QB Blake Bortles – After a strong push from Week 12 to Week 16 (1,563 combined yards with 11 TDs and four Ints), Bortles finished as the 13th highest scoring QB in 2017. More importantly, he has the best Fantasy QB from Week 14 to Week 16 (1,005 yards and seven TDs) to help at least one team with an overall championship in the high-stakes market and a huge prize ($100,000). On the year, Blake finished with only 23 combined TDs and 4,009 combined yards. Only twice all season did he attempts over 35 passes in a game (Week 10 – 51 and Week 16 – 50). Bortles had four games with over 300 yards passing, which came over the last ten games of the year. Over his first 11 games, Blake had one passing TDs or fewer in ten games. The change in team structure on offense and an improved defense led to a sharp decline in passing attempts (523) from 2015 (606) and 2016 (625). His slight step up in completion rate (60.2) was mainly due to more involvement by the RB position in the passing game (96 catches for 785 yards and three TDs on 132 targets – 72.7 percent success rate). From a Fantasy perspective, Bortles is only a backup Fantasy QB due to a downgrade in pass attempts created by a top running game and the Jaguars playing from the lead in many more games. In 2015, Bortles completed 72 passes for 20 yards or more with 11 of those gaining over 40 yards. He has deep speed in the passing game, which will lead to sneaky value in some matchups. Possible 4,000 combined yards with a push closer to 30 combined TDs.
RB Leonard Fournette – Despite missing three games, Fournette was the 9th highest scoring RB in PPR leagues. He finished with 304 touches for 1,342 yards with 11 TDs and 36 catches. His success projected over 16 games would have led to 1,652 combined yards with 13.5 TDs and 44 catches. Most Fantasy owners were surprised with his value in the passing game. Leonard has three down value with the overall skill set to match the top RBs in the game. His opportunity in the passing game is well below the elite RBs in the game, but he can beat many of them with his scoring ability. Fournette runs with power with enough speed to make a long scoring TD. The Jaguars have a top defense with an offensive that is built to run a power rushing offense. Their offensive line has a chance to be improved in multiple areas. The biggest question for Fantasy owners is: can he stay healthy? In Fantasy football, talent always outweighs injury risk. In 2017, Jacksonville RBs combined for 2,730 yards with 19 TDs and 96 catches on 561 touches. There’s a great opportunity here for Fournette. Next step: 1,800 combined yards with 15+ TDs and 50+ catches. For a team that starts with a WR in PPR leagues, Fournette is going to be a great value in the second round in many drafts.
RB T.J. Yeldon – After three seasons in the league, Yeldon didn’t live up to his second-round draft value in 2015. In his rookie year, he had 1,019 combined yards on 218 touches with 36 catches and three TDs. T.J. gained only 3.6 yards per rush and 6.2 yards per catch in 2016. He rarely saw early down action close to the goal line with Chris Ivory in the mix for touches. After missing the first six games in 2017 with a hamstring issue, Yeldon flashed in Week 7 (137 combined yards with one TD and two catches). Over the last eight games. T.J. worked his way into more playing time on third down (26 catches for 198 yards and no TDs on 35 targets). He continued to struggle to make plays in the run game (29/90/1). Change of pace back with enough talent to steal third-down chances in the passing game from Fournette.
WR Marqise Lee – Over the last two seasons, Lee caught 119 passes for 1,553 yards and six TDs on 201 targets. In 2017, Marqise had seven games with five catches or more, but he never gained over 90 yards in any game. Lee had five games with double-digit targets. His season ended in Week 15 with an ankle injury. He’s a former second-round draft pick (2014) who expects to be the top WR in the Jaguars’ offense in 2018. Last year WRs in Jacksonville caught 177 passes for 2,426 yards and 12 TDs on 306 targets. Possession type WR with a skill set to produce 5/50 games in many weeks. His value in TDs has limited minimal upside. At best, 75 catches for 900+ yards with about five TDs.
