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OK...What to do about this mess in Jacksonville now that D.J. Chark is out this week?

September 24, 2020

OK...What to do about this mess in Jacksonville now that D.J. Chark is out this week?


*insert me complaining about all my WRs being hurt, Parris, Chark, Sutton, etc., but I don’t have time to complain…here*  https://youtu.be/aqDwqdSF6Ec


You mostly want to know what to do with Keelan Cole and Gardner Minshew tonight. I’ll answer that here as best I can, and everything JAX-MIA related and hope it hits most of your situations. I’m going to do my best. If you’re emailing about it (join the millions who are it seems)--I may not get to it in time for kickoff.

Here’s the DJC being out problem/conundrum/situation:


For two weeks/games, here’s the Jags snap counts at WR…

Chark 42(Wk1)-59(Wk2)

Cole 33-51

Shenault 31-43

Conley 16-34

Collin Johnson 9-8

Dede Westbrook (inactive both games)


By plan, the Jags should slide Conley into the Chark role. Shenault plays the other flanker WR across from him. Cole is in the slot most all the time (I went back and skimmed TEN-JAX Week 2 to reconfirm it).

It’s important who goes in the Chark role because that player should draw top MIA CB Xavien Howard…which is an issue for that WR…which if it’s Conley, then Cole-Shenault should be straight fire. Shenault gets rookie CB Noah Igbinoghene I assume (he covered outside WRs mostly last week). Cole gets the juicy matchup with weak Byron Jones fill-in Nik Needham. If it happens this way – you have confidence in Cole for sure.

If Needham goes to Shenault, and Igbinoghene goes to Cole…not bad but I’d rather see Needham on Cole.

The Jags could put Cole outside and move Shenault to slot with Chark out but that’s not been normal for the Jags. No reason to do that here with everything working so well the first two weeks.

Everything could be screwed up if Xavien Howard decides to chase Cole, but that would be unusual and a reach to think Cole is the most dangerous guy on the Jags. You don’t have a ton of FF-faith in Cole, so the NFL isn’t going to think he’s anything either. Why waste Howard chasing the useless UDFA slot WR?

The most likely scenario is Cole in the slot drawing the lesser coverage (Needham) and that should equal ANOTHER nice game for Cole.

Dede Westbrook coming in and messing things up for Cole is on the table, but only in a small scale way…and the Jags are all-in on Cole (so far). They aren’t pushing Dede. No reason too, but he might get a few snaps this game and then ‘who knows’? I’m not sure Dede will even be active/he’s healthy/the Jags care. If you see Dede inactive…another good sign for Cole.

Miami is allowing the highest passer rating to opposing QBs in the league after two games, along with the most yards per pass attempt. And that comes off facing Cam-J.Allen. It’s a very good matchup for the Jags passing game.

Cole should be his normal self with upside…another 4-7 catches, 50+ yards, with a decent shot at a TD game.

Shenault is a strong upside play too. He’ll likely see more targets from DJC gone.

Conley would be taken out by Xavien Howard and would be a lightning strike hope at a TD for FF. He’s not going to be ‘Chark’, I wouldn’t think…not with Howard on him.

Gardner Minshew is in line for a good game, possibly more but Miami is bad against the run too…so the Jags may take a quiet approach and just jam James Robinson at them and control possession time and sneak out with a stoic win. We’ve not really seen Jacksonville 2020 play from ahead or in control…they’ve been chasing all season so far. They might just run up the middle all game and punt a lot once up by 14 (if).

I would have a hard time starting Gardner over Mahomes, if you’re asking…I don’t care what the rankings/computer says. But this is a good spot, in theory, for Minshew. Mahomes is in a lesser/his least spot he could probably be in all year…but can anything stop him?

On the other side of the ball…is Preston Williams viable? Maybe. Preston is always viable, but he could be shut down by C.J. Henderson or get shut down but make 1-2 big plays and make it all FF-worth it. Don’t underestimate his greatness…don’t underestimate C.J. Henderson either.

If Henderson goes to DeVante Parker…then Preston will have a chance to go off. But Weeks 1-2…teams have thrown their ace CB at Preston. Isaiah Ford draws D.J. Hayden in the slot and that’s not good for a sneaky play there.

Whether you should play good players like Singletary or Marvin Jones or T.Y. Hilton, etc., guys that we’ll project in the same area of Cole…whether you play any of them OVER Cole tonight…is also your question.

Man, I don’t know.

They’re all viable. There is no right/obvious answer among the WRs projected at #15-30 and your league has different parameters and you might want to checkmate your opponents QB…and if Zack Moss is out it changes Singletary’s projections and if Davante Adams is in it helps Lazard not get Marshon Lattimore – there’s a bunch of things we won’t know until Sunday that can’t help now.

All I can tell you is – Keelan Cole is very good. He’s the #14 non-PPR WR in PPG in fantasy so far and the #17 PPR WR in PPG. He’s not nothing. He’s got a potentially favorable matchup tonight and he’s already been key to the Jags’ passing game. He’s not an obvious ‘don’t start’. He’s not a slam dunk start no matter what. Whether you have better options…it’s up to you.

All I can say is – God Bless you tonight and your decision. If you can’t decide, flip a coin or ask your dog. I’m not joking. 


About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 

Email rc4metrics@gmail.com

Learn more about RC and the Fantasy Football Metrics system >>