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2019 Senior Bowl: Jacksonville Jaguars Fantasy Fits

Zach Dewitt

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Nov 10, 2018; Gainesville, FL, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks wide receiver Deebo Samuel (1) gets the crowd pumped up during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

So, the Senior Bowl just ended and now it’s time to dissect it. Sadly, I wasn’t there to watch the week of practices. Luckily, Twitter is a great (and awful) thing, and it’s easy to follow along with the practices and catch clips of player drills.

Now though, I’m just focusing on a few players that the Jaguars have shown interest in and how their fit with the Jaguars would affect them from a fantasy perspective. These won’t be scouting reports, as much as they’ll just be analysis on how the player landing with the Jaguars will affect that player’s fantasy stock. These articles will have a dynasty fantasy football focus to them, as these players are rookies.

I want to preface with this… We don’t know who will be leading the Jaguars at QB next season and that puts a damper on the offense and makes it hard to project out any player on that side of the ball. Pair that with the fact that the Jaguars will likely be a run-first offense again, and that lessens any volume that the passing game would get.

The offensive philosophy could change with the addition of new OC John DeFilippo, who is known to favor the passing game over the running game. Replacing QB Blake Bortles could also allow the team to open things up as well but with Tom Coughlin and Doug Marrone at the helm, I’ll believe the offensive change when I see it.

South Carolina WR, Deebo Samuel, 5’11” 216lbs

The most important player in my eyes, from a fantasy perspective last week, was South Carolina WR Deebo Samuel.

I was ecstatic when I found out the Jaguars were interested in Samuel. This team needs a WR that can consistently separate. Samuel does a lot really well. I almost see him as a little bigger, but a little slower, Keke Coutee. I don’t mean that as a bad thing either, as I was relatively high on Keke Coutee and thought he had good footwork, nuance, and could separate well. Deebo Samuel showed elite separation during the Senior Bowl with great footwork and an excellent release.

He was consistently turning DBs around and he definitely understands leverage. The biggest thing I’m looking for in a WR is their ability to separate and create an open window for a QB to throw into. Samuel showcased that ability in spades this weekend.

Samuel also displayed good yards after the catch (YAC) ability at the Senior Bowl and in college, which carries weight to me in the Jaguars system because they run a heavy amount of crossing routes where having the ability to gain YAC is extremely beneficial. Dede Westbrook showed this last year.

Deebo Samuel has said he’s met with teams and discussed his ability to play all three WR positions and I do believe he could. He’s shown that he doesn’t struggle to get off press coverage and he ran a full route tree at South Carolina. I do think he’d best out of the slot though. The issue with that is the Jaguars have multiple WRs that can or should run out of the slot, so Samuel may be forced to play X or Y if drafted by the Jaguars.

A big knock on Deebo Samuel will be his production profile. He never posted 900 yards or more in a season and he maxed out at 62 catches in a season. A lot of this can be attributed to absurdly poor QB play and playing with another good WR prospect in Bryan Edwards. Samuel has also only played in 10+ games twice in his career, his sophomore year and senior year, after breaking his leg his junior year.

Deebo Samuel compared himself to Golden Tate and I can understand that. Samuel is great after the catch, like Tate, and is also a great separator. Similar to Tate, I don’t expect Samuel to put up absurd numbers at the Combine. Tate didn’t test too well at all, save for his 40 yard dash time. Samuel should test better than Tate overall, with maybe a slightly slower 40 time.

Speaking strictly for fantasy, I wouldn’t expect a ton of production in Year 1, as the offense will likely be new and the team will have a new QB. But, in Year 2 or 3, you could see a breakout. He would’ve built rapport with the new QB and if operating out of the slot, he could turn into a PPR machine like his own comp, Golden Tate.

He also showed an ability to be a redzone threat, as he scored 11 touchdowns his senior year. The Jaguars have lacked a consistent redzone threat after missing Allen Robinson the past two seasons. Samuel pairs a stocky frame, good play strength, and great separation to win in the redzone which is obviously good for fantasy. Some great PPR WRs aren’t always good TD scorers but this could be a different case with Samuel who could pair high reception/low yardage totals with consistent TD production as well.

From a dynasty fantasy football perspective, let’s compare Samuel to Coutee, who I’ve said I see in a similar light. Coutee was a 4th round NFL draft pick, while I expect Samuel to be a Day 2 pick and likely a 2nd rounder. In dynasty rookie drafts, Coutee often went at the 3rd/4th round turn. I expect Samuel to go in the 2nd round of dynasty rookie drafts.

