So finally both real and fantasy football are back. The best time of the year!
Here I will give you, my sleeper pick of the week, based not only on stats, match-ups, current situation, but also a thorough game tape breakdown.
This week I review the veteran wide receiver from the Washington Redskins, DeSean Jackson. We all know that he is one of the best deep threats in the NFL because of his lightening speed, double moves, great footwork and solid hands. Jackson is also a risky player in fantasy; a “boom or bust” kind of player. However, I believe that this week he could end up as a top 10 WR in standard formats.
The Redskins are facing the second worst defense against WRs in 2015 with 236 receptions (1st), 3088 yards (1st), 31 red zone receptions (3rd) and 19 TD (9th) allowed to opposing receivers (excluding TE/RB). This secondary was truly a mess, unable to react to above average passing threats.
The Steelers Defensive Backs were more particularly ineffective when the wide receivers used a Dino Stem (double move) when running a fly or post route, which caused the DBs to absolutely flip their hips leaving the WR open for a big gain.
On this play (watch the play here) you can see how the Oakland Raiders WR Michael Crabtree (highlighted in red) scores a TD, thanks to his great double move. The Raiders played a vertical concept with two fly routes outside and a post pattern by the slot WR; the Steelers used a Cover 3 Zone shell:
Because of the play, you’ll see that when Crabtree passes the 10 yard-line he’s already against single coverage and then he performs a fake to the outside just to cut inside to gain almost 5 yards of separation from CB Ross Cockrell and score the touchdown:
On the next play (watch the play), WR Torrey Smith scores a 75-yard touchdown against a Cover 3 Zone Coverage. The 49ers used a Smash concept on the left side of the field, which allowed Smith to get one-on-one with the Free Safety:
After 15 yards, Smith accelerates into a second gear and beats the defender, whom already in single and man coverage against the 49ers WR fails to close the gap between them and after a poor tackle, the San Francisco team finishes the play with a touchdown.
Now you see how bad the Steelers DBs were on 2015, let’s how good D. Jackson is using the double moves to get open against coverage; especially when they use a spread formation to force the defense to use only one deep safety.
On week 11 at Carolina, (watch here) Jackson scored a 56-yard touchdown. The Redskins ran spread formation with 11 personnel (1RB, 1TE), and a Smash Concept on both sides: a quick hitch route bye the outside players, go routes by the inside ones and a hook route run by the third receiver on the right side. The Panthers used a Cover 1 Man Coverage.
When Jackson hits the 50-yard line, he uses his fake move to beat the defender:
On week 13, they run the exact same play (watch here) against the Dallas Cowboys in the same Cover 1 Man Coverage:
In Week 15 against the Bills (play here-sec 39), Jackson used a double move in a fly route in a Mesh Concept, against a Cover 1 “man-free” (LB or SS play the underneath zone):
After ten yards, the WR fakes it outside and finishes the route inside the numbers, meanwhile the defender has his hips pointing to the sideline completely out of the play:
After looking deep into the plays, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if DeSean Jackson racks up at least 60 receiving yards and a touchdown this week against the Steelers. If you have him on your roster, is a great flex option with HUGE upside and just a little risk.