A large number of people have lofty expectations for the Philadelphia Eagles going into 2019. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is certainly part of the reason why.
Jeffery is coming off one of the best seasons of his career in 2018, when he hauled in 65 receptions for 843 yards and six touchdowns while posting a career-high catch rate of 70.7 percent.
The question for Fantasy Football owners: Can Jeffery replicate that production in 2019, or was this past season — when his catch rate jumped more than 23 percent — a fluke?
Alshon Jeffery has always been a productive wideout. He posted two 1,000-yard campaigns with the Chicago Bears, including his lone Pro Bowl season in 2013 when he caught 89 passes for 1,421 yards and seven scores. Not so coincidentally, that year also represented Jeffery’s best catch rate up until 2018; he made catches on 60.1 percent of his targets.
The 29-year-old joined the Eagles in 2017. In his first season with the club, he snared 57 balls for 789 yards while reaching the end zone nine times, but he recorded a miserable catch rate of 47.5 percent.
Obviously, Alshon Jeffery is inconsistent in terms of efficiency, but in Fantasy Football, efficiency takes a back seat to volume, so that’s what we’re looking at here.
The main concern for Jeffery in terms of his fantasy impact is not what his catch rate is going to be. It’s going to be what he does with the opportunities given to him, because Philadelphia’s receiver corps will be considerably deeper this coming season with DeSean Jackson back in the fold and rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in tow.
So, if Alshon Jeffery posts a 47.5 percent catch rate as he did in 2017, he may end up having a very unproductive year, since he may not even be Philly’s No. 1 receiver, meaning his targets may be more limited.
Right now, Jeffery is probably Carson Wentz’s go-to guy, but if Jackson comes in and has a career revitalization, Jeffery could be in the No. 2 role very quickly.
Let’s remember that the Eagles also have Nelson Agholor. They also have tight end Zach Ertz, who registered an insane 116 catches this past season.
Here is something else to keep in mind: Jeffery has not posted a 900-yard season since 2014 when he totaled 1,133 yards with the Bears, and he has also caught 60 passes just once since then.
Additionally, Alshon Jeffery has played just one full 16-game campaign over the last four seasons, so it may be tough to count on him week in and week out.
There will be better options than Jeffery for your No. 2 receiver in fantasy. There is a distinct possibility that he could fall off quite a bit this season.
Most likely, Alshon Jeffery will catch around 50 passes for 700-800 yards with around five touchdowns, which should make him a great No. 3 on fantasy teams and a decent No. 2.
It also depends on whom else you have on your fantasy squad. If you have Julio Jones as your No. 1, you can afford to get away with Jeffery as a fairly low-end No. 2, although it is not that advisable.
One more thing to think about: We really don’t know how Wentz is going to respond from his back injury.
Realistically, Jeffery is not a guy you should be targeting as your No. 2.