At first glance, one would think that the Jacksonville Jaguars have little to offer a fantasy football team. Unfortunately that first glance is more than likely to be accurate.
If you can look past face value all that can be seen is a whole bunch of question marks. Is there a diamond in the rough? Due to the question marks, time will tell.
Let’s start with the most obvious 1st round choice for this team, Maurice Jones-Drew
, a top 5 running back, a guy who turns it up a notch every single year.
Even after he started out of the gate slow last year, he still ended up with very solid numbers, averaging 4.7 yards per carry on his way to 1,606 rushing yards for the season.
Jones-Drew averaged 100.4 rushing yard a game. Fort those in a PPR league, he will not disappoint. Last year he had 43 receptions, 374 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns. Now, the only question mark facing Jones-Drew at this time is his contract dispute and subsequently, his holdout.
We all saw what happened to Chris Johnson last year when he decided to hold out, he is living proof that preseason reps can equal a lot of wasted weeks trying to play catch-up to get back up to top speed. The best glimmer of hope from this is the opportunity to pick up a sleeper pick and that would be Jones-Drew’s backup, Rashad Jennings
This is the guy currently getting all the reps in practice and the guy who is getting the attention of coach Mike Mularkey. Jennings is coming off of a knee injury but is considered to be in game-ready shape, perhaps the best shape of his career. In his short career he has averaged 5.4 yards a carry on 123 attempts in 2 years. Hopefully Jones-Drew is paying attention because Jennings is young, healthy, large and hungry to take his job.
Keep an eye on Jones-Drew; if he signs before Week 1, he is a no-brainer to draft. Will he slip in the draft? Absolutely he will, especially if it gets down to the wire. In Fantasy Football, even one week can’t be wasted to have any shot at winning your league. Proceed with caution. Jones-Drew will get drafted in any league but if he is still holding out, his value plummets and he would be a 4th round pick at best.
Now on to the wide receivers; again full of question marks. As we all know, there have been no outstanding wide receivers since Jimmy Smith who has been retired for six years now. The Jags hope to change that with the signing of Laurent Robinson,
who signed a five-year deal this year and is the obvious No. 1 WR for a team that has struggled to find consistency in the receiving game.
The highly-touted Justin Blackmon
was the No. 1 pick for the Jags this year and has finally signed with the team after being the last rookie to sign with their respective teams. The Jags' vision is to watch Blackmon and Robinson become a duo to be reckoned with in the years to come.
Is this possible? Maybe. Either of these WRs can be a sleeper pick this year, but with Blackmon missing crucial camp time as a rookie, my money is on Laurent Robinson to make an impact on this team. If Robinson can get the ball, he could have the potential for 1,000 yards and at least seven TDs this year. Blackmon is more of a gamble but worth a shot in the very late rounds.
Last year the guy throwing the ball for the Jags was Blaine Gabbert,
thrown to the wolves after the surprise release of David Garrard. Gabbert was less than average last year but hopes are still held high for the No. 10 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
This year, he has finally been given potential weapons, but, Gabbert is trying to adapt with the new offensive coordinator, Bob Bratkowski, and the new quarterbacks coach, Greg Olson. Bratkowski has verbalized his concerns with how the passing game is coming along, slow at best due to many new components for the young quarterback to learn.
Gabbert says he feels great right now although a bit concerned over a lot of dropped passes during team scrimmage. Gabbert has to get it together as the newly-acquired Chad Henne is waiting in the wings for Gabbert to screw up, which he ultimately will, to get his chance. At this point, I feel that drafting Gabbert is not an option. He is unproven and shaky at best in the new offense.
This is a wait and see team and a team that doesn’t have a lot of solid options for a fantasy football team, but in all fairness, this could also be a team of sleepers but without a crystal ball, any pick on this team would be considered a gamble.
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