Trevor Lawrence, DJ Chark Jr., Shenault Fantasy Outlook After Jags Draft QB

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2021

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence warms up before the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game against Ohio State Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

It's official: Trevor Lawrence is the top overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. 

With that out of the way, we can get to the important questions. Namely, what type of fantasy football impact will his addition have for the Jacksonville Jaguars?

We'll start with Lawrence, who you honestly want to avoid outside of dynasty and keeper leagues. Yes, he's extremely talented, but he's also a rookie quarterback on a Jacksonville team that won just one game last year and gave up 44 sacks (tied 25th). 

Yes, rookie quarterbacks can hit in fantasy. Justin Herbert finished ninth in fantasy scoring last year at the position. 

But more often than not, they don't. Tua Tagovailoa was 32nd. Joe Burrow doesn't count because of his injury, though he was on pace to score 277.9 fantasy points in standard leagues last season, which would have put him 13th. Solid, yes, but firmly a QB2. 

What about 2019 rookies at the position?

Kyler Murray was eighth, Gardner Minshew II was 19th and Daniel Jones was 24th. In 2018, Baker Mayfield was 14th, Josh Allen 18th and Lamar Jackson was 24th. In 2017, DeShone Kizer, DeShaun Watson and Mitchell Trubisky were 19th-21st, while C.J. Beathard was 24th (Watson would have been higher had he not torn his ACL, for what it's worth).

Getting the picture?

Lawrence is going to play right away. He'll upgrade the position. He might be pretty darn good right away. But drafting him to be anything more than a QB2 is an enormous risk. He's purely a speculative play or long-term addition. 

The trio of DJ Chark Jr., Laviska Shenault Jr. and Marvin Jones Jr. are far more interesting. 

Chark went for 53 catches, 706 yards and five touchdowns in 13 games with Minshew, Mike Glennon and Jake Luton throwing him passes. Shenault posted 58 catches for 600 yards and five scores in 15 games. Both are getting a serious upgrade at quarterback, and each should be on your radar in the WR4 range as potential sleeper picks. 

Jones probably won't do better than the 76 receptions for 978 yards and nine touchdowns he posted last year in Detroit. A rookie like Lawrence isn't an upgrade on Matthew Stafford. Jones settled into the WR2 territory last year. It's better to consider him a flex option in 2021.