Sunday, July 08, 2007

Fantasy Preview: the Jacksonville Jaguars

The premise is simple: I'll tell you what players you can confidently start the season with, and what players should cause your stomach to wobble if you have to start them.

Jacksonville Jaguars
2006 stats at and

Maurice Jones-Drew (RB): Jones-Drew's 2006 rookie season was ridiculous. He rushed for 941 yards and 13 TDs with an incredible 5.7 yards per attempt. He also had 436 yards and 2 TDs receiving. This is why despite splitting carries with Fred Taylor (231 carreis for 1,146 yards and 5 TDs with a 5.0 average), Jones-Drew was actually one of the top fantasy scorers in 2006 (and I haven't even factored in his 860 yards, 1 TD, and a 27.7 average on kick returns). He was the #2 back, and he was phenomenal. He may be the #2 back again, but I expect him to be phenomenal again. The former Bruin has shown remarkable explosiveness and versatility.

Fred Taylor (RB): He's a weak #2 RB, but he's still a possible fantasy start.

Defense: 4th in points, 2nd in yards, 6th in interceptions, 6 games holding opponents to 10 points or less: this is a defense you can confidently start.

Josh Scobee (K): Scobee had 119 points last season, making him one of the decent kickers you can start.

I think we should expect the Jaguars to be good this season: they were a lot better than their 8-8 record last season. The Jags were 9th in points scored and 4th in points allowed, 11th in offensive yards and 2nd in defensive yards. According to Football Outsiders' metric, the Jaguars were 6th in team efficiency ratings, measured by DVOA. They're a good team that was very inconsistent (see their variance, according to FO) and suffered with poor quarterback play (see FO's DPAR rankings).

They have a chance to be really good, and it's possible that as the season rolls along more offensive players will emerge as viable fantasy starters. I'm ready to give up on Reggie Williams as a viable fantasy WR (sadly, it took me too long last season to accept his mediocrity), but players like Matt Jones, Marcedes Lewis, and Byron Leftwich might make your starting lineup at some point during the season.

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