The Jaguars finally have what they've been looking for since ... well, a long time: a franchise QB. Trevor Lawrence has sky-high expectations to live up to, but he finds himself in a pretty good landing spot, with decent talent and a pretty accomplished head coach in Urban Meyer. If this isn't one of the league's most improved offenses, it'll be a disappointment.
Record: 1 - 15 (32)
PPG: 19.1 (30)
YPG: 326.1 (28)
Pass YPG: 231.2 (21)
Rush YPG: 94.9 (28)
PAPG: 38.5 (7)
RAPG: 21.1 (32)
2020 Fantasy finishes
Number to know: 51.0%
That was Urban Meyer's pass rate in 2018 at Ohio State -- his highest as a coach since getting to the University of Florida. How much of that is a result of philosophy and how much is the fact that Meyer was running juggernaut teams who routinely beat their opposition by 30-plus? Well, I'll let new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell explain it:
"There are fundamental beliefs I believe in and Coach Meyer believes in. No. 1 is running the football. You want to be able to run the ball when you want to run it."
There aren't many coaches who won't say some variation of this, but in Meyer's case, it's been a pretty consistent drum \beat -- in Dave Richard's breakdown of Meyer's coaching history and philosophy, he found another quote from Meyer: "I'll fight anybody on this -- you have to run the football to be successful at the highest level." Last season, NFL teams passed 54.7% of the time, so expect the Jaguars to be below that. How far below that depends on how competitive they can be. Which is the trickier question.
1. (1) Trevor Lawrence, QB
1. (25) Travis Etienne, RB
2. (33) Tyson Campbell, CB
2. (45) Walker Little, OT
3. (65) Andre Cisco, S
4. (106) Jay Tufele, DT
4. (121) Jordan Smith, DE
5. (145) Luke Farrell, TE
6. (209) Jalen Camp, WR
39 carries, 45 RB targets, 158 WR targets, 108 TE targets
Chris Towers' projections*
|QB||Trevor Lawrence||PA: 573, YD: 4181, TD: 26, INT: 16; RUSH -- ATT: 55, YD: 272, TD: 3|
|RB||James Robinson||CAR: 155 YD: 668, TD: 5; TAR: 36, REC: 28, YD: 220, TD: 1|
|RB||Travis Etienne||CAR: 169, YD: 742, TD: 6; TAR: 71, REC: 54, YD: 424, TD: 3|
|WR||DJ Chark||TAR: 119, REC: 71, YD: 966, TD: 6|
|WR||Marvin Jones||TAR: 114, REC: 68, YD: 849, TD: 6|
|WR||Laviska Shenault||TAR: 107, REC: 73, YD: 839, TD: 5; CAR: 16, YD: 96, TD: 1|
|TE||Luke Farrell||TAR: 46, REC: 30, YD: 328, TD: 2|
How much does Travis Etienne play?
If you listen to Urban Meyer, you might get the sense that Etienne is strictly going to be a role player. In his first post-draft comments, Urban Meyer talked about using Etienne as a third-down back, with James Robinson and even Carlos Hyde talking most of the early-down work. Of course, that may be the plan right now, but if Etienne shows up and immediately outclasses the other two, it's going to be tough to keep him as a role player. Etienne may not dominate from the beginning, but he has the skills to be a legitimate star eventually. Or, maybe this is a true committee all season. Robinson's no slouch himself.
Fantasy Football Today Newsletter
Know What Your Friends Don't
Get tips, advice and news to win your league - all from the FFT podcast team.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
One sleeper, one breakout and one bust
Jones is the old man of the Jaguars receiving corps, and it's no surprise he's being drafted much later (138.8 ADP) than Chark (77.7) or Shenault (103.8) in NFC drafts as of mid-June. But that also makes him arguably the best of the trio to buy. Jones matched Chark in PPR points per game during Chark's breakout 2019 and then averaged more than two points per game more than either Chark or Shenault last season. Jones is a proven red zone threat who can be a big producer even if he's third on the team in targets, and even if Chark or Shenault might outscore him, his price makes him an excellent late-round target.
Of course, while Jones is the best value of the group, Shenault might be the one most worth getting excited about. He had a solid rookie season but has earned a lot of praise for his play so far in offseason workouts and minicamps, and he could be well suited to take a big leap. What will be key to watch in training camp and preseason is how Shenault is being used -- we'd sure like to see him used more in the intermediate and deep areas of the field as he ranked 102nd among WR with an average target distance of 6.6 yards down the field. Shenault is an excellent playmaker with the ball in his hands, so we don't want those short targets to disappear, of course; we'd just like to see more of a big-play aspect to his game, as well. He's certainly capable of it. If you're looking for the guy who could emerge as Lawrence's go-to, Shenault may be the best pick.
Chark struggled in 2020, but he also dealt with a series of injuries and subpar QB play that held him back. Healthy and with a better QB, expectations are high for Chark, who put together a 1,000-yard season back in 2019 while playing with Gardner Minshew and Nick Foles. However, he also has more competition for targets in an offense that will likely be more run-heavy than the Jaguars were in 2019 when they threw 589 passes. Chark could be a star, the leading receiver in a dynamic offense that is one of the most improved in the NFL. But, if Jones and Shenault are going to be Fantasy relevant, it could make it hard for Chark to live up to those expectations. At their respective costs, Chark seems like the worst pick of the Jags WR corps.
So which sleepers, breakouts and busts should you target and fade? And which QB shocks the NFL with a top-five performance? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy cheat sheets for every single position, all from the model that called Josh Allen's huge season, and find out.