Fantasy football 2013 draft preview: Jacksonville Jaguars
Fantasy football draft season is fast approaching. Prep to win your league with SI.com's ongoing preview, including team-by-team breakdowns that examine each club's key fantasy storyline and much more.
Key fantasy storyline
Torn elbow ligaments no longer ruin a baseball pitcher's career. Torn knee ligaments no longer end a running back's career -- right, Adrian Peterson owners?
Science has help fixed those, but bum shoulders are still awful news, and the fantasy football equivalent for running backs is the Lisfranc fracture. Lisfranc is the football equivalent of Dr. James Andrews to a baseball pitcher: It is bad news.
Maurice Jones-Drew will aim to change that this season. After suffering a Lisfranc injury a year ago, Jones-Drew, at age 28, will try to do what former Seahawk Shaun Alexander could not, and rediscover what once made him a fantasy superstar.
MJD might be best avoided at his top-20 running back draft position, especially since backup running back Justin Forsett and converted college quarterback Denard Robinson aren't true workhorses and promise to offer little help to ease MJD back.
That will tighten the pressure on the passing game to produce, and that is where Cecil Shorts comes in. Justin Blackmon will start the year serving a four-game suspension. But with the Jags likely to be playing from behind a lot, someone has to catch the ball; that should mean easy yards and scores for Shorts in blowouts. Consider him a sleeper, if not a breakout, after the top 25 wide receivers are off the board.
|Jacksonville Jaguars' 2013 schedule|
|Including a look at how the Jaguars' upcoming foes fared defensively in fantasy last season.|
Stats via FFToday.com
As if a roster with a dearth of talent wasn't bad enough, the Jags don't play an overly favorable schedule. In fact, they face the top three teams against running backs in four of seven games, starting in Week 6 at Denver. The second half of the season opens up for the receivers, so if you miss out on Shorts or Blackmon in drafts, consider dealing for them heading into the Week 9 bye. You should get them at a discount as the Jags figure out their quarterback situation and come off a rough stretch of solid secondaries in the Seahawks, Broncos and 49ers.
QB: Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne
RB: Maurice Jones-Drew, Justin Forsett, Denard Robinson
WR: Cecil Shorts, Justin Blackmon (four-game suspension), Ace Sanders, Mohamed Massaquoi, Jordan Shipley, Mike Brown
TE: Marcedes Lewis
K: Josh Scobee
The Jags are going to choose between the former first-round pick, Gabbert, or the quarterback who opened up the passing game down the stretch last year, Henne. Forsett and "offensive weapon" Robinson, a quarterback at Michigan, will compete to be MJD's backup -- a significant battle because of the nature of Lisfranc injuries. At receiver, rookie slot man Sanders will get a chance for targets early as Blackmon serves his four-game substance-abuse suspension.
|Jacksonville Jaguars' 2012 defensive rankings|
This was arguably the worst defense in football and not a consideration in fantasy. The Jags added Jonathan Cyprien to help at safety, while Paul Posluszny adds an impact tackler at linebacker. Posluszny is a top-10 IDP at this position, while Cyprien will be a late-round sleeper because of the ineffectiveness of the front seven as a whole. Ignore the Jags as a defensive unit, but consider some of their second-level tacklers in IDP formats.