Friday, September 6, 2013
Jaguars fantasy breakdown: Week 1
By Michael DiRocco
Looking for some help with your fantasy football lineup? Every Friday I'll give you my opinions on which Jacksonville Jaguars players to play and sit as well as which of the opposing players might be a good play against the Jags. For more fantasy football advice, check out ESPN.com's fantasy football page.
RB Maurice Jones-Drew: He says he’s healthy and ready for whatever workload Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch throws his way. He had just 10 carries during the preseason because the team was trying to ease him back. If he is healthy, he’s capable of a 1,300-yard season. The only question is his TD production, which has fallen off from a high of 15 in 2009. Verdict: Play him as a flex option this week until a clearer picture emerges of his workload.
WR Cecil Shorts: With Justin Blackmon serving a four-game suspension, Shorts is the Jaguars’ top receiver. He’s coming off a year in which he caught 55 passes for 979 yards and seven touchdowns. He averaged 17.8 yards per catch -- better than Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, and DeSean Jackson. Verdict: Only play him as your No. 3 WR because of the uncertainty at quarterback.
K Josh Scobee: He’s been a consistent performer and has made at least 22 field goals the past three seasons. However, after making five field goals of 50 or more yards in 2011, he only made one last season. Verdict: Because of the uncertainty of the offense, you’d be better off keeping him on the bench.
Jaguars defense/special teams: The special teams were pretty poor during training camp and the first half of the preseason schedule but an influx of players claimed off waiver claims has helped improved the units. Still, there aren’t any game breakers. The defense is starting two rookies in the secondary and is trying to improve a pass rush that produced NFL-worst 20 sacks last season. Verdict: Bench ‘em.
QB Alex Smith: Smith has been an efficient quarterback over the past three seasons. He has thrown only 20 interceptions in that span, the fewest in the NFL. However, he’s not regularly ripping off 300-yard games and with the Chiefs’ running game, his role will be as more of a game manager, even in Andy Reid’s West Coast offense. Make a few key throws here and there, but most importantly take care of the ball. Verdict: Keep him on your bench.
RB Jamaal Charles: He ran for 1,509 yards last season and there’s no reason to think he’s not going to threaten that number again in 2013. He’s the key to the Chiefs’ offense. He can be a grinder as well as a big-play runner -- he had three TD runs of at least 80 yards last season. Verdict: No question he’s a starter.
WR Dwayne Bowe: Bowe is one of the most talented receivers in the NFL, but he has been hurt by poor quarterback play. Smith is an upgrade from Matt Cassel in terms of efficiency and not turning the ball over, but the problem is that teams can double Bowe because of a lack of complementary playmakers at receiver. However, Bowe has caught 11 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns in three games against the Jaguars. Verdict: Play him as your No. 2/3 receiver.
WR Donnie Avery: He is the starter opposite Bowe. He caught 62 passes for 781 yards last season but is more of a deep threat. Since Reid’s West Coast offense stresses shorter passes, he may not have as many opportunities for big plays. Verdict: Sit him.
TE Anthony Fasano: He is entering his eighth season and coming off a career year in which he caught 41 passes for 332 yards and five touchdowns. The Jaguars struggled to cover tight ends in the preseason, so he could have a big day. Verdict: Play him.
K Ryan Succop: He makes 81.5 percent of his field goals and the Chiefs’ offense should be improved. Verdict: Start him.
Chiefs defense/special teams: Rookie Knile Davis returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in the preseason and he’ll get some work on Sunday. The defense is loaded with playmakers -- linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston and safety Eric Berry -- and the Jaguars are starting a rookie right tackle in Luke Joeckel. Verdict: Start the Chiefs against a Jaguars offense with few experienced pass catchers and either a QB with a fractured right thumb or his back up.