Fantasy football: DeSean Jackson goes to Washington
DeSean Jackson may or may not be a gangster. But he’s certainly a dynamic football player.
Since 2008, Jackson leads the NFL in receptions of at least 40 yards and is third in yards per reception. Last season, he was ninth in receiving yards (1,332), 19th in catches (82) and 14th in touchdowns (nine). His departure from Philadelphia and arrival in Washington creates a massive ripple effect in the fantasy world.
Up and down
Robert Griffin III was already going to be a monster bounce-back candidate thanks to the healing of his knee and the arrival of pass-happy head coach Jay Gruden, formerly offensive coordinator for Cincinnati.Now he has top-5 QB upside due to Jackson’s ability to stretch defenses. It will open up the middle of the field for Pierre Garcon and Jordan Reed, two dynamic playmakers in their own right. Meanwhile, Eagles QB Nick Foles’ stock sinks as he has two major question marks in Riley Cooper (ability) and Jeremy Maclin (health).
The man himself
It would be a shock if Jackson is able to duplicate his 2013 numbers in his first season with the Redskins. Garcon led the NFL in targets last season with a whopping 184, firmly establishing himself as Griffin’s go-to guy. New offensive coordinator Sean McVay reportedly “loves” Reed as his move tight end, as he should. It’s going to leave Jackson hovering around 1,000 yards, not up at the 1,300 mark.
Some of Jackson’s best work last season came out of the slot and on bubble plays. Now we know why Eagles head coach Chip Kelly pulled off the surprising trade for Darren Sproles. Although Sproles doesn’t have Jackson’s long speed, he does bring the short-area quicks and explosive ability on short screens and slants. He’s on the borderline RB2 radar in full point-per-reception league. The other beneficiary in Philly is Zach Ertz, an athletic tight end who now rises up the target totem pole. Expect a breakout season of 70-plus catches.
NBA pickups …
1. Matt Barnes, F, Clippers – Both Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford are banged up, giving Barnes the green light.
2. Omer Asik, C, Rockets – He is a double-double waiting to happen anytime Dwight Howard (ankle) sits.
3. Chris Kaman, C, Lakers – At long last, Mike D’Antoni is starting Kaman and Pau Gasol together.
Dynasty owners out of the mix should start stashing these prospects:
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, SG, Bucks – Averages 1.2 blocks and 1.1 steals per-36 minutes as a 19-year-old. The rest will come.
2. Nerlens Noel, C, Sixers – The whole Tankadelphia movement is built around Noel debuting as a healthy and dominant rim protector.
3. Jeremy Lamb, SG, Thunder – Caron Butler, Derek Fisher and Thabo Sefolosha will all be unrestricted free agents this summer.
Follow Metro fantasy writer Adam Levitan on Twitter @adamlevitan.