Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Mike Sims-Walker, who has become a star wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars, has seemingly come from nowhere. So who is this 24-year-old and how did he become so good, so fast?
Fantasy owners didn't know much about Sims-Walker on Draft Day, in fact, they probably didn't know him at all. That's because no one was talking about him in preseason. He did little in 2008 to warrant a conversation, catching just 16 balls in nine games for 217 yards and no touchdowns.
So it's understandable that Sims-Walker didn't get selected on Draft Day.
All the pre-draft talk was about newly acquired Torry Holt and how the former St. Louis Rams receiver would revive a weakness in the Jaguars offense. On Draft Day, Holt, a seven-time Pro Bowler who owns eight seasons of 1,000 yards-or-more went in the seventh round (RapidDraft ADP 80.5), while Sims- Walker likely only got a call in leagues who drafted 20 rounds-or-more.
Sims-Walker is a third-year player out of Central Florida, not exactly a "football factory." But at UCF he set the single-season record for receptions in 2006 with 90 catches and ran a 4.35-second "40" at the Indianapolis NFL Combine to garner attention.
The wide receiver was a third-round pick of the Jaguars, No.79 overall, but a knee injury in the fourth preseason game of his rookie year ended his season prematurely. Sims-Walker worked his way back into shape and played nine games in 2008, including a six-catch, 107-yard effort against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Finally 100% healthy in 2009 and having all the attention focused at Holt on the other side of the formation, Sims-Walker has been a fantasy stud this season.
After being shutout in the season opener (he was only targeted once), Sims- Walker came to life with a six-catch, 106-yard, one TD game in Week 2 against Arizona. The reward was he became a primary name on fantasy waiver lists the next week. He really became known after dominating a weak Tennessee defense for seven receptions and two TDs in Week 4. A last-minute Week 5 suspension for a rules violation hurt many fantasy owners, but over his last two games he's added two 100+ yard games to his resume and is now owned in about 92% of all leagues and started in 45% of them.
Be aware, that while his schedule is pretty good for the remainder of the regular season, come fantasy playoff time, he'll face two top-10 passing defenses (New England and Indianapolis).
He was born Michael Anthony Walker, but changed his name to Sims-Walker to honor his father who died of colon cancer in December 2008.
|Mike Sims-Walker NFL Statistics