Jacksonville Jaguars Team Outlook
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Jaguars Offense Outlook
The lack of offense by the Jaguars in 2018 led to too many losing battles on the scoreboard and a drop in rushing chances. Jacksonville wants to dominate on defense while controlling the clock with their run game. In 2017, they averaged almost 33 rushes per game. That number slipped to 26 runs per game last year. Look for more balance offensively in 2019 whole Nick Foles adds some big play ability in the passing game.
In his seven seasons as an NFL QB, Foles has never had an opportunity to start all 16 games. After starting his career 1-5 in 2012, Nick has 25-13 record in the regular season plus a 3-0 record in the playoffs in 2017 when he helped the Eagles with the Super Bowl. Other than his TD to Int ratio in 2013 (27 to 2), he’s never offered a significant edge in TDs.
Over his last 26 games, Foles has 22 TDs and 16 Ints while gaining only 6.4 yards per pass attempt. Last year he did set a career high in his completion rate (72.3) while delivering one impact game (471/4) in his five starts. In the playoffs in 2018, Nick went 1-1 with three TDs and four Ints. The change to Jacksonville makes him a game manager with the arm to offer value in the deep passing game. In 2017, the Jaguars passed for 3,700+ yards, which is a doable number if Foles gets 525+ passing attempts. At best, a low end QB2 with a chance at league average stats.
Over three seasons at Tulane (2) and Nebraska (1), Lee passes for 6,744 yards with 46 TDs and 37 Ints. His competition rate (55.2) has been a weakness in his whole college career. Lee did show growth in 2017 (3,143 passing yards with 23 TDs and 16 Ints). Tanner is a project. He needs to clean up his mechanics while doing a much better job in his reads and decision making.
Other Options: Gardner Minshew, Alex McGough
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Despite missing three games in his rookie season, 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 NFL, but he can beat many of them with his scoring ability. Fournette runs with power with enough speed to make a long scoring TD.
Last year Leonard gained only 624 combined yards with six TDs and 22 catches in eight games due to multiple injuries. He gained only 3.3 yards per rush while matching his previous success in yards per catch (8.4). Fournette failed to rush for over 100 yards in 2018 with his best success coming in Week 10 and Week 11 when he gained a combined 249 yards with three TDs and five catches.
The Jaguars have a top defense with an offensive that is built to run a power rushing offense. Their offensive line battled injuries last year while having the talent to regain their lost value in 2019.
The biggest question for Fantasy owners is: can Fournette 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 compared to 2,069 combined yards with 12 TDs and 98 catches on 437 touches last year. There’s a great opportunity here for Fournette. I’ll stand by my 2018 prediction: 1,800 combined yards with 15+ TDs and 50+ catches while understanding that Leonard will be a more manageable buy based on his discounted value in 2019.
Over five seasons with the Texans, Blue gained only 3.6 yards per rush and 6.8 yards per catch, which doesn’t paint an upside picture. Last year Alfred had 150 touches for Houston leading to 653 combined yards with two TDs and 20 catches. His yards per rush fell to 3.3 in 2018. May surprise in a game or two, but his skill set lacks the desired upside to be a starting RB in the NFL.
After showing pass catching ability early in his career with the Rams (45/352/1 on 52 targets in 2014), Cunningham barely touched the ball over his two seasons with the Bears (298 combined yards with two TDs and 21 catches on 41 touches). This season Benny may work his way into the backup pass-catching options for the Jaguars.
Other Options: Thomas Rawls
In his second year in the NFL, Westbrook doubled his rookie output (27/339/1) while setting career highs in catches (66), receiving yards (717), TDs (5), and targets (101). He started nine of 16 games, but his yards per catch (10.9) still don’t match his expected skill set when he came into the NFL. Dede flashed in Week 4 (9/130), but he only gained over 60 yards in two other contests (4/82/1 and 7/88/1).
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 explosive plays until he gets stronger.
The change at QB should point to Westbrook getting more chances in the deep passing game on play action passes. His catch rate (65.3) invites more targets in 2019. Last year he finished as the 32nd ranked WR in PPR leagues. This season I expect a push for 70+ catches with a jump in his yards per catch. My initial thoughts point to about 900+ yards with a chance at about seven TDs or a WR2 this draft season.
A torn ACL in his left knee cost Lee this whole 2018 season. He’ll have a full year to recover, which is plenty of time to get healthy. Over the previous 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 contest. 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 was expected to be the top WR in the Jaguars’ offense in 2018. In 2018, WRs in Jacksonville caught 171 passes for 2,111 yards and nine TDs on 289 targets. Possession type WR with a skill set to produce 5/50 games in many weeks. His value in TDs has limited minimal upside. The direction of Westbrook may push Lee to the WR2 option in this offense.
Other Options: Chris Conley, C.J. Board, Tyre Brady, Raphael Leonard, Dredrick Snelson
The Jaguars desperately need an upgrade at TE. Their 2019 hopes could be tied to the development of rookie Mr. Oliver. In his senior year at San Jose State, Josh caught 56 passes for 709 yards and four TDs. His hands and route running should lead to him developing into the top pass-catching TE for the Jaguars in 2019. His blocking skills are tailing even with a foundation of strength and power. Last year Jacksonville’s TE caught 59 passes for 530 yards and one TD on 84 targets. More of a project than a Fantasy draft target, but Nick Foles does come from a system where the TE position was an essential part of the passing game.
Other Options: Geoff Swain, James O’Shaughnessy, Ben Koyack, Pharoah McKever, Charles Jones
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