chart, new information regarding scheme or player usage, etc. They’ll serve as a way to give a “peek behind the curtain” into Kyle’s projections thought process and whether or not a player will be a fantasy value in 2020.
In this article, we look at how DeSean Jackson is well-positioned to finish as a top-30 WR in 2020.
Fantasy football is fun. It’s meant to be a game that you enjoy playing and it allows for you to build the team that you truly want to roll out there. Often times, this means that there are certain players that you feel comfortable letting someone else draft…
This could be because this player burned you in years past, it could be because they play for a rival of your favorite team, or it could be because of their age. We all fall victim to a mindset where we chase after youth and the “shiny new toy” that’s entered the league. However, there are always veteran players who are going to be available that can contribute in a big way to your team.
This year, DeSean Jackson is one of those players. Jackson is currently WR57 based on ADP Consensus and he’s a steal at that price. Many people are off of Jackson based on last year, where he missed the majority of the season due to an injury, and his age. However, there are reasons to be optimistic about Jackson this season and he’s a player that you can grab super late in your drafts that can pay off in a big way.
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) September 8, 2019
How does all of this go together though to result in Jackson finishing as a Top-30 WR?
Let’s check out the projections.
The Philadelphia Eagles receiving corps certainly has something that about half the league can boast about…a franchise QB. When healthy, Carson Wentz is a fantastic QB and he can captain a very high-powered offense. We certainly saw him do incredible things on the field last year after all his receiving options went down with injuries. Now, Wentz has a revamped receiving corps that has some very talented players in it.
- Alshon Jeffery
- Jalen Reagor
- John Hightower
- Marquise Goodwin
- Quez Watkins
- Greg Ward
- J.J. Arcega-Whiteside
- Zach Ertz
- Dallas Goedert
Obviously, not all of these players will be on the Eagles’ roster in week one. With that in mind, we have to do a bit of projecting in order to determine who will be on the field this season for the Eagles. Before we do that and determine the projected target shares though, we need to look at the overall projected passing volume of this offense.
Last season, the Eagles threw the ball 613 times. In 2018, they threw the ball 599 times, so we can safely project somewhere in this range for their overall passing attempts in 2020. I have the Eagles currently projected for 585 pass attempts and seeing a slight uptick in their TD efficiency, which brings their overall attempts down just a bit.
With this projected total in mind, it’s not unreasonable to see the target share numbers break down with these percentages:
- Jeffery: 16% (94 targets)
- Jackson: 18% (105 targets)
- Ertz: 20% (117 targets)
- Reagor: 13% (76 targets)
- Goedert: 12% (70 targets)
- Arcega-Whiteside: 3% (18 targets)
- Sanders: 9% (53 targets)
- Boston Scott: 4% (23 targets)
- Corey Clement: 2% (12 targets)
- Adrian Killins: 3% (18 targets)
The RB room still has to be sorted out, which will most likely result in those target percentages shifting around quite a bit. However, there’s still an incredible opportunity here for these WRs to capitalize on a bevy of available targets. With the potential that Alshon misses several games, we could see his overall target share diminish even more and someone like Marquise Goodwin or John Hightower step into that role for the first part of the season. (Arcega-Whiteside would be the natural role replacement, but I believe the Eagles may have seen enough already to go a different direction)
Jackson is the most proven commodity of this receiving corps and we saw what his chemistry with Wentz looked like on the field last year in week one – 8 receptions, 154 yards, and 2 TDs. He’s in line for significant target volume this year in a dynamic offense. If we take his projected target share and estimate a 58% catch rate due to his usage downfield, plus a YPR of 15.5, this has him finishing the season with 61 receptions for 947 yards.
Tom Brady isn’t the only one working out in Tampa
DeSean Jackson working out today
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) May 20, 2020
Based on his expected TD rate, which I explain in previous articles in this series (you can view those below), Jackson should finish the season with 6 TDs. With this as his baseline, we can project a slight uptick based on his usage and big play ability, and project 7 receiving TDs.
This would result in Jackson finishing the 2020 campaign with 61 receptions for 947 yards and 7 TDs.
With those receiving projections, Jackson slides in at WR26 in my season long rankings. There are obvious injury concerns with Jackson due to the fact that he hasn’t played a full 16 game season since 2013, but if he does play the entire season, he’s going to return value.
Again. Carson Wentz to DeSean Jackson for the second time today. First one was a 51 yarder, this one is a 53-yard TD. pic.twitter.com/W9mBkCQYOr
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 8, 2019
The best part about selecting Jackson is that you’re not investing significant draft capital in him. He’s someone who you can take with one of your last picks in redraft and confidently start him in your lineup immediately as a high-end WR3 option. If he misses time with an injury again, or shows that he simply doesn’t have it anymore, it’s not a significant blow to your roster due to the lack of investment. If you decide to load up on RBs early in your draft, Jackson’s a perfect target late to round out your receiving corps.
As shown in these projections, it could pay off in a big way.
“Kyle Why” Fantasy Football Series
- Why David Montgomery Will Be a Top-15 RB
- Why Ke’Shawn Vaughn Will Be a Top-20 RB
- Why Joe Burrow Will Be a Top-12 QB
- Why Calvin Ridley Will Be a Top-10 WR
- Why Robert Woods Will Be a Top-10 WR
- Why DeSean Jackson Will Be a Top-30 WR
- Why Michael Pittman Jr. Will Be a Top-30 WR