A star player on bye is a fantasy headache, sure. But Justin Blackmon just turned into a different kind of headache.
Let's go to Jacksonville's official Twitter feed for the fresh news:
Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon has been suspended indefinitely. More details: http://t.co/xYXlF3jZWj
— Jacksonville Jaguars (@jaguars) November 1, 2013
If you click through to the Jaguars.com story, you see the bottom-line business at hand: Blackmon’s suspension begins immediately. He will be eligible to apply for reinstatement prior to the start of the 2014 season. So there you go. In a redraft league, you're cutting Blackmon immediately.
I'm not going to take any cheap shots at Blackmon - there are demons in his life and I hope he finds a way to conquer them. It's a shame to see talent wasted - remember how dominant he was in the loss at Denver? But in the meantime, we need to go forward with our fake-football lives. Head to the waiver wire, gamers. You have a roster spot to play with.
Undrafted Mike Brown has turned into a useful receiver for the Jags, collecting 12 catches for 212 yards and score over the last three games. He's been targeted 19 times over that span, and his usage rate figures to increase after the bye. If I were ranking all the wideouts for rest-of-season value right this second, I'd have Brown in the 40-45 range. No superstar, but there's deep-league value; with the Jags, remember, garbage time starts awfully early. Brown is currently owned in just one percent of Yahoo leagues.
Cecil Shorts remains a solid fantasy option (ROS guess: 20-24), and he'll surely be targeted like crazy the final two months. There's not much else in this passing game. If you want to talk yourself into Marcedes Lewis or Ace Sanders, that's your business.
If you need a reach wideout for this week, here are a few deeper names I like: Nate Washington, David Nelson, Aaron Dobson. Good luck during this most-challenging Week 9.