Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Don't Stop Believing in Jordan Reed

Trying to find value is important in any fantasy draft, but there are some positions where it is more important than others. Tight end is one of those positions where finding a sleeper can be the biggest differentiator. At a position which has so much middle-of-the-road performance, plucking a top option out of nowhere can put you over the top to win the league.

In 2015, Jordan Reed was fantasy’s third-best TE, putting up numbers that were comparable to Rob Gronkowski’s prime. However, injuries and mediocre offensive production have handicapped his performance and his fantasy value. There’s room to believe, though, that in this upcoming 2019 season, Reed could return to form and be one of the draft’s biggest sleepers.

Let's take a look at the potential upside and downside of drafting Reed, and why he could be a league winner for you if he can put it all together.

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!



At a glance, Jordan Reed’s 2018 season looks mediocre; he caught 54 passes for 558 yards, averaging about 43 yards per game and 9.2 PPR fantasy points per game. However, there’s more to Reed in 2019 than those stats suggest.


First, Reed hogs targets. In 2018, across all tight ends, he had the fourth-highest target share (20.1%). If you adjust per snap or the chance he’d be targeted on any given play, Reed rises to second place (16.7% chance). This isn’t an anomaly. Throughout his career, he’s consistently registered a top-five target share when compared to his peers. In seasons where Reed has played at least 10 games, he’s maintained above a 17% target share. Take last season, for example. Despite only playing 12 full games, Reed led the Redskins with 84 targets. His 6.9 targets per game in those contests put him on a 16-game pace of 111, which would have ranked fourth among TEs in 2018. 

Furthermore, there isn’t any competition for targets amongst receivers. Jamison Crowder is now in New York, and Ryan Grant is in Oakland. Paul Richardson, Jr. is back for another year, but concerns about injuries kept him from finishing last season. Even when healthy, he saw fewer targets per game than Reed and had an abysmal 20 receptions for 262 yards across 7 games. His counterpart, Josh Doctson, while much healthier, has continuously failed to breakout over the last few seasons. Over the course of 15 injury-free games (three more than Reed), he had fewer receptions (44), fewer receiving yards (532) and fewer PPR fantasy points per game (7.3). The only other competition is the former Mr. Irrelevant, Trey Quinn, but as a sophomore who hasn’t fully adjusted to Jay Gruden’s system (mainly due to injuries), he’ll need time to get up to speed. For the upcoming year, it is safe to assume that Reed’s volume will not be of concern.


But why the high usage rate? Washington, specifically Jay Gruden, loves designing plays for him in third-down situations. Not only is he able to generate the sixth-highest separation (1.74 yds/play), Reed has one of the surest hands in the league. While his catch rate of 64.3% appears horrible on paper, it’s best to put context to these numbers; for a majority of last season’s games, he had Colt McCoy, Mark Sanchez, and Josh Johnson at QB.

Additionally, only 70.2% of his targets were catchable, the 35th lowest rate amongst other TEs. If you take the 59 passes that were catchable, his reception rate skyrockets to 91.5% (5th). So not only will Reed generate space from his primary defender, but if the QB can throw a ball within his range, over nine times out of ten Reed will corral it in. Thus, he is an effective threat in must-convert situations.

It’s not just third-down usage. New offensive coordinator, Kevin O’Connell, hopes to implement pass plays on 1st and 2nd down to keep defenses on their toes, while also increasing short-to-mid yardage passing to boost the Redskins’ pace of play. For Reed, that’s great news; in regards to the former, more passing indicates more volume, while for the latter, his average target distance is about 6.9 yards, making him the perfect mid-range threat. These facts, combined with his high catchable target rate and incredible volume, should allow him to be a starting-caliber fantasy TE.



Of course, while there is a significant upside to drafting Jordan Reed, there’s also considerable risk. Bear in mind these concerns when selecting him.

Injury History

Jordan Reed’s list of injuries is probably one of the longest in the NFL. From a fractured toe that kept him out of the last three games of 2018, to multiple hamstring sprains, to repeated concussions, to an MCL sprain, to a shoulder separation, it’s clear that Reed has been hurt a lot. In fact, he’s missed 17 games in the last three years alone. During last week’s preseason game, he suffered his seventh career concussion, partly in thanks to a late hit by Keanu Neal.

Before the concussion, there was still hope that this upcoming year could be injury-free. Reports out of training camp indicated that this was the first time in over five years where Reed entered the preseason without any lingering issues. Jay Gruden had expressed confidence that Reed would be active and healthy for the Redskins’ Week 1 contest against the Eagles. However, as the recent concussion shows, if you’re drafting Reed, you should pick another, injury-free TE on your roster because It’s a safe bet to assume that Reed will miss at least two to three games in any given season.


Remember when I noted that Gruden loves to scheme for Reed? Apparently, in 2018, that same love did not carry over when deep into an opponent’s territory. Across the first 10 weeks of last season, the Redskins ran 71 plays in the red-zone. Reed was only targeted once and over the year, finished with only three catches within those 20 yards.

