If you believe everything you read, Reggie Brown would be the WR to pick up if DeSean Jackson does in fact end up missing Week 13 with a concussion. The way concussion awareness has escalated and been handled with increasing caution in the NFL this season, it is wise to expect Jackson to miss some time.
It has been reported that it will be Brown that gets the start in Jackson’s stead if that happens. Reggie is after all listed as DeSean’s backup on the official depth chart. While Brown may get his name in the game day program, for fantasy purposes Jason Avant is the one you want to pick up, and here is why.
First, about the matchup:
The Eagles face the Falcons, who just allowed rookie QB Josh Freeman to accumulate 20 completions on 29 attempts, for 250 yards and 2 TDs, for a 118.5 QB rating. Owners of Eagle players are rightfully excited to exploit this situation.
Concerning Brown vs. Avant:
Reggie Brown has 3 catches on the season, while Jason Avant has 32.
Brown was the recipient of 2 targets with 0 catches, whereas Avant had 6 targets, with 5 catches and a team-best 94 yards, including a 46-yarder.
Avant has been coming on strong as of late. In fact, I almost picked up him anyway even with a healthy Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and Brent Celek all catching balls, because in the past 3 games he has 17 catches for 276 yards and a TD. He is a hard worker who usually operates in the shadows, but when given the chance, he almost always comes through. He has made some spectacular catches, and not just this season.
When the Eagles were trying out the T.O. experiment, I was of the opinion that the Eagles wasted a ton of money on a team cancer, whereas they could have gotten just as much production at a bargain rate with someone like Avant. Maybe the Eagles learned their lesson, as they drafted Avant in 2006—T.O.’s first year in Dallas.
Fast forward to 2009, and I don’t know what kind of future Avant has in Philadelphia. As I said previously, if I were Baltimore or Miami, or any number of other receiver-hungry teams, I would make a play for Avant because I think he could make a solid No.2 WR elsewhere whereas in Philly they appear to be set for the long haul with youngsters Jackson and Maclin.
As far as fantasy goes, take advantage of Avant’s opportunity while you can. Who knows, it could be that even with Jackson in the mix, he builds upon this three-week roll to find himself hovering around the center of the Eagles offensive plans for the rest of the season.