Jacksonville Jaguars’ Justin Blackmon: Fantasy Starter In Week 5

By kylesoppe
Justin Blackmon
Roberty Mayer USATODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars are an awful football team, and that’s not debatable. That, however, doesn’t mean that fantasy football owners should avoid Florida’s futile franchise.

After serving his four-game drug suspension, Justin Blackmon is set to rejoin the Jags this week in St. Louis and reportedly looks ready to contribute immediately. While the Jags’ coaching staff has yet to announce their plans with Blackmon, it would seem that they have very little to lose by giving him an extended workload this weekend, thus making him a wide receiver you should consider starting in all fantasy football formats.

The St. Louis Rams have looked progressively worse with each passing week, and while the Jags ineptitude may help reverse that trend, their no. 1 receiver should give the Rams’ secondary fits. As a team, the Rams have allowed nine touchdown tosses (intercepting only a single Carson Palmer pass in the process), with opponents completing 70 percent of their passes.

I’m not a big believer in the old-school QB rating system (where a perfect score is 158.3), but the fact that the average St. Louis opponent has recorded a mark of 114.8 is absolutely mind-boggling. Something has to give (Blaine Gabbert’s cumulative QB Rating through two starts this season is 61.4) in this one, and I’ve got confidence in an NFL quarterback being able to hit wide open receivers.

Blackmon is, without question, the most talented pass catcher on the Jags’ roster, and the Rams have been especially bad at slowing down the opponent’s top option. They have faced some elite receivers (Larry Fitzgerald, Julio Jones, Dez Bryant and Anquan Boldin) this season, and every one of them has found paydirt at least once.

In addition to scoring, they’ve averaged almost seven catches on 10 targets for 98 yards. Those numbers are hard to ignore, even for a receiver in Blackmon who had considerably better numbers with Chad Henne under center last season.

He closed out last season with 38 catches for 615 yards and four touchdowns in his final six games, indicating that he learned from his first 10 weeks in the NFL and began to get comfortable. I realize that Blaine Gabbert is bad, but if he is ever going to validate being an NFL starter, this would be the place to do it.

With four consistent WRs on bye this week (Antonio Brown, Mike Williams, Vincent Jackson and Pierre Garcon), Blackmon’s suspension ends at a good time. I’ve got him ranked ahead of Reggie Wayne, Stevie Johnson and the banged-up Danny Amendola this weekend.

If your question remains unanswered, reach out to me on Twitter @unSOPable23.


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