Austin Seferian-Jenkins' 2015 Fantasy Football Outlook
Note: This is a free preview of a 2015 Draft Sharks player profile. DS Insiders have access to over 300 profiles -- plus detailed projections.
The Bucs clearly liked Seferian-Jenkins a lot last year, when they spent the 6th pick of Round 2 on him. And it doesn't look like a quiet rookie season changed their minds at all.
Injuries made it tough for anyone to see just what the Bucs got in their 2nd-rounder. He suffered an ankle sprain in Week 1 that cost him the next 2 games and rendered him questionable for Week 5 even after he returned. Then came a 1-week thumb injury before the back problem that finally landed him on IR.
Seferian-Jenkins officially played in 9 games, though it was more like 7 because of missed time. Even when he was on the field, it's fair to assume the rookie was less than 100% much of the time.
Most around the team seem to expect a big step up from ASJ in year 2, though he'll have plenty to prove. Pro Football Focus graded him just 53rd in receiving among 67 qualifiers at TE last year. He averaged just 10.5 yards per catch, which ranked 26th among TEs who caught at least 20 balls. Seferian-Jenkins took just 3 of his 21 receptions for 20+ yards. That tied for 32nd at the position.
Blame at least some of that on the poor QB play that also helped drag WR Vincent Jackson down to the worst starter production of his career. Unless Jameis Winston seriously disappoints, the QB play should get better right away. And the play of WRs Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson on the edges will tax opposing defenses quite a bit.
That'll create some space in the middle for ASJ, who presents an intriguing athletic profile. PlayerProfiler.com calls Rob Gronkowski his best comparable athletically. That guy's pretty good.
Seferian-Jenkins' 2014 Combine measurements -- including his 6'5, 262-pound frame and 4.56-second 40 (Pro Day) -- return a more realistic group of comparables via Mockdraftable.com, notably: Dallas Clark, Jermaine Gresham, Doug Jolley, David Thomas and Martellus Bennett.
Evans and Jackson figure to remain high-volume targets even in the new Bucs offense, but delivering fantasy value at TE doesn't require huge volume. Only 6 TEs reached 100 targets last year, while only 6 others got to 90.
Lowering the target cap does mean that the 2nd-year man will need to pump up his TD rate to climb the fantasy rankings, though, and we'll have to see just what ASJ and Winston can do on that front.
Draft Sharks Bottom Line:
Seferian-Jenkins continues to carry an intriguing fantasy outlook, but he's more interesting for the long term than for 2015. Jameis Winston dramatically improves the QB situation but also adds an unknown, given that he's a rookie. ASJ himself brings little healthy NFL experience into his 2nd season. And beyond those factors, TE runs extremely deep in fantasy prospects right now. All of that combines to make Seferian-Jenkins an OK TE2 or half a platoon later in your draft -- but far from a must-have.