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Jacksonville Jaguars Fantasy Football Preview

Gardner Minshew
Gardner Minshew #15 of the Jacksonville Jaguars is hoping to lead his team to the promised land. Craig Forrestal breaks down the Jaguars Fantasy future.

By Craig Forrestal

The Jags are an absolute disaster but they have Minshew Mania. The team tried to trade Leonard Fournette in the offseason and declined his fifth-year option on his rookie contract all but signaling his days are close to an end in Duval. They added Jay Gruden as the OC hoping that he can find success with a young Gardner Minshew who burst onto the scene last season as a sixth-round rookie. In the 2020 Draft, they had 12 picks using the 42nd selection on Laviska Shenault who might have a path to targets as a rookie at the WR position. But this is a total rebuild and it should be treated as such with your fantasy expectations.

Schedule

  • Week 1: Colts
  • Week 2: @ Titans
  • Week 3: Dolphins
  • Week 4: @ Bengals
  • Week 5: @ Texans
  • Week 6: Lions
  • Week 7: Bye
  • Week 8: @ Chargers
  • Week 9: Texans
  • Week 10: @ Packers
  • Week 11: Steelers
  • Week 12: Browns
  • Week 13: @ Vikings
  • Week 14: Titans
  • Week 15: @ Ravens
  • Week 16: Bears
  • Week 17: @ Colts

Players To Know

  • Gardner Minshew-QB: Say what you want about Garnder Minshew but he had 21 TDs to only 6 INTs last season and while the offense stalled a bit the performance Minshew turned in as a rookie was certainly stellar. Now moving forward in year two he is the unquestioned starter as Nick Foles is now in Chicago. The Jags figure to lose a lot this season meaning they will need to throw to try and get back into the game so Minshew could be a value-based sleeper. His expected volume could land him in the Top 10; however, he will need to count down on the fumbles from last season. I am a fan of Minshew and want the best for him but this looks like an uphill battle. 4000 passing yards and 25 TDs.
  • Leonard Fournette-RB: He has all the makings for a down season and he has all the makings for a tremendous season. The reason it could be a down season is that the team was trying to trade him leading up to the draft and they declined his fifth-year option. The reason it could be a tremendous season is that they declined his fifth-year option and will give him all the carries he can sustain this season before parting ways after the season. Which one will it be? He had 76 receptions last season but the Jags added Chris Thompson this offseason who is a pass-catching specialist and reunites with former coach Jay Gruden. Also, the Jags figure to be down a lot forcing them into throw mode so how many carries can he get? It is hard to see him finishing the season in the Top 15 overall of RBs. 950 rushing yards and 7 TDs.
  • Ryquell Armstead-RB: He is a sleeper to me because if the Jags are just done with Fournette or Fournette gets hurt or they eventually trade Fournette that creates a direct path for Armstead. The Jags being done with Fournette means they don’t give him a full workload an incorporate other players at the RB position; which I think is most likely. This where Armstead comes in because they need to see if he has the stuff to be the dude of the future. If he doesn’t then they need to find someone who can be the dude. James Robinson would be the next guy to get carries in my opinion if Armstead doesn’t work out.
  • Chris Thompson-RB: He is often hurt and is also at the mercy of Leonard Fournette. Thompson is a pass-catching specialist who is familiar with the Jay Gruden offense so he could factor into the offense. However, the uncertainty around Fournette makes it hard to figure out how to navigate this backfield. I would not plan on using Thompson every week but his expected involvement in the passing game makes him an option on bye weeks.
  • DJ Chark-WR: Jay Gruden has said that he wants to use Chark in various spots out of their formations this season. According to advanced metrics, Chark ran approximately 24% of his routes from the slot position so how he will be used will be interesting to see. Chark and Minshew showed good chemistry in year one and that should improve moving forward. Chark is still the WR1 in Jacksonville but will have more competition for targets this season. While many will say he broke out last season I will argue it could come this season. My expectations for Chark are 70 catches for 925 yards and 6 TDs.
  • Chris Conley-WR: The one thing Conley has going for him is the experience as he finds himself competing for a spot with younger players. I believe the organization will move towards those younger players. See Laviska Shenault below. Conley will still get reps but he will not have the opportunities very often for a blowup game. 35 receptions for 500 yards.
  • Dede Westbrook-WR: in both of the last two seasons Westbrook has seen exactly 101 targets and 66 catches but it has not given much back to those that have had him on the fantasy roster. While last season was supposed to be the one for him to break out as a star it didn’t happen. The Jaguars will be throwing a ton as they will be trailing in most scenarios so Westbrook might be of value on tough bye weeks. 66 catches for 675 yards and 4 TDs.
  • Laviska Shenault-WR: He was drafted early by a team with a team in a rebuild so I am going to guess that means he gets on the field. How he gets on the field remains to be seen. As a college football player, Shenault did everything for Colorado. He was their go-to player for tough rushing yards even with him lining up in the Wildcat. I feel that because of his dynamic playmaking ability we will see Shenault take some snaps at RB also. He has a path to the WR2 job if he can beat out Chris Conley in training camp. He could be a sleeper to watch out for; even though there is injury history. 45 receptions for 575 yards and 3 TDs. 30 carries for 200 yards and 2 TDs.
  • Tyler Eifert-TE: Eifert has battled injuries in his career but showed the ability to stay healthy last season. He is a legitimate red-zone option and if he is to be fantasy relevant it will be through TDs. He is unlikely to see the volume needed to be considered a confident every week play at the TE position. 30 catches for 325 yards and 5 TDs.

Defense

So last season every week got worse for the defense and by the end of the season, it looked like the defense had given up. That was with Calais Campbell and he is always causing problems so this season will be even more interesting. The spaghetti seemed to hit the wall for the defense when Jalen Ramsey was traded and now they have more questions than answers defensively. It feels like a complete rebuild in Jacksonville and I would not take my chances with this unit.

Potential Breakout Player

  • DJ Chark- WR

Rookie To Know

  • Laviska Shenault-WR
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