He should be drafted higher in the NFL Draft than Coutee and will likely carry more offseason hype than Coutee. Although I do see them as similar players, I think Samuel provides quite a bit more upside than Coutee. Coutee landed on a team with the best WR in the game, DeAndre Hopkins. If Samuel landed on the Jaguars, the only established WR he’d be competing with is Dede Westbrook and they provide different skillsets. I’d be thrilled to land Samuel in the 2nd round of my rookie draft.

Ohio State WR, Terry McLaurin, 6’0″ 205lbs

Another Senior Bowl standout last week was Terry McLaurin. For me at least, this was the first I heard of him. He burst onto the scene though and made a name for himself in practices.

The Jaguars meeting with McLaurin is not surprising to me. He’s blazing fast, which the Jaguars have shown to prioritize, and he played with QB Dwayne Haskins and the Jaguars will want to have different perspectives on the QB.

As far as the speed factor is concerned, the two WRs that the Jaguars have drafted the last two years were both speedsters. Dede Westbrook ran a 4.34 at his pro day and D.J. Chark ran a 4.34 at the NFL combine. Coincidentally, McLaurin has said he plans to run a 4.35 or faster. Speed is very much a game changer in the NFL and if you have three WRs on the same team that can all blow past DBs, that makes the defense’s job that much harder.

McLaurin is much more than a speed guy though. He’s a more complete WR than a guy that only excels at blowing by DBs. He showed quick feet, a consistently clean release, a great route tree, and a good ability to manipulate DBs. Seeing traits like this from a WR with blazing speed is encouraging because it means there are multiple ways he can win and separate.

In addition to using a clean release and good footwork to turn around the DB on this rep, he also shows a great ability to track the ball and get both feet in bounds in the end zone.

There are areas where McLaurin struggles though, and the biggest one I noticed was ball skills and contested catch ability. He tends to allow the ball to come into his body and doesn’t extend his arms to reach out and pluck the ball. He has the necessary vertical ability to leap up and catch the ball but will still let himself body catch it. We saw this issue with D.J. Chark in college as well.

McLaurin makes the contested catch in this rep among 3 different DBs, which is impressive but we still see the same issue where he allows the ball to come into his chest rather than fully extending and plucking the ball out of the air.

Similar to Samuel, McLaurin lacks an outstanding production profile. His senior year this last year, he posted his best year in college statistically. He had an absurd 20 yards per reception and put up 11 touchdowns. His lack of production could be explained by Ohio State’s deep WR room, or by Ohio State’s run first offense under past QBs. McLaurin has managed to stay healthy throughout his college career, playing 12 or more games the last three seasons of his college career. A lackluster production profile such as his, will certainly affect his draft stock, especially since there aren’t injuries to blame.

For fantasy, similar to Samuel, I wouldn’t expect fantasy relevant production from McLaurin in Year 1. There is another potential scenario though, where the Jaguars draft Dwayne Haskins and pair him with McLaurin. Then, Haskins and McLaurin may carry over their rapport from college and we could some relevant fantasy games from McLaurin in Year 1.

McLaurin already has close to pro-ready route running and the ability to fill multiple different roles in an offense. I think his role would be operating out of the slot but not as a PPR machine, like Samuel. McLaurin will likely still be a mid-level to deep threat at the next level but his route running and speed will allow to get open easier than some one-trick deep threats. McLaurin may be a little boom/bust for fantasy but that’s the nature of low reception/high yardage players.

I don’t see a specific player when I watch McLaurin so I’m not going to pick a random player to compare rookie draft ADP with. I think he’ll either be drafted somewhere in the 3rd or 4th round of the NFL Draft which isn’t great for his NFL and fantasy projection but it’s not a death sentence.

I don’t think he’ll blow up the combine, with the exception of the speed drills, so he won’t garner too much hype from that. He’ll likely fall into the 3rd round of dynasty rookie drafts if drafted by the Jaguars and most picks in that range are lottery tickets anyways. He does carry upside with him based on his blazing speed and adept route running but with my projection of his draft stock, you’re still taking a gamble. He would be walking into a pretty unestablished WR room in Jacksonville though, which is good for his chances.

North Dakota State, RB, Bruce Anderson, 5’11” 209lbs

This’ll be a short and sweet blurb but I’d be interested if the Jaguars looked at a guy like Anderson in the later rounds of the NFL Draft. He didn’t see a heavy workload at North Dakota State but he made the most of his opportunities. He’s a great pass catcher and a solid runner as well. In contrast to a lot of great pass catching backs that are smaller in stature, Anderson is built pretty well. He showed good route running ability out of the backfield in practices last week and showed in college the ability to dust LBs.

