Phil Sheridan of ESPN recently wrote (click here for the article):
“Second-round draft pick Jordan Matthews had people at organized team activities comparing his physique to that of Terrell Owens and could be a star in the future.”
The key takeaway from that statement needs to be “in the future”. The Eagles play a fast paced offense and lost DeSean Jackson, so it makes sense that many are drawn to Matthews as a potential rookie sensation. It’s not to say that it can’t happen, but it also shouldn’t be expected. The offense is going to run through LeSean McCoy. Darren Sproles was added to help relieve him a bit, but will also be a key component in the passing game.
As for the replacement to Jackson, we have to remember that Jeremy Maclin is healthy and going to play a major role. The biggest beneficiary may be tight end Zach Ertz, who showed significant improvements late in 2013 and could easily emerge as a Top 10 tight end by the end of 2014.
As for Matthews fantasy owners need to keep their expectations in check anyways. Walter Football compared him to Terrance Williams prior to the draft saying:
“Player Comparison: Terrance Williams. I suggested Williams as a comparison to Matthews to some scouts, and they said that was spot on. Both are roughly the same size (6-2, 200), were very productive in college and are reliable possession receivers who lack the speed to be vertical threats. Without being fast receivers, they are held back from being true No. 1 wide outs. Williams was a third-round pick of the Cowboys in 2013 NFL Draft and had a quality rookie season.”
Quality is a good word, though we have to remember that Williams was hardly a must use option in 2013. Plus, he benefited from the injuries to Miles Austin offering him a greater opportunity.
I would expect Matthews to make a few plays, but not get to those types of numbers. There’s upside, but with McCoy continuing to be the man and other options at their disposal, he’s a much better own for those in dynasty formats.
Sources – ESPN, Walter Football
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Make sure to check out all of our 2014 rankings: