Jarrett Boykin Is Risky Fantasy Start Despite Packers' WR Injuries

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IOctober 20, 2013

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 13: Jarrett Boykin #11 of the Green Bay Packers avoids the tackle of Jimmy Smith #22 of the Baltimore Ravens in the third quarter during a game at M&T Bank Stadium on October 13, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Green Bay Packers receiver Jarrett Boykin is taking over for Randall Cobb as the team's primary slot receiver, but fantasy football owners would be smart to take a wait-and-see approach before plugging him into a starting lineup.

Cobb fractured his fibula in last weekend's contest against the Baltimore Ravens. He's out for at least six weeks after being placed on the team's injured reserve with a designation to return, as noted by Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

This puts Boykin in a position to become a fantasy gold mine as Cobb's replacement. 

ESPN's Matthew Berry called Boykin a sneaky play this weekend against Cleveland, noting Joe Haden would be covering Jordy Nelson and the potential absence of James Jones:

But Haden isn't the only talented defensive back on Cleveland's roster. Buster Skrine and Leon McFadden are both capable cover men, and T.J. Ward is an excellent safety. The Browns rank No. 8 in the league against the pass, allowing just 214.3 yards per game. 

Sep 29, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (12) defended by Cleveland Browns strong safety T.J. Ward (43) and cornerback Buster Skrine (22) during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland's defense isn't the only concerning aspect of Boykin's fantasy value, either.

After he came in to replace Cobb in last weekend's contest, he was far from sharp, as noted by David Dorey of TheHuddle.com:

Boykin managed to redeem himself by taking said screen pass 43 yards, but he was clearly not on the same page as quarterback Aaron Rodgers

It's easy to assume that he will develop chemistry with Rodgers, who always seems to make his receivers look like all-pros. But given Boykin's lack of in-game experience, fantasy owners should be wary about expecting him to put up Cobb-type numbers.

The Packers could also decide to lean even more heavily on rookie Eddie Lacy and the running game, as they rank 10th in the league in total rushing yards.

Take a wait-and-see approach with Boykin. He's certainly worth a look, but keep expectations low at this time until he proves otherwise.


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