Picking up the 25th-highest scoring fantasy QB off waivers is not for the faint of heart. It takes courage to defy statistics-based logic and trust that someone will continue to improve. When it comes to Jaguars franchise QB Trevor Lawrence, there is perhaps no better waiver wire add in deeper fantasy football leagues heading into Week 6.
What has Trevor Lawrence done?
Lawrence’s NFL career started not with a bang, but with a whimper. He amassed 5 touchdowns and a whopping 9 turnovers in his first three games. On the opening drive of Week 4, Jacksonville wideout DJ Chark broke his ankle, reinforcing the perception that Lawrence’s acclimation to the NFL could take longer than expected.
But the rookie’s heralded upside was on display in his last two contests. Lawrence has gotten more involved in the running game (64 yards and 2 rushing scores) while committing only 1 turnover. The recent arrival of tight end Dan Arnold has helped stabilize a passing attack that took an obvious hit when Chark went down.
In addition to starters Laviska Shenault and Marvin Jones, the Jaguars also have the services of 2013 first-rounder Tavon Austin. Additionally, experienced special teamer Jamal Agnew has contributed on offense, including an out-of-nowhere performance of 6 receptions for 41 yards this past Sunday.
Now, every team has pass catchers. Jacksonville’s are not upper-tier or even mid-tier. Austin and Agnew were thrown into the fray in Week 5 by necessity. But Lawrence has shown these past two weeks that he can be relevant on fantasy teams — and that’s a good start.
In Week 4, he racked up 17.8 points, placing him just a hair outside the top-14 QBs. In Week 5, he finished as QB10 with 21.7 points. He’s getting it done despite personnel deficiencies.
Case in point — in Jacksonville’s last game, Shenault and Jones combined for only 2 catches and 83 scoreless receiving yards. If Lawrence can be a QB1 without the services of his two best receivers, that speaks volumes about his rising floor and elevated ceiling.
Should you add Lawrence off the waiver wire?
Three of Jacksonville’s next four games are against bottom-10 pass defenses — the Dolphins, Seahawks, and Colts. The middling 49ers and bottom-five Falcons follow right afterward. There is a clear path for Lawrence to produce consistent top-16 numbers with top-10 upside. If you’ve lost Russell Wilson or Daniel Jones, have given up on Derek Carr, or are nervous about any number of preseason QB1s who haven’t produced consistently, Lawrence is one of the sneakiest waiver adds out there.
Past stats don’t tell the whole story. Draw conclusions based not on what a player has done, but on what they are likely to do. Lawrence should keep getting better as he continues to get more comfortable in his first of many NFL seasons. You’re running out of time to get him on the cheap.