Originally posted on The Fake Football  |  Last updated 7/22/13
Houston_texans_v_a89c
If you’ve played fantasy football for any length of time, then you almost certainly have developed a thoroughly unhealthy relationship with a few players. My all-time fantasy persona non-grata is Maurice Jones-Drew, aka FMJD.  I will not bore you with the details, but rest assured, I have dealt with him appropriately.  In this column, I will strive to steer you from such fantasy misfortune.  The nominee for this year’s FMJD Award is…..Vincent Jackson.   Consistently Inconsistent   Going into last year, there was a fair amount of curiosity about how V-Jax’s game was going to translate in Tampa.  In San Diego, V-Jax was known for one thing – tracking down the deep ball.  In his final year at San Diego, he ranked #20 in the NFL for receiving yards, but #52 for receptions, which made him #6 in the NFL for yards per reception at 18.4. Throughout his career, V-Jax has had a high disparity between receptions and receiving yards.  In fact, every year going back to 2008 (excluding 2010 when he only played in five games), V-Jax never ranked below sixth in the NFL for yards per reception.   Which brings us to 2012, his first year with the Bucs, when he lead the league in yards per reception at 19.2. You may be asking yourself, but why is that a bad thing?  Leading the league in anything sounds pretty good to me, so what’s the problem?  As a fantasy owner, that disparity between receptions and yards should make you nervous – there is little margin for error.  In most leagues, fantasy football is a week to week conquest and while it is nice to see a high point total at the end of the year, it is in your best interest if those points are balanced out on a weekly basis. To illustrate how this disparity translates to inconsistent weekly scoring, take a look at the charts below.  I compared V-Jax’s 2012 stats to two players with similar 2013 ADPs (Colston and Cruz) and a player with a similar high disparity between receptions and receiving yards (D-Jax). Vincent Jackson Victor Cruz # Games Points Points/Game # Games Points Points/Game WR 1 Games 7 129.9 18.6 WR 1 Games 5 89.8 12.8 Other Games 9 58.5 6.5 Other Games 11 79.4 8.8 Total 16 188.4 11.8 Total 16 169.2 10.6 Marques Colston DeSean Jackson # Games Points Points/Game   # Games Points Points/Game WR 1 Games 5 98.2 14.0 WR 1 Games 2 31.9 16.0 Other Games 11 77.2 8.6 Other Games 9 50.1 5.6 Total 16 175.4 11.0 Total 11 82.0 7.5   “WR1 Games” are games in which that player’s fantasy points for the week (Yahoo! Standard Scoring) exceeded the median weekly score (11.65) of the season’s Top 12 WRs.  If you draft a WR early, you want as many weeks as possible where that WR scores as a WR1.  On the plus side, V-Jax had a lot of those (7); however, the point differential between WR1 weeks, and every other week was 12.1 points – more than double either Colston or Cruz and more than even D-Jax.  What this tells you is that when you start V-Jax you are either going to go boom, or you are going to go bust. V-Jax is consistent for his inconsistent weekly scoring in fantasy football.  And if there is one thing that unites all fantasy owners in endless frustration it is having a player who scores big one week, but doesn’t show up the next.  In 2012, that was V-Jax. Not helping matters in the future, is the offense V-Jax plays in….   Low Ceiling   Unfortunately for V-Jax, he is not the centerpiece of his offense.  That title belongs to Doug Martin.  That being said, Tampa still passed the ball 150 more times than they ran it last year.  They ranked in the top half of the league in terms of pass attempts, and in the bottom half of the league for rush attempts. Sounds like a good scenario for V-Jax, right?  Enter the Josh Freeman Experience.  If you thought V-Jax was wildly inconsistent, meet his quarterback.  Freeman had the same number of 300+ yard passing weeks as Freeman’s passing woes can be best illustrated by the fact that V-Jax caught less than 50% of Freeman’s passes.  That’s a pretty low percentage even for a player with a high yard per reception average like V-Jax.   In most cases, 147 targets (9th highest) nets more than just 72 receptions (20th highest).  Only Larry Fitzgerald had more targets with less catches.  So a rookie QB couldn’t be much worse than Freeman….right Larry? On top of these issues is the coaching history of Mike Sullivan, OC in Tampa.  Previously, Sullivan was the NY Giants WR coach from 2006-2011.  Over that time and including last year, V-Jax’s 2012 receiving yardage (1,384 yards) was the highest of any wide receiver Sullivan ever coached.  And, outside of “The Other” Steve Smith’s outlier in 2009, no wide receiver has ever caught 80+ balls under Sullivan. In fact, only seven Bucs have caught that many balls in franchise history – the last time was five years ago by Antonio Bryant (83 receptions on only 137 targets!  61% catch percentage).  With his current catch %, V-Jax would need 169 targets to match Bryant’s 83 receptions (a reception total that most fantasy owners would expect from their WR1).  169 targets would rank as the 5th highest total in 2012 and more than any Bucs player has in 10+ years… and more than any WR Mike Sullivan has ever coached – including “the Other” Steve Smith when he caught 109 balls on only 157 targets! Translation: Vincent Jackson is up against a lot of history, teammates and coaches if he is going to exceed his 2012 numbers, which brings me to my final point….   High ADP   According to FantasyFootballCalculator.com, V-Jax is the 12th WR being drafted in 12 team leagues, which means he is being drafted as a WR1.  I never want to draft someone following a career year.  The price is always too high and 2012 was V-Jax’s best season in 8 years.  This season he will be the dreaded “30 years old.” Early in the draft and particularly at the WR1 position you want to lock in low-risk players, players that you can count on week in and week out.  Ideally you draft a player with a high floor, and count on them to contribute to your team each week throughout the season.  As we saw above, V-Jax’s 12 point bounce from good weeks to bad weeks is entirely too high to be counted on as a reliable WR1.   The Verdict   No question about it, V-Jax is a positive difference maker when he is on the field, but he is just as likely to be a negative difference maker when he is on your fantasy team. Consistency is a metric that is not discussed often enough.  Players often look similar when you begin to research for your draft, and all you have are those season ending stats.  V-Jax’s season ending stats fit in nicely around the other players with similar ADPs, but if you look a little closer you will see that you will be rolling the dice with him on a weekly basis. My biggest beef with V-Jax isn’t his inconsistency, it’s his high ADP.  I am not opposed to having boom-bust type players like V-Jax on my team, but I need to pair them with players that I can count on week in and week out.  If you are able to lock down V-Jax as a WR2 (paired with a high floor WR1), I think you did a great job at the draft.   But, if you take V-Jax as your WR1, he is going to drive you FMJD-crazy.  Consider yourself warned!   The post V-Jax: Consistently Inconsistent appeared first on Fantasy Football Rankings & more, The Fake Football.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mets’ Jeurys Familia suspended 15 games for domestic violence incident

