Fantasy Football Team Preview: Jaguars
Meet the ...
Most hyphenated offense in the NFL. With Maurice Jones-Drew and Mike Sims-Walker on the roster, you would think multiple last names were chic. Maybe that's a stretch, but what's not is the talent exuding from these two fantasy rock stars. The only thing that separated Sims-Walker and a 1,000-yard receiving season were two missed games early last year. You'd better believe that had he played 16 games, he would have eclipsed 1,000 and maybe even crossed the goal line 10 times.
Jones-Drew needs no introduction. Now that he's not sharing carries, everyone got to see just what the second-round pick from UCLA could do. His yards per carry stayed the same -- the number actually rose slightly -- and he got an extra 115 carries last year. His 1,391 yards rushing were bested by only three running backs and his 15 rushing TDs were second in the NFL. Let the running back debate begin. I wouldn't fault you one bit for putting MJD ahead of AP or CJ2K.
Starting opposite of Mike Sims-Walker is pretty good as a stand-along feature. But when teams have to focus on Sims-Walker in the passing game and Jones-Drew on the ground, the No. 2 receiver for the Jaguars could get overlooked quite a bit. There's going to be a fight in training camp for that starting spot and the front-runners seem to be Mike Thomas and Jarett Dillard. The second-year Thomas dwarfed Dillard in receptions and actually got targeted more later in the season. Thomas could be a great late-round steal, even if he doesn't have a hyphen in his name.
Since being a first-round selection in the 2005 draft, Troy Williamson has amassed 87 receptions. That's just over 17 catches per year. We're already hearing rumors before training camp that Williamson is being passed on the depth chart by not just one receiver, but two. We're also hearing glass half-full types say that Williamson still has first-round upside and that he can stretch the defense, which complements Sims-Walker's possession-style play extremely well. Listen to the naysayers on this one and avoid Williamson altogether.
The Depth Chart
QB1 - David Garrard
QB2 - Luke McCown
RB1 - Maurice Jones-Drew
RB2 - Rashad Jennings
RB3 - Deji Karim
WR1 - Mike Sims-Walker
WR2 - Mike Thomas
WR3 - Jarett Dillard
WR4 - Troy Williamson
WR5 - Kassim Osgood
TE1 - Marcedes Lewis
K - Josh Scobee
There is plenty of blame to go around when speaking of the Jaguars defense. The defense allowed 28 touchdowns through the air last year and while the Jags' secondary was bad, it wasn't completely their fault. Opposing quarterbacks had all the time in the world to throw the ball with Jacksonville tallying a league-low 14 sacks in 2009. There's always hope of improvement with a new year, but don't even think about wasting a pick on draft day with high hopes. I guarantee that I can find a team defense on the waiver wire each week that will outperform the Jaguars.
• Watch rookie running back Deji Karim in training camp. The team signed him before camp which means he'll be on time and ready to work. He's a small, bulldog-type runner with similar features to Jones-Drew. He'll push Rashad Jennings for the backup running back role from day one and could provide some decent yardage spelling Jones-Drew this season.
• Former first-round pick Marcedes Lewis topped the tight end charts with an eye-popping 16.2 yards per catch in 2009. He's never going to be a 100-reception tight end, but he has improved his pass-catching abilities and should do nicely in the passing game with defenses focusing on Jones-Drew and Sims-Walker.