Look up the word “mediocre” in the dictionary, and you’ll likely find a picture of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags finished 2010 in true mediocre form at 8-8.
The fantasy performers on the Jags have also left owners wanting a whole lot more over the past few seasons. Outside of Maurice Jones-Drew, the recent production of Marcedes Lewis and the ultra-sporadic play David Garrard, it’s been a tough few years to rely on the Jags for fantasy performance.
It seems that Jacksonville is constantly searching for a premier wide receiver and have struck out with veterans like Torry Holt, high draft picks like Reggie Williams and Matt Jones and even with DLF favorite, R. Jay Soward.
Players in their Prime
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB
If you see “mediocre” next to the Jaguars in the dictionary, turn to the page with “warrior”, and you’ll likely find MJD.
Jones-Drew battled through a knee injury in un-Cutlerlike fashion for most of the season and still finished with 1,324 rushing yards (4.4 yards per carry), 317 receiving yards and seven total touchdowns.
While the 2010 touchdown total for MJD was a little disappointing, it’s tough to be down on a guy who has given many dynasty owners a total of 37 touchdowns over the past three years combined.
MJD could certainly use some more help from his quarterback and receiving corps to avoid defenses stacking the box against him, but at age 26, he’s still a pretty easy top five overall pick in a dynasty league as a rock solid number one running back.
Marcedes Lewis, TE
Lewis is squarely on the DLF “Sell” list as a player who is unlikely to repeat his 2010 numbers. His 700 receiving yards were a career high, but his touchdown total of 10 was three more than his first four seasons combined. There’s little doubt that Lewis improved dramatically, but we have our doubts he can maintain this type of a pace over the span of the next few years.
Regardless, Lewis is squarely in his prime and should be a solid option in the near future for dynasty leaguers. It’s just tough to put him up there with the elite players like Jason Wittten, Antonio Gates, Vernon Davis and Jermichael Finley.
Mike Thomas, WR
Mike Sims-Walker was supposed to be the best Jags receiver last season, but it was the other Mike who stole that designation by producing 820 yards and four touchdowns on a respectable 66 catches.
Thomas enters 2011 with a chance to strengthen his grasp on the number one receiving job in Jacksonville. While that designation has been typically no better than a number two in fantasy, Thomas should be a player earmarked as a player to watch. Keep in mind he finished in the top 25 in many ppr leagues just last season.
Jason Hill, WR
You may be surprised to see Hill on this list and not the sleeper one, but let’s be realistic. There’s been enough news coming out of Jacksonville to clearly show the Jaguars like this former Washington State Cougar. Those of us who live in the Northwest know he has a fair amount of talent and could certainly produce if a team gave him a chance.
It looks like the Jags are going to do just that.
Rashad Jennings, RB
Jennings was a chic pick as one of the best handcuffs for fantasy leaguers last year. He was the Jags second best rusher with 459 rushing yards (5.5 average), 223 receiving yards and four total touchdowns.
The numbers are great, but it seemed he lost his job temporarily to the upstart Deji Karim. Regardless, Jennings showed enough despite his up and down movement on the depth chart to show he could be a real weapon if MJD ever goes down with a significant injury. While many believe he could be the running back of the future, we still find ourselves a little hesitant.
Players with Falling Values
David Garrard, QB
If you look at the numbers, he actually looks pretty good. Savvy owners should look way beyond the 2,734 passing yards, 279 rushing yards and 28 total touchdowns and see a player who is incredibly inconsistent. There was actually a three week period last year when Garrard won two weekly MVP awards from DLF, with an award for the LVP sandwiched in the middle.
A quarterback who runs this hot and cold simply can’t be relied on in a fantasy league on a weekly basis. The Jaguars recognized this and drafted Blaine Gabbert to be his heir apparent.
Garrard is much more suited to be a number two option at the moment, but keep in mind the Jaguars aren’t sold on him long term, either. He’s a classic “sell” candidate this season. With Blaine Gabbert on board as the quarterback of the future, the leash is going to be shortened.
Trent Edwards, QB
Hey, wasn’t he supposed to be the quarterback for the Bills?
After his release from Buffalo, Jacksonville picked him up hoping he could possibly provide a spark if Garrard faltered. When he got his chance, he turned back into “Check Down Edwards.”
Kassim Osgood, WR
This former San Diego special teams ace was supposedly promised a bigger role on offense. Six catches, 60 yards and one touchdown don’t give us much confidence for the future.
Zach Miller, TE
The emergence of Lewis doesn’t bode well for Miller’s future.
Jarrett Dillard, WR
Dillard was an absolute monster in College at Rice, producing 4,138 receiving yards and 60 total touchdowns. While those numbers don’t mean much at the professional level, they’re still enough to keep the coaches talking about his potential. Jason Hill has clearly passed him, though.
Deji Karim, RB
Karim came out of nowhere to post 160 rushing yards (4.6 average) in his rookie season. While most owners are focused solely on Jennings, Karim showed he’s no slouch, either. He could challenge for serious carries in the event of an injury.
1.10 - Blaine Gabbert, QB
Gabbert was regarded by many NFL scouts as the best quarterback prospect in the 2011 draft. When he started slipping, the Jaguars wisely moved up and selected him at 10th overall.
Gabbert is in a great spot to be set up for future success. He’ll likely be able to learn for a year while studying under David Garrard. Since he shouldn’t be forced to start right away, he should have a solid chance to be an effective signal caller in the NFL.
He will likely be the second quarterback taken in most rookie drafts, but we wouldn’t argue if you took him over Cam Newton, who may be thrown to the wolves very early in his career. It could be fun to see Gabbert and Jake Locker (1.08 to the Titans) battle it out for future AFC South supremacy.
Want to get a head start on your 2011 dynasty, keeper or redraft season? Download the 2011 Dynasty Essentials Guide - the first 2011 publication of its kind featuring over 220 pages of rookie analysis, updated cheat sheets for dynasty, keeper and redraft leagues, plus fantasy team capsules like this for all 32 NFL teams.