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Fantasy Football Team Previews: Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars wont win many games, but they've got some intriguing pieces for fantasy football.
D.J. Chark Jr. is one of the NFL’s emerging young wide receiver talents. (Twitter // @BigCatCountry)

2019 summary

Record: 6-10 (4th in AFC South)

2019 Offensive Points-Per-Game: 18.8 (26th)

2019 Total Defense-adjusted Value Over Average: -17.8% (28th)

The Nick Foles experiment didn’t go nearly as well as planned in 2019, as the veteran QB led the team in passing yards in just two games. Instead, Gardner Minshew II emerged as the starter and the stuff legends are made of. He had a fairly average 7.0 yards-per-attempt but impressed with his 21:6 touchdowns to interceptions ratio. Leonard Fournette posted the best yards-per-attempt of his career (4.3 yards) but somehow only reached the endzone three times despite receiving over 300 touches. Fournette brought in 76 receptions which was a total shock considering he had only mustered 58 catches throughout the first two years of his career. D.J. Chark Jr. made major strides in his sophomore season, topping 1,000 receiving yards and establishing himself as the team’s unquestioned No. 1 wide receiver.

Major additions

  • LB, Joe Schobert
  • DE, Rodney Gunter
  • DT, Al Woods (Opt-out)
  • TE, Tyler Eifert
  • RB, Chris Thompson
  • CB, C.J. Henderson
  • OLB, K’Lavon Chaisson
  • WR, Laviska Shenault Jr.
  • DT, DaVon Hamilton

Major subtractions

  • WR, Marqise Lee
  • TE, Geoff Swaim
  • K, Jonathan Brown
  • CB, Rashaan Melvin
  • QB, Nick Foles
  • DE, Calais Campbell
  • CB, A.J. Bouye

4 major storylines for 2020

Should you be concerned about Leonard Fournette?

Touchdowns aside, Fournette had the best, most productive season of his career. From Week 1 through 16, he finished the season as the No. 6 running back in PPR leagues. Despite the success, Fournette is being selected as the RB16 in NFFC drafts. Some of this has to do with the addition and potential role of oft-injured running back Thompson and second-year RB Ryquell Armstead.

Thompson, soon to be 30, doesn’t offer much outside of his pass-catching abilities. He hasn’t suited up for more than 11 games in any of the past three seasons, which is also concerning. Even if Thompson eats into Fournette’s passing work, that shouldn’t affect Fournette’s fantasy prospects too much as Fournette should experience some positive touchdown regression which will make up for whatever decrease in receptions he undergoes.

Armstead wasn’t very productive on the carries he received in 2019, averaging just 3.1 yards per carry. Although he was impressive in college, it’s hard to see Jacksonville frequently taking Fournette off the field in favour of Armstead.

I expect Fournette’s 2020 fantasy point total to look similar to last year’s, especially when considering he’s in a contract year. He is a great value in fantasy drafts right now.

Is D.J. Chark Jr. a legitimate WR2 for fantasy?

Chark Jr. was WR16 in PPR last season, developing into the true No. 1 passing option on the Jaguars. He has elite size and speed which makes him a nightmare for defenses to cover. In NFFC drafts, he’s currently WR23 which makes him a great value. After bursting onto the scene as a sophomore, I expect Chark Jr. to take another leap forward in his third season. His ascension of the Jags’ depth chart is evident by his dominant 33.13% share of the Jaguars’ total air yards. He’s the real deal and like Fournette, a great value.

What should you expect from second-year gunslinger Gardner Minshew II?

Minshew II was somewhat of a marvel last season. Coming out of nowhere, he stepped in and was very serviceable for a Jaguars team that was clearly not in compete mode. As mentioned earlier, he had a nice TD to INT ratio and had success throwing the ball downfield. The 24-year-old will get ab opportunity this year to demonstrate that he is capable of being the long-term answer at the position, something I don’t think he is.

I do, however, like Minshew II as a QB2 in super-flex and two QB leagues this year, especially when considering his ability to rush. He tacked on 344 rushing yards last season on 67 carries. Currently, he’s QB25 in the NFFC, a slot that makes him a worthy target.

Can Laviska Shenault Jr. make an instant impact?

Shenault Jr. battled injuries during his final college campaign for the Colorado Buffaloes. His ailments largely hindered his production in 2019 and caused his draft stock to sputter into the second round.

Joining the Jaguars, Shenault Jr. should have a chance to compete for the second wide receiver spot on the club. Dede Westbrook and Chris Conley are both well-known commodities at this point who have clear limitations. Westbrook is a slot receiver and Conley features more as a deep threat. Shenault Jr. is a tantalizing project and a potential steal if he can stay healthy as many publications figured he’d be a Day One selection prior to the last CFB season. He’s a big-bodied receiver at 6’1″, 227 lbs that ran an impressive 4.58 40-yard-dash when factoring in his frame. With an NFFC ADP of 222.80, he can be had extremely late in fantasy drafts and there is certainly some upside as he’ll be playing on a Jaguars team that figures to be throwing the ball a lot in 2020.

Sleeper and Bust

Sleeper: Laviska Shenault Jr.

For all the reasons I mention directly above, Shenault Jr. could be a steal in your fantasy league. Head coach Doug Marrone stated earlier this offseason that he’d like to have the rookie involved in a variety of roles. The early Day Two pick should be a part of the team’s weekly offensive scheme.

Bust: Nobody!

I like everyone on this team more than the consensus. Don’t be scared to select some Jags in 2020.

Jaguars Players in Rally Towel’s Top-300 2.0 Fantasy Football Rankings

18. RB, Leonard Fournette

36. WR, D.J. Chark

147. QB, Gardner Minshew II

175. WR, Dede Westbrook

195. WR, Laviska Shenault Jr.

227. RB, Chris Thompson

251. WR, Chris Conley

283. K, Josh Lambo

291. DST, Jaguars

Download Rally Towel’s 2020 PPR Fantasy Football Cheatsheet 2.0 here.

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