Heading into their Week 3 matchup against the Miami Dolphins in Thursday Night Football, the Jacksonville Jaguars want to keep the momentum they have built up to this point. However, injuries could derail their aspirations, but it does present an exciting fantasy football opportunity to find a value that generally could be lost on a team’s depth chart. Do the Jacksonville Jaguars have enough talent on the depth chart to succeed even if they are missing a key player in Week 3?
Jaguars RB and WR depth chart, who will make plays?
James Robinson – RB
When looking at the skill positions, we have to begin with one of the surprises of 2020 in running back James Robinson. Stepping into the hole vacated by Leonard Fournette, Robinson went from someone who was off the fantasy radar to firmly inside the top 24 at the position.
His hot start continued in Week 2 when Robinson rushed 16 times for 102 yards and a touchdown, while also catching three passes for 18 more yards. Going against a vulnerable Dolphins defense, Robinson should see ample opportunities.
Chris Thompson – RB
If Chris Thompson is going to see work, it will have to be through the passing game. On the season, Thompson has caught five of his six targets for 20 yards and one touchdown.
Heading into Week 3, Thompson appears to have become an afterthought in the Jaguars’ offense and should be avoided in fantasy. Even if the offense is missing a significant piece due to injury, I don’t think those extra targets will come Thompson’s way.
D.J. Chark – WR
It is now official, the Jacksonville Jaguars will be out star wide receiver D.J. Chark in what was a fantastic opportunity for fantasy.
Chark, coming off the heels of a four catch 84-yard performance in Week 2, would have faced off against a Miami defense that is 26th-worst against the pass. Now that he has been ruled out, who is going to step up in his place?
Keelan Cole – WR
Now that Chark has been officially ruled out, Keelan Cole is set to benefit the most. Cole has been going under the radar this season, and I think he gets everyone’s attention on primetime. Did you know that Cole has caught a touchdown in each game so far? Targeted 13 times, Cole has caught 11 of those passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns.
I expect Minshew to target Cole close to double-digit times against a Miami defense that is missing Byron Jones. He is a low-end WR2/flex play in PPR fantasy leagues.
Laviska Shenault – WR/RB
Laviska Shenault has continued to be utilized all over the formation the first two weeks, but it hasn’t turned into reliable fantasy production just yet. So far, Shenault has seen seven carries for 47 yards along with six receptions on eight targets for 72 yards and a touchdown.
Shenault gives offensive coordinator Jay Gruden a weapon that can be utilized all over the field. He can be a mismatch when schemed properly. As we mentioned earlier about the Dolphins passing defense, we can reference the rushing ranks as Shenault will face. Amazingly, they are even worse. The Dolphins are the fourth-worst at stopping the rush. No matter what Shenault will be asked to do, he is getting a plus matchup on Thursday.
Jaguars TE and QB depth chart, is Gardner Minshew’s play sustainable?
Tyler Eifert & James O’Shaughnessy – TE
I bring up both players together because when both are healthy, they take away the others upside. While Tyler Eifert scored the touchdown last week, James O’Shaughnessy took away his upside. The Jaguars’ offense is not built around the tight end, so unless one player is capitalizing on all of the targets, the rest will suffer. I can’t recommend playing either in fantasy this week and are best left on the waiver wire.
Gardner Minshew – QB
Gardner Minshew has done nothing but blow past expectations so far this season. Originally slated with the worst projected win total in Las Vegas, Minshew has led the Jaguars to a 1-1 start on the season. While people thought they were looking to a Trevor Lawrence filled future, the mustached wonder has other ideas.
As for the question if Minshew can sustain this pace against the Dolphins. Absolutely he can, and I fully expect him to put up high-end QB2 numbers by the time it is said and done.
Minshew completed 30-of-45 passes for 339 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions in Week 2. He has now thrown for six touchdown passes and 512 passing yards over the first two weeks of the season. Minshew faces a defense that was just exploited by Josh Allen, and I am all in on Minshew this week. He is one of my favorite fantasy streaming options.
Do the Jaguars have a deep enough depth chart with D.J. Chark inactive?
While we, and the organization, all want to see Chark in this matchup, they have to get this win without him. While young, the Jaguars have a defense that is growing in confidence that is led by several rookies that are seeing meaningful snaps.
Cornerback C.J. Henderson, defensive end K’Lavon Chaisson, and defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton will be able to force Ryan Fitzpatrick into at least one interception. Because of this, I don’t think they need to have Chark on the field to succeed.
Players like Robinson, Shenault, and Cole will step up on offense to fill the missing production. I think all of them are in consideration to be started in deeper leagues or flex positions in PPR fantasy formats. While the Jaguars don’t have the deepest depth chart, they have just enough for a matchup against the Dolphins on Thursday night.
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