The Chiefs of Kansas City are coming to Duval in a regular season opener pitting the two powerhouses that drafted first and second in this spring's draft.
I kid, I kid... It's always a good time when the Jaguars are in town and that's especially true when the Bold City Brigade is throwing down for what will undoubtedly be the biggest tailgate in Jaguars history. But before you stuff yourself with Smoke It Up Barbecue and four kegs of Engine 15's finest brew, make sure you tweak that fantasy roster so that you wake up Monday morning victorious... even if you have no idea how you did it.
And what better way to open your fantasy season with a win then by adding some Jaguars players to your roster. Which ones have the best chance to throw your opponent under the bus?
RB Maurice Jones-Drew: He's coming back from injury and was in on just a handful of snaps during the preseason, but when the games count there's nobody the Jaguars have trusted more since... well... Blaine Gabbert was drafted. In each of the last four seasons, Jones-Drew has carried the ball 19, 24 23 and 21 times, respectively. He's averaged 92 yards per game on opening day since 2009 and only once has he not seen at least three passes thrown his way. The backups will see a handful of carries, but Jones-Drew will be at the heart of Jacksonville's game plan.
OW Denard Robinson: The last time the Jaguars had anything that even resembled an offensive weapon was with Matt Jones. Debuting in 2005, Jones lined up at several positions, surprising the visiting Seattle Seahawks who only saw Jones used in a limited capacity at one position (wide receiver) in the preseason. Now, eight years later, they have Denard Robinson who, like Jones, has also had a vanilla preseason, but differs in one key aspect -- Denard is talented. I see Bradley doing something similar with Robinson that Del Rio did with Jones for the season opener, lining his offensive weapon up in positions and packages that opponents haven't seen yet.
K Josh Scobee: The Chiefs bolstered their defense this offseason, but it's still a matchup of the worst two teams from 2012. This is the season opener and that means starters haven't fully gelled, which will translate into at least 24 points from both sides. Look for both offenses to have some fun and get into field goal range more than a few times on Sunday.
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QB Blaine Gabbert: He had a rough game in the preseason opener against the Dolphins, but bounced back against the Jets to earn enough confidence from head coach Gus Bradley to nab the starting job. Solid preseason showing aside, Gabbert is still listed as questionable on the injury report. He's done well in the only season opener he's ever played, throwing for 260 yards and two touchdowns against Vikings last year, but with a lingering thumb injury, he's not a safe play.
TE Marcedes Lewis: I think the passing games of both teams will be better than most expect on Sunday, but the one guy I don't see getting a lot of looks is Lewis. Kansas City has assembled one of the best groups of linebackers in the league and when you're playing against a 3-4 defense, a marquee guy like Lewis will always be covered. Not only that, but they'll most likely have Dunta Robinson playing the slot cornerback on some packages, which means Lewis could be guarded by the 31-year-old a handful of times. That spells trouble for a playmaker like Lewis who thrives on outmatching linebackers in the passing game.
DST Jaguars: Bradley has assembled a fast group of guys on defense, but they're young and they need at least one more draft to shore up the problems. Kansas City, on the other hand, has a capable quarterback in Alex Smith throwing to Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery. Running back Jamaal Charles is still one of the best in the game and Dexter McCluster may cause problems out of the backfield, even for a Jaguars linebackers group that is incredibly quick in the sideline-to-sideline game. I also don't foresee any returns for touchdowns, no matter how many breaks the Jaguars got in the preseason.