2020 Jacksonville Jaguars Fantasy Team Preview: Year 2 of the Gardner Minshew Experiment

SI Fantasy's Team Preview series from high-stakes legend Shawn Childs aims to break down the Jacksonville Jaguars to evaluate the offense, defense, coaches and everyone in between with a fantasy-slanted analysis.
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Coaching Staff

Doug Marrone returns for his fourth season as head coach. In his career in the NFL, Marrone has a 37-45 record with two playoff wins in three games with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In 2013 and 2014, he went 15-17 for the Bills. Marrone has 15 years of experience in the NFL. His team looks to be fading on both sides of the ball, which invites job loss.

Jay Gruden takes over as the offensive coordinator after struggling to save the Redskins franchise over six seasons (35-49-1 with one playoff appearance). He helped Tampa win a Super Bowl in 2002 as an assistant coach. Gruden worked as the offensive coordinator for the Bengals for three seasons while having 16 years of experience in the NFL.

Last year the Jaguars climbed from 31st in points scored (245) to 26th in 2019 (300). They finished 20th in offensive yards.

Todd Wash returns for his fifth season as the defensive coordinator after spending the previous three years as the Jaguars’ defensive line coach and running game coordinator. He has 14 years of NFL experience.

His defense ranked 6th, 2nd, and 5th in yards allowed heading into 2019. The change in personnel on the defensive side of the ball led to a massive regression in yards allowed (24th) and points allowed (397 – 21st). Since 2017, Jacksonville has allowed 129 more points on defense.

Quarterbacks

Gardner Minshew (RANK - ADP)

The Jaguars are in a tricky situation with Minshew. He outplayed Nick Foles in 2019, creating a starting opportunity this year. His buzz came over his first three games (73.9 percent completion rate) while surprising off the bench in Week 1 (275/2).

Over his final 11 games, he worked well as a game manager (16 TDs and 5 INTs), but Minshew gained only 6.8 yards per pass attempt with regression in his completion rate (57.6).

In December, he battled a right shoulder injury. His job to lose with a gamer feel. His resume may not be strong enough to keep the starting gig if he struggles early, and the Jaguars don’t win games.

I like what he brings to the table. Only a low-end backup fantasy QB even with rookie WR Laviska Shenault expected to add scoring value. I have him projected for 3,902 combined yards with 19 TDs and 12 Ints.

Jake Luton (RANK - ADP)

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Running Backs

Leonard Fournette (RANK - ADP)

Fournette stayed healthy for most of 2019, which led to a career-high in rushing yards (1,152), catches (76), receiving yards (522), and targets(100). He finished seventh in RB scoring (260.4) in PPR leagues despite failure in TDs (3).

Fournette posted two impact games (245 combined yards and two catches and 159 combined yards with TDs and nine catches). On the downside, he rushed for fewer than 75 yards in ten of his 15 games.

Overall, Fournette had 341 touches while falling short in yards gains per catch (6.9). He tied Christian McCaffrey and Nick Chubb for runs over 40 yards (40).

Workhorse back with a grinder feel while owning injury. Top-ten opportunity with an RB2 price point in the early draft season. In his initial projections, I have him down for 1,472 combined yards with six TDs and 60 catches. The addition of Chris Thompson does lower the ceiling and opportunity in the passing game for Fournette.

He does have some injury risk (12 missed games over his first three years in the league), which invites some missed playing time. Fournette will be a free agent next year after the Jaguars failed to pick up the fifth-year option on his contract.

Chris Thompson & Ryquell Armstead

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Wide Receivers

DJ Chark (RANK - ADP)

Coming out of college, Chark had a minimal resume (66/1351/6) in the receiving game over three seasons.

In 2019, he proved to be a value on draft day or a quick waiver wire pickup after his fast start to the year over five games (27/485/5 on 37 targets). Chark flashed in Week 1 (4/146/1) while offering two other impact games (8/164/2 and 8/104/2).

Over his final five starts, he only caught 22 passes for 212 yards with no touchdowns. Chark brings to the table scoring and big-play ability, which sets his bar at a WR2 in PPR leagues in 2020. His progression can only soar as high as the Jaguars’ passing game improves. His initial projections came to 75 catches for 1,040 yards and six TDs.

Dede Westbrook, Laviska Shenault & Chris Conley

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Tight Ends

Tyler Eifert (RANK - ADP)

For the first time in his career, Eifert played a full season in 2019. Even so, his final stats ranked only 19th in TE scoring (106.60) in PPR leagues. He gained fewer than 30 yards in 11 contests with three catches or less in 14 games. The move to Jacksonville doesn’t look attractive based on their TE usage (53/459/3 on 79 targets) in 2019. Eifert has talent, but it’s been four years since his last fantasy pulse (52/615/13 – 2015).

Josh Oliver (RANK - ADP)

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Defense

The Jaguars dropped to 28th in rushing yards allowed (2,229) with 23 TDs. They allowed 15 runs over 20 yards and six rushes over 40 yards. Rushers gained 5.1 yards per carry.

Jacksonville lost their swagger to their pass defense, which led to a fade to 17th in passing yards (3,778). They allowed 22 passing TDs and ten Ints. The Jaguars did show growth in sacks (47) while allowing 7.9 yards per pass attempt.

In the premium outlook, on defense you'll find write-ups for DE Yannick Ngakoue, DE Josh Allen, DT Taven Bryan, DT Al Woods, LB Myles Jack, LB Joe Schobert, LB Cassius Marsh, CB CJ Henderson, CB Tre Herndon, S Jarrod Wilson & S Ronnie Harrison

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Team Defense Outlook

The Jaguars have playmakers on the outside of their defensive line with added strength at middle linebacker and the lead cornerback slot. Schobert will add tackles and help the run defense, but Jacksonville still has other questions slowing down their opponent's rushing attack. Viable flier at second fantasy defense with more upside if their two rookie additions hit the ground running.

Free Agency, Draft, Offensive Line, Offensive Schedule & Defensive Schedule

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