DeSean Jackson appears to be on his way out of Philadelphia. Which team could help him maximize his fantasy value?
- Michael Fabiano NFL.com Fantasy Editor
Panthers should stalk Jackson
From a fantasy football perspective, nothing would be finer than Jackson in Carolina. The Panthers' No. 1 wide receiver right now is ... Jerricho Cotchery. That's the same Jerricho Cotchery who was no more than third on the Pittsburgh Steelers' depth chart last season. Jackson would instantly become the unquestioned top option in the pass attack and a borderline No. 1 or No. 2 receiver in most fantasy leagues. His presence in the offense would also be great news for Cam Newton, who desperately needs a playmaking wide receiver to help his numbers and value.
Jackson has a number of enticing landing spots, but fantasy-wise I'm hoping he lands with the New York Jets. He'd be reunited with both former offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and quarterback Michael Vick, not to mention he'd be lining up opposite Eric Decker. Jackson's arrival would boost the fantasy appeal of every member of the Gang Green offense, and we'd likely go from seeing only one Jet taken in fantasy drafts (Chris Ivory) last year to closer to five in 2014.
- Marcas Grant NFL.com Fantasy Editor
Carolina on Jackson's mind?
You would think plenty of teams could use a player like DeSean Jackson. And you'd be right. The big question is ... how many of those teams can offer Jackson a fit that's beneficial to fantasy owners? Really, there's just one -- the Carolina Panthers. In Carolina, Jackson would be the unquestioned top wideout on the roster and would have a quarterback (Cam Newton) who has proven that he can consistently deliver the ball to his targets. He has a lot of the same skills as the departed Steve Smith but with the advantage of being significantly younger. It makes too much sense.
Before I begin, the Jets should really take a hard look at DeSean Jackson. An offense with DJax, Eric Decker (who becomes a No. 2ish player again) and a solid offensive draft pick (Eric Ebron?) would completely overhaul the outlook in New York. And you, too, Oakland Raiders.
But Fantasy Enthusiast Adam just completely backhanded NFL Enthusiast Adam, because neither of these would be the best fit, fantasy-wise.
Two teams that stand out to me would be the San Diego Chargers and Arizona Cardinals. The Chargers could use this kind of speedy receiver to go with some of their big guys, and playing with a quarterback like Philip Rivers would keep Jackson in fantasy relevance. The Cardinals would also pose a pretty good matchup-based problem for teams having to deal with Larry Fitzgerald and DJax. Though I'm not sure it's realistic, salary-wise. But Fantasy Enthusiast Adam doesn't care about salary limitations.
The Jets, Raiders and Patriots have all been linked to varying degrees with Jackson, but the Jets make the most sense fantasy-wise. Geno Smith has the arm to get it to Jackson at any point on the field, and he would come in immediately as the most dangerous weapon on the team. Would the Patriots rely on him like the Jets would? With Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski there are a few mouths to feed already. The Raiders have too many moving parts as they'll be breaking in a new QB in addition to trying to meld the rest of their off-season acquisitions. New York's pass-catching corps has nothing outside of Eric Decker, and let's face it, he's not going to stretch defenses like Jackson would. The Jets covet Jackson and were he to suddenly start catching passes from Michael Vick, his value may even increase.