Fantasy Alert: WR Laviska Shenault Jr. to Play Wildcat QB, RB, TE for JaguarsMay 1, 2020
The Jacksonville Jaguars selected Colorado's Laviska Shenault Jr. as a wide receiver in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft, but he'll apparently do far more than catch passes as a wideout.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone spoke to reporters (h/t Michael DiRocco of ESPN) about what the versatile 6'1", 227-pound Shenault can do:
"You can put him in the backfield. He can play Wildcat. You can put him as the F tight end. You can do a lot of things with him. You see it on his tape in 2018 and 2019. That's one of the things we looked at.
"We went back there and I said [to Shenault], 'Look, we can do all those things but the whole key is going to be how well you grasp it, how well you pick it up.' Because if he can, make no mistake about it, we want to be able to do those things."
DiRocco gave a rundown on how Shenault was used in Colorado:
"Shenault lined out wide, in the slot, at tight end and in the backfield during his career. While he put up good numbers as a receiver (149 catches for 1,943 yards and 10 touchdowns), he also was pretty good as a ball carrier: 42 carries for 180 yards and seven TDs while averaging 6.7 yards per carry.
"Some of that came on end-arounds, but Shenault also lined up as a running back, too -- and he sometimes did a pretty good imitation of Marshawn Lynch by lowering a shoulder and running through defenders. He did that receiver, too, which is one of the reasons the Jaguars have been high on him for two years."
On the flip side, Shenault isn't getting much praise from fantasy football analysts. Per FantasyPros, an aggregate ranking of 32 experts Friday places the ex-Colorado star 73rd among wide receivers in point-per-reception leagues. That ranking would essentially make him undraftable outsider deeper standard leagues or dynasty competitions.
Kyle Yates of FantasyPros gave the following outlook Wednesday:
"Laviska Shenault is a polarizing prospect, but he has the draft capital and landing spot to make an impact for fantasy football. While I'm not a fan of his long-term outlook due to injury concerns, he'll have weeks of being fantasy relevant. I highly doubt he ever finishes inside the Top-36 WRs in a season though with DJ Chark and Dede Westbrook still on the roster. Shenault will most likely be given schemed touches to start out his career."
Shenault also did not make the 284-player cut on Fantasy Football Calculator's most recent point-per-reception ADP (average draft position) list.
As Yates referenced, snaps could be an issue in a crowded wide receiver room that includes No. 1 wideout DJ Chark, Chris Conley, Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook.
Based on Marrone's remarks, the Jags want to do everything they can do get Shenault on the field. However, he might be WR4 on the team's depth chart to start the season with some touches at other positions mixed in.
Shenault is probably not fantasy-viable for 2020, but he's a worthy add in dynasty leagues in part because Cole, Westbrook and Conley are free agents after this season, per Over the Cap. It's likely Shenault will see more reps if one, two or all three sign elsewhere.