Coming into the year, the Jacksonville Jaguars were seen as the favorites to win the AFC South. A franchise-leading quarterback, weapons all over the offense, and some lower competition in the division set the team up for success this season.
But the Jaguars are 1-2 entering their Week 4 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons in London. To get back in the win column, will the team rely on Trevor Lawrence and his receivers on Sunday? Which receiver should you be looking to start on your fantasy football teams — Calvin Ridley or Christian Kirk?
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Calvin Ridley Fantasy Outlook This Week
Ridley’s return to an NFL field in Week 1 was exciting for Jaguars fans. In his first game with the team, Ridley brought in eight catches on 11 targets for 101 yards and a touchdown. He was quickly one of the most sought-after players in fantasy trades between Weeks 1 and 2.
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But the last two weeks have slowed a bit for Ridley. While Ridley has still been targeted 15 times, he had only five catches for 72 yards in the two-game stretch.
While Ridley’s totals have dipped a bit, he still leads the Jaguars in targets this year. Lawrence has been looking his way since the season began and has formed a good connection with the veteran. It seems likely that this will continue as we move into Week 4.
The Falcons have been around league average against wide receivers this year, so this is not a horrible matchup. But the key will be Ridley bringing in a few more of his targets. Catching only about half of the balls thrown his way this year, we will want to see that boosted a bit on Sunday for some fantasy success.
Christian Kirk Fantasy Outlook This Week
Kirk is the exact flip of Ridley’s year. In Week 1, Kirk had one catch for nine yards to start off his 2023. But in Week 2, he totaled 11 catches and 110 yards receiving, and in Week 3, he had 54 receiving yards and a touchdown.
The last two weeks, Kirk has been the correct start between him and Ridley. But will this continue in Week 4? It is really hard to say. The start of the year was all Ridley, but Kirk has actually had five more targets than him in the last two weeks.
What is extra crazy is the even distribution of the yards that this team has totaled. Kirk, Ridley, and tight end Evan Engram have all tallied exactly 173 receiving yards on the year so far.
— Tim Martens (@timbmartens) September 29, 2023
With even distribution between all three, it is hard to say who is set for a better Sunday. But I have confidence that Kirk will have another solid game in Week 4.
Which of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ WRs Should You Start?
Ridley and Kirk have both found success this year. They have had big games, while also having weeks you wished you hadn’t played them at all. Last week, Ridley was in on 82% of Jaguars snaps; Kirk was in on 86%. How do we differentiate and pick just one receiver this week?
One divider that stuck out to me in the splits was when each of these receivers see targets. Kirk has seen a big majority of his looks when the Jaguars have 10-plus yards to go, with 15 of his 23 targets in these situations. Ridley is more balanced with 12 targets on 10-plus yards to go plays and 14 targets with under 10 yards needed for a first down.
And while this would seem to say Kirk is getting the deeper looks, Ridley actually has a bigger average depth of target at 10.8 to Kirk’s 7.9. Ridley is getting a more balanced workload and has been seeing the deeper plays headed his way. This gives a slight edge to Ridley for me.
Ridley simply feels like the safer option this week. Being a little more risk-averse when starting my lineups, I would put Ridley in over Kirk — his floor is just a bit higher. While Kirk has had more successful weeks lately, I think Lawrence will continue to target Ridley in this offense. And only one of these players had an almost unusable week for fantasy, with Kirk’s low Week 1 output.
With Kirk having a higher probability of a bust week, I will take the safer bet with Ridley.