The Case For Alshon Jeffery

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This article is a part of our Fantasy Faceoff Series; be sure to check out The Case Against Alshon Jeffery.

Opening Statement

By most accounts, 2015 was a terrible season for Alshon Jeffery. He played in just nine games, three of which he left early with injuries. However, when he was on the field, he was an elite WR. I’m very high on Alshon Jeffrey having a bounce back season in 2016, and I’m here to tell you that you should not let him slide in your draft.

 Injury Prone?

I’m going to tackle the elephant in the room right away. Injuries. Specifically “soft tissue” injuries. Alshon’s 2015 injury list is the ammo that everyone is using to downgrade him. Let’s start at the top and just get it out of the way:

  • Preseason – Calf Strain
  • Week 1 – Hamstring Strain – 4 games missed
  • Week 9 – Groin Strain – 1 game missed
  • Week 13 – Calf Strain – no games missed
  • Week 15 – Hamstring Strain – 2 games missed

That’s an ugly list. But lest we forget that Alshon played in all 16 games the previous two seasons. In 2014 he was listed on the injury report twice with a strained hamstring but did not miss any games. In 2013, he was listed just once with a sprained ankle but didn’t miss a game.

Be Careful of Labels

Many owners make the mistake of applying a label to a player, but ignoring it for other players. Typically, this is based on the owner’s experience with that player on their team the previous season. If they owned him and he burned them, they will downgrade him the following season. Many players have been tagged as “injury prone” after a bad year, only to follow it up with multiple injury free seasons. A great example of this is his former teammate, Brandon Marshall, who was being labeled as injury prone during and after his final season in Chicago. Marshall went on to post a dominate, full season in his first year with the New York Jets. Remember when Julio Jones was “injury prone” and downgraded due to his foot? Alshon Jeffery is getting this same treatment in 2016; don’t let one lost season cloud you vision of him as an elite player.

Elite WR Production

When Alshon Jeffery was on the field in 2015, he was a stud, plain and simple. In fact, he was producing at a top 10 WR level. Even including the 3 games where he left early, he still posted an average of 17.6 PPR points per game. His 9 games played had him on pace for 96 receptions, 1,435 yards, and 7 TDs. Zooming out and looking back, these are not outrageous stats for Alshon Jeffery.

[lptw_table id=”28305″ style=”default”]

Don’t forget that Alshon Jeffery was not the primary target in 2013 and 2014, playing the “1B” role to Brandon Marshall. As the primary target in 2015, Jeffery was on pace to exceed his previous stats and rival those of Brandon Marshall’s WR6 2013 season.

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Closing Argument

Alshon Jeffery is currently being drafted as the 10th-12th WR off the board, typically in the middle-to-end of Round 2. There are plenty of owners out there that will rank him lower. Extrapolating his 2015 season would have seen him finish as the WR7 and his PPG were inside the top 10, even though he didn’t finish a few games. Football is a brutal sport where WRs are asked to run precise routes, sprint to one point, stop on a dime, cut back, and weave to get open. While 2015 was a rough season, it’s very common for players to sustain tweaks and strains. Don’t fall victim to recency bias and pass up on an elite WR. Draft Alshon Jeffery and enjoy his immense upside.

Check out where Andy, Mike, and Jason have Alshon Jeffery ranked. Read the other cases in our other Fantasy Faceoff Series:

The Case For/Against Kelvin Benjamin

The Case For/Against Brandin Cooks

The Case For/Against Gary Barnidge

The Case For/Against Tyrod Taylor

The Case For/Against Adrian Peterson

The Case For/Against Amari Cooper

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The Case For/Against Sammy Watkins

The Case For/Against Latavius Murray

The Case For/Against Josh Gordon

The Case For/ Against Matt Jones

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