Vincent Jackson is a must play every week he's in the lineup. But you probably knew that.
This week, Jackson, who's been struggling with a hamstring and strained abdomen issues for the last few weeks, should be good to go, but his match-up against the Broncos' Champ Bailey has some owners worried.
They shouldn't be.
V-Jax participated in all of San Diego's Friday practice and drills and looks like he will be on the field Sunday against the Broncos.
Normally, a match-up against the Broncos' top corner Champ Bailey would cause owners to downgrade a wide receiver. Bailey has a history of shutting down top wideouts, but he's coming off a hamstring injury of his own. Bailey hasn't played since the first week of the season and should be rusty trying to guard Jackson, one of the top receivers in football.
So if a shutdown corner and a star wide receiver both have hamstring issues, who wins? The smart money is on the wide receiver.
Last week Jackson played 22 snaps through pain and managed to post 108 yards and a touchdown on three receptions. And Norv Turner expects Vincent to play at least that many. Which means he'll probably be on the field for even more snaps this week than he was last week.
Vincent has at least been on the field for every game of the season. There's no way Champ will be himself and he'll have to shake off the rust of missing a month against one of the best receivers in the game, who's got one of the hottest quarterbacks throwing to him in a pass-first offense. That's a tall order for even Champ Bailey, who, it should be noted is 33 this season. His body won't bounce back the way it has in the past.
Will Champ be a little more hesitant than usual concerning his hamstring injury. Probably. And that's why I think Vincent Jackson will perform better than most fantasy football pundits think he will this week.
It should also be noted that the Chargers will be without Philip Rivers go-to-third down option Antonio Gates, leaving that many more targets on the table for Vincent. The only concern is that the Broncos anemic offense won't produce enough points the keep the Chargers throwing. But San Diego throws so much, that that should be too much of a worry.
Make sure you check the inactive lists on Sunday, but you can almost assuredly put Vincent Jackson in your lineup and not worry about him. He should play more snaps than last week and post solid numbers against a rusty and hesitant Champ Bailey.