Fantasy Football 2012: Why Eagles Player DeSean Jackson Will Be Fantasy Gold
In the midst of a contract dispute last season, DeSean Jackson underwhelmed most Eagles fans and it showed on the field. Jackson appeared to quit on his teams at times, and his effort for stretches was lackluster at best.
And for his fantasy owners, he let them down big time.
Those who drafted Jackson last year were expecting an explosive player who could give them solid production with a few huge games. Well, this year he's going to do just that. In 2012, DeSean Jackson will be fantasy gold and will produce big numbers for all of his owners.
1. He's Finally 100 Percent Focused
On March 16, DeSean Jackson signed his brand new contract worth $51 million.
Despite his decreased performance and on- and off-the-field pouting, Jackson got what he wanted. It was a risk by the Eagles to invest that amount of money in an undersized receiver who has maturity and effort issues, but if it pays off, they'll look like geniuses for not allowing Jackson to go to another team.
Now that Jackson has his money, he's going to be giving 100-percent effort day in and day out. He'll show up to practice with nothing but football on his mind, which is a big plus. He'll no longer feel like the Eagles "owe" him something, and he will totally commit to the team.
This is a great thing for his fantasy owners.
If Jackson is mentally focused, there's no telling how well he can produce. If he goes into every practice and game with the correct mindset, his stats will be sure to improve from last season. If he returns to the old DeSean, or even improves, he's a highly viable fantasy option.
2. He Has a Full Offseason of Practice with Mike Vick
For the first time as an Eagle, Michael Vick will have an entire offseason knowing that he's going to be the starting QB.
While he was the starter going into last season, the lockout shortened workout and practice time, which can be deadly for WRs and QBs trying to get on the same page.
Well, going into the 2012 season there obviously hasn't been any lockout, to my knowledge. Vick is going to have the full amount of practice time allotted to work with Jackson, as well as the rest of his offensive team. With this added practice time, Vick and Jackson can't help but get better and will have much better chemistry than they've ever had before.
If Vick and Jackson are totally on the same page, they could be in for some huge plays together in 2012. And if Vick has a big game through the air, it's highly likely that Jackson does as well. Vick is the key to Jackson's success.
If Vick is on top of his game, Jackson will put up elite numbers as well.
3. He's Underrated Coming into 2012
This may appear unclear at first, but fantasy football is all about getting the right value out of players based on where you draft them.
I can't stress enough how underrated Jackson is going into the season. If everyone in your draft sees him as in the No. 22-to-28 range at WR, then you'll be able to get great value out of him by drafting him a little bit later, but also earlier than the rest of the people in your draft.
If you're able to pick Jackson as perhaps the 15th WR in your draft, then you'd be getting a huge steal. The value that can come out of taking Jackson, if he has the huge year that I think he could have, will be absolutely tremendous—especially if no one else in your draft believes in Jackson.
You'll be the one looking smart at the end of the year when he finishes in the top 10 receivers in overall points.
4. LeSean McCoy Will Open Up the Deep Passing Game
Last season, Eagles RB LeSean McCoy firmly established himself as one of the biggest threats at RB in the entire NFL. So, in 2012, McCoy will command a lot of respect from opposing teams.
They'll have to account for him at all times and will have to commit heavily to stopping the run if they want to defeat the Eagles.
So, how does this help out Jackson?
Well, if teams are committed to stopping the run, the passing game will totally open up and opportunities for big plays downfield will be there for Vick to connect deep with Jackson.
I guarantee you that in every game the Eagles play this season, they will play action to McCoy and draw the defense up and then launch a long pass to Jackson. I'm not going to say that they'll complete it every time, but it will be there, and you can take it to the fantasy bank that they'll connect on a few deep balls this season.
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