Meet Kevin White, a 24-year-old demon with incredible athleticism and inefficient production that was driven by inflated volume at West Virginia. White was absent for the entirety of last season and returned this season with the objective of leaching targets away from Alshon Jeffery. Unfortunately for Jeffery owners, White has successfully stolen 36 targets away from him in the first four weeks.
But now, the demon is dead. The demon has returned to injured reserve, which means it is now the optimal time to buy low on Jeffery, whose price has tumbled since the season began. Many owners have already labeled Jeffery as a disappointment, but he will soon return to his fantasy glory that those who drafted him envisioned for him before the season.
Let’s take a look at the leach-less world that was the 2015 season. When Jeffery only had to compete with Martellus Bennett for volume, he amassed 94 targets in nine games last season. That put him on pace for 167 targets in a full season, which would make him the sixth-most targeted player in 2015. At his 2015 pace, he would have reached 96 receptions, 1434 receiving yards, and seven receiving touchdowns. In PPR scoring, that would put him atop all wide receivers in total fantasy points. Obviously, the pace at which he was projected these numbers may be viewed as unsustainable. However, it is clear that Jeffery is capable of delivering WR1 numbers when given the necessary volume.
Despite the recent lack of targets, Jeffery has unquestionably been one of the elite deep threats in the league. He has a height-adjusted speed score and catch radius both above the 80th percentile. Also, his 18.6 yards per reception is 8th among qualified wide receivers so far this season. In just nine games, he still managed to reach 100 receiving yards in four games. Additionally, Jeffery’s +27.6 production premium is 10th in the league. Undeterred by the inadequate volume, Jeffery has maintained excellent efficiency.
Several external forces are also working in Jeffery’s favor. His current quarterback, Brian Hoyer, has had a track record of force feeding his go-to wide receiver. In 2013 with the Cleveland Browns, he was the main contributing force in providing Josh Gordon 159 targets. Two seasons later, he once again funneled a large number of targets to DeAndre Hopkins, as Hopkins finished the year with 192. Hoyer’s recent history suggests that he will continue to depend on his No. 1 receiving option.
At the moment, Hoyer has a yards per attempt of 7.2. That number is easily comparable to Jay Cutler’s 7.4 yards per attempt in 2015. It also helps that the Bears putrid defense will force the team to play from behind often, giving Hoyer increased opportunities to pass. Furthermore, Jeffery draws a favorable schedule in the future. In the fantasy playoffs, he faces the Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, and Washington Redskins, all of which are currently bottom-six in points allowed to wide receivers. It’s safe to say the Kevin White injury is going to make Alshon Jeffery great again.
If you are not able to acquire Alshon Jeffery heading into his week 5 match-up against Indianapolis, you may have a second chance next week. Vontae Davis has allowed a mere two receptions on four targets in two weeks played this season. At age-28 and playing the best football of his career, Davis could smother Jeffery in week 5, holding the buying window open for multiple weeks.
Whether it is now, or five days from now, make a strong trade offer to get Alshon Jeffery on your fantasy football roster soon.