Summer Sleeper: Jacksonville Jaguars

Ty Miller


With fantasy season right around the corner, we’re continuing our annual series focusing on a few sleepers from all 32 teams in the NFL. You can find all of the Summer Sleeper articles here.

These sleepers all have varying levels of “sleeperness,” but all merit a little more talking about here in the Premium Content section. Some of these players are deep dynasty sleepers who could merit a spot on your bench in a deep league, while others are players who may contribute a little faster than the deep prospects, but deserve more attention than they may be getting. By definition, a sleeper could mean something a little different to everyone, but we’re simply doing the best job we can to unearth one player from each team who fits the category in some way, shape or form.

We’ll never insult you with a comprehensive list of “sleepers” which include such such dynasty mainstay names as Toby Gerhart, Christine Michael or Cordarrelle Patterson. You’re all too good for that.

While many of these players will undoubtedly fizzle, there’s more value in looking more closely at these deeper prospects and players. We invite you to keep an open mind and either or re-assess your value on those who may be rostered in your league or consider adding a few of these deeper prospects we focus on this Summer who are free agents in your league – after all, some are destined to pan out, too.

Feel free to add your own comments about our choice for the designated sleeper, or nominate one of your own!

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Jordan Todman, RB

Training camps are in full swing and an influx of fantasy articles are being distributed everywhere you look.  Fantasy enthusiasts are burying their heads into magazines, trying to get caught up on the latest news.  We know you, the loyal DLF readers, never stopped studying and evaluating, but you are a special breed.  The months following the NFL Draft have left us thirsting for football, speculating about depth charts and endlessly searching for an edge that will help us win our fantasy leagues.

In the past couple months, many believed Jacksonville Jaguars running back Storm Johnson to be the backup for Toby Gerhart, but that may have been nothing more than the wishful thinking of dynasty owners and analysts.  There’s no denying Johnson has talent and he very well may be the heir apparent to Gerhart, but in the short term, he is third on the depth chart.  This leaves one relevant running back unmentioned, and that player is none other than Jordan Todman.

You may remember Todman as the hot waiver wire pickup from last season after he received the start in week 15.  That flash of glory was very short-lived, though he had a decent game.  Todman posted 25 carries for 109 yards and 4 receptions on his way to the best statistical game of his professional career.  Unfortunately, for the owners who hustled to acquire him on the wire, that game counted for 32.8% of his total carries in 2013.  For full disclosure, Maurice Jones-Drew was still the starter for nearly every week last season, so there was a low ceiling on Todman’s overall value.

Of course, there is a little known aspect of Todman’s game which offers some sneaky fantasy points.  He is used heavily in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ return game.  In ten games last season, Todman had 26 kickoff return chances.  Though, he never broke loose for a touchdown, he averaged 27.38 Yards per Return, racking up 712 total return yards.  To show how good Todman was in the return game, let’s compare him to a return ace in the form of Trindon Holliday.


This is a seldom known side of Todman most of your league mates may not be aware of.  If you get return yardage points in your league, it’s even more reason to think about taking a flier on him.  Before we just assume he is nothing more than a return specialist with some capabilities at running back, let’s dig back into the current Jacksonville situation.

Toby Gerhart was brought in via free agency to be the workhorse for the Jaguars, but a recent hip flexor injury is holding him out of training camp.  This has the masses excited about Storm Johnson, but unfortunately for them, they are overlooking Todman being second in command of the Jacksonville backfield.  According to Jags OC Jedd Fisch, Toby Gerhart and Jordan Todman are a “pretty good 1-2 punch.”  ESPN also reports Todman is off to a solid start in camp.  It appears he has a strong hold on the backup duties, although it isn’t set in stone. The first couple preseason games will give us a much better barometer on what’s to come from this backfield, but as it stands, Todman holds the cards.

While he wasn’t much more than average last season, was that due to the offensive line woes or was it due to a lack of talent?  It should go noticed that no one broke 3.7 YPC (yards per carry) last season for the Jaguars.  Well, Justin Forsett did, but that was on six attempts.  Anyway, that either says the Jaguars either have some putrid football players, or the offensive line was subpar.  I’ll side with the latter since five players that ran at least nine times, never achieved a 3.7 YPC average or better.  Perhaps a tell-tale on how the Jaguars front office viewed the production from their offensive line is they went out and drafted Brandon Linder to potentially start at Guard and picked Luke Bowanko to compete for the starting Center job.  Possible upgrades along the O-Line and a new wide receiving corps with Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee could help out the run game, substantially.

Jordan Todman should be owned in deeper leagues and especially by Toby Gerhart owners.  With Gerhart expected to get a full workload this season, there’s an increased chance of injury that could offer playing opportunities to his backup.  Todman may be the hottest waiver wire name at some point this season, again.  If you play your cards right, get he and Storm Johnson on your roster, and hope Gerhart has a hiccup.  Fantasy owners do crazy things when desperation sets in.  Todman may be your ticket to a nice future draft pick if you catch an owner in dire straits.  Of course, if you don’t get an attractive offer, throw Todman in your lineup and hope for the best.  Nothing is guaranteed at this point in the game, but with the latest news of Gerhart’s injury surfacing, owners will be nervous and Todman’s name is getting thrown around an awful lot by people who control his playing opportunity.