Faceoff - WR Darrell Jackson, Seattle Seahawks
Exclusive to Footballguys.com
Upside - by Marc Levin
There is a lot to like about Darrel Jackson’s 2005 fantasy outlook. He is the undisputed primary receiving option in an offense that has produced at least 3500 passing yards the last three years. Even though the team’s passing yardage numbers have dropped each year, Jackson’s targets, receiving yards, and receptions have risen each year.
Also, if you think the threat of RB Shaun Alexander is a problem, Jackson had 9 TDs in 2003 and 7 in 2004, despite the team’s identical number of rush TDs each year. In short, regardless of what is working offensively, Jackson is heavily used – his targets jumped from 129 in 2003 to 148 in 2004. As for the red zone, four of Jackson’s seven 2004 TDs, and five of his nine 2003 TDs, came from inside the red zone – the team has confidence throwing to him near the goal line.
Finally, the departure of WR Koren Robinson should create more opportunities for Jackson, especially downfield. You are probably sold on Jackson as a good fantasy receiver and a viable WR1 for your team, but can he step into the elite? That depends on Jackson getting more TDs – when he scored 9 TDs in 2003 he was the WR9 at year’s end, with only 7 TDs in 2004, he dropped to the WR14. To be elite, Jackson will need to manage double digit TDs. With his ability, the departure of Robinson and his spike in usage in the passing game, anticipating that leap is reasonable.
Downside - by Mike Herman
Jackson finished 2004 as the 14th ranked fantasy wide receiver. Heading into 2005, his recent average FBG Experts’ rank was WR9, and his ADP was 4.04, 40th overall (WR11).
The slight rise in expectations is due in part to an assumed increased workload for Jackson, since Koren Robinson is no longer with the team. It could work against him however, if opposing defenses pay more attention to him. Although it had been a few years since Robinson produced, his potential did merit defensive consideration. Now the Seahawks will have to rely on Bobby Engram, Joe Jurevicius, and/or Jerome Pathon to distract defenses from Jackson. Last year when Robinson missed the latter part of the season, Jackson had a slight dip in numbers rather than a slight rise, dropping from 10.5 fantasy ppg down to 9.7 ppg.
Another personnel change could also slow down Jackson and the offense a bit this year. The Seahawks will be working in a new right tackle on the offensive line, to replace Chris Terry who was very good on-the-field, but had off-the-field issues. The leading contenders are Floyd “Pork Chop” Womack (a transplanted guard) or Wayne Hunter (a backup the last two years). Integrating new players and learning to work as a unit often takes some time.
Earlier in the off-season, Jackson skipped a minicamp (albeit a voluntary one) to protest some contract concerns regarding what he felt were broken promises made by the team’s former president. His absence in turn irritated QB Matt Hasselbeck. It appeared to be a minor incident, but some residue from the disharmony could still be festering.
Final requisite statement regarding any Seahawk receiver: they seem to drop a lot of passes.
None of the above should significantly alter Jackson’s prospects; however they suggest he could creep down in the rankings instead of creeping up.