Very few players in the NFL have the ability to score every time they touch the ball. With a combination of speed and athleticism, DeSean Jackson is a prime example of a player who can take a game the in a matter of seconds. Finding a player with Jackson’s talent and potential is a rarity. Since playmakers, like Jackson, are at a premium in the league it is no wonder the St. Louis Rams traded their way up in the 2013 NFL draft to select wide receiver, Tavon Austin, from West Virginia. The explosiveness of Jackson and Austin are a major reason why their teams will do everything they can to get them the ball, and why they will be solid fantasy options in 2013. Even though they should both get lots of targets this coming year, what can fantasy owners realistically expect from these two?
Tavon Austin, Wide Receiver, St. Louis Rams:
Coming in as a rookie receiver, Austin has a great chance to become Sam Bradford’s favorite target in St. Louis. With the loss of receivers Brandon Gibson to Miami, and Danny Amendola to New England, the Rams had plenty of holes to fill on the offensive side of the ball. While Austin should quickly play a large role in the Rams’ offense, do not be surprised if he struggles to post consistent fantasy points. Overall, I expect him to be a nice mid-to-late round pick in fantasy drafts, and finish easily within the top-50 fantasy receivers this coming season. This should make Austin a great flex option in all leagues, and a solid no. 2 receiver in larger leagues.
2013 Projection: 58 receptions, 890 receiving yards, 4 receiving touchdowns
DeSean Jackson, Wide Receiver, Philadelphia Eagles:
Since a breakout 2009 season, Jackson has seen his stats steadily fall. This past season Jackson hit a career- low in fantasy value, scoring only 81.3 points, down from his 122.2 in 2011 and 156 in 2010. Despite a tough 2012 season, Jackson should thrive in new head coach, Chip Kelly’s offense. The fast- paced tempo fits perfectly into Jackson’s skill-sets, and fantasy owners should benefit. The only question is how Kelly’s offense will translate to the NFL. While at Oregon in 2012, Kelly’s offense posted 4,098 rushing yards as opposed to only 2,888 receiving yards. With a stable of backs in Philadelphia that include LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown and newly acquired Felix Jones, the run game should be the main focus of the Eagles offense. Jackson, however, should manage to bounce back in 2013, and finish within the top 25 receivers in fantasy points. He will be a top no. 2 receiver, or a low-end no. 1 wide out.
2013 Prediction: 60 receptions, 980 receiving yards, 6 receiving touchdowns
Jackson should top Austin in fantasy this coming year, just be sure to remain realistic about what each receiver will offer in 2013.