What Fantasy Football Questions Exist For The 2019 Jacksonville Jaguars?
Welcome to The Contingency Plan! 32 pieces focusing on the ranges of outcomes for every team in the NFL. The RotoExperts projections are a tremendous starting spot for your 2019 fantasy research, but like most projections, will only be considered one of the many possible outcomes that exist for each player/team. When compiling rankings, it is best to consider as many possible outcomes as possible, as well as the payoff and probability of those outcomes. After our segment on the Indianapolis Colts comes the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Contingency Plan looks to find those outcomes you may not be considering for 2019. By using a series of “what if” questions, the goal is to help you look a little deeper into each team and, hopefully, uncover some league winners. Some of these questions will exist for most teams, while others will be unique to the specific squad at hand. Today, we cover the Jacksonville Jaguars.
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What If Nick Foles Is Not An Upgrade On Blake Bortles?
When the Jaguars gave Foles a four-year, $88 million contract, it was under the assumption that they were getting an upgrade over Blake Bortles, who has been the team’s starter since 2014. However, there is reason to believe that is not the case.
PACR is a QB efficiency metric created by Josh Hermsmeyer of FiveThirtyEight.
Maybe the best part of PACR, and what I'm personally most proud of: pic.twitter.com/y45Z9xU8ED
— Josh Hermsmeyer (@friscojosh) February 19, 2018
Foles and Bortles are extremely similar in PACR when adjusted for depth of target which is extremely telling of their respective abilities, especially when considering that Foles has played in some far friendlier offenses than Bortles has in Jacksonville.
Fantasy gamers expecting better play from a Jaguars QB may end up being sorely disappointed. The same poor QB play could lead to the same poor overall offense, which means fewer TDs to go around for everyone, including the RBs.
What If The Jaguars Shift To A Pass-Heavy Offense?
Even if Foles isn’t a major upgrade over Bortles, it is very likely Jacksonville thinks he is. Especially now that John DeFelippo is the offensive coordinator, who won a Super Bowl with Foles. We could see some pass attempt totals back in the neighborhood of 600 after not cresting 535 the past two years.
The Jaguar defense has been fantastic (though it was certainly better in 2017 than 2018), and many have pointed towards that as a reason the Jags haven’t thrown much, on top of the sub-par QB play. That doesn’t seem to be a deterrent for DeFelippo, whose Vikings were 63% pass with him at the helm despite a top-five defense in yards per play allowed, and a top 10 defense in points allowed.
A pass-heavy offense, even a relatively inefficient one, would open up a ton of fantasy value for the Jacksonville pass-catchers. Here are some relevant DRAFT ADPs over the past 30 days:
Dede Westbrook – 111.6
Marqise Lee – 212.6
Keelan Cole – 216.8
D.J. Chark – 216.9
Geoff Swaim – 216.9
Outside of Westbrook, who I’m not even sure is the WR1 for Jacksonville (more on that later), not a single Jaguar pass-catcher is being drafted inside of the top 200. You can easily grab these guys at the end of your drafts, and pick up a ton more target equity than is being priced in.
What If Dede Westbrook Isn’t The WR1 In Jacksonville?
As I mentioned before, the gap in ADP between Westbrook and the rest of the Jacksonville pass-catchers reflects a large amount of certainty from the fantasy community that he is, in fact, the WR1 for the team. I’m not positive that much certainty should exist, specifically when compared to Lee, who is only a year removed from this regime signing him to a four-year, $34 million contract. He will make $9 million in 2019. On the field, there has not been a discernible difference between the two players.[table “2800” not found /]
The numbers across the board are fairly similar between Westbrook and Lee, and both figure to be starting wideouts for the team this season. I will gladly take the 100 pick discount on a guy who has already been a fantasy asset in the past and has likely been forgotten about due to missing last season with an injury.
As an aside to this discussion, D.J Chark is also someone I am coveting in drafts. I don’t think he has a true chance to lead the team in targets, but he was a big play machine at LSU.
DJ Chark is the ONLY player since 2000 to have at least 1,000 receiving yards, 200 rushing yards, and average at least 19 YPR and 9 YPC. Very unique big play threat.
— Anthony Amico (@amicsta) January 30, 2018
Those big plays are very valuable in best ball, and it is possible that Chark ends up the best asset on DRAFT even if he finishes third or fourth on the team in targets.
What If Leonard Fournette Gets Benched Due To Injury Or Ineffectiveness?
Fournette has missed 11 games in his first two seasons, so you’ll excuse me if I’m expecting him to miss some time again in 2019. The rest of the Jaguar depth chart at RB is somewhat uninspiring overall, but these are the contestants:
Alfred Blue – Inefficient runner who has displayed a diverse skill set while backing up Lamar Miller
Thomas Rawls – Had 900 yards and five TDs as a rookie, but has been injured and ineffective since
Benny Cunningham – Able pass-catcher who has been a third-down specialist for two different teams
Ryquell Armstead – Fifth-round rookie who was the fourth-best RB in my RB success model
Given these options and their respective backgrounds, I find myself drawn the most towards Armstead, who projects strongly relative to this draft class and has not had nearly the stretch of ineffectiveness as these other backs. Blue is likely the only other player who can handle a load of decent size, and we already know that he isn’t a game-changing talent.
Armstead may not be either, of course, especially since he was only a fifth-round draft pick, but he likely has more of a chance to be a true league-winner in the event of a Fournette injury. Blue would likely just be a fill-in type of flex play.