Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL for once again violating the league’s substance abuse policy. The details are unclear at this point, but it’s been confirmed that he’s done for the season and his future with the Jags is now in question.
It’s hard to be shocked, considering the fact that he served a four-game suspension at the beginning of this season for similar reasons. Still, it’s disconcerting that it happened again and so quickly. It’s incredibly frustrating for his fantasy owners as he was proving to be a true weekly threat.
Blackmon was superb in limited action this season, catching 29 passes for 415 yards and a touchdown in just four games. He had excellent chemistry with Chad Henne and in just his second year, he was flashing massive potential. It’s a crushing blow to fantasy owners who had stashed him and were just starting to reap the rewards for their patience.
The main fantasy beneficiary of the situation is obviously Cecil Shorts. With Blackmon out the first four games, Shorts was targeted an insane 52 times and secured half of those for 337 yards. He hasn’t seen less than 10 targets in any game this season, except in Week 6 when he got injured near the very beginning of the Jags’ tilt with the Denver Broncos. Blackmon’s new suspension solidifies Shorts as Henne’s go-to guy, and he is a strong WR2 the rest of the way.
He should easily be one of the five most targeted players for the rest of the season, and thus has major upside in an offense that will continue to thrive in garbage time. Mike Brown will likely take Blackmon’s place in the starting lineup, but he has no fantasy appeal at this stage. He’s worth monitoring in deeper leagues, however.
It’s incredibly sad to see such a talented player flushing his potential down the toilet. If Blackmon doesn’t get his act together quickly, he might ruin his career permanently. The only silver lining that can be taken away from the disheartening news is that Shorts’ fantasy owners just got a major boost.
The Jags’ hopes of avoiding that dreaded 0-16 record have all but dwindled away completely.