So you missed out on that player you were targeting in round two of your fantasy football draft. A player you expected to be there in round five was drafted way ahead of his average draft position. The running back handcuff you wanted in the late rounds was taken by your friend two picks ahead of you. Everything that could have gone wrong during your fantasy draft did, and now you're looking at your roster, trying to patch the holes. Well have no fear, if you're looking to make a trade for a flex player or bolster your team's bench depth, consider these Jaguar players in your redraft leagues all while maybe giving them a look in your dynasty leagues as well.
With top wide receiver Marqise Lee lost for the entire season due to a knee injury, expect Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook to fill the void. Lee attracted 96 targets, converting 56 into catches while totaling 702 yards (50.1 yards/game) despite only reaching the end zone three times in 14 games (per Pro Football Reference).
In standard PPR (point per reception) leagues, this leaves nine points minimum up for grabs on a weekly basis. Cole showed flashes of brilliance in 2017, racking up 748 yards on 42 catches (46.8 yards/game) (per Pro Football Reference) while matching Lee with three touchdowns of his own. Despite having slightly better statistics, Cole only started six games on the year. With nearly seven targets and 50 yards up for grabs on a per game basis with Lee out, Cole should finish with six to ten targets per week with the hope of averaging at least 65 yards/week. Let’s say, at worst, Cole finishes weekly with a minimum of six catches and has a yardage floor of 61 yards. In PPR leagues you're looking at 12 points per week minimum without even including touchdowns. That may not look flashy on most fantasy rosters, but if you’re in a deeper PPR league, Cole definitely should be rostered in hopes of filling a WR3/WR4 spot or even as a last ditch effort WR2 bye-week fill in.
Westbrook will also benefit from Lee being sidelined. In 2017, Westbrook caught 27 balls on 51 targets for 339 yards and one score (48.4 yards/game) despite only playing twelve games after being sidelined for a quarter of the season with a core muscle injury. If we use the same metrics as we did for Cole, Westbrook, assuming he garners 25% of the target and yardage shares available, at worst, should finish with a floor of minimum five catches and 63 yards/week. Like Cole, Westbrook will most likely settle in for a WR3/WR4 spot on your roster with the possibility of reaching WR2 potential.
The backfield belongs to Leonard Fournette, who currently sits at an average draft position of 16 (per Dynasty Happy Hour), so you’ll most likely be targeting him in the second round of your draft. We know what Fournette is capable of after he finished eighth in the running back rankings as a rookie in 2017. In the event Fournette were to go down, what handcuff do you target? Enter the battle between T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant. Yeldon finished last year with 79 touches for 477 yards (6.0 yards/touch) and two scores. Grant finished with 52 touches for a ridiculous 768 yards (14.8 yards/touch) and two scores of his own. Just by looking at those stats, you are to assume that Grant is the better fantasy option.
For some reason, the Jacksonville coaching staff has always let Yeldon get the first crack at lead back duties despite both players entering the league the same year for the Jaguars. This most likely stems from the draft selection of Yeldon in the second round of the 2015 NFL draft. Yeldon has played in 37 games, getting the starting nod in 25 of them while Grant has played in 33 only tallying one start. So what will 2018 bring to us who covet the handcuff?
Grant is the handcuff to own currently. I admit that earlier this offseason I stated Yeldon is the No. 2 back behind Fournette but with the way the preseason has played out, Grant seems to have leap-frogged Yeldon for No. 2 duties. As coach Nathaniel Hackett told media members, “Grant is a guy we have to get out there.”
Corey Grant should be rostered in all formats as a solid bench stash/handcuff and has more value in PPR leagues with his pass catching ability. Even though T.J. Yeldon has also had a very solid preseason, the Jacksonville staff wants to see what Grant can possibly do with a full feature back workload should Fournette be forced to miss time. Expect Grant to cut into Fournette’s snap count this year and possibly finish in the top 35 in non-PPR and top 20 in PPR formats.