Justin Jackson is going to have a big game for the LA Chargers on Monday night.
Picking up the workload for the Chargers is a running back tandem of Joshua Kelley and Justin Jackson. Prior to Ekeler’s injury, Kelley has been the team’s RB2 while Jackson was banged up.
Because of Kelley’s bigger workload this season — as well as his history-making Week 1 performance — many assumed that he would take over as the team’s RB1 while Ekeler is out of action.
However, as our very own Alexander Insdorf points out, there are reasons for Jackson to be the RB1 instead of Kelley. I cannot help but agree. Jackson will see more touches in this game, and quite frankly, I think he is going to have a massive fantasy output in this game.
Why Justin Jackson is worth starting in fantasy:
Charger fans have seen what Jackson is capable of. His fantastic second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2018 led the Chargers to a comeback win and even in 2019, he was really solid in the limit chances he got.
He was not all that great last week but the team was not gameplanning to use him in any big capacity yet as he was still shaking off some of the injury cobwebs. With another week to get healthy and a week to gameplan, Jackson will be a big part of the team.
I actually think that Kelley might end up getting more rushing attempts, but not by much. Kelley is the typical short-yardage back and I would guess that he gets around 15 carries in this game.
I think Jackson gets a dozen for 50 yards. That does not sound like a hugely impactful game, but the running game is not where he is going to make his money.
It is in the passing game.
Mike Williams did not practice on Thursday and there is a chance that he is out for this game as well. That significantly hurts the receiving corps, which is coming up against a pretty decent secondary in the Saints.
The Saints also have a solid defensive line and are going to get to Justin Herbert, who is going to be behind a mediocre offensive line. I think Sean Payton is going to see what the Bucs did last week and commit to getting pressure to Herbert and taking away the deep ball.
That is where Jackson comes into play.
Jackson is a much better receiving option than Kelley. Not only was Jackson a better receiving back in college, but he has actual experience in this offense in catching the football. After fumbling twice in two weeks, the LA Chargers may be more comfortable with Jackson getting some of these balls out wide and on screens.
Jackson is going to become the outlet that Ekeler is for Herbert and while he is not Ekeler, he can still have a big game. I really think we will see something similar to what Ekeler did against Carolina while Herbert was getting pressured.
So at the end of the day, I project Jackson to get 12 carries for 50 yards along with eight catches for 75 yards and a touchdown. That is 26.5 points in a traditional PPR league.
That sounds hefty, and I know that he is projected to score far less than that, but if you really need a running back in Week 5 then I would take the chance and start Justin Jackson.