2020 Fantasy Football Jacksonville Jaguars Preview

by Kyle Salamido
2020 Fantasy Football Jacksonville Jaguars Preview

The Jacksonville Jaguars will look to improve on an underwhelming 2019 season where they finished dead last in the AFC South with a 6-10 record. I break down the roster position by position in my 2020 Fantasy Football Jacksonville Jaguars Preview.

The Nick Foles signing did not work as they would have hoped. Foles was injured in Week 1 and missed most of the season. His injury led to extended playing time for rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew. At times, Minshew looked like a professional QB.

Apparently, the Jaguars liked what they saw with Minshew and will roll with him as their starter in 2020. We’ll see how this move works out for them.

Note: I do not factor Week 17 in last year’s final position ranking since most fantasy leagues are completed by then and some players tend to sit out skewing the numbers.

2020 Fantasy Football Jacksonville Jaguars Preview

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Just one year after signing him to a four-year, $88 million deal, the Jaguars traded Nick Foles to the Bears for a 4th round pick. This move cleared some cap space ($3.375M) for the Jags and showed they are confident in Gardner Minshew running the show.

In 14 games last year, Minshew completed 285-470 passes for 3,271 yards with 21:6 TD-INT ratio. He also added 344 rushing yards on 67 attempts which led to a QB23 finish (does not include Wk 17). Not too bad for a rookie who probably was not expecting to see the field much in his first season.

While Minshew didn’t force a lot of throws, he did miss a lot of the easy ones. After Week 3 of last season, he only completed more than 60% of his passes in three of his next 11 games.

Minshew made some Houdini like moves to keep plays alive, however, he had a tough time hanging on to the ball as he fumbled 13 times, losing it 7 times (2nd among QB’s). We’ll see if he can secure the ball a bit better this year.

I am interested to see how he works with new OC, Jay Gruden, who has had success with young QBs (Dalton & Cousins). Gruden runs the West Coast Offense which should benefit Minshew, however, I am not sure how much of an impact it will have in Year 1.

He showed a lot of grit and playmaking ability, extending plays with legs so I would have a little interest in keeper or dynasty leagues. However, in redraft leagues, I agree with his current QB26 ADP and I don’t plan on having any shares of Minshew in 2020.

Running Backs

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Leonard Fournette is locked in to be the Jaguars bell-cow again in 2020. He was able to stay healthy last season and turned in RB6 performance in PPR leagues (9th in half-PPR), rewarding fantasy owners who went back to him after a disappointing 2018 campaign. Fournette finished the season with 265-1,152-3 and tacked on 76-522-0 through the air.

He was a workhorse for the Jags, accumulating 341 total touches which was third-most among RBs in 2019. If Fournette can manage to stay healthy, I expect him to be the focal point of the Jags offense again this year.

There’s no reason to believe they won’t feed Fournette the rock again from game to game. He had 54 touches in the red zone last season, 7th among RBs, but somehow only managed to find the end zone a measly three times. Fournette should get almost all of the red zone touches again this year and I think we will see some positive regression in the TD department.

He was also sneaky good in the passing game receiving the fourth-most targets by RBs (100), turning them into the 5th most catches by RBs (76). His injury history and offensive line are my main concerns here so I would not overpay for him. But, if he is still on the board in the late 2nd or early 3rd, I’d be more than happy with him as my RB2 (or RB1 assuming you started WR-WR) especially in PPR format.

Behind Fournette, there are a lot of questions with the Jaguars backfield. They signed Chris Thompson, who rejoins OC Jay Gruden. His career has been injury-riddled, but he has produced when he has been able to stay on the field. I could see him taking over some of the 3rd down duties if he can manage to stay healthy. The other two RBs of note on the depth chart are Ryquell Armstead and Devine Ozigbo.

Armstead is a second-year guy who did not see the field much in his rookie season but does have a similar skill set to Fournette. Ozigbo is another 2nd year RB who the Jaguars claimed off waivers in 2019 but only played in one game. Keep an eye on who wins the RB battle as I would recommend handcuffing Fournette with whoever does.

Wide Receivers

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DJ Chark broke out in a big way in his sophomore season, turning in 73-1,008-8 on 118 targets and finished WR16 in PPR (14th in half-PPR). He impressed me with his body control, strong hands, and ability to catch and turn it up the field. It’s obvious by his team-high 118 targets that he and Minshew have a connection and he is the clear cut #1 in Jacksonville.

New OC Jay Gruden has said that he plans to use Chark all over the formation this year. While this could benefit Chark in the long run, it could also be difficult for him to pick up a new offensive scheme in Year 1. This is a difficult one for me as I do think Chark could absolutely improve on last season and exceed value at his current ADP. But I do have to temper my expectations with the new offensive scheme and my lack of faith in Minshew at this time.

Coming into the season, Chris Conley should be the No. 2 option behind Chark. Last season, Conley turned in career highs in catches (47) and yards (775) and showed off his big-play potential at times. If he can improve his 51.6% catch rate from last year, then he should be worth the late-round flier at his current ADP.

Last season was supposed to be Dede Westbrook’s breakout season. Unfortunately for him, and his fantasy owners, he took a step backward and only produced 66-660-3 on 101 targets. Perhaps, with some more time under their belt, he and Minshew can create better chemistry. However, I think there are better options going around the same time as Dede.

The Jaguars spent a second-round pick on WR Lavishka Shenault. While he is listed as a WR, Shenault is versatile and can play all over the field. Currently, it is unclear what his role will be. I’m sure they will try to get this young playmaker on the field as often as possible.

His college tapes are impressive, but I’m in a wait and see mode with Shenault at this moment. I’m intrigued with his skillset and have interest in keeper or dynasty leagues, but you should be able to snag Shenault off the waiver wire in most redraft leagues unless he starts gaining some hype as the summer progresses. Keep your eye on this rookie.

Keelan Cole was re-signed by the Jaguars to a one-year, $3.259M contract, but is buried in the depth chart. He does not carry any fantasy value and should not be rostered unless you are in a very deep league.

Tight Ends

The Jaguars signed veteran TE Tyler Eifert this offseason to a two-year deal, $15.5M. When healthy, Eifert showed promise. In 2015, he made the Pro Bowl after producing 52-615-13 in just 13 games.

Unfortunately for Eifert, his health has prevented him from playing a full season for his entire career, until last year. He did play in all 16 games in 2019. However, he played a minimal role in the offense, only seeing 44% of the snaps. Eifert can outproduce his ADP, but I think you’re better off letting him be someone else’s problem.

Oliver was a 3rd round draft pick last year but dealt with injuries for most of the season. O'Shaughnessy was productive in five games (14-153-2, 8.26 FPPG), before suffering a season-ending ACL injury. He showed some promise but will be recovering from that ACL and battling for snaps. None of these three TEs on the Jaguars depth chart carry any fantasy value.

Final Verdict

Let’s face it, the Jaguars are not a good football team right now. Lucky for them the top of the 2021 NFL Draft features a couple of Franchise players! For fantasy purposes, we know where the bulk of the production is going to come from. It’s Fournette and Chark. There is just not a lot of fantasy value on this offense beyond these two playmakers. Best of luck and happy drafting!

Visit the F6P Fantasy Football page for more advice to get you prepared for the 2020 season.

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