7 NFL Players whose Stats Don't Tell the Whole Story
I live in the DC metro area. If I listen to sports radio, nine times out of ten they are rambling about the inane details of the Washington Redskins. I roll my eyes at most of it, but there's one thing they got right this year when they weren't talking for three straight hours about Robert Griffin. Garcon absolutely should have been awarded a spot in the Pro Bowl. He led the NFL in receptions, finished eighth in receiving yards, and was Washington's best player, hands-down. In what was an obvious down year for the 'Skins, Garcon's emergence as one of the game's best receivers shouldn't have been a surprise. Injuries, or a lack thereof, finally worked in his favor as he played all 16 games for just the second time in his six NFL seasons. Garcon will enter 2014 at the age of 28, likely at pinnacle of both his physical and mental prime combined. If we can assume the Redskins improve next year, Garcon has to be considered a Top 10 receiver with the upside for even more.
In the world of tight ends, there is Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski (when he is healthy) and everybody else. Without a doubt, one name you will hear often as a potential breakout is Reed. This is justified too. Reed flashed some real game-breaking moments with the Skins and obviously, Washington's offense has nowhere to go but up after a disappointing 2013. Here's the thing: the difference between the Grahams/Gronks of the world and guys like Reed is huge. Graham essentially posted high-end WR1 numbers and if played at that position, only Josh Gordon, Demaryius Thomas and Calvin Johnson could keep up with him. Does anyone but a 16-game Gronkowski, Reed included, have this kind of upside? The simple answer is no and it's not even close. Even if Reed jumps up into the conversation of being a Top 5 TE, the difference between your backup TE and your starting TE is hardly significant. Fantasy's No. 6 TE in 2013 was Jordan Cameron and he averaged 7.9 fantasy points per game. Fantasy's No. 16 TE, Garrett Graham averaged 5.8 points. Considering where you have to draft each of these players, is it really worth two measly points per game? The lesson here is unless you're drafting Graham or Gronk, nobody else is really worth reaching for... even Vernon Davis or Julius Thomas. When the hype grows and grows for Reed, keep in mind how extremely limited the potential rewards are since he is still unproven, has a limited history due to recurring injuries and you're really only gaining a couple points to your team per week if he even pans out.