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2024 Jacksonville Jaguars Fantasy Preview

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In the latest episode of Galaxy Brains, Patrick Daugherty and Denny Carter break down the top revenge games of 2024, including Arthur Smith vs. Falcons and Gabe Davis vs. Bills.

2023 Stats

Points per game: 22.2 (13th)
Total yards per game: 339.5 (13th)
Plays per game: 65.5 (6th)
Pass Attempts + Sacks per game: 38.9 (8th)
Dropback EPA per play: 0.05 (14th)
Rush attempts per game: 26.6 (17th)
Rush EPA per play: -0.19 (30th)

Coaching Staff

Fresh off back-to-back 9-8 seasons, Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson hopes his third year with the team yields more success. It was a tale of two seasons for the Jaguars in 2023. After starting the season 8-3, the Jaguars limped to a 1-5 finish over their final six games and missed the playoffs after falling 28-20 to the low Titans to be eliminated.

Subpar offensive production finally caught up to the Jaguars down the stretch. Through their first 11 games, they averaged 23.1 points per game while ranking 19th in EPA/play (-0.029). During their final six games, they managed just 20.5 PPG while still ranking 19th in EPA/play, but their defense also allowed 28 or more points in four of those games.

One notable difference for the Jaguars last season was their offensive play-caller. Pederson and offensive coordinator Press Taylor split the play-calling duties in 2022, but last season, it was Taylor who was in charge of dialing up the plays. Pederson has gone on record this offseason saying he needs to consider returning to offensive play-calling but has yet to commit to anything before training camp.

Pederson delivered back-to-back winning seasons to the Jaguars for the first time in 19 seasons and already has a playoff win under his belt. But in a rising AFC South, it will likely take double-digit wins to earn a playoff berth this upcoming season.

Passing Game

QB: Trevor Lawrence, Mac Jones
WR: Christian Kirk, Parker Washington
WR: Gabe Davis, Tim Jones
WR: Brian Thomas Jr., Devin Duvernay
TE: Evan Engram, Luke Farrell

As if expectations weren’t already high for Trevor Lawrence, the former No. 1 overall pick signed a five-year, $275 million contract extension this offseason and now has a lofty contract to live up to as one of the league’s highest-paid players.

Lawrence got a mulligan after a dreadful rookie campaign under Urban Meyer in 2021 in which he threw for 3641-12-17. Lawrence has thrown for 8129-46-22 in two seasons under Pederson while completing 65.9 percent of his passes and has ranked 13th amongst qualified QBs in EPA/play (0.102, min. 500 plays) over that span while ranking fifth in success rate (50.4 percent). Lawrence has finished as the QB8 and QB15 in fantasy points per game over the last two seasons but was the QB19 last season during their 8-3 run.

Since 2022, Lawrence ranks fourth amongst quarterbacks in passing attempts (1,148) and is 11th in expected fantasy points per game (19.9, min. 10 games played). Underwhelming production from his receivers hurt Lawrence’s fantasy upside last season, but with new weapons to work with and the return of productive vets, there’s hope that the best is yet to come for Lawrence in 2024.

Christian Kirk returns to a role he’s spent most of his career occupying. Last season, he played 71.3 percent of his snaps from the slot and posted a line of 57-788-3 in the 12 games he appeared in, averaging 12.9 fantasy points per game (WR33). Per, amongst 18 receivers who averaged 15 or more routes from the slot, Kirk’s targets per route run from the slot (0.240) ranked seventh in the league. He was also the first read on 30.9 percent of his slot routes, which ranked fifth, while his 4.7 first-read targets per game from the slot tied for second and trailed only Amon-Ra St. Brown (5.1).

Amon-Ra St. Brown18.85.1
Christian Kirk21.94.7
Keenan Allen21.24.7
CeeDee Lamb20.64.5
Adam Thielen24.24.2
Cooper Kupp17.64.1

Kirk was the WR19 in fantasy points per game in 2022 but saw those numbers decline in 2023. He conservatively projects as a WR3 in 2024 but should have plenty of WR2 weeks baked into his production.

The Jaguars opted not to bring back Calvin Ridley after his lone season with the team and instead replaced him with former Bills receiver Gabe Davis. Last season, Davis totaled 45 catches for 746 yards and seven touchdowns while averaging 16.6 YPR. Davis has been used primarily as a field stretcher since joining the Bills in 2020, with 29.0 percent of his targets coming on deep attempts.

