MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 09: Maurice Jones-Drew #32 of the Jacksonville Jaguars avoids a tackle by Kevin Williams #93 of the Minnesota Vikings during the third quarter of the season opener on September 9, 2012 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Jaguars 26-23. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Okay, so our Jaguars didn't pull off the last minute win and it's made it for a tough week at the office. Oh yea, and our LBs, secondary, and offensive line are banged up with our main division rival, the Houston Texans coming to our city. At this point only one thing can shut that annoying friend or family member up even for an hour-a fantasy football victory. Will a Jaguar player help lead you to fantasy stardom this week? Sit back and let's discuss which Jaguars players have fantasy relevance in the home opener verses the Houston Texans.
Every week join myself your Big Cat country Fantasy Football Expert (termed loosely) to sit down and discuss your options in Fantasy Football Start Em'/Sit Em' for the week. After the jump take a look at my thoughts on the Jaguars fantasy starts and sits as they take on the Titans this week.
Maurice Jones Drew- Without question MJD is a must start if one exists in this game. With Rashad Jennings going down with a knee injury last week MoJo stepped into the lineup and instantly put to rest any fantasy fears about his limited knowledge of the playbook and fatigue from his recent holdout. It wasn't that he rushed for 77 yards (averaging over 4 yards a carry) with almost twenty receiving yards; it was the toughness used in those yards gained. Anyone watching that game had to sit back and slap themselves a few times for even thinking that this guy could be replaced by Jennings (no offense to Jennings). MoJo has earned his starting spot back. And with Jennings still not practicing and likely out, this game the Texans game may resemble a little more like something out of the Del Rio playbook. The Texans D may be known around the league as a top notch run stopping unit but if Reggie Bush and the inept Dolphins offensive line can average 4.9 yards per carry against Houston then MoJo can average 5.5. MJD, All In-My Lineup!
Josh Scobee- He's got a heck of a leg and he's generally very good from longer distances. Scobee was 5 of 6 from over 50 yards last year and 7 of 8 from over 40 yards out. If you're in a league that gives more points for the longer kicks I'd definitely play him asap! At this point I at least see our offense doing enough to get us in field goal range, if not more. I can see a few longer attempts on the schedule for Josh after the 3 for 3, 10 point performance last week.
Buyers Beware: (Upside exists, but with extreme risk)
Blaine Gabbert- This sort of goes back to what I stated last week about Gabbert being your starting QB. As well as he played (in real life) it still wasn't enough of a fantasy performance to influence you to want to risk a victory by playing him. "But he put up 20-23 points against the Vikings!" Yep. "And he scored what should have been the game winning TD!" Cool. He's Alex Smith from 2011. Great game manager QB who may win games but won't win you FANTASY games. Do you expect him to be able to throw 50% of the three step drops that he ran against the Vikings without either getting the ball knocked down by JJ Watt and Co, or knocked up and intercepted? With our O-line I'd just be happy with the incompletion at this point. At this point just an injury-free day would be a win IMO.
"If you are in a situation where you are starting or contemplating starting Gabbert in any week other than the bye of your fantasy football season may God be with your fantasy team's soul b/c your draft did not go as planned."
Justin Blackmon-Two things about Blackmon scare me this week. 1) He will likely have a young fella by the name of Jonathan Joseph shadowing him all game, and 2) He only had 3 receptions last week. Now we all know/thought that Blackmon will have to make his yardage and TDs in the YAC area seeing as his game is built off of short/intermediate routes and breaking tackles. He'll need much more than the six targets he did receive to have a huge impact seeing that most of his catches will be of the shorter variety. Having a top corner guarding a rookie probably doesn't bode very well if i had to guess. I'd probably play the "show me" game before playing him even in the flex spot. It doesn't pay in fantasy football to be a fan- or at least to play like one.
Mercedes Lewis- I'm gonna be real honest and let you know that I'm not sold on Mercedes yet and I hope his game last week was no fluke. Mind you, this is coming from the guy who expects for this year come close to being Lewis' best NFL season. But there seems to be an issue here. We're playing the Texans. And they're REALLY good at stopping opposing teams TEs. "How good", do you ask? Third best in the NFL in 2011 good. This eerily sounds like the Brandon Pettigrew sitting against St. Louis last week notice I gave to you guys last week. Mercedes' best game against the Texans came almost three full seasons ago in the first game of the 2009-2010 season. He has had less than 5 points in every game since. The fan in me says he breaks that slump on Sunday against them. The fantasy pessimist in me says no way you play him. (coming from a guy who has him as his starting TE)
Cecil Shorts- I know people are getting excited about the deep ball and his potential and all, but frankly Shorts should not even be in conversation for anything more than maybe a waiver wire pick up. But starting him in your fantasy lineup? Only if your name is Cecil Shorts III would you make that blunder.
Jaguars Defense- There's a million reasons why I wouldn't play the Jaguars Defense this week. The easiest one would be to just direct you to the game tape of Minnesota's Vikings Jaguars game from last week. If that doesn't slap any sense into you I'd also like to introduce you to potentially the #1 rushing duo in the NFL Adrian Foster and Ben Tate. I know us Jags fans are well aware of who they are and the damage they can cause with that O-line. Well being without two of our excellent run stopping LBs in Daryl Smith and Clint Sessions I'm not even sure Andre Johnson will be needed in this game frankly. But just in case he is needed, please feel secure in knowing that we'll likely have some one on one situations with him and Aaron Ross because Derek Cox is still injured. Comfortable with your starting D yet?
IMPORTANT NOTE: The one WR that I truly think has the ability to break this game wide open (in fantasy terms and non-fantasy terms) is Laurent Robinson. But unfortunately, I just don't have the confidence to play him. But I will at least mention him for you brave souls. Let me say this, if Robinson ends up making a deep(er) catch early in the game I think the Texans secondary will have an extremely long day on their hands.
So who's in your lineup this week Big Cat Country?