His pass protection isn’t good which may hurt him as a primary pass catching back but he makes up for it in his ability to get open and work in open space.

He wouldn’t be relevant for fantasy unless the Jaguars move on from Leonard Fournette but in that case, the Jaguars are most likely drafting a RB higher than where Anderson deserves to go. Nonetheless, he’s someone I’ll be keeping an eye on.

Zach is a 21 yr old born in Jacksonville, Florida growing up in Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra, and St. Augustine. He has been a Jaguars fan his whole life and endured all the bad times. Zach joined the Air Force at 18 and is currently stationed in South Carolina but makes sure to rep the Jags whenever he can. Zach has written for fantasy football sites before but wanted to try his hand at real football. You can follow Zach on Twitter at, @ZakDewitt.

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Fantasy Football: Week 9 Waiver Wire Pickups

Zach Dewitt

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Sep 30, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Keke Coutee (16) runs the ball while Indianapolis Colts defensive back Matthias Farley (41) and defensive back Malik Hooker (29) defend in the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Bye weeks are starting to hit and we’re here to help you navigate them for your fantasy football team. There’s a few priority adds this week so we’ll cover them briefly.

Keke Coutee, WR (21%) – Will Fuller tore his ACL last week and is out the rest of the season. This automatically means that Coutee will see a bump in target share. Now, they probably won’t be the valuable downfield targets that Fuller was seeing but he will see more targets nonetheless. He needs to be added in almost all 12 team formats but especially PPR formats.

D.J. Moore, WR (17%) – Moore finally broke out last week. He jumped from a sub 50% snap share, all the way to a 71% snap share. He was also used creatively, seeing two carries in addition to his five catches. Moore was a freak athlete as well, posting a 97th percentile SPARQ score. He now gets the easiest matchup of the season, facing the tissue soft Tampa Bay defense. He will be a plug and play wide receiver next week.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB (9%) – Regardless of which Tampa Bay quarterback was starting, Fitzpatrick and Winston combined have averaged 26.2 fantasy points per game. That would be second to only Pat Mahomes. What that means, is that Tampa Bay quarterbacks will put up fantasy points. The matchup also isn’t too bad, with the Panthers giving up the 12th most fantasy points to quarterbacks. With this not being a good streaming week, Fitzmagic is likely the top streaming option.

Cleveland Browns Players – All of them. Just monitor all of them. Hue Jackson is finally gone so that means the arrow points up for all Browns players. Granted, now Gregg Williams is the head coach now but the offense should still perform better with Hue gone. I’m not advising to go rush and buy Browns players but monitor them.

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Fantasy Fallout: Jaguars Trade for Carlos Hyde

Zach Dewitt

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Sep 20, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Carlos Hyde (34) scores a touchdown after New York Jets linebacker Darron Lee (58) defends during the second half of a game at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars have made another trade mid-season. This time, for former Browns and 49ers running back, Carlos Hyde. The Jaguars dealt a 2019 5th round pick to the Browns for the back. This marks the second time that the Jaguars have traded with the Browns this year, as they also traded for QB Cody Kessler earlier this offseason. Here, we’ll evaluate what this trade means from a fantasy football perspective and how it affects everyone involved.

Right off the bat, this torpedos T.J. Yeldon’s value. Carlos Hyde coming in will push Yeldon to a backup role again, although it’ll likely be more of a timeshare than it was with Fournette. In terms of touches, I’d expect Hyde to get around 60-70% of the backfield touches and that’ll leave Yeldon around 30-40%. I do think Yeldon becomes a “buy” in dynasty though. This guarantees that he’s playing for a different team next year and he’s likely the consolation prize for the team that misses out on Lev Bell. Yeldon could have a bell cow role next year and the trade for Hyde should knock his value down enough that he’s worth poking the Yeldon owner to see if he wants to get out from under him now. In redraft though, Yeldon is playable in Week 7 as Hyde will be inactive but I think he’s droppable after Week 7.

