I wasn’t always so down on Vincent Jackson. In fact, it’s quite hard to be seeing as how he’s had six 1,000+ yard seasons in the past seven years, with four straight from 2011-2014. And mind you, only one of those seasons involved a quarterback named Philip Rivers. Since then, he’s had the likes of Josh Freeman (to be fair, some of it was peak Freeman), Mike Glennon, and Josh McCown throwing to him, so you’d certainly give Jackson a bunch of credit for being an above-average receiver for quite some time in fantasy football. And while the end-of-season numbers always seem to be there, the problem isn’t so much of not having a legitimate NFL quarterback (which he doesn’t), or a running game that takes focus from the defenses (he also doesn’t have this either) or even other receivers to create space (Mike Evans actually does this), the problem is consistency.
Obviously, consistency isn’t something that can be solely attributed to Vincent Jackson. He is an athletic specimen who has immense pass-catching ability and is in the upper-echelon of NFL recievers. And as previously established, his surrounding cast hasn’t always been there to do their fair share, but the fact remains that consistent production week after week will always be his achilles heel.
2014 Receiving Stats
Yes, there are valid complaints for only netting two touchdowns, which dragged down his fantasy value, but 1,000+ yards seems almost automatic at this point. In the majority of formats, he accrued roughly 110 total fantasy points, good for roughly 7 points a week. Pretty weak sauce, for sure, but if you notice from the table above, he gained the majority of his totals in just three games. In fact, the games where he actually scored a touchdown were some of his lowest totals as a receiver.
There will be some thought that he is now at the right price for the value he provides going into the 2015 season. That may very will be true, but I’m not quite sold on Jameis Winston, and with the emergence of Mike Evans, I’m not so sure that Jackson can be depended on as a solid third or fourth round receiving option. It may be easy to say that he’s a buy low at this point, and I actually agree with that, but the truth is, I still consider him overrated, and you should in fact buy him super low or not at all.
Remember, it isn’t just all of the question marks on offense, it’s the fact that Jackson is already 32, and his physical skills will (most likely) start to erode little by little, and while he was in every game last year, nagging injuries certainly played part. Sure, Andre Johnson is still relevant at 33 years old, but he has Aaron Luck throwing to him this upcoming year and is still probably on the lower-end of second tier receivers at this point.
Vincent Jackson isn’t useless, I won’t go that far, but his continued inconsistent production along with a brand new quarterback, his age, all add up, driving his value down to a third receiver option. And at that price, I’d rather find someone else.