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Alshon Jeffery's 2016 Fantasy Football Outlook

By Jared Smola | Updated on Tue, 23 May 2023 . 1:27 PM EDT

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Jeffery’s 2015 season was marred by injuries. There was a calf injury in August that lingered into September and had him questionable for Week 1. (He played.) Jeffery hurt his hamstring in practice leading up to Week 2 and ended up missing the next 4 games. He made it through the next 4 weeks unscathed but then injured his groin in practice before Week 10. Jeffery ended up playing limited snaps (54%) in that one but sat out the following week. He was a full-go for Chicago’s next 3 games before suffering what turned out to be a season-ending hamstring injury in Week 15.

In total, he missed 7 games and was limited or knocked out of 2 more with calf, hamstring and groin injuries. He also appeared on the injury report last year with a shoulder and an illness.

But when Jeffery was healthy, he was a fantasy stud. Let’s remove those 2 games in which Jeffery played limited snaps. In the other 7, he racked up 50 catches, 774 yards and 3 TDs. That’s 7.1 catches, 110.6 yards and .4 TDs per game — or a full-season pace of 114-1,796-7 that would have made Jeffery the #1 WR in non-PPR and #3 in PPR.

He was consistently dominant, too. Jeffery tallied 78+ yards in all 7 of those games, going over 100 in 4 of them. He hit pay dirt in 3 of the 7 and posted catch totals of 7, 8, 10 and 10. Jeffery finished as a top 36 PPR WR in all 7 of his healthy weeks.

Now, Jeffery benefitted from a whopping 12.1 targets per game in those 7. That’s a 16-game pace of 194 that would have ranked 2nd league-wide last year. That was at least partly due to the lack of a viable #2 WR and the absence of TE Martellus Bennett for 3 of the games. Bennett is now gone to New England, but Chicago should get a big upgrade at that #2 WR spot in Kevin White. He figures to eat into Jeffery’s share a bit.

But the Bears also lost RB Matt Forte, who garnered 58 targets last year and averaged 80 over the last 8 seasons. And note that Chicago ranked 25th in both pass attempts and pass rate in 2015. With an unproven backfield and a couple of uber-talented WRs, they figure to throw it more this year. Jeffery will remain the clear #1 option and could finish near the top of the league in targets — assuming he stays healthy.

The spat of soft-tissue injuries last year are a tad worrisome. But none are long-term concerns. And Jeffery played all 16 games while seeing heavy volume the previous 2 seasons.

Draft Sharks Bottom Line:

A rash of injuries last year hid how productive Jeffery was when healthy. His pace stats in 7 full games would have made him the #1 WR in non-PPR and #3 in PPR.

That should help us get him at a discount in 2016 fantasy drafts. He's going as the 11th WR off the board as of mid-May. If healthy — and he played all 16 games in 2013 and 2014 — Jeffery is a strong bet for WR1 production and has top-5 upside.

Jared Smola Author Image
Jared Smola, Lead Analyst
Jared has been with Draft Sharks since 2007. He’s now Lead Analyst, heading up the preseason and weekly projections that fuel your Draft War Room and My Team tools. He currently ranks 1st among 133 analysts in draft rankings accuracy.
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