*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
Jacksonville played a miserable game…a lot of drops by WRs (that were actually, mostly misthrows by the QBs), dropped INTs, fumbles that went against them…and then a QB change, players starting to scrap on the sidelines – it’s a mess in Jacksonville.
Reality has set in for the Jaguars, and there’s no turning back. A defense that is a bit overrated (thrived on the weak last season), the worst QB in the NFL for a couple years running, and Doug Marrone’s ancient 1970s offense…it was going to catch up to them eventually and now it has. You cannot be a defense-wins-championships + three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust philosophy in 2018. The rules favor the opposite. The college players are schooled to do the opposite. Today’s players don’t want to play that style. Now begins the decline of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The AFC South is up for grabs. The Jags have as much chance to finish 9-7 and win the division as they do 6-10/last place. My computer models show the Jags are the 5th worst team in the NFL (NYG, ARI, BUF, OAK) right now.
Houston is no prize team either, but they smartly played conservative and just let the Jaguars faceplant in front of them. Houston has the inside track to win the AFC South now…4 wins in a row (three of them lucky). We still project them to 8-9 wins…which could win the AFC South. 8-8 has a strong chance to win the AFC South, which means all 4 teams are still in it.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- So, Blake Bortles (6-12 for 61 yards, 0 TD/0 INT) got benched for Cody Kessler (21-30 for 156 yards, 1 TD/1 INT)…which is like quitting smoking crack to focus on shooting heroin with dirty needles. It’s really not an upgrade/great change.
Jacksonville has done this to themselves…they deserve this collapse. They didn’t have to extend Bortles with a big contract…they did. They could’ve taken a QB in the draft the past two years…they didn’t. They could’ve signed a Teddy Bridgewater, etc. – they traded for Cody Kessler. Trading for Kessler and extending Bortles shows you the absolute depth of football scouting depravity the Jags have. In a league all about the QB, with the rules set up for passing games – the Jags have gone Bortles-Kessler on purpose…investing money/capital into it. Here comes their ROI…losses, and an unhappy 51 other players.
The offense is actually worse with Kessler starting because he’s a total zero too, plus he can’t run…at least Bortles can run the ball a little.
All the Jags WRs and TEs are meaningless for fantasy under Bortles, and even worse under Kessler.
-- Which leads to the even bigger problem for fantasy…the Jaguars RB situation.
The trade for Carlos Hyde tells you the likelihood Leonard Fournette doesn’t come back this year, or comes back for the NFL playoffs (if they make it) is a strong possibility. If the Jags lose another 2-3 in a row – why bring back Fournette at all?
Even worse, what if Fournette does come back Week 9-10-11? Carlos Hyde is not just going to sit on the bench. Doug Marrone has shown he’s not a super-fan of Fournette. Remember, when Marrone would have Fournette on the sidelines in the 4th quarter of close games last season? Marrone is old school – the players don’t matter, it’s all about coaching, toughness, and winning the turnover battle. Fournette gets in the way of Marrone’s plan…he’s often hurt, and a Fournette-focus takes away from ‘coaching’ as the focus.
You can see Fournette on the sidelines of games last year or this year -- he always looks like he’d rather be in a hundred other places. Marrone is going to ‘show’ Fournette who is boss and how tough guys ‘play’/not sit out with ticky-tack injuries (in Marrone’s mind).
How good can Fournette be ahead…
…stuck with Marrone?
…stuck with Bortles/Kessler?
…stuck with Hyde-Yeldon?
…stuck with a depleted O-Line?
You thought David Johnson looked bad because of his surrounding circumstances…what if his QB was Cody Kessler…and Carlos Hyde was just acquired?
Fournette is not a buy low…he’s a sell now. Redraft…whatever you can get for him. You might get an RB2/WR2 who can help during the heavy BYE weeks. He might be that +1 you add to a deal to get something you really want (___ for ___+Fournette)…try to find someone to deal with who is secretly wanting to get too cute trying to see if Fournette comes back Week 9. They’re out there, I know, because many FFM’ers are asking me if we should go GET Fournette cheap. I say…’run’ (away).
My main point is…who cares if Fournette comes back Week 9? Seeing what’s about to happen on the field might hurt his trade value. At least, today, there’s daydreaming.
In dynasty, I trade Fournette to a team out of the race, looking to rebuild, and sees Fournette as like getting a 1st-round draft pick. Trade him like he’s a 1st-round pick today in dynasty. This Jaguars situation isn’t getting any better. Marrone will be back next year, and so will some version of Bortles-Kessler. So will Carlos Hyde potentially.
That being said…who cares about Carlos Hyde in this offense Week 8+? T.J. Yeldon was terrible in it…Hyde will be worse for all the reasons I stated above PLUS he’ll split with Yeldon with TJY getting the passing game work.
Sell the Hyde hype. Sell it to the Fournette or Yeldon owners.
Sell Fournette-Hyde together.
Sell everything Jacksonville – it can’t help you in 2018 and not sure it’s anything special in 2019.
-- ‘Sell everything Jacksonville’…that includes the Jags-DST.
PHI-BYE-@IND-PIT the next 4 weeks.
#27 in interceptions.
#20T in sacks…”Sacksonville” (Ha!)
#9 and falling in PPG allowed.
They are #2 in yards per game allowed.
It’s not a terrible DST…it’s just not a must start/keep anymore, and they are getting worse as the season goes as does the offense to support them, as does any unity of the team -- and the schedule is bad the next 4 weeks.
-- Lamar Miller (22-100-1, 1-0-0/3) took advantage of the situation this week – take advantage of that and trade him/run from him. He’ll do this – he’ll be nothing for weeks and then have a good game and people have renewed hope. Sell it high.
-- Will Fuller (6-68-0/8) seems to have an opposite effect with Keke Coutee (1-3-0/3). When Coutee is out…Fuller shines. Coutee left early with a hamstring here. Fuller shined the first few weeks of the season. With Coutee playing strong Weeks 4-5-6…Fuller was a ghost in the offense.
Fuller good without Coutee is the way to play it. This Week 8 on TNF…Coutee is already out with his hamstring injury.
Coutee is a good WR2.5 grab upon his return, if you can time it right. He’s headed to waivers in a lot of places this week. The Texans are oddly building an offense around heavy Coutee.
-- Jamaal Charles (1-2-0, 1-2-0/1) barely got any work in this nightmare, then was released this week with the Hyde trade. I think we can put a fork in him. Although, he could land in New England for a few weeks…but he wouldn’t matter there.
-- The Texans-DST has three straight games holding opponents to 16 points or fewer. They do not look great, but they’ve been lucky to have played DAL-BUF-JAX in that stretch. Tannehill-Keenum the next two weeks? I’ll take that too.
Snap Counts of Interest:
56 = Yeldon
06 = D Williams
03 = Jamaal
55 = Moncrief
52 = Cole
50 = Westbrook
30 = Chark
18 = Greene
64 = Hopkins
52 = Fuller
16 = Coutee
55 = Jordan Thomas
30 = Akins
31 = Grinnage
22 = Blake Bell