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The Jacksonville Jaguars won’t be getting started tomorrow night when Thursday Night Football makes its debut, but fantasy rosters will need to be set by kickoff—and that could mean choosing between a player in Duval and a player, well, elsewhere.
I’m not gonna lie to you. Jaguars players will likely be predicted to score fewer fantasy points than other players around the league. Until Trevor Lawrence takes the step we all think he will with a competent coaching staff around him and an improved roster, this could be an underwhelming unit. But depending on the matchup, they could do better than what national analysts are predicting against the Washington Commanders.
For the sake of simplicity, I’ve used ESPN’s fantasy football predictions going into Week 1 and I’m also factoring in a 1.0 PPR.
Let’s get to it...
QB Trevor Lawrence: Over 17 points
The good people at the Mothership have Trevor Lawrence going 23-for-36 for 240 yards and a touchdown against an interception with fewer than 20 yards rushing. This is right in line with what he did last year, albeit a slightly higher yards-per-attempt average due to a higher completion percentage. But it’s still (roughly) the same production.
I’m picking the over. I think head coach Doug Pederson will want to use Trevor Lawrence as a runner near the goal line. And Washington’s porous pass defense (fourth-worst in the league last year) won’t be improving that drastically this quickly.
I think Trevor Lawrence has slightly more production in the passing game and, more than that, will notch an early rushing touchdown to kickstart his confidence going into the rest of the game. The interception is absolutely going to happen, by the way.
RB Travis Etienne: Over 12 points
Yes, I’ve heard that James Robinson will dress and (should) be active for Sunday. No, I don’t think that means Travis Etienne will see more than his fair share of targets and early down reps at running back.
ESPN has him at just 11 carries and three catches for a total of 75 yards from scrimmage and more likely than not to be held out of the end zone. While I don’t think Travis Etienne finds the end zone in Week 1, I do think that he gets (nearly) twice as many touches.
WR Christian Kirk: Under 12 points
ESPN has him at five catches for 56 yards off seven targets and a chance to score. Not a big chance, but a chance. I don’t think Trevor Lawrence is comfortable enough with him yet to make those targets (seven seems about right, maybe one less) as accurate or well-timed as they would to a receiver he’s more used to working with. Like...
WR Marvin Jones: Over 10 points
Honestly, it will probably work out that you could flip his and Christian Kirk’s predicted stat line. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Marvin Jones will be the leading receiver for the Jaguars this week. Christian Kirk’s lone preseason appearance saw some flashes, but his timing is off with QB1. And I think in the early stretch of this season that Trevor Lawrence looks Marvin Jones’ way more often. I also think if there’s a receiving touchdown to be had that it’d be Marvin Jones or...
TE Evan Engram: Under 7 points
Listen, I know Doug Pederson loves tight ends. He’d build an entire offense out of tight ends and running backs if he could. But until Evan Engram is a red zone target, he isn’t. In fact, he has a high of just three red zone targets in a single season since 2017. ESPN has Evan Engram seeing six targets and hauling in three of them for 38 yards with next to no chance of scoring a touchdown. I tend to agree, except with fewer targets meaning fewer catches meaning even less chance of scoring.