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge won’t make Opening Day roster?

Arkansas athletics fear new gun law could threaten their SEC membership

LeBron on Cavs after loss to Spurs: ‘It’s a delicate time right now’

These nine MLB prop bets should be money in the bank for 2017 season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Vin Scully talks preservation of his Polo Grounds call, first season outside MLB booth

Odell Beckham Jr. once took serious measure to boost ‘Madden’ rating

Report: Raiders could play in San Antonio while Vegas stadium is built

Browns sound willing to give Josh Gordon another chance

Vance Joseph challenges Demaryius Thomas to not ‘ease into games’

Kerr on being fastest coach to 200 wins: ‘I know how lucky I am’

The 'So, is this the last ride for the Dead Man?' quiz

2016 MLB playoff teams that won't make it back this season

Box Score 3/29: Free hats (Caps fans only)

The 'Are you mentally prepared for 'One Shining Moment'?' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Serge Ibaka can't connect

Can the Padres' Christian Bethancourt really succeed at pitcher and catcher?

The Raiders will forever belong to Oakland

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Box Score 3/28: Wilt's last game

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The 28 craziest ballpark foods for the 2017 season

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'So, is this the last ride for the Dead Man?' quiz

2016 MLB playoff teams that won't make it back this season

The 'Are you mentally prepared for 'One Shining Moment'?' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Serge Ibaka can't connect

Can the Padres' Christian Bethancourt really succeed at pitcher and catcher?

The Raiders will forever belong to Oakland

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker