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Washington’s offense was surprisingly one of the most effective in the league through the air last season, as quarterback Kirk Cousins took a big step forward in his first real chance to start every week. Jordan Reed emerged as a real weapon in the middle of the field, and the receiving corps received solid contributions from the likes of Pierre Garcon and Jamison Crowder in the short game.

However, for much of the season, the offense was missing that big-play component. That component should be available much more this season after an injury-riddled 2015 for DeSean Jackson. Jackson didn’t put up huge numbers last season, and Fantasy owners seem to be sleeping on the speedy veteran, who is currently going off the board as the No. 35 wide receiver at

DeSean Jackson WR / Washington Redskins (2015 (10 games))

REC: 30YDS: 528TD: 4

Overlook him at your own peril. Jackson didn’t make much of an impact last season, finishing with just 30 catches for 528 yards, however he was a key to the improvements the Redskins‘ passing game made overall. Jackson was active for 10 games total, but really only played in Weeks 8 through 16, and you can see how much better Cousins fared with Jackson in the lineup:

w/o Jackson (Weeks 1-7, Week 17)819628369.3%1913124.2%82.8%6.8
w/ Jackson (Weeks 8-16)818326070.4%2253176.5%31.2%8.7

Cousins’ completion percentage didn’t change much, but he was much more effective overall, averaging nearly 2 more yards per pass attempt in the games Jackson played in. It’s not particularly hard to see why, either, as Jackson was the only receiver on the team with more than 11 catches to average more than 12 yards per catch. Washington’s receiving corps is pretty good across the board, but without Jackson, it didn’t have any way to stretch the field.

Jackson’s season-long numbers were certainly disappointing, but extrapolating them over a 16-game schedule looks a lot better. All of a sudden, he’s at 60 catches, 1,056 yards and eight touchdowns, comparable to what the likes of Eric Decker, Emmanuel Sanders or Allen Hurns managed a year ago, and all of them are being drafted ahead of Jackson.

Jackson’s numbers also look quite a bit better when you consider he really only played eight games, and was somewhat limited even in a few of those games. Jackson played 68.4 percent of the team’s snaps on offense in those eight games, and saw just 18.5 percent of Cousins’ targets as a result. It isn’t crazy to expect both of those numbers to improve as he enters the season at full health.