Going into 2019 hiring John DeFilippo has to mean there will be changes at the QB position for the Jaguars. His philosophies revolve around the QB, and he will likely install a pass-first offense, so it makes you wonder when as of right now, the only logical focal point is Leonard Fournette. But then you look deeper, and you realize that the offensive line issues will likely create a need for DeFilippo’s quick-passing concepts. The line wasn’t any better in the run game last year, being in the bottom-half of the league in generating yards for their RBs according to Football Outsiders.
So yes, the days of Fournette carrying the ball 25+ times might be a thing of the past for now, but “Flip” does like to heavily involve his RBs in the pass game. Fournette caught 22 of 26 targets last year in 8 games played, and with TJ Yeldon likely gone via free agency, there isn’t anyone else to really pick up that slack. Carlos Hyde has zero dead cap, and can be released, although they might view him as a serviceable backup. Fournette staying healthy is a huge question, and him getting consistent volume every week is questionable as well in this scheme. The 21.1 rushing attempts per game by the Vikings under “Flip” was 31st in the league. I’m not sure there is enough upside for Fournette in this offense to warrant the risk he brings with his 3rd round ADP.
The 40 attempts per game by Kirk Cousins would’ve been 2nd in the league last year if DeFilippo didn’t get fired after 13 games. His volume came down tremendously, putting Diggs’ and Thielen’s volume in a place that didn’t help anyone for their fantasy playoffs. When Flip was the OC of the Browns in 2015, they were 11th in pass attempts/game with Josh McCown and Johnny Manziel as their QBs. Yes, Dalvin Cook, was hurt, but he didn’t even try; they had 3 100-yard rushing games as an offense in 13 games last year and ranked last in expected points generate per carry.
The quick-passing game should benefit whoever lines up in the slot, and as of right now, that’s Dede Westbrook. He’s a developing talent; he had the 3rd most receptions out of the slot behind Thielen and Juju, had the 6th most yards out of the slot last year behind Tyreek Hill, Juju, Boyd, Thielen, and Humphries. While Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are amazing talents regardless of who their OC is, there was definitely added volume for both because of the high passing volume system. They combined for 215 receptions, which is only 16 receptions shy of the all-time reception record for a WR duo. With both of them averaging more than 10 targets a game, that can imply multiple Jags WRs being fantasy relevant this year – meaning a couple of WR3s or even generating one low-end WR2 as a ceiling. Obviously getting an upgrade at QB this offseason can help that cause. Marqise Lee is making his way back from injury, and Donte Moncrief will likely walk as a free agent. We’ll see if Keelan Cole or DJ Chark can take a step forward in 2019.
Do you think Fournette has a bounce-back year, or do you also think there isn’t enough upside to warrant his current 3rd round ADP? What round does he have to drop to for you to snag him? Let me know if you think there’ll be enough passing volume for him to return on that value.