1. #1
    Hman
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    Jaguars Offense Should Surprise 🏈

    Karabell: Jaguars' offense should show surprising bite


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    Free-agent quarterback Blake Bortles is a fantasy afterthought today -- and rightfully so -- but people forget what he achieved not so long ago in 2015. Bortles was, at the time, in his second NFL season and, while he failed to lead the Jacksonville Jaguars to the playoffs, fantasy managers loved him. Bortles finished the season as the No. 4 fantasy quarterback, throwing for 4,428 yards and 35 touchdowns. Sure, more than a few of those numbers came in the fourth quarters of losses but hey, they count, too. He still did it and carried WR Allen Robinson II and Allen Hurns to much-appreciated standout seasons as well.


    The 2020 Jaguars certainly do not appear to be headed for postseason success, and perhaps this is why fantasy managers seem a bit indifferent to their players. That said, there are several parallels to the 2015 team. People might know and enjoy Gardner Minshew II for his glorious mustache, but the team's 2019 sixth-round pick performed well as a rookie with 21 touchdown passes versus six interceptions, plus a very relevant 344 rushing yards. Heck, he even won half his starts. With the onerous contract of Nick Foles now the concern of the eager Chicago Bears, Minshew is the unquestioned Jags starter. This is a good thing.


    Free-agent quarterback Blake Bortles is a fantasy afterthought today -- and rightfully so -- but people forget what he achieved not so long ago in 2015. Bortles was, at the time, in his second NFL season and, while he failed to lead the Jacksonville Jaguars to the playoffs, fantasy managers loved him. Bortles finished the season as the No. 4 fantasy quarterback, throwing for 4,428 yards and 35 touchdowns. Sure, more than a few of those numbers came in the fourth quarters of losses but hey, they count, too. He still did it and carried WR Allen Robinson II and Allen Hurns to much-appreciated standout seasons as well.


    The 2020 Jaguars certainly do not appear to be headed for postseason success, and perhaps this is why fantasy managers seem a bit indifferent to their players. That said, there are several parallels to the 2015 team. People might know and enjoy Gardner Minshew II for his glorious mustache, but the team's 2019 sixth-round pick performed well as a rookie with 21 touchdown passes versus six interceptions, plus a very relevant 344 rushing yards. Heck, he even won half his starts. With the onerous contract of Nick Foles now the concern of the eager Chicago Bears, Minshew is the unquestioned Jags starter. This is a good thing.


    Then there is the rest of the offense, and reasonable minds can disagree on its relevance and upside. Unwanted (at least by Jacksonville) running back Leonard Fournette topped 1,100 rushing yards and hauled in a shocking 76 passes in his third season, well eclipsing his first two years. He was not a particularly efficient or productive receiver, though, and the Jaguars have tried in vain to trade him before his rookie contract ends. In addition, more than a quarter of his 2019 targets came in two-plus games with Foles at quarterback -- not Minshew. Perhaps Fournette still ends up performing for another team this season. Fantasy managers need to look ahead, not at 2019 numbers here.


    For example, a team indifferent to a player's future could be more likely to overwork said player physically and not care about the long-term impact, especially since most franchises view running backs as particularly fungible anyway. In this case, with a pending trade always possible, the free-agent signing of exceptional pass-catcher Chris Thompson and the team's prior drafting of bruising Ryquell Armstead would attest to Fournette's role being far from a guarantee -- especially if the team struggles. Thompson is far from durable and Armstead far from seasoned, but the former played for Gruden (which should never be discounted) and the latter needs a shot to play and comes cheap. Those viewing Fournette as safe for another 300-plus scrimmage touches could be rather disappointed.


    This is not to say Thompson and/or Armstead need to be rostered in all standard fantasy leagues, but the former sure has value in deeper PPR versions due to his being a dynamic pass-catcher out of the backfield (when making it on the field), and the latter is a smart handcuff. My point is to expect no Jaguars to rush for more than 1,000 yards this season. In 2015, T.J. Yeldon and Denard Robinson combined for 1,000 rushing yards and played a relatively minor role in the passing game. The team was among the throwing leaders, perhaps for reasons of personnel and game flow/defense, and a similar outlook seems likely.


