Jacoby Ford: What is the Speedy Receiver’s Fantasy Football Value?

In fantasy football, everybody team owner is constantly scouring the waiver wires for sleepers. A sleeper is generally defined as a player that most expect to fail, but that has the upside and could possibly produce at a cheap cost.

Here enters former Clemson track star, and football standout, Jacoby Ford. Ford was drafted in the fourth round in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. Anybody familiar with the Clemson Tigers of recent years has heard great things about Ford, as he was a big role in a speedy offense powered by himself, as well as C.J. Spiller and James Davis.

Ford was a champion in many track events as well, and went into the NFL Combine to post a 4.28 forty yard dash, which was the best of the entire combine. His lack of size (5’9) and his inconsistent hands kept him from making a splash on the first day of the draft.

The Raiders, looking to add to a speedy offense of which consisted Darrius Heyward-Bey, Louis Murphy, and Darren McFadden, selected Ford, expecting him to contribute immediately in the slot.

2010 has been just mediocre for Ford, as he earned the kick return role, but failed to get involved with the offense. Ford has had a pretty successful start to his career as a return man, with 14 returns of 20-plus yards, and two 40-plus yard returns. He’s averaged over 24 yards a return as well.

But in terms of fantasy, his value has been extremely limited. Most leagues don’t offer much for kick return yards, if any, and return touchdowns are too rare to plan for a start in fantasy. But as of the last three weeks, his role in the offense has changed.

Ford had just two targets in the passing game prior to Week 7. Since Week 7, he’s been targeted 14 times in the passing game, most notably this Sunday when he saw nine passes his way. Out of those nine passes, he caught six of them, and had 148 receiving yards. If that’s not enough to shock you, you ca...

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