Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon has been suspended for the first four games of the season after violating the league’s substance abuse policy. It’s a setback for a player who made big strides in the latter half of the 2012 season and was garnering big expectations headed into 2013.
Last season, Blackmon averaged just 3.04 fantasy points per game in his first seven games. But he took off later in the year, posting an average of 14.21 points over his final nine games of the year. In the process, he retook the role of Jacksonville’s No. 1 receiver from Cecil Shorts, who had been the breakout surprise of the year.
As an aside, it’s worth mentioning that Blackmon’s best production came with Chad Henne playing quarterback in place of the injured Blaine Gabbert. Henne and Gabbert are expected to compete for Jacksonville’s starting job in training camp. The winner of that battle will likely have an effect on the fantasy value of the players around them.
But back to Blackmon … not being on the field for the first month of the season is going to knock him down a lot of draft ranks, though it probably won’t be as damaging as it seems. Before this news, the man from Oklahoma State was projected as No. 3 wideout in most fantasy formats. While the suspension will push him a little bit lower, his value should remain about the same.
– Marcas Grant
Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG