Fanspeak Fantasy Football Impact: Suspended Players
By Guest Writer Ryan Gerrity – Twitter: @RyanGerrity:
These four players are suspended from the NFL to start the regular season. They are for different reasons, but they may still have an impact after their suspension is over. Is it worth to draft any of these players on draft?
1. Justin Blackmon, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Justin Blackmon recently has just been activated by the Jaguars off of the Physically Unable to Perform list because of a groin injury. He is ahead of schedule for the rehab and has been practicing; however he is still suspended for the first four games of the regular season due to violating the leagues substance abuse policy. Last year Blackmon caught 64 passes for 865 yards and 5 touchdowns. The downside for Blackmon’s draft status along with suspension is that he will have either Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne throwing him the ball.
Blackmon needs to mature a bit during this suspension as well, but he might be worth a late round pick because of his upside as an athlete alone.
2. Isaiah Pead, RB, St. Louis Rams
Isaiah Pead is suspended for the regular season opener for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Now that Steven Jackson is with the Atlanta Falcons, Pead is challenging Daryl Richardson in St Louis for the starting job. He only had 10 carries last year as a rookie for 54 yards. Pead is only suspended for one game, but Richardson right now is ahead of him on the depth chart.
Pead will definitely get a lot of carries this year for the Rams, I would take him as a handcuff pick for Daryl Richardson, but as a bye week filler, he could be drafted in the 13th or 14th round.
3. Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns
Josh Gordon is suspended for the first two games of the regular season this year for violating the substance abuse policy for the NFL. Gordon was drafted in the supplemental draft after failing three drug tests during college for marijuana. A red flag for drafting Josh Gordon in fantasy is that if he fails to follow the substance abuse policy again, he could be suspended for the year. However, last year he caught 50 passes for 805 yards and 5 touchdowns. These are good numbers for a #2 wide receiver on your fantasy team, but there are some red flags.
I would not reach for Josh Gordon in any of my drafts, look at players like Alshon Jeffrey from the Bears, or Kendall Wright for the Titans, they will have the same type of numbers this year.
4. Von Miller, LD, Denver Broncos
I know Von Miller is only one defensive player for the Denver Broncos but his suspension affects the rest of the team and how you should draft for fantasy football. Miller is suspended for the first four games of the NFL regular season due to violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He is appealing the suspension and met with the NFLPA today but this process is being postponed at this point. Von Miller has enough impact because last year the Broncos had 52 sacks and he alone had 18.5 sacks last year.
I would take the Seahawks, Texans, Bears, and 49ers before taking the Broncos defense.