WR Keelan Cole – The pleasant surprise in the Jaguars’ WR corps in 2018 was Cole. He offered difference maker stats in Week 14 to Week 16 (3/99/1, 7/186, and 6/108). Over the last eight games of the season, he caught 31 of his 57 targets for 590 yards and three TDs. In a way, Cole produced the game stats expected of Dede Westbrook in 2017. Over three seasons at Kentucky Wesleyan, Keelan caught 205 passes for 4,303 yards and an amazing 53 TDs. He runs good routes with comparisons to Stefon Diggs by R.C. Fischer at Fantasy Football Metrics. I’d like to see a higher catch rate (50.6), but I respect his ability to make big plays (11 catches for 20 yards or more and four catches over 40 yards). Cole should emerge at the WR2 in this offense with his best value coming in the deep passing game. Possible 65+ catches for 1,000+ yards with about seven TDs.
WR Donte Moncrief – 2016 was a wasted season for Moncrief with minimal value again in 2017 (26/391/2). In his 12 games last year, Donte had two catches or fewer in eight of his 12 games. He has four impact games on his career resume (7/113/1, 3/134/2, 7/122/1, and 8/114) despite making only 27 starts in his 53 career games over three seasons. Moncrief does have 18 TDs, which matches up well with his starts. His best value came in 2015 (64/733/6) with Andre Luck behind center. His size (6’2” and 220 lbs.) and speed (4.4) should be an attractive combo for the Jaguars’ coaching staff, but Moncrief needs to stay healthy and regain his previous form. He’ll start the year at age 25 with a nice one-year contract ($9.6 million). Paid to produce, but I need to see progress this summer before placing a high Fantasy bet on draft day. My leeriness points to about 40 catches for 500+ yards, but he could be the top scoring threat in the red zone in the passing game.
WR Dede Westbrook – After a quiet junior season at Oklahoma (46/743/4), Westbrook broke through with an impactful senior campaign (80/1524/17). His best success came over a four-game stretch starting in game 4 (7/158/2, 10/232/3, 9/184/3, and 9/202/2). He scored all of his TDs over the last ten games of the year. Most of his scoring came only long passes where he has his man beaten by more than a step and more than a few TDs coming on wide open looks. Dede has a DeSean Jackson feel to him, but he’ll be challenged more off the line of scrimmage in the pros while facing tighter coverage. His lack of size (6’0” and 178 lbs.) hurts his ability to make long plays in his rookie season. Over seven games in the NFL, Dede caught 27 of 51 targets for 339 yards and one TD while never gaining over 20 yards on any game. His best value came over a three-game stretch from Week 12 to Week 14 (17 catches for 200 yards and one TDs on 27 targets. Westbrook missed the first nine games due to a slow recovery from an abdomen injury. With a full season of health, Dede should be more valuable as a Fantasy option. I’d temper my expectation for Westbrook in 2018 due to the depth at WR. Big play upside with a chance at 50+ catches for 750+ yards and a handful of TDs.
WR D.J. Chark – Over the last two season at LSU, Chark caught 66 passes for 1,340 yards and six TDs with some value in the run game (24/185/3). D.J. has the game to add value in the deep passing game, but his route running isn’t NFL ready with risk in his hands. More of a project after being drafted in the second round in 2018.
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Health has always been an issue for Seferian-Jenkins in the NFL. He’s missed 26 games over four seasons with his best success coming in 2017 (50/357/3 on 74 targets), but Austin only gained 7.1 yards per catch. His best value in 2017 came over a four-game stretch from Week 3 to Week 6 (23/152/2 on 29 targets). Over his last seven games, he caught 19 of his 35 targets for 156 yards and no TDs. Last season the Jaguars’ TEs caught 43 passes for 505 yards and five TDs on 76 targets. ASJ should be an upgrade, but I don’t see enough of an opportunity to believe in him as starting TE in the season-long games in the Fantasy market. Tough to trust, which points to about 45 catches for 500 yards and some value in TDs with a full season of games.
2018 Fantasy Football: Positional Team OutlooksFantasy Football Rainman Shawn Childs, a six-figure high-stakes career earner and one of the most accurate rankers in the industry, previews the most relevant players at each skill position on all 32 NFL teams! Use these team previews to DOMINATE your competition as we approach the 2018 Fantasy Football season!