Now that a lot, if not most fantasy football drafts have been completed, the next stage of managing your team is keeping up on your roster. One spot to keep an eye on is the roster of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Blaine Gabbert was probably not drafted in your league, and nor should he have been. He’ll have to show that he can be exceptionally better than last year, and last year…well let’s just say it wasn’t his year.
While the preseason went well for Gabbert, take his preseason performance for what it was—the preseason. Still, we saw him take a lot of attempts and complete a lot of passes, a lot more than last year. His completion percentage went up about 11 points, and he threw a ton. A lot of that is due to the quality of the receivers he is throwing to this year.
Bottom Line: He will probably not be a starter for anyone in your league this season, but he could be serviceable as a bye-week filler, unless you drafted Drew Brees (both have a bye in Week 6).
For Week 1, Rashad Jennings will be the player to have out of this backfield. Maurice Jones-Drew will get some looks, but you should be sitting him for at least the first couple of weeks. Once we’re a few weeks into the season, and Jones-Drew’s touches are increasing, he will be more productive and consistent.
Both players will remain relevant throughout the season, as Gabbert will be throwing them a lot of passes, and both are capable receivers out of the backfield. I wouldn’t count on either of them as your No. 1 back though.
As far as touchdowns go, you will probably see Jones-Drew get the nod. During the preseason, we saw the Jaguars throw a pass to receiver Justin Blackmon a yard out of the end zone. It’s not that Jennings couldn’t take it, but the offensive line will need to play better.
Bottom Line: Both men will see a lot of action, and will produce mostly similar results. For the first couple of weeks favor Jennings. After Week 3 or 4, favor Jones-Drew
The Jaguars went out and signed last year’s fantasy breakout player, Laurent Robinson. This year will not be as big a year. He showed some trouble breaking free from coverage during the preseason. Except for the few home-run, fly routes, he isn’t going to catch a lot of balls. Even those will be few and far between.
This year’s fifth overall pick, Justin Blackmon, will be someone to keep a watchful eye on. Blackmon, who appeared in only three preseason games, received ten receptions. That is a lot. He’s a physical wide receiver with size. If you’re in a PPR league, he might be worth a late-round flier or a waiver add if he went undrafted, just to see what he does as the season develops.
Mike Thomas was miscast last year as an outside receiver. He moved back to his slot position to make room for Robinson and Blackmon and looks a lot more comfortable. While Blackmon and Robinson draw double-coverage, Thomas is the free man in the soft part of the defensive zone. He has good hands, and will be a reliable receiver for Gabbert.
Bottom Line: this team is going to throw a lot, a lot more than in years past. Depending on the format of your league, and how deep your league is, all three could provide at least some impact. Blackmon probably leads the pack in all formats.
A couple of years ago, tight end Marcedes Lewis had a career year with 700 yards and 10 touchdowns. I don’t think he’ll have that production this year. With a banged up offensive line, he’ll probably be called upon to help protect Gabbert or lead the road for the running backs.
Still, this offense will throw a lot and Lewis is 6’6’’, so he will get red-zone looks. He won’t have 10 touchdowns again, but he’ll have more than last years number—zero.
Bottom Line: Tight end is deep this year. There are several quality tight ends out there and unless we see something different in the first couple weeks of the season, you can look in another direction.
The Jaguars defense was more relevant on the offensive side of the ball last year, than as a defensive team. They were the No. 6 unit in the league and held opponents to relatively modest numbers, but they didn’t force a lot of turnovers, nor did they get enough sacks to stand out as a top fantasy unit.
The Jaguars are going to play some major fantasy leaders this year. They will play Arian Foster and Chris Johnson twice. They will also play Matt Forte, Darren McFadden, Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, and Tom Brady.