Leonard Fournette, Dede Westbrook's Fantasy Outlook After Preseason vs. Dolphins

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 23, 2019

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 22: Leonard Fournette #27 of the Jacksonville Jaguars runs with the ball in the first quarter during the preseason game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on August 22, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Mark Brown/Getty Images

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette and wideout Dede Westbrook are two of the hardest players to peg in advance of the fantasy football season.

Fournette shined in his 2017 rookie campaign, accumulating 1,342 scrimmage yards and 10 touchdowns in just 13 games. However, injuries significantly slowed him down last year, to the point where he only had 3.3 yards per carry in eight contests.

As for Westbrook, the question is whether he's about to make a big leap. Despite significant teamwide offensive struggles that included starting quarterback Blake Bortles getting benched twice, Westbrook led the team with 66 receptions and 717 receiving yards. However, will he be able to reach greater heights while working with yet another new quarterback in Nick Foles?

If the Jags' third preseason game is any indication, Fournette and Westbrook should be just fine.

The running back looked energetic, healthy and ready to roll in limited action, gaining 27 rushing yards on seven carries and catching two passes for 19 yards. His 12-yard run was his most impressive moment:


Leonard Fournette running hard 💪 @_fournette 📺: #JAXvsMIA on FOX Watch on mobile: https://t.co/A4yDgbJvmP https://t.co/pT5AWBqCgr

John Oehser of Jaguars.com offered praise:

John Oehser @JohnOehser

Leonard Fournette running hard tonight.

And Jim Sannes of Numberfire noted Fournette's passing-game usage:

Jim Sannes @JimSannes

Leonard Fournette has stayed on the field for both of the Jaguars' third downs so far (3rd and 5 and 3rd and 6). Two total targets, though one was a blatant drop. Still, continuing last year's effort to get him involved in the passing game.

Fournette is clearly the engine that drives the Jaguars offense, and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo noted his importance:

Phillip Heilman @phillip_heilman

From essentially the day he arrived, #Jaguars OC John DeFilippo has emphasized how important RB Leonard Fournette is to the success of the team’s offense.

As for Westbrook, he saw seven of Foles' 10 targets in the team's dress rehearsal game, a good sign that the ex-Oklahoma star will be a favored target destined for a significant usage uptick.

If he keeps making plays like this 10-yard touchdown catch, that won't be hard to envision.


.@NickFoles tosses his first TD of the preseason! @DedeTHEGreat11 📺: #JAXvsMIA on FOX Watch on mobile: https://t.co/A4yDgbJvmP https://t.co/bZdaEiB53T

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo noted the vicious hit Dolphins safety Minkah Fitzpatrick laid on Westbrook a few plays before the score:

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

Dede Westbrook just caught a TD for the #Jaguars, which is impressive because it happened a few plays after #Dolphins S Minkah Fitzpatrick knocked the soul out of his body. Unreal hit. And legal, too.

And Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com foresees the potential of a productive Foles-Westbrook connection:

Michael DiRocco @ESPNdirocco

Don’t read too much into one drive but you can certainly see that Nick Foles is very comfortable with Dede Westbrook. Reinforces the thought that Westbrook could be headed for a breakout year.

Fournette has a 27.5 ADP (average draft position) in 12-team point-per-reception leagues, according to Fantasy Football Calculator. Westbrook's ADP is 83.9.

The Jags offense could surprise this year with a new quarterback, a healthy running back and a coordinator change. In that respect, Fournette and Westbrook could be steals at their current ADP.