This summer, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jalen Reagor was viewed by some as a breakout candidate in fantasy football. But is he still relevant, and could he be a deep-league streamer in a Thursday Night Football matchup against the Buccaneers?
Jalen Reagor, the promising prospect
A first-round pick in 2020, Reagor’s rookie campaign was marred by injuries and erratic quarterback play. He mustered a 31-396-1 receiving line while netting 26 yards on 4 carries across 11 games, placing him just inside the top-100 fantasy wideouts. He cracked double-digit fantasy points only once — a 13.2-point effort in Week 8, thanks to his only touchdown of the campaign. In other words, Reagor was virtually unstartable last year.
At first glance, his WR63 ADP this summer suggested some improvement over 2020’s production. But for context, last year’s 64th-best fantasy WR was David Moore, who averaged the same fantasy points per game (7.4) as Reagor did.
Interestingly enough, this year, Reagor is the 64th-best fantasy WR, averaging 7.6 points per contest. So why hasn’t he made a sophomore leap?
Increased target competition in Philadelphia
For starters, the arrival of highly touted first-rounder DeVonta Smith has cut into Reagor’s upside. Smith has quickly asserted himself as Jalen Hurts’ No. 1 receiver, amassing a 25-314-1 line — nearly matching Reagor’s 2020 production in fewer than half the games.
Then there’s ascending 23-year-old Quez Watkins, who has seemingly leapfrogged Reagor to capture the No. 2 WR role. Additionally, a healthier Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz (both missed five games last year) have helped stabilize an offense that in 2020 leaned too much on the likes of Greg Ward and Travis Fulgham.
So it’s no wonder that Reagor has not established himself as a reliable fantasy option. Yes, he’s second on the team with 17 receptions. But Watkins is seventh on the team with 13 receptions. On the field, this is a fairly balanced attack. For fantasy purposes, this is a jumbled mess.
Furthermore, among all Eagles wideouts who have caught at least 1 pass, Reagor is last with only 8.2 yards per reception.
Should you start Reagor in Week 6?
If you’re starting Reagor this week, you’re hoping three of the last four weeks were a mirage. In Weeks 2, 4, and 5, he collected only 6 catches for a combined 38 yards. We need more from a WR3/flex option. Heck, we need more from a WR5 dart throw.
With Reagor, youth and talent are ever-present. He could carve out a solid NFL career, if not a very good one. The question is whether this is the right season, or the right team, for him to take another step forward. With six other pass catchers (including Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell) vying for weekly touches, Reagor is the ultimate boom-bust starter. If you’re decimated by injuries and/or byes, go for it. Otherwise, there are probably a dozen or more safer options on waivers.