Alshon Jeffery finds a home with the Eagles, signing a reported one-year $14 million deal. The fine print actually states that the deal is really for $9.5 million with $4.5 million in incentives which range from team wins to statistics. In the business world, we’d call it a “Prove It” deal. My initial thought was Alshon Jeffery will be pushed from his “eagles nest” this season and it will either end with him finding his wings and soaring high for fantasy owners or he will injure a wing and fall to his fantasy death.
Now I get it that might be a little dramatic but both outcomes are possible. To really wrap our minds around the full fantasy implications of Jeffery joining the Eagles, this Fantasy Reaction will include Jeffery’s impact to the Eagles offense as well as the impact on his personal fantasy value in 2017.
Fantasy Reaction: Eagles Offense
The Eagles realized their weakness from a season ago and went out and got the top-rated wide receiver on the market. The addition of Jeffery will boost the value of franchise quarterback Carson Wentz. If there is one player on the Eagles offense singing ” Fly Like An Eagle”, its Wentz. Wentz after his rookie season was in desperate need of a wide receiver. How desperate might you ask?
Last season, Wentz threw for 16 touchdowns which had him ranked 25th in the NFL. Those 16 passing touchdowns ranked the Philadelphia Eagles 28th in the NFL tied with the Jets. Only the Browns, Texans, and Rams had fewer passing touchdowns. Wait, there’s more. Wentz’s 6.23 yards per completion in 2016 ranked him 29th among qualifying quarterbacks. The only quarterback who had a lower yards per completion was Brock Osweiler. Maybe the most eye-popping stat was the fact that Wentz had only one 4th quarter touchdown pass all season which was the worst in the NFL.
Now before you jump to conclusions and think I am saying Wentz is a bad quarterback, not so fast. Wentz had arguably the worst receiving corps in the NFL last season on top of the fact it was his rookie season. When looking at the positives for Wentz, I dove into the numbers and discovered that he had three games last season with a QB rating over 100. Those three games occurred in his final four games of the regular season which I believe shows his progression as a quarterback. Check out where Wentz is ranked among the Fantasy Footballers quarterback rankings for 2017.
Fantasy Reaction: Alshon Jeffery
When analyzing Jeffery, you have to look at his upside with him playing a full 16 game schedule. At 6’3 and 218 pounds, there is no doubt that he is physically gifted and when healthy is a difference-making receiver in the NFL. If you crunch the numbers for Jeffery’s entire five-year career, he averages 4.75 catches, 72.2 yards, and 0.41 touchdowns a game. If you extrapolate those numbers throughout an entire season, his numbers would look like 76 catches, 1,155 yards, 7 TDs or in a half point leagues, 195.5 points. Now if you are the type of person that only looks at numbers that are more recent, let’s look at his numbers from the last two seasons. On a per game basis, he averages 5 catches for 78 yards and .29 touchdowns which when stretched out to a full 16 game season is 80 catches, 1,248 yards, 5 TDs or in half point leagues, 194.8 points.
As you can see the numbers/points are strikingly similar which is why I believe it is safe to assume these are the numbers Jeffery will put up if he is able to play a full 16 game season. With that being said, where do you think Alshon Jeffery is/should be ranked according to the Fantasy Footballers wide receiver rankings?
Not only do you have to look at Jeffery’s upside but you can’t ignore his red flags. With all the red flags and the roller coaster ride of a season, he takes his fantasy owners on has earned him the nickname from me “Six Flags.” Jeffery is the definition of a fantasy football roller coaster with his ups and downs. Over the last two seasons, Jeffery has missed a total of 11 games. In the 21 games he played in, he was questionable in 13 of them. If that isn’t a fantasy football headache, then I don’t know what is.
Not only does Jeffery have injury concerns, he also has some off the field issues. Last season Jeffery served a four-game suspension for PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs) and if he’s caught again, his suspension goes to 10 games. Is it worth the risk drafting a player in the first three rounds of drafts who has the risk of losing 10 games due to another failed drug test plus someone who has only played in 62 percent of the games over the last two seasons? The risk on Jeffery for many NFL teams and myself is simply not worth the reward which is why I will be passing on Jeffery’s in my 2017 Fantasy Football drafts.