Jaguars fans were excited when Nick Foles signed with them to be their starting quarterback in 2019. This was after Foles led the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots in the 2017-18 season. Foles got injured in week 1, which disappointed Jaguars fans everywhere. Insert late round pick Gardner Minshew. He was not supposed to start, but he did because of injury. Gardner Minshew's weird off field habits took the NFL by storm and Minshew Mania was born. The Jaguars started out the season 4-4 and looked promising. Then, they went on to lose 5 straight games that knocked them out of the playoffs. The Jaguars had a middle of the pack total, pass, and scoring defense, but this didn't matter as teams ran straight through the Jaguars. They had the 5th worst rush defense in the NFL. The Jaguars had 2 first round picks and used them to select 2 defensive players. They selected CJ Henderson, a defensive back from Florida and K'Lavon Chaisson, an outside linebacker from LSU. These two should help the defense a lot. Henderson should help fill the void left by Jalen Ramsey and Chaisson should help the Jaguars with edge rushing. The Jaguars are appearing at the top of most mock drafts, but I think they should be in line for another 6-10 season.
Projected depth chart:
Quarterback: 1. Gardner Minshew 2. Joshua Dobbs
Running back: 1. Leonard Fournette 2. Ryquell Armstead
Wide receiver: 1. D.J. Chark 2. Dede Westbrook 3. Laviska Shenault 4. Keelan Cole
Slot receiver: 1. Chris Conley 2. C.J. Board
Tight end: 1. Tyler Eifert 2. Josh Oliver
Quarterbacks - Nick Foles was supposed to be the savior of the Jaguars. He was a year and a half removed from his Super Bowl victory against the Patriots. Foles ended up getting injured in the first game of the season. This put unknown quarterback Gardner Minshew as the starter. Minshew is known for his wacky off field antics and crazy stories. He was not supposed to start as he was a rookie chosen in the 6th round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Minshew surpassed expectations in his rookie year. In 14 games he had 3271 passing yards on 60.6% completion, 21 passing touchdowns, and 6 interceptions. Minshew also added 344 yards on 67 attempts on the ground. He finished as the QB19 and if he would've started the whole season, he would've been the QB13. Minshew was a solid starter as he finished with over 16 fantasy points in 9 games.
A lot of people are sleeping on Minshew in 2020. You can comfortably get Minshew as the second quarterback on your team. Minshew was a great quarterback you could find on the waiver wire. He will be even better this year without the competition with Nick Foles. I am looking to draft Minshew in leagues where I wait until the very end to take a backup quarterback.
Running backs - Leonard Fournette has been in the NFL for 3 seasons. He has played in 36 of the 48 possible regular season games because of injuries. Fournette has never scored more than 10 touchdowns in one season but probably would have done this if he never got injured. He was the former 4th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and has been a solid starting running back.
2019 was Leonard Fournette's best year in fantasy for his career. He ran for 1152 yards and 3 touchdowns and he caught 76 passes for 522 yards. This was by far his best season in receiving. He had 100 targets, which is 52 more than his next highest. Fournette finished as the RB7 despite only having 3 rushing touchdowns. While he only scored under 10 points once, he scored under 15 points 7 times.
The Jaguars acquired Chris Thompson in free agency. Because of this, Fournette will not have anywhere near 100 targets next year. Thompson is a deep sleeper this year as he will get a lot of third down receiving work. Ryquell Armstead is also a deep sleeper because he will become the workhorse if Fournette gets injured or traded. He has gotten injured in every season so far. Leonard Fournette is going around the third round and I think that is great value for him. His touchdowns will go up, but his receptions will definitely go down. Expect a similar season to last year with Fournette, but be cautious when drafting him because he might get traded.
Wide receivers - Did you know the only 2 teams to have 3 wide receivers with over 90 targets were the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars? DJ Chark, Chris Conley, and Dede Westbrook all had over 90 targets for the Jacksonville Jaguars. DJ Chark was easily the best of these three as he had 73 receptions for 1008 yards and 8 touchdowns. Chark finished as the WR17 but was very boom or bust. He had 7 games over 16 points but 8 games under 11.
Westbrook finished as the WR45 and was a decent flex option. He caught 66 passes for 660 yards and 3 touchdowns but scored over 10 points in 7 of his 15 games. Conley was right below Westbrook as he finished as the WR46. Conley was literally right below Westbrook as he only had 0.2 less points then him. Conley caught 47 passes for 775 yards and 5 touchdowns. Conley was also a solid flex option as he averaged 9.8 fantasy points per game.
The Jaguars weren't satisfied with their receivers and drafted Laviska Shenault out of Colorado in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Shenault is a steal in the second round. Scouts have said he is a bigger Julio Jones. Shenault is a deep sleeper in fantasy because all three of the Jaguars' 90 target receivers are back and would need one of them to get injured to see the field. DJ Chark is going to be a steal in the 4th-5th round. He has a great rapport with Minshew and will have a breakout season with a full offseason to work with him. Dede Westbrook and Chris Conley are players I have as deep sleepers because you can get Westbrook as the WR70 and Conley as the WR87. These are two receivers who both received over 90 targets last year and still are being drafted extremely low.
Tight ends - Jacksonville tight ends have never been good options for fantasy. The last time one has scored over 100 points was in 2015 and the last time one has scored over 150 was 2010. Last season was no different as James O'Shaughnessy scored a team high 41.3 fantasy points in 5 games, averaging 8.3 points per game. He was surprisingly consistent, scoring no less than 6.8 points and no more than 9.8 points.
James O'Shaughnessy will be on almost every single waiver wire heading into 2020. I have O'Shaughnessy as a very deep sleeper this year. This might be my deepest of the deep sleepers but if O'Shaughnessy played the whole year last year, he would've finished with 132.8 fantasy points and the TE13. If he can get more targets, look for a player that you might be able to get a decent game out of on a bye week in deep leagues.
Breakout: DJ Chark
Good Value: Leonard Fournette
Sleeper: Gardner Minshew
Deep sleepers: Chris Thompson, Ryquell Armstead, Dede Westbrook, Chris Conley, Laviska Shenault
Very deep sleeper: James O'Shaughnessy
I hope you liked 2020 Fantasy Previews Part 15: Jacksonville Jaguars. Next up is 2020 Fantasy Previews Part 16: Kansas City Chiefs. Feel free to comment your thoughts on the Jaguars offense for 2020.