In 2004, Javon Walker emerged as a tremendous fantasy option as a member of the Green Bay Packers, catching 89 passes from Brett Favre for 1,382 yards and 12 TD. The following season, after a bitter standoff with management, Walker finally reported to the team after holding out looking for a new contract. His season, however, was over after just one game, as he tore his ACL
His career with the Packers came to an end after that, as the team traded him to the Denver Broncos prior to the start of the 2006 season. Walker recovered from his injury and started all 16 games for the Broncos that season, catching 69 balls for 1,084 yards and 8 TD, the second time in his career that he eclipsed 1,000 yards.
In 2007, Walker again had his problems, playing in just 8 games catching 26 passes. The Broncos then released him from his contract allowing him to sign with the Oakland Raiders this off-season, where he figures to be a major threat on the outside, especially with the news that Drew Carter has been lost for the season. That doesn’t leave many dependable options for youngster JaMarcus Russell, outside of Walker and Ronald Curry.
Yes, Darren McFadden is going to see plenty of touches, but Walker has the potential to return to the days of being a big-time target. In the third preseason game, the first that he’s had a catch in, he recorded 4 catches for 60 yards. With him being the main the focus, I see him being able to put up those types of numbers on an almost weekly basis.
Russell is going to need a reliable option, and Walker quickly should become that. I could easily see him eclipsing the 1,000 yard mark for his third different team and emerging as a great option as a #2 or 3 option for all fantasy leagues, with the potential to produce like a top option.
If he is still sitting on the board when you are looking to fill out your receiving corps, don’t hesitate to grab him in the 8th or 9th round.
Prediction: 79 catches, 1,106 yards, 10 TD