The far-reaching impact of Jackson's move
By Thomas J. Harrigan, Fantasy Sports Writer
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The fantasy impact of DeSean Jackson landing with the Washington Redskins is much larger and farther-reaching than the wideout's 5-foot-10, 175-pound frame.
Let's see how it will affect the players on his new team.
Robert Griffin III - Griffin has to be one of the happiest men in the NFL today. He has a healthy knee, a new pass-happy coach and a downfield target to hit with long bombs. RGIII had a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 1-7 on plays that began on Washington's half of the field last season, and the Redskins ranked 31st in the NFL last season with just six pass plays of 40 yards or more. Jackson had eight on his own. New Washington coach Jay Gruden was the offensive coordinator with the Cincinnati Bengals last season and helped Andy Dalton finish fifth in fantasy points among QBs.
Pierre Garcon - Garcon led the NFL in targets with 182, and he caught 113 of them for 1,346 yards and five touchdowns. No one else on the team had more than 79 targets. Jackson will get at least 100 targets, Jordan Reed will see an increase on the 59 he had last season if he plays a full season and Gruden likes to throw the ball to his running backs. All that means is that Garcon will likely draw somewhere from 30-40 fewer targets next season. However, he'll also play against more single coverage and should improve the 11.9 ypc average he posted last season.
Alfred Morris - The end appears to be nigh for Alf as a low-end RB1. Jackson will have the same affect on Morris as he does on Garcon, drawing defenders away and allowing for fewer eight-man fronts, but Morris will be touching the ball less frequently. Gruden has already said that Morris doesn't have natural hands, which is an indication that we're probably going to see more Roy Helu (or another pass-catching back) in 2014. Morris received 78.4 percent of the team's running back carries last season, which probably won't happen again, and the addition of Jackson means there will be fewer carries to go around.
And how about Jackson's old team, the Philadelphia Eagles?
Jeremy Maclin - Maclin is now option numero uno for Nick Foles in an offense that was very prolific last season. The 25-year-old was used as more of a possession receiver by Andy Reid, but he has good speed provided his knee is healthy following a torn ACL. The issue for Maclin always has been getting banged up; he missed five games in his first four seasons and left several others due to injuries. If the Eagles don't pull a receiver in the first round of the NFL Draft this year, Maclin will be in position to put up WR2 numbers.
LeSean McCoy - McCoy is a special talent with game-breaking cut-back ability, but there's no doubt Jackson had an impact on his numbers last season. Shady averaged 5.1 yards per carry and 10.4 yards per catch in part because Jackson took defenders away from the box. McCoy also is likely to see fewer touches after he handled the rock 366 times (314 carries, 52 catches) in 2013, but that would have happened even if the Eagles didn't cut Jackson. However, the 25-year-old tailback will be the focal point of the offense once again and I trust Chip Kelly to design new ways to keep defenders away from him. He'll be a top-five fantasy running back again.
Nick Foles - Foles already was a regression candidate even with Jackson on the roster after he had a 27-2 TD-INT ratio last season, and Jackson's absence will only hurt him further. Good luck averaging 9.12 yards per attempt again with just Maclin and Riley Cooper at receiver. The regression curve could change for Foles if the Eagles go out and draft Mike Evans, however.
There's one player we haven't evaluated ... Jackson himself.
D-Jax had 82 receptions for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns on 126 targets last season.
With Garcon, Reed, Andre Roberts and Santana Moss on the roster, he'll likely lose 15-20 of those targets and two or three touchdowns, which will put him in mid-range WR2 territory.
04/02 17:09:39 ET