Davis is fondly remembered for the 8-201-4 performance he posted in the 2021 AFC Divisional Round against the Chiefs. Unfortunately, the return he’s offered for fantasy managers in the years since has been underwhelming. Over the last two seasons, Davis has averaged just 10.6 points per game in PPR leagues and has posted a top-24 fantasy week in 34.4 percent of the 32 games he’s played in. Davis’ offseason ADP has made him a cheap receiver to acquire in drafts. However, in traditional start/sit leagues, he’ll be best left for the bench, as his breakout weeks could be few and far between this season.

Rookie Brian Thomas Jr. will immediately push Davis for targets in the field-stretcher role. Thomas, a 6-foot-3, 209-pound speedster who blazed a 4.33 40-time at the NFL Scouting Combine, broke out for 68 catches for 1,177 yards and 17 touchdowns in his final season at LSU. Amongst quarterbacks who attempted at least 200 passes last season, Lawrence ranked third in total deep ball attempts (75) and sixth in deep ball rate (13.3 percent). The additions of Thomas and Davis should serve as clear signs that the Jaguars hope to improve on a deep game that tied for the league lead with 11 touchdowns on deep attempts last season.

While the Jaguars worked to revamp their receiving corps, they did return tight end Evan Engram for a third season. Engram emerged to finish as the TE4 in fantasy points per game (13.9) last season while ranking first in targets (143) and receptions (114). While Engram had the best fantasy season of his career in 2023, he did so thanks to short targets and creating after the catch. Amongst 24 tight ends who saw 50 or more targets, Engram’s 5.0 ADOT ranked 22nd in the group, while his 528 yards after the catch were second only to David Njoku. Engram has gone on record saying he hopes to earn more targets downfield in 2024, which could create more scoring opportunities for him should that come to fruition. Engram has high-end TE1 upside heading into this season, but it’s possible we saw his ceiling after his 114-963-4 campaign last year. He’s a good option if the elite TEs are off the board (Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, Sam LaPorta, Trey McBride), but he’ll need more than four touchdowns if he’s to outperform his ADP this season.

Running Game

RB: Travis Etienne, Tank Bigsby, D’Ernest Johnson, Keilan Robinson
OL (L-R): Cam Robinson, Ezra Cleveland, Mitch Morse, Brandon Scherff, Anton Harrison

There weren’t many touches going around in the Jaguars’ backfield last season. Fresh off a 2022 campaign in which he totaled 1,441 yards from scrimmage on 255 touches, Travis Etienne totaled 1,484 yards on 325 touches last season and had a 32 percent opportunity shared, which tied for eighth-highest amongst running backs. Tank Bigsby and D’Ernest Johnson tied with 51 touches last season, the second-most amongst Jaguars running backs.

Etienne’s efficiency took a massive hit last season. He averaged just 4.6 yards per touch after averaging 5.7 YPT in 2022 and a meager 3.8 YPC on the ground. Despite this, his overall volume and contributions in the passing game (58-476-1) led him to an RB7 finish in fantasy points per game (16.6).

The good news for Etienne and his fantasy managers is that the Jaguars’ backfield remains virtually unchanged heading into 2024. Tank Bigsby and D’Ernest Johnson are expected to battle it out in camp for the backup running back job, while rookie fifth-round Keilan Robinson looks to carve out his own role in his first season.

Jacksonville also returns several key starters along an offensive line that ranked 31st in PFF run blocking (40.6) and 32nd in yards before contact per attempt (0.79). Etienne’s presumed volume should keep his fantasy value high, but an underwhelming line is at risk of limiting his fantasy ceiling unless they show drastic improvements from last season.

Win Total

The Jaguars’ offense ranked 13th in points per game last season and 17th in points allowed (21.8/gm). They also tied for the eighth-most turnovers forced with 27. In what was truly a tale of two seasons for the team in 2023, the Jaguars looked to be on the cusp of double-digit wins before imploding over the final six weeks. Currently sitting on an over/under of 8.5 wins on DraftKings this season, it feels like they’ll again be flirting with a double-digit win season. Unfortunately, the rise we saw from the Colts and Texans last season could make for some tough sledding for Trevor Lawrence and company this season. The Colts also have the seventh-easiest strength of schedule per Sharp Football Analysis, with the Jaguars ranking 14th — ahead of both the Texans (26th) and Titans (27th). In addition to drafting Brian Thomas Jr., the Jaguars used two top-100 picks to bolster the defense, but whether or not those pay immediate dividends is to be determined. After going 9-8 each of the last two seasons, the Jaguars could be on the short end of this win total with two other playoff contenders on the rise.

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