For Carlos Hyde, he becomes a weekly low end RB1 or high end RB2 in Jacksonville now. He was touchdown dependent in Cleveland and was not efficient with his touches but he should continue to see volume on a team that will likely run him more than the Browns were. Ever since Baker Mayfield took over the starting job, the Browns have ranked 5th in pass attempts which curbed Hyde’s touch count. This trade says to me that the Jaguars want to be a run heavy offense again and that will stand to benefit Hyde. Unfortunately for Hyde’s fantasy owners, we won’t know his true value until we know what is happening with Fournette. My gut tells me that Fournette will get thrown onto the IR and maybe return later in the season but we have no way to be sure. If Fournette does come back in Week 10, then Hyde’s value should plummet as he takes a backseat to Fournette. However, there are two or three other possibilities, in my eyes. Scenario one, Fournette is put on IR and sits out for the rest of the season and Hyde becomes the lead running back on an offense that wants to lean on the run. That would make him a RB1 ROS. Scenario two, Fournette is put on IR but comes back later in the season. This would make Hyde an RB1 while Fournette is out and he may be plug and play for a few weeks. Scenario three, which I think is interesting, is that Fournette comes back in Week 10 but Hyde and Fournette split the backfield touches. This would essentially make both players unstartable. The Jaguars are not a particularly strong offense and would not be able to sustain to startable fantasy RBs. There’s an argument to be made for this strategy from a real football perspective though. Both Fournette and Hyde are injury prone and limiting their touches could benefit both players.

I do think this affects the peripheral pieces in Jacksonville, a little bit. Like I said, this trade signifies to me that the Jaguars want to be run heavy again. They’ve been one of the most pass heavy teams this year, largely by necessity, but this team doesn’t want to play like that. So this move likely lowers Blake Bortles weekly ceiling but may help his efficiency, although I doubt anybody was starting Bortles. I don’t think this trickles to the receivers a ton though. They may see less volume but they weren’t doing much anyways, outside of Dede Westbrook.

FIRE UP YOUR NICK CHUBB FOLKS! The Browns have moved on from Carlos Hyde and now we will unleash Nick Chubb. This makes Nick Chubb an every week RB2 for me, and honestly a high end one for me. Chubb was a highly touted prospect coming out of college who showed he was an amazing runner and a capable receiver. He has been extremely impressive and efficient on limited touches this year and he’s shown how elusive but also powerful he can be. I still believe in Baker and this offense has some nice pieces in it. The Browns also have an extremely nice schedule coming up, with the Texans being the next good run defense they face. They don’t play the Texans till December 2nd. Nick Chubb could be a league winner this year and you need to go get him. Add him off waivers, trade for him, just go get him. Starting him this week is risky, as we don’t know his workload yet but the Tampa Bay defense is tissue soft and I’d still slot him in as an RB2.

This also benefits Duke Johnson. Hopefully. Johnson has seen hardly any usage this year but I think we can assume that will change with the departure of Carlos Hyde. Johnson is a talented receiving back that can be electric when given touches. If he starts getting a substantial amount of touches though, he could also hurt Nick Chubb’s ceiling. There’s a world though where Johnson and Chubb share touches enough to make Johnson more valuable than Chubb in PPR formats. Johnson is still a must add in PPR formats until we see how the backfield touches shake out. I wouldn’t feel too confident in starting him this but that could obviously change in the coming weeks.

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Fantasy Football: Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups

Zach Dewitt

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Oct 14, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) throws a pass during the first half against the Los Angeles Chargers at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

I’m back after missing last week and it’s just in time. We’re getting to the heart of the fantasy football season and you’ve got to make your waiver wire count if you want to win your league. That being said, let’s get to it.

Baker Mayfield, QB (42% ownership) – He hasn’t been producing video game numbers or even great numbers, but if you watch him play, it’s very impressive. He’s making throws all over the field and getting absolutely no help from his wide receivers. Wide receivers Callaway and Ratley both dropped would-be touchdowns on Sunday and that would’ve drastically improved Mayfield’s fantasy day. The main reason to target Mayfield if you need a streaming quarterback, is because over the next three weeks he plays Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, and Kansas City. All those games figure to be shootouts and all three pit Mayfield against some of the worst defenses in the league. Get him now.

Jermaine Kearse, WR (1%) – Kearse saw 10 targets on Sunday that he turned into nine catches for 94 yards. Now, with Quincy Enunwa out for three to four weeks with an ankle sprain, Kearse’s volume should not only continue to be stable, but it may actually increase. The Jets offense has been better than expected and Sam Darnold is doing a good job of propping up his weapons.

Ito Smith, RB (9%) – Smith has filled in well in Devonta Freeman’s absence, scoring a touchdown in three straight games. He has had flex appeal in all the games that Freeman has missed and I’d expect that to continue. Freeman was placed on injured reserve today and the Falcons offense is a high powered one. While Freeman continues to battle injuries, Ito Smith needs to be rostered.

Christian Kirk, WR (14%) – Rookie quarterback Josh Rosen has found a favorite. In Rosen’s first three games as a starter, Kirk has led the Cardinal’s in receptions. Kirk was a dynamic rookie coming out and is finally seeing volume that may make him viable in fantasy leagues. He’s likely still just a flier flex play as he’s paired with an anemic offense but Rosen and Kirk could be the only bright spots that we see.

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