Team Fantasy Shakiness

On every team offensively there are usually guys that fantasy owners can be certainly excited about. There is a team out there though that has fantasy questions at the quarterback, running back, and receiver position. That team is the Jacksonville Jaguars. The biggest area owners know that they can get points from is the running back position. How is the second year tandem of Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor going to work together? Also, Byron Leftwich makes his way back under center with a potential short leash. Over at wide receiver the players that have been young and on the bend, are now veterans that have yet to get to the status the Jaguars expect.

Thus far Byron Leftwich has been a bottom tier fantasy quarterback. Besides a few solid games against the Colts the Jaguars offense usually is low scoring with a lot of clock eating. That meant Leftwich was never really able to shine unless the Jaguars were forced to move the ball, as they always are against the Colts. Another factor against Leftwich is their continued praise of David Garrad and making Leftwich sit down last season. It was the right decision as Leftwich was not 100 percent but he was willing to play. Avoiding injuries this season will be the obvious deciding factor on Leftwich’s fantasy value.

He can easily serve as a non questionable fantasy backup. Throughout his career he has shown that he can be a very dangerous quarterback. The Jaguars philosophy is not going to change with the offense so the unexpected is not going to happen with Leftwich.

Part of the reason why Leftwich may be struggling to be a fantasy elite quarterback is because he has only had one serious threat at receiver in his career. That guy was a fantasy stud for over ten years in Jimmy Smith but exited away from the game last season. Matt Jones, Ernest Wilford, and Reggie Williams. What’s a pathetic statistic is when you’re running back is the teams leading receiver, which was the case for the Jaguars last year with Maurice Jones Drew leading the team. Reggie Williams came in second with not even 600 yards receiving. Word out of the Jaguars camp is that Williams has been disappointing in training camp and may be on his way out.

Matt Jones and Ernest Wilford appear to be the clear cut number one and two receivers heading into 2007 by default. Last year everyone expected Matt Jones to fulfill high aspirations but early season injuries plagued him the rest of the year. All Leftwich and the Jaguars need is one of the receivers to step up as a consistent big play guy. Ernest Wilford is a fine complement but more of like a number three wide receiver in the NFL. It looks like the Jaguars are going to be like the San Diego Chargers. Not enough talent at the position to have anyone have great numbers at receiver, so expect low numbers spread out at the receiver position.

Where the Jaguars should be more then adequate is at running back. Maurice Jones-Drew has surpassed Fred Taylor on the board as he will get plenty of touchdown opportunities. He is also the apparent choice to be the main running back as soon as Fred Taylor’s contract is up. Do not under value Taylor though, who is still a major back in the NFL. Talent wise he is a top ten running back but his durability may be the worse. He has managed to stay rather healthy the last few years and part of that has to do with the Jaguars pacing his carries. With Jones-Drew likely to gain more carries expect Taylor to have a high yardage total as a result.

With Jones Drew being a low second round and high third round choice in most drafts, Taylor’s value should not be far from a fifth round choice. As his game has not changed only the Jaguars have become an even better force at running the football. Taylor will give fantasy owners the statistics he has come to be counted on for. Around 1100 yards and four to five touchdowns. Definite solid sounding numbers to us.