Fantasy Football: Make Up or Break Up with Alshon Jeffrey in 2018?
I find myself in a tough spot as I write this letter. I, like many others, am preparing for my home league draft and I cannot decide if you are going to have a spot on my fantasy roster. On the surface, your 2017 wasn’t really a “disappointment” per say. You came into the season with plenty of hype after signing a one year “prove it” deal with the Eagles. Your ADP was as the WR18, despite missing 4 games and only scoring 2 TDs in 2016, and you went to finish as the WR23. It was an interesting season, to say the least. You played in all 16 games and saw the 3rd most targets of your career. Yet, you only recorded 57 catches on your 120 targets, for the worst catch rate of your career. To top that off, you only managed 789 yards, fewer than both your 2015 and 2016 seasons, where you played in 9 and 12 games respectively. But, oh the touchdowns. The season started out slow enough, you only scored 2 TDs in the first 7 games, but went on a tear to end the year, scoring 7 regular season TDs in the last 9 games and added 3 more in the playoffs. But if I’m going to win a #FootClanTitle in 2018, I need to know if you are going to be there for me every Sunday, not just half the season.
With your obvious deficiencies in catch rate and yardage, the question we must ask ourselves is: are the TDs repeatable? The factors that play into this are many. There is the Carson Wentz injury and return, the emergence of Nelson Agholor, and the addition of another TE to limit red zone looks. You enter 2018 fantasy draft season with an ADP of WR26. Last year, during those 1st seven games, you only managed to crack the top 26 once…but you did it 6 times in the last 9 games. It seems like we may have an issue with consistency, and it will be hard to start you when you only live up to your ADP half of your games.
The Wentz injury shouldn’t influence the decision one way or the other, you had your good games with him…and your bad. You also had terrible games with Nick Foles but played great with him in the playoffs. It seems that no matter who is throwing you the ball, you have your ups and downs. I keep wrestling with your 47% catch rate as meaning more potential vs you have terrible hands. Your career catch rate is 55% (FIFTY-FIVE) and at no point has it ever eclipsed 60% for a single season, so I don’t know how much potential for growth there really is. The 9 TDs you scored were the second highest of your career and the most since 2013. Touchdowns are always the hardest thing to predict and when you combine that with your own inconsistency this tells me that as easy as those TDs came, they can go. If you don’t score TDs, you may not even crack the WR top 30.
Another issue is you may not even be the best WR on your own team. Last season, you were almost always 2nd in line behind Zach Ertz but there were many games where fellow WR Nelson Agholor outshined you. In fact, despite seeing 25 fewer targets, he caught more balls than you and just barely missed your yardage and TD totals. Agholor can be had in the 9th round of drafts, a full 4 rounds after your being drafted. That does not make sense. Speaking of Zach Ertz and the tight ends, your team went out and added arguably the best rookie tight end in the NFL draft, Dallas Goedert. He’s already flashed big-play ability in the preseason and could eat into your end zone targets. Need I remind you that the only reason we are even having this discussion is that you can score TDs?
The long and short of it, as you may have gathered by now, is that I cannot trust you. Your end of season totals should play right to your ADP but on a week to week basis you’re impossible to plug and play with confidence. Early word is you may not even be 100% healthy to start the year. I’ll make you a promise: if your ADP drops 2 rounds, I’ll consider adding you to my team as a high upside WR4. But right now, I’m going to let you be someone else’s headache. You read that right, we are done. Good luck Alshon, it’s not me, it’s you.