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Jacksonville's Confusing Pass Offense


Outside of Leonard Fournette, it has been hard to consistently trust a fantasy option on Jacksonville's offense. Nick Foles broke his collarbone in Week 1, thrusting sixth-round rookie Gardner Minshew II into the starting lineup.

The tight end position is simply not producing numbers. We've seen the likes of James O'Shaughnessy and Geoff Swaim attempt to fill the position before getting injured. Now it is third-round rookie Josh Oliver and veteran Seth DeValve as the next men up.

In addition, every week a new receiver seems to have a breakout game. Today I am going to attempt to solve this complex puzzle by breaking down Jacksonville's quarterback, wide receiver, and tight end positions. Let's get started.

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Quarterback

The Jaguars certainly find themselves in a familiar situation. Head coach Doug Marrone has to figure out who is the starting quarterback. However, unlike in the past, Marrone has two very good options. This season, Minshew has thrown for 13 touchdowns against only two interceptions which is rather impressive for a rookie. The Jaguars are also a respectable 4-3 with him as the starter. Foles, of course, led the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory and signed a contract this offseason worth $88 million over four years. It's a tough call for Marrone, but Minshew is expected to remain the starter on Sunday. Right now, he is clearly the preferred option for fantasy owners.

Minshew is the 11th-ranked quarterback in fantasy points this season. He is averaging more yards per game than Foles has across his career. Halfway through the season, Minshew has rushed for more yards than Foles did in the last five seasons combined. He is simply a more dynamic offensive option at this point. If Foles does get reinserted as the starter, he is still a capable quarterback, and it should not hamper any of the receivers' values. Nevertheless, Foles is likely not a starting fantasy quarterback. For now, Minshew can be trusted in your starting lineup. He has posted 20+ points in three of the past four weeks. Without J.J. Watt, the Jaguars should be able to score comfortably against the Texans in Week 9.

 

Wide Receivers

D.J. Chark is the clear No. 1 receiver in Jacksonville right now. He has recorded six receiving touchdowns in only eight games and is on pace for 1,320 receiving yards this season. However, his production has been a bit sporadic. He has three single-digit fantasy point weeks in standard scoring. In addition, 49 of his 104 standard league points have come in two games. Nevertheless, Chark is still the go-to guy. He led the team in targets last week, despite Chris Conley having a better game. The Texans are giving up the most fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season, and future matchups against the Buccaneers, Raiders, and Falcons will give Chark plenty of opportunities to produce big plays. He is a must-start wide receiver.

As for the aforementioned Conley, he is coming off 103 and 83-yard performances. Like Chark, Conley relies on big plays, averaging 20.4 yards per catch; the problem is he does not receive the number of targets Chark does. When he does not record a deep touchdown reception, he is not likely to produce points. For example, before these past two weeks, Conley recorded three points or less in four consecutive weeks. Flashback to Week 1, he posted 97 yards and a touchdown. As a result, he is the ultimate boom or bust flex option.

Dede Westbrook may be the most interesting player on the depth chart. He only has 7 fewer receptions than Chark this season. He is second on the team in red-zone targets (trailing Chark only by one), but he still has only produced one double-digit fantasy point performance in standard scoring. With Conley on the rise and Westbrook playing through a neck injury, Conley should cut into Westbrook's targets. Still, it is interesting that Westbrook has been afforded so many opportunities to produce within the offense. For now, I would not consider playing Westbrook, but he is worth monitoring.

 

Tight End

That brings us to our final and the oddest position group, tight end. James O'Shaughnessy was the starter and caught two touchdowns before ultimately tearing his ACL in Week 5 against the Carolina Panthers. Geoff Swaim was the backup tight end, but he also was placed on the IR. Right now, the position seems almost non-existent in the passing game. No tight end recorded a catch for the Jaguars in Week 7. Last week, Seth DeValve had one catch for 11 yards and Josh Oliver had one catch for 6 yards. I would steer clear of DeValve and Oliver for now.

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