    Back in '15, Bortles pushed both Robinson and Hurns to more than 1,000 receiving yards and double-digit touchdowns. Some would note that this Jaguars team lacks a competent (or proven) No. 2 option to Chark. That is fair, until someone steps up. Dede Westbrook has underachieved from the slot for several seasons, giving us little reason for hope. Chris Conley and Keelan Cole lurk as well. Rookie Laviska Shenault Jr. seems primed for an immediate role as a versatile option who can line up and produce in the backfield or earn slot and outside work. Rookie receivers often disappoint, but Gruden must develop more options and, again, the younger fellow is the future, not the one coming to the end of a rookie deal.

    So what does all this mean for actual fantasy relevance? Well, the sheer depth of the position forces Minshew well out of the QB1 conversation, but certainly one should look his way in deeper formats and multi-QB ones. I would not be shocked if he outscores Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. Minshew does not need the 35-TD season Bortles once achieved (and lest we forget that Bortles has yet to reach 25 since and is looking for work), but Minshew adds prime value with his legs. This is not Lamar Jackson, but perhaps Dak Prescott-lite for statistical purposes? It would help if a receiver or two steps up, and Fournette's value might need blunting, but those are reasonable outcomes. The Mustache has played like a borderline QB1 already, and can do so again.


    Chark could actually use a bit of help on the outside to reach his full potential, but some combination of fellows could do the job that Hurns did in 2015. Regardless, it is hardly outrageous to give Chark a deep-league, WR1 designation, for even better things portend for his Minshew dealings. Shenault could take the tone of a late bloomer in his first season, as the pandemic affects summer workouts. Still, one could easily make the case of his statistical relevance for this and future seasons, considering the plight of the current team and his competition. It might not show in the standings, but in the fantasy realm, the Jaguars should surprise.

  2. #2
    stevenash
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    Don't trust Minshew though even though he did have a nice season last year.
    The rest of the pieces aren't that bad.

  3. #3
    rm18
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    Jags have a really good line, the left side is the best in the NFL.
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  4. #4
    Eddy Munny
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    Quote Originally Posted by rm18 View Post
    Jags have a really good line, the left side is the best in the NFL.
    Robinson and Norwell?


  5. #5
    rm18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddy Munny View Post
    Robinson and Norwell?

    and Linder is probably the best of the 3 but all are good.
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  6. #6
    jjgold
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    I do not like their QB

    7-9

  7. #7
    johnnyvegas13
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    Best case the d carries the o but I do not like them w minshew

  8. #8
    johnnyvegas13
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenash View Post
    Don't trust Minshew though even though he did have a nice season last year.
    The rest of the pieces aren't that bad.
    He was making some crazy throws early season but think his luck ran out

  9. #9
    RedApples
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    Yeah, no chance. B4 the season, everyone is grasping at straws. Rather grasp at the straw that says Jaguars will be near the bottom of the league and have little to no shot at being at the top 2/3 of the league in offensive efficiency by any metric.

  10. #10
    Eddy Munny
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    Plus, I don't think Chark is a true #1 receiver.

    The team as a whole could exceed low expectations, but I don't think the offense is anything special.

  11. #11
    chargers4222
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    "I would not be shocked if he outscores Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers" tells you all you need to know about whether or not to take this seriously.

  12. #12
    gauchojake
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    Lol

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  13. #13
    BigdaddyQH
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    There are way too many intangibles to like any team this season.

  14. #14
    BarkingToad
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    Yeah, surprisingly bad

  15. #15
    Axman3000
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    Minshew was fun to plug-in on weekly fantasy football but I will have to be REALLY desperate to use him for a season. Looking at my dynasty league though I have Brissett, Dalton, and Carr in a 2 QB league (don't ask how this happened). So I think I might of reached that desperation point with that team.

  16. #16
    Mr KLC
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    Denver Broncos cornerback A.J. Bouye finally feels free after being in such a toxic situation in Jacksonville. The former Jaguar joined the host from SiriusXM NFL Radio to express how miserable he was during the latter part of his days playing in Jacksonville.

    “I just never was a part of something like that,” said the veteran defensive back who was traded to the Denver Broncos this past offseason.

    “Being in Houston before that and even seeing how the guys in Denver just gelling together with the chemistry between the players and the coaches. It was just something different and I didn’t know how to handle that,” said Bouye.

    There were a number of things that attributed to the demise of the Jacksonville franchise. From “the Tom Coughlin thing” where the NFLPA warned players not to play for the franchise to teammates fighting in the locker room. Everything that could happen, did happen.
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  17. #17
    clockwise1965
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    They have some talent at the skill positions. Like with every NFL team. It will come down to QB play.

  18. #18
    Stallion
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    The Jags don't make the playoffs this year.

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