Justin Blackmon, Breaking Bad, and Delayed Gratification


“Yo man, look, I’m off the heroin. I didn’t even like it, anyway. It made me sick. And the meth, y’know, I could take it or leave it. I’m clean, Mr. White. For real.”- Jesse Pinkman

Way back in the dogged summer days, Justin Blackmon was being drafted in the 8th round of 12 team drafts (per FF calculator). Blackmon is now being selected in the 11th round as the 48th wide receiver off the board, due to the fact that he is suspended for 4 games for what we can only assume is doing his best Jesse Pinkman impersonation (the NFL isn’t allowed to say what the substance-abusers are actually suspended for, so creating elaborate back stories is pretty fun. Can’t you just see Josh Gordon as Marlo Stanfield?). However, now that Blackmon has theoretically cleaned his act up, we can get back to the money together. In this case, that means producing fantasy goodness.

Given that even in the 8th round, you were drafting Blackmon as a reserve means that his function for your team is essentially the same. Unless a team was plagued by injuries or underperformers, no one was breaking the glass on their reserves until the bye weeks start, which starts after Blackmon is reinstated to the Jags. Given that information, it’s worth looking at Blackmon’s Sim Score:

Standard Half PPR PPR
Low 7.2 9.4 11.5
Median 8.4 11 13.5
High 11 14.2 17.4

That projection, which I find to be the most representative of Blackmon’s potential in 2013, is pretty solid. In particular, the lack of variation between the low and high projection make Blackmon an attractive option. Blackmon’s Average Season N+1 comps produced 58 catches, 786.6 yards and 5 touchdowns, or 108 standard fantasy points in only twelve games. You may not believe that Blackmon is capable of reaching those heights with Blaine Gabbert at the helm; it’s more likely that Gabbert is a ricin-filled cigarette than an life-saving magnet truck. However, the new leadership has no alligience to Gabbert and most of the fantasy world expects Chad Henne to take over the starting job early. It’s a dark day when Chad Henne is your savior; but hey, we all have to expect help

108 fantasy points over a 12 game span is definitely usable fantasy numbers. Let’s say, hypothetically, you start your draft RB-RB-WR-RB, and your roster is Steven Jackson, Reggie Bush, Vincent Jackson and Shane Vereen. Finally in the 5th, you select Torrey Smith as your WR2. The season starts and you plug Smith in at WR2 each game. Smith is projected at 7.74 points per game, by Shawn Siegele and the Sim Score App. That means over 4 games,your WR2 is going to score you roughly 31 points. If you decide to make the switch from Smith to Blackmon and keep it for the whole season, your WR2 slot would finished with 139 fantasy points. Ironically enough, that would have just finished above Torrey Smith as WR23 last year.

Just because Blackmon won’t be available for a month, doesn’t mean you can’t use him in fantasy. He’s clean, now. He swears. So, theoretically, a re-focused WR1-style type player with success as a rookie seems like a pretty good proposition? If a street tough that failed his high school chemistry class can overtake Gustavo Fring’s empire, then Blackmon can put the joints down and start scoring touchdowns.