There is a great likelihood that this could be a fluke. He still finished second on the team in red-zone target share at 16.3%; that percentage rises to 26.3% inside the 10. However, more of than not, within the 20, Gruden has consistently turned towards the run game, with RBs accounting for 60% of the position player utilization. Reed, in comparison, only had a 9.3% usage rate in the red-zone.

Furthermore, he had two touchdowns across his 12 full games in 2019. The number may positively regress in 2019, but there is still a chance that it remains low. The Redskins offense is projected to be abysmal in the upcoming year, thanks to below-average QBs at the helm (Case Keenum was mediocre at best in Denver, while Dwayne Haskins is a rookie), and a severely weakened offensive line (Trent Williams continues to holdout). As a result, even moving the ball down-the-field, let alone into the red zone, will be difficult for an offense that last season, finished in the bottom quarter of NFL teams in total yards per game. For Reed, that means his value dips in standard leagues because it is unlikely that he will score touchdowns in an offense that will most likely be ineffective.



Currently, Jordan Reed’s ADP across formats is a TE16. Following the concussion, it could drop him to possibly being undrafted. For someone who will be force-fed targets when healthy, he is a great value-pick near the end of most drafts.  If he recovers successfully from the concussion, he should be a lock for about 8-9 fantasy points per game in PPR leagues, and if he returns to his 2015 form, Reed could easily finish within the top-10, if not top-seven, amongst his peers.

More ADP Values and Sleepers

More Recent Articles


Can a New Coach Fix Baker Mayfield in 2020?

Another season has passed and another disappointment by Browns fans has been realized. Baker Mayfield got the head coach he wanted in Freddie Kitchens in 2019. In 2020, hopefully he's got the one he needs in Kevin Stefanski. Last season, under Kitchens, Mayfield had a coach he could control and manipulate. He did just that... Read More

Wide Receiver VOS (Values Over Starter): 2019 Season In Context

The one (and only) good thing about fantasy football season ending is that we have plenty of time to analyze what happened during the past few months and put performances into context to prepare for next season. As football is an ever-evolving game, though, it makes sense to assess how good players were in fantasy... Read More

The King's Keeper Corner: NFL Postseason Impacts on Player Outlooks

With a break in the postseason NFL action, it is time to reflect on what we have seen in the playoffs so far and how certain performances will affect fantasy football outlooks in keeper and dynasty formats. How players respond and what they deliver at the most intense and critical times of the season can... Read More

Introducing Value Over Starter Football Metrics

When it comes to fantasy sports, we're always looking for the highest possible Return On Investment or ROI. This concept is easy to understand: in both Daily Fantasy and re-draft/fantasy leagues, ROI would come down to how many points a player returns relative to his salary, or the price you paid (given his ADP on... Read More

Biggest Breakouts of 2019: Quarterback

2019 was a very interesting season of fantasy football, to say the least. It's safe to say no one was banking on the season that we saw from Lamar Jackson but he wasn't the only one to stand out. At the quarterback position, we saw some really exciting players start to shine and some older... Read More

Goodbye Runners, Hello Pass-Catching RBs: 2019 Season Trends

As the 2019 summer kept going we all had two things in our minds with regard to September's fantasy drafts and both of them were related to running backs: Where in the world are Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon and when will they be back? It made sense back then (and it still does now,... Read More

Where Does 2019 Rank Historically Among ADP Movers?

I have worked on a season-review series of articles in which I have analyzed the biggest winners and losers in terms of ADP entering draft season compared to the end of the year final results. It was plenty of fun looking back at the gambles most of us took which ultimately paid off, but also... Read More

Biggest Busts of 2019: Tight End

2019 was not the record-breaking season for tight ends 2018 was. San Francisco’s George Kittle (most receiving yards for a TE in a season) and Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz (most receptions for a TE in a season) did not break the records they set last season, although both were fine for fantasy players. Kansas City’s Travis... Read More

Rushing Quarterbacks Are Becoming Necessary

The 2019 fantasy season is over. We are all thinking about what to do come 2020 draft day. So let me ask you something. What if I offer you the chance of drafting a quarterback who is a lock to finish the season with 270 fantasy points? Would you take him and make him your... Read More

Biggest Breakouts Of 2019: Wide Receivers

As we enter the initial phase of offseason activities you have recently completed a painstaking process of creating and managing rosters, with the goal of winning fantasy championships in 2019. Now, many of you have already shifted your focus toward planning your drafts in Best Ball and redraft leagues, while others are contemplating how you... Read More

Tight End ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward their owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More

Running Back ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, a sure-fire player is expected to reward his owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they end up as a season-long dud, though,... Read More

Biggest Surprises of 2019: Tight End

The 2019 NFL season was anything but predictable. I mean, the Tennessee Titans made the AFC title game! Andrew Luck retired right before the season! [Insert one of many, many other things here, because all lists need three items but I couldn't decide between all the possible third options.] One position where things at the... Read More

Wide Receiver Risers and Fallers: 2019 Season Review

We continue our series covering the biggest risers and fallers of 2019 with the wide receiver position. I'll look at both 2018 and 2019 statistical outcomes from every player, contrast their performances, calculate differences in each category and come up with the most prominent names going forward. This past season, receivers didn't dominate in fantasy,... Read More

Wide Receiver ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward his owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More