Editor’s Note: Jaguars WR Laviska Shenault was placed on the COVID list on Friday.
Game Overview ::
By HILOW >>
- The Jaguars have somehow avoided COVID altogether this week, with zero players currently on the league’s COVID list; six players did not practice on Wednesday, most notably wide receiver LaViska Shenault, Jr., and Carlos Hyde who is done for the season.
- The Jets list nine players currently on the league’s COVID list, including wide receivers Elijah Moore (transferred from IR) and Jeff Smith, guard Alijah Vera-Tucker, six defensive starters, and head coach Robert Saleh; wide receiver Jamison Crowder, linebacker CJ Mosley, safety Elijah Riley, and defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins did not practice on Wednesday.
- Two teams with moderate situation-neutral paces of play and rush-pass rates that both increase pace of play and pass rates in negative game scripts – this is important to us in our quest for hidden upside.
- 25th and 31st-ranked offenses in drive success rate against 25th and 31st-ranked defenses in drive success rate allowed.
How Jacksonville Will Try To Win ::
It’s almost impossible to tell the exact way the Jaguars will try to win here with so many moving pieces surrounding their team. Here’s what we do know:
- The Jaguars hold a low 55% pass rate with the score within seven points this season (12th-lowest in the league).
- James Robinson is back to being the bellcow of this backfield (84% snap rate last week without Carlos Hyde, in the first game without former head coach Urban Meyer).
- Marvin Jones, Jr. and Laquon Treadwell play almost every snap on the perimeter, while Laviska Shenault, Jr. typically sees about two-thirds of the offensive snaps in a short area, gadget-style role.
- This team is more than willing to almost abandon the run and turn to the air in negative game scripts.
- Interim head coach Darrell Bevell has handed over offensive play-calling duties to Brian Schottenheimer.
- Bevell and Schottenheimer’s offenses were built around dynamic run-blocking in the run game and deep passing through the air.
Since we know the Jaguars have been far more likely to lean on the run in competitive games, we have to approach the rest of this write-up through the lens of individual game flows. Should they stay competitive, or even play with a lead, we have to assume an increased rush rate primarily through James Robinson. The matchup on the ground yields a well above average, and borderline elite 4.47 net-adjusted line yards metric against a Jets defense ceding 36.3 fantasy points per game to opposing backfields, the most in the league by a wide margin (like, six full points per game more than the second-worst team).
Along the same line of thinking, we should expect 40+ pass attempts from Trevor Lawrence should the Jags play from behind. I would also expect a heavier emphasis on the deep passing game than what we saw under Urban Meyer, which would primarily flow through perimeter threats Marvin Jones, Jr. and Laquon Treadwell. James O’Shaughnessy leads the tight end stable in snap rate and is the most well-rounded of the bunch, while Chris Manhertz is primarily a blocking tight end, and Jacob Hollister is primarily utilized in heavy formations. Finally, the six total defensive starters for the Jets is a slight boost to both the run game and the pass game of the Jaguars, in addition to being a slight boost to expected offensive efficiency.
How New York Will Try to win ::
The Jets are really trying to figure out their future as opposed to playing for anything this season, splitting the work across all three major skill positions. Michael Carter and Tevin Coleman have been splitting the backfield work, Jamison Crowder, Keelan Cole, Braxton Berrios, and Denzel Mims have been splitting the work between three wide receiver positions, and Ryan Griffin, Tyler Kroft, and Trevon Wesco have been splitting the work at tight end. Woof. The Jets rank towards the middle of the pack in rush-pass rates with the score within seven points but have been forced into increased aerial aggression quite often this season. They also rank towards the middle of the pack in situation-neutral pace of play, but rank first in the league in pace of play in the second half, indicating a team that is fighting through the end of the game even if the score is out of reach.
The backfield is somewhat predictable with Michael Carter and Tevin Coleman both healthy. Expect a near even backfield split between the two, with Carter carrying additional pass game upside. The matchup on the ground yields a below-average 4.205 net-adjusted line yards metric against a Jacksonville defense allowing 23.5 fantasy points per game to opposing backfields. Not a ton to love here.
The pass game is also fairly straightforward, with four wide receivers splitting time amongst three spots and three tight ends rotating through depending on the package. Jamison Crowder and Keelan Cole play the most snaps on offense, but neither approaches near every-down utilization, typically playing sub-80% of the offensive snaps in a given week. Braxton Berrios and Denzel Mims rotate through in modest roles and would require outlier efficiency to matter. Again, not an overwhelming spot.
Likeliest Game flow ::
Another game with extremely wide ranges of potential outcomes as far as game flow and game environment go. With the big picture in mind, we know that both of these teams land near the middle of the league in situation-neutral pace of play and pass rates with the score within seven points, but both teams also up those values when trailing. This provides us with a solid game environment for some hidden upside, particularly considering the heavy injuries and COVID issues throughout New York’s roster. Although not necessarily the likeliest outcomes from a real-world football perspective, the likeliest path to fantasy goodness for DFS comes via a game environment that the Jaguars can control. In this scenario, expect James Robinson to be utilized heavily in the best matchup he’ll have seen all season, while Jamison Crowder and Keelan Cole have a viable path to increased volume and expected production. I would likely leave this game alone altogether for all other potential game environments.