Over the course of the off-season we’ll be looking back at some of the rookie seasons from 2012 in the hopes that we can get a feel for what their 2013 fantasy football season holds and whether or not we should target them in drafts.¬† Today the review subject is Justin Blackmon.
The numbers (nearly 153 fantasy points) and the rank – 29th amongst wide receivers in yahoo PPR leagues – might come as a shock to Blackmon drafters, but definitely not to Blackmon owners.¬† Why do I separate the two?¬† Because unless you’re in a keeper league, chances are if you drafted this guy to start the year you didn’t finish the year with him as he gave his draftees the bitter pill.¬† I mean, he seemed doomed from the start with Gabbert at QB.¬† I don’t condone drunk driving but I’d probably get a little wrecked in the pre-season too after a few reps with Blaine.¬† Of course, we’re not here to talk about Blaine and we never will be.¬† What we are here to talk about is Blackmon’s rookie season of 2012 and how his 2013 fantasy football season might go…
Weeks 1-4: 10 rec, 25 targets, 79 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 12.9 total points – Yeah, you dropped him in these first few weeks.¬† In this span, he managed a goose egg on 4 targets vs Houston and a 1 catch, 7 yard clunker against a very weak secondary in the Colts.¬† During this span he averaged under 8 ypr and – to the observer – looked very disinterested in this whole ‘football’ thing.
Weeks 5-9: 13 rec, 29 targets, 146 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 27.1 total points – And here’s where most keeper owners dropped him if they had any chance at the playoffs.¬† Against a very weak Raiders secondary, he went for another 1 catch, 7 yard performance on 4 targets.¬† Though his next two games in this sequence were useful, by weeks 8 and 9 most teams are hording backup RBs and keeping only one wide receiver around if any.¬† Owners have officially blacked out on Blackmon.
Weeks 10-13: 16 receptions, 30 targets, 332 yards, 2 touchdowns, 53.2 total points – It’s amazing what one game can do.¬† Blackmon’s out of nowhere performance on November 18th against the Texans – which was coincidentally the start of the defensive slide for the Texans that no one saw coming – was only on the deepest fantasy teams at this point.¬† However, 7 receptions and 236 yards later, Blackmon was the pick up of the week everywhere.¬† Though he followed with another solid performance against a week Titans defense in week 12, his patented week 13 1 catch flop might’ve been the nail in the fantasy coffin for most owners which is too bad.¬† It’s during this time period Chad Henne took over for Gabbert and never let go of the reigns, leading to the best 4 week run for the rookie all year.
Weeks 14-17: 25 receptions, 48 targets, 308 yards, 2 touchdowns, 55.3 total points – Though in terms of total points there wasn’t much difference for Blackmon’s numbers, it’s during these final 4 weeks Justin found consistency.¬† His worst output during these last 4 weeks was a 6 catch, 57 yard performance against a formidable Jets secondary as he went on to post no less than 11 targets in each remaining game.¬† Blackmon’s FPPG during this span was 13.825, which over a full season would’ve put him as a low end WR2 in PPR leagues.
Conclusion: I liked Blackmon coming out of college and was a little sad to see where he landed and how he started.¬† Overall, I see a guy who could peak as an Anquan Boldin type.¬† Strong and athletic but not a wide receiver you expect to be streaking down the sidelines for a 60 yard touchdown.¬† There are a lot of question marks surrounding the Jaguars moving forward so it’s hard to project for Blackmon with extreme confidence.¬† Will Chad Henne be starting next year as well?¬† Will Cecil Shorts come back from late season concussion issues healthy in 2013?¬† Who will be their running back?¬† Will there be major changes to the offensive scheme moving forward which negatively or positively affects the players they have?¬† Will Neil Patrick Harris ever stop being a straight up boss?¬† All this to say, my projections might be a little weak or a tad too much depending on off-season action but I can’t just blather at you for this long without giving you a little somethin’, somethin’ for 2013 fantasy football…
Projections: 80 receptions, 1120 receiving yards, 40 rushing yards, 7 total touchdowns