The San Diego Chargers enter the 2010 season with a glaring hole at wide receiver. Vincent Jackson has been suspended three games, and in staging a hold out, is likely done until at least week 11 of the regular season. The Chargers are not backing down on their stance with the young wide-out and are prepared to play the schedule without him.
Earlier this month we targeted Malcolm Floyd as a nice sleeper pick because of the Jackson debacle. While I I agree that Floyd has some excellent upside it may be another San Diego receiver that is more deserving of the sleeper tag, and may well out-perform Floyd as well. That is former Boise State alum, Legedu Naanee. Naanee, 26, is entering his 4th season in the NFL, and the Chargers brass have high hopes for this young man. So should you.
The absence of Vincent Jackson is just one of several reasons why Naanee is a prime sleeper candidate for fantasy owners heading into 2010.
- While everyone is getting warm and fuzzy on Malcolm Floyd, most fantasy owners are completely overlooking Naanee, who is going some 20 rounds (215 picks) later.
- While Floyd's receptions and targets will increase with Jackson out, it's Naanee who stands to see the greatest amount of work. Floyd's role on the team remains similar to last season, while Naanee is essentially Jackson's replacement. He will start opposite Floyd.
- While teams key in on Antonio Gates and Floyd, Naanee should find lots of open room.
- Naanee can also play the slot and split end.
- If Jackson is out until week 11 as it seems he will be, Naanee could put up 50-60 catches, 800+ yards, and 5-6 TDs.
Summary: At this point, based on where Naanee is being drafted, he's worth a flyer as a late round grab in all but the shallowest of leagues. He could very well put up fantasy numbers similar to Floyd at a much cheaper price. And if Jackson returns after his 3 game suspension, you can afford to cut Naanee without losing sleep over it.