For 2009 I touted DeSean Jackson as a “must add” to your Fantasy squad. There is an inevitable cycle; a player is a Sleeper, he breaks out, the next season he’s overvalued. This means that often we will only end up owning a player for one season at a time.
DeSean Jackson will have a great year in 2010. He’ll be rated as one of the top receivers and drafted in the late 2nd, early 3rd round in most 12 team leagues. In PPR, which most of us play, he could disappoint. Not catastrophically, mind you, but at that spot in the draft I think we’ll be able to get more upside.
In 2009 I thought that the Eagles would look to put the ball in his hands 80+ times. It appeared that he had the potential to be used in the short and intermediate passing game as well as being a deep threat. Ultimately he was primarily a deep threat and ended up having a monster year for that “type” of player.
The problem with all of this for 2010 is big plays have a lot of variance. Jackson will be drafted under the assumption that he will hit as many “home run” type plays as he did the year before. When you look at the number of touchdowns he scored and how much yardage he covered on those plays there’s reason for concern. You have to ask yourself “what are the chances of him being able to improve upon those numbers.”
In 2009 Jackson posted 63 catches for 1,167 yards and 9 touchdowns. He added 2 return touchdowns (some leagues count those, others don’t).
Any reasonable person’s response to that would be “almost no chance unless the Eagles decide to get him involved in shorter routes the way we assumed in 2009.” So his yardage and touchdowns will almost certainly decline unless the receptions spike.
As an Eagles fan I would love Jackson to repeat his 2009 performance. I don’t feel that he needs to, however, in order for them to be successful. I will be writing a Sleeper post on Jeremy Maclin, who I think might be the best Sleeper at Wide Receiver in 2010. He won’t be a late round pick that comes “out of nowhere” but he offers guaranteed production in the mid rounds with enormous upside.