Leonard Fournette is a top 24 running back worth a pick at the four-five turn in PPR drafts, but he has plenty of upside and downside at that cost. The upside comes from likely touchdown regression. Fournette was the No. 7 running back in PPR last year despite scoring just three times on 342 touches. A more normal touchdown rate would have made him a top-five back easily. For reference, he had 27 more receptions and 116 more total yards than Aaron Jones, who finished as the No. 2 back. The downside comes from uncertainty about whether Fournette will hold on to that role after the team signed Chris Thompson. What's more, there have been rumors about a possible Fournette trade, and there's just no guessing what his role or value would look like on a new team.
Fournette has been working out in Texas this offseason, John Shipley of SI.com reports. The Jaguars declined Fournette's fifth-year option and reportedly discussed trading him, but it now appears he'll stick with the team for the fourth and final season of his rookie contract. While his role as the lead ball carrier doesn't seem to be in question, the passing-down work Fournette handled last season may now go to Chris Thompson, who is reuniting with new Jags offensive coordinator Jay Gruden, formerly the head coach in Washington.
The Jaguars have elected to decline Fournette's (neck) fifth-year option, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Fournette has been the subject of trade talks throughout the offseason but nothing has materialized at this point, positioning the fourth-year back to lead Jacksonville's backfield again in 2020. The team's unwillingness to pick up Fournette's fifth-year option reinforces the notion that it is ready to move on from the back, so it wouldn't be shocking to see him traded at some point. Even if he sticks around for all of this upcoming season, it will presumably be his last with the Jaguars.
Multiple NFL executives said there hasn't been any movement on a potential Fournette (neck) trade, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports. It isn't clear exactly what that means, as it could be a matter of the Jaguars not making a serious effort to trade him, or it might just be that other teams aren't taking interest. There's also a middle scenario where there's a genuine desire to trade him and real interest in acquiring him, but not at the current price the Jaguars are asking for. The 25-year-old running back is entering the fourth season of his rookie contract, with a May 4 deadline looming for the Jaguars to decide on picking up a fifth-year option that's guaranteed for injury only. Recent reports suggested Fournette could be traded before or during the 2020 NFL Draft.
Fournette (neck) is a candidate to be traded in the coming weeks, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Despite compiling over 1,600 total yards and emerging as a bona fide weapon as a receiver last season, the Jaguars have reportedly entertained trade requests pertaining to their 2017 first-round pick. Potentially accelerating the trade timeline is the looming fifth-year extension deadline, with the Jaguars needing to exercise the option no later than May 30 or risk allowing Fournette to hit the open market in 2021. An interested team will likely also need to factor in that decision, which might complicate the perceived trade value of Fournette, but at least for 2020, the running back's contract is at a tenable $4.16 million, which should be more than enticing enough for the Jaguars to receive a worthwhile trade package if they so chose.
Fournette (neck/illness) sat out Week 17 and finished the season with 1,152 rushing yards at 4.3 YPC and 76 catches for 522 yards with three total touchdowns. The 24-year-old had a productive season and finished sixth in the NFL in yards from scrimmage, but the minimal touchdown total -- no one else in the top 10 had fewer than eight -- limited what was otherwise elite fantasy output. Fournette is set to enter the final guaranteed year of his rookie contract, but the Jaguars will need to decide in the spring whether to exercise his fifth-year option for 2021. Overall, it was a fantastic rebound season for the third-year running back after a turbulent 2018 campaign, and he enters 2020 with a solid grip on Jacksonville's backfield.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|8||11/01||@Los Angeles Chargers||22||18.88|
|10||11/15||@Green Bay Packers||26||21.22|
|3 Year Avg||222||877||6||45||336||1||162|