Fantasy focus: DeSean Jackson injury boost to Eagles' run game
DeSean Jackson is done for the season with multiple fractured ribs, suffered in Monday night's loss to the Panthers. The normal healing time is two to six weeks, depending on severity and location, but the Eagles have no need to rush Jackson back.
His absence will open up targets for Damaris Johnson and Riley Cooper, but neither is a reliable replacement for Jackson. Johnson lacks Jackson's shiftiness and quick lateral mobility, while Cooper is more of a rangy possession receiver who was expected to give Michael Vick a big red zone target before injuries derailed his season.
With rookie quarterback Nick Foles likely to play again in Week 13, the Eagles will once again try to stay on the ground with Bryce Brown. Brown emerged as a solid RB2, but the Panthers' rushing defense hasn't been stout all year. If LeSean McCoy remains out as expected for the Week 13 Cowboys game, Brown will have as many chances against a much tougher defense.
Aside from Brown, it is not recommended that you start any Eagles offensive players in any format. Against the Panthers, Foles was held to very short passes. That favors Brent Celek and Johnson, who can do the most with yards after catch, but it hurts Jeremy Maclin, a player who lives and dies by the intermediate route. Maclin now becomes a WR3 or flex candidate at best in PPR leagues.
Jackson will be able to recover from this injury in plenty of time to get acquainted with the new coaching staff and new offense that now seems inevitable for the Eagles in 2013. Jackson's value will hinge more on the scheme and the quarterback throwing to him than this injury, but he projects to be significantly lower than his '12 ADP.