by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
We learned yesterday that the Bears’ Alshon Jeffrey had been suspended for four games due to violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing drugs. Of course, considering the way he had been performing you could argue that his absence isn’t much of a loss:
40 receptions, 630 yards, 1 TD
That’s an average of just 4.4 catches and 70 yards per game. Neither of those numbers scream of an elite receiver, something that he was fully expected to be this season. While he has been a target magnet the past three weeks (29 total), the numbers simply haven’t been there as he’s totaled 11 catches for 143 yards.
For fantasy owners maybe it’s a bit of an addition by subtraction. No longer do we have to wrestle with the decision on if he should be started or not, and considering the performance that’s not a bad thing. In redraft formats he can safely be dropped.
As for if there’s value in what’s left, let’s take a look:
He had his big games with Brian Hoyer under center, as he’s been nearly invisible over his past three games (3 receptions on 6 targets). The opportunities have to go somewhere and we’d have to think that Meredith will see his fair share of them (as will tight end Zach Miller). Knowing what he did when he was the focus of the offense (20 receptions for 243 yards and 1 TD in a two-game span), he’s going to be well worth stashing. That said, until we get a better feel for his usage he’s more of a WR3/4.
He hasn’t been targeted more than 9 times in a game and only once has topped 57 yards. Sure he should see his opportunities increase, but at 30-years old he is what he is. The Bears would be better off giving the kids a chance to see what they can do and that makes Royal a player that isn’t worth owning.
He’s expected back in the next few weeks and was once thought of as a potential breakout candidate for the team. For those in the deepest of formats he’ll be an interesting name to monitor. The Bears have been waiting for a long time to get a look at him, and it’s fair to think they are going to give him a chance to put his talent on display. Have him on radars.
Source – ESPN
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