Jesse James
Jesse James
26-Year-Old Tight EndTE
Detroit Lions
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Detroit committed a lot of money to James last offseason, and it's tough to say whether the team is pleased with the return on its investment after one year. While James is a competent blocker, he's not viewed as being dynamic in that area, and his limitations as a receiver make him less useful there than other tight ends around the league. Look for T.J. Hockenson to bring in the majority of the Lions' production from the tight end position in 2020. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
$Signed a four-year, $25 million contract with the Lions in March of 2019.
Fewest receptions since rookie year
TEDetroit Lions
January 5, 2021
James secured his only target for a two-yard gain during Sunday's 37-35 loss to Minnesota.
ANALYSIS
Like in most of his outings with Detroit over the past two seasons, James' playing time included the majority of available special-teams snaps plus around half of the offensive snaps. However, with T.J. Hockenson around, he hasn't had as many responsibilities in the passing game as he did in Pittsburgh from 2015 to 2018, which is almost certainly the driver of James having logged career-lows in receptions (14) and receiving yards (129) over 16 games for the second straight season. Unfortunately for the future of his production, Detroit has both him and Hockenson locked up through at least 2022, making James seemingly unlikely to see a bump in his fantasy stock anytime soon.
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NFL Stats
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Fantasy/Red Zone Stats
See red zone opportunities inside the 20, 10 and 5-yard lines along with the percentage of time they converted the opportunity into a touchdown.
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Advanced NFL Stats
How do Jesse James' 2020 advanced stats compare to other tight ends?
This section compares his advanced stats with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average. The longer the bar, the better it is for the player.
  • Air Yards Per Game
    The number of air yards he is averaging per game. Air yards measure how far the ball was thrown downfield for both complete and incomplete passes. Air yards are recorded as a negative value when the pass is targeted behind the line of scrimmage. All air yards data is from Sports Info Solutions and does not include throwaways as targeted passes.
  • Air Yards Per Snap
    The number of air yards he is averaging per offensive snap.
  • % Team Air Yards
    The percentage of the team's total air yards he accounts for.
  • % Team Targets
    The percentage of the team's total targets he accounts for.
  • Avg Depth of Target
    Also known as aDOT, this stat measures the average distance down field he is being targeted at.
  • Catch Rate
    The number of catches made divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Drop Rate
    The number of passes he dropped divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Avg Yds After Catch
    The number of yards he gains after the catch on his receptions.
Air Yards Per Game
7.3
 
Air Yards Per Snap
0.25
 
% Team Air Yards
2.4%
 
% Team Targets
3.9%
 
Avg Depth of Target
5.3 Yds
 
Catch Rate
63.6%
 
Drop Rate
0.0%
 
Avg Yds After Catch
5.8
 
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2020
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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
Snap Counts
Snap %
Detroit LionsLions 2020 TE Snap Distribution See more data like this | See last season's snap counts
#% of Team Snaps

76773%
46544%
424%
252%
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How often does Jesse James run a route when on the field for a pass play?
This data will let you see how Jesse James and the other tight ends for the Lions are being used. Some tight ends may have a lot of snaps, but they're not that useful for fantasy purposes because they're not actually running routes. This data will help you see when this is the case.
Jesse James
151 routes   22 targets
← More Blocking
% Routes Run
More Receiving →
66%
13 routes   3 targets
100%
460 routes   101 targets
89%
Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where Jesse James lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
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2020 Jesse James Split Stats
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Measurables Review View College Player Page
How do Jesse James' measurables compare to other tight ends?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
Height
6' 7"
 
Weight
261 lbs
 
40-Yard Dash
4.83 sec
 
Shuttle Time
4.50 sec
 
Cone Drill
7.53 sec
 
Vertical Jump
37.5 in
 
Broad Jump
121 in
 
Bench Press
26 reps
 
Hand Length
9.38 in
 
Arm Length
33.00 in
 
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
The four-year, $25 million deal the Lions threw at James is mostly tied to his blocking ability, as he's never been a top-20 fantasy performer at tight end through four NFL seasons. But perhaps the Lions will find more use for James' height at the goal line than the Steelers did. It was interesting to see his yards per target spike last year in a season where his opportunities cratered, but that's probably more of a small-sample anomaly than anything else. If James and Matthew Stafford show rapport in September, you can go to the market with a restrained FAAB bid. Of course, the requisite cold water applies here, too - Detroit used the No. 8 overall draft pick on T.J. Hockenson, who is a vastly superior athlete. Even with increased use of two-TE formations, the Lions will have a tough time finding regular targets for both players.
The Steelers traded for Vance McDonald a week before the regular season started last year, popping whatever fantasy upside James had coming into 2017. But the 6-7 James showed what he had to offer in Week 1 while McDonald got acclimated, catching six of eight targets, including three inside the 10-yard line, for two TDs. That's as good as it got, though. Even in the six games McDonald missed, James didn't do much. He caught 17 of 26 targets in those game but posted only 5.5 YPA and scored just once more. McDonald is back to handle the starting role this season. Even if McDonald, who has missed 22 games in five seasons, were to sustain an injury, James' upside is limited because tight end has been somewhat of an afterthought in the Pittsburgh offense.
The first key point with James is his age -- although he's already played two pro seasons, he didn't turn 23 until early June. To put this in perspective, James is only a few months older than O.J. Howard, the first tight end selected in this year's draft. Benefitting from Ladarius Green's absence for most of last season, James was Pittsburgh's No. 2 red-zone target (13 looks), turning those chances into seven catches, six first downs and three touchdowns. However, he faces new competition in Vance McDonald, whom Pittsburgh acquired in an August trade with San Francisco. It's possible this could turn into a tight-end-by-committee situation before long, leaving both with marginal utility in fantasy.
Catching eight of 11 targets for 56 yards and a touchdown, James made the most of limited playing time in his rookie season. It appeared he was poised to assume the starting tight end job after Heath Miller abruptly retired during the offseason, but the signing of free agent Ladarius Green suggests the Steelers may not believe James is ready to take on that role. Still, James should see an increase in offensive snaps, particularly within the red zone, making him an interesting late-round draft pick with upside in touchdown-only formats.
Recognizing that Heath Miller can’t play forever, the Steelers selected James in the fifth round of the draft. His size (6'7/261) and athleticism suggest he can create mismatches, particularly in the red zone, but his poor blocking skills will likely limit his playing time, and subsequent fantasy value, this season.
More Fantasy News
Catches second touchdown of 2020
TEDetroit Lions
December 7, 2020
James caught one of three targets for a nine-yard touchdown during Sunday's 34-30 win over Chicago.
ANALYSIS
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Musters up three yards
TEDetroit Lions
November 24, 2020
James was targeted twice and caught one pass for three yards in Sunday's 20-0 loss to the Panthers.
ANALYSIS
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Makes big gain
TEDetroit Lions
October 4, 2020
James caught one of two targets for 31 yards during Sunday's 35-39 loss to the Saints.
ANALYSIS
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Makes dent in stat sheet
TEDetroit Lions
September 28, 2020
James caught three passes (four targets) for 28 yards and one touchdown during Sunday's 26-23 win over Arizona.
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Not involved in passing game
TEDetroit Lions
September 21, 2020
James logged 30 offensive snaps during Sunday's 42-21 loss to the Packers.
ANALYSIS
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