The contentious situation between WR Vincent Jackson and the San Diego Chargers should concern fantasy football owners.
The veteran wideout has boycotted offseason activities due to his status as a restricted free agent, and the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that he is expected to sit out until mid-November.
In fact, GM A.J. Smith is already talking about Jackson in the past tense.
“We lost a couple of great players today, and it hurts,” Smith told the Union-Tribune Tuesday while discussing Jackson and Marcus McNeill. “We are trying to build a championship team, and losing the services of both Vincent and Marcus just made that more difficult — but not impossible. In due time, Coach (Norv) Turner will name two new starters. We will rally as a team, compete and try to win as many games as we can.”
Jackson, who has made a name for himself in fantasy circles over the last two seasons, is quickly going from breakout candidate to a risk-reward player. The fantasy outlook for Jackson not only includes the threat of a lengthy holdout, but also the potential of a league suspension due to past DUI arrests.
The majority of fantasy drafts won’t occur for another few months, so there is plenty of time for clarity to emerge from this ugly situation. But if Jackson is steadfast in his decision to hold out, it will have serious fantasy implications for all of the Chargers.
Jackson’s absence would hurt the value of QB Philip Rivers and could force Turner to run the ball more often — an obvious positive for rookie RB Ryan Mathews. The fantasy impact at receiver starts with Malcom Floyd, a current deep sleeper, who would become the team’s top wideout. Legedu Naanee, a projected starter in Jackson’s absence, would be on the fantasy radar.
Fantasy leaguers need to monitor this situation closely as it unfolds.