Fantasy Diamonds In The Rough In Jacksonville
By Troy Graham
Coming in third to last in total yards gained and total yards allowed as a team, the Jaguars can be seen as an afterthought in this year in fantasy drafts. With offense being the popular route early when leagues start the selection process, the team can expect any picks from their roster to ride the pine with splinters as they would just be lucky to be on anyone’s bench.
In NFL.com’s player rankings, running back Maurice Jones-Drew looks best in the standing at 22nd overall and linebacker Paul Posluszny 3rd in his position group. In all reality though, no one is planning to shock their fantasy leagues by their picking the Jags this year. Anyone saying otherwise would have to be dreaming, or thinking they live in some Chronicles of Narnia fantasy world based off of last year’s credentials.
Nevertheless, there are some players you may want to keep your eye on. Not to say you should risk a draft pick on these guys, but when that midseason point hits this year and the Jaguars go against mediocre defenses in Indianapolis, Tennessee and Cleveland, these could be essential free agent pickups who are not even ranked on the player standings board.
The main one to look out for is Denard ‘Shoelace’ Robinson, for the simple fact he is the only person going into this season listed as “offensive weapon” on an NFL roster. When the Jaguars initially drafted him he was announced to be a wide receiver, but in training camp he will have his head in the books studying with the running backs and quarterbacks along with receivers.
When asked what he could do for the Jacksonville Jaguars on draft day Robinson stated, “I can be a guy that can do whatever they want me to do, come in be a hard worker, be one of the guys that when they come in, they would be ready to work and I will prepare myself to be ready to work.”
General Manager David Caldwell told the media on the team website in the beginning of the mini camp period that they expect Robinson to get anywhere from 10-15 snaps as rookie in passing, rushing and receiving situations combined. In an essence he could be the holy trinity with passing, receiving and rushing touchdown in one game, it could be a mouth watering opportunity for fantasy owners looking for a boost outside of the norm.
A new edition to this years’ Jags roster you can put on this list in addition to Robinson, is wide receiver Ace Sanders. A wide out and return specialist from South Carolina, the team plans on utilizing him the similar to how the university did. Meaning, he could be a hat trick guy too; with to opportunity to snag receiving, kick return and punt return touchdowns all in one game with his speed and elusiveness.
“When you watch the game film you see this is a guy is electric, he has some juice, the ability to separate from defenders,” Caldwell said when asked about the fourth round pick. “The video shows he can get by defenders in the SEC and get behind defenders from the SEC.”
A Jags’ fan can only imagine and dream for these guys to bring their real team into the elite status or even their fantasy team a championship this season but it is more likely to come to life in fantasy statistically, as Sanders and Robinson both have the prominent skills to rack up some extraordinary points come midseason.