Redskins Fantasy Football Profile: Jordan Reed


Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Counting on Jordan Reed to be healthy is like counting on James Franco to be good in a movie. No matter how many times the inevitable happens and Reed gets a concussion, or Franco performs like he just recently had one, the feeling that something special is about to happen gets you endlessly hyped.

Well, here we are again. The season is a month-and-a-half away, and Reed is already on the injury report.

If you’re considering drafting him in your fantasy football league, here’s some fantasy advice from Forrest Gump: tight-ends are like a box of chocolates. Only a few are actually good, and the rest are shockingly crappy. Which bodes well for the inconsistent Redskins tight-end.

Here is how Reed stacked up in his 11 games played with the top 41 tight ends in standard scoring. Notice the precipitous and sudden drop straight into Reed Valley.

The line starts respectably, with Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham producing at a rate comparable to sub-tier WR 1s like T.Y. Hilton and Mike Evans. But then the line starts plummeting faster than James Franco’s career arc.

Only 10 TEs earned 100 fantasy football points or more all season, which is an average of just above 6/ppg. And a surprising few of those in the current top-15 are sure-fire, every week starters. Antonio Gates’ success last year owed a lot to his unsustainable TD-rate (1 TD per 5.75 receptions), and he’s old and he will miss part of the season sitting out a suspension.

Martellus Bennett is working with a new offensive coordinator in Chicago. Julius Thomas did a free-agency swan dive from Peyton Manning to Blake Bortles.

In short, the position is mighty scarce.

What this means is that whether you select #5 ranked Martellus Bennett or #15-ranked Kyle Rudolph, you’re probably just as likely to go boom-or-bust either way. The tight-end position in fantasy football this year is a few diamonds in a whole lot of rough. If you can’t lock down the position early, then it’s best to take a chance on somebody.

Because of this, you may not be crazy to take a flyer on Reed. Currently, FantasyPros has Reed ranked 24th at the TE position, meaning he’s more than likely not going to be drafted at all. If you aren’t planning on targeting one of the top 4, maybe 5 TEs this year, the rest of the field is a crapshoot. So why not wait until the last possible pick and get a guy with some upside?

Reed can be a good upside play in your fantasy league. If he can keep all his limbs rightly attached to his body. Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Here are a couple of reasons that Reed might finally hit that ceiling we keep hearing about (all of these come with the giant health asterisk next to them):

  • Reed has averaged 6.8 targets in games that he has started and finished. The number only dropped by about a half target last year under the new coaching staff.
  • At his targets per game numbers from last year, Reed would have ranked 9th in targets among TEs, behind Antonio Gates, if he played the entire season. Targets means opportunities, and opportunities mean points.

Reed is obviously talented, but more important for fantasy football purposes is that his usage is high and his cost is rock-bottom low. If the coaching staff figures out a way to use him more consistently, especially in the red zone, Reed can certainly surprise a lot of people this year. If you’d prefer dead picks like Jared Cook and Heath Miller to get you six a game, knock yourself out. I’ll make sure to find a good research center for your spine.

Next: Top 32 Redskins of 2015: Jordan Reed

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