Jarrett Boykin's Updated 2013 Fantasy Outlook Heading into Week 8
Entering the Green Bay Packers' Week 7 tilt against the Cleveland Browns, second-year wide receiver Jarrett Boykin had just five career receptions to his name. But he broke out in a big way on Sunday, which has undoubtedly caused fantasy football owners to make a mad dash for the waiver wire.
As good as Boykin looked, sustained success is far from guaranteed now that teams are fully aware of his skill set, but he is certainly worth a look considering the state of Green Bay's offense.
The Virginia Tech product earned his first career start in Week 7 because the Packers were dealing with some major injuries at the receiver position. James Jones was a game-time decision, but he was ultimately unable to play on his sprained left knee, as ESPN.com's Rob Demovsky reported.
Perhaps more importantly, though, slot receiver Randall Cobb was out of action and is expected to miss between six and eight weeks with a fractured fibula, according to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
That means that even if Jones is able to return in the near future, Boykin will remain in the lineup as the primary slot receiver with Jones and Jordy Nelson manning the outside.
More playing time potentially opened up for Boykin for another reason, but it's one that everyone hopes didn't occur: Tight end Jermichael Finley suffered a scary neck injury, which has left him in the intensive care unit at a local hospital, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN.
Packers TE Jermichael Finley in ICU after his neck injury. He has not had surgery as of early this a.m. and status uncertain. Monitoring.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) October 21, 2013
Finley's injury is awful, and there is no question that everyone is hoping for a speedy and full recovery. Assuming Finley is going to miss a significant amount of time, Boykin will essentially be the only name in town in terms of receivers working the middle of the field.
What is Boykin's fantasy value moving forward?
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers will undoubtedly lean on the likes of Nelson and Jones, but he needs a safety valve like any other quarterback. Boykin proved on Sunday that he can play that role, and Rodgers seemed to be quite comfortable with him. The wideout notched eight catches for 103 yards and a touchdown.
To make matters even more advantageous for Boykin, the Packers will face one of the league's worst pass defenses in Week 8. Green Bay will travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings next Sunday night, and the Vikes are currently allowing 308 passing yards per game with a Week 7 Monday night encounter against the New York Giants pending.
Boykin is no Cobb in terms of overall talent, but any receiver with NFL ability has the potential to produce in the Packers' offense. Rodgers is one of the best passers in the game, and he has a way of elevating the play of his pass-catchers.
Boykin experienced that firsthand on Sunday, and there is reason for optimism regarding his fantasy value moving forward. As long as Cobb is out, he should be a productive player. Rodgers had no issue maintaining three fantasy starter-worthy receivers last year in Cobb, Nelson and Jones, so he should be able to do the same with Boykin, Nelson and Jones.
If nothing else, Boykin should be especially valuable in point-per-reception leagues, since Rodgers should look in his direction often on short routes. Nelson and Jones will continue to be the go-to guys near the end zone, so Boykin's touchdown potential isn't great, but he proved against the Browns that he is capable of finding pay dirt.
He won't go off every week like he did in Week 7, but there is no question that he is worth adding in all leagues, and he will be an intriguing flex play moving forward.
Early Week 8 Fantasy Projection: six receptions for 88 yards and one touchdown
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