Every year we give our premium content members a team-by-team, player-by-player look at the NFL season that was. The coverage will be in-depth, but because the Dynasty Capsule series begins immediately after the season, we won’t use it to discuss free agency or the draft. Come see us in early May once Mr. Irrelevant is off the board for another 32-article series giving you the same detailed discussion you’ll see below.
Buckle up dynasty fans, because you’re about to be reminded why our motto is, “There is no off-season.”
Despite being the only quarterback under contract on Jacksonville’s roster, Bortles’ status with the team is up in the air thanks to a hefty pay increase (from approximately $3.2 million in 2017 to $19.053 million in 2018) and $0 in dead money resulting from a fifth-year option exercised last May. Years of inconsistency as an inferior NFL quarterback – compared with his respectability as a fantasy quarterback – may lead the team to move on. That’s even after a strong finish to his season that brought the Jaguars within minutes of the Super Bowl.
Over the last three seasons, Bortles has been the QB4, QB10 and QB13 in fantasy points, respectively. Ironically, the Jaguars’ level of success and Bortles’ performance in fantasy has been an inverse relationship, unsurprisingly related to whether the team is playing from behind (garbage points) or ahead (with a conservative game plan).
While his 2018 team is currently unknown, he will likely be given a starting job somewhere. His fantasy value will be extremely dependent upon that destination. Only 26 at the start of the season, Bortles has several years of game management and/or garbage time ahead of him.
Although he’s currently an unrestricted free agent, the Jaguars seem confident in having Henne as a veteran presence and backup at a reasonable price. He doesn’t hold any fantasy value, barring injuries ahead of him on the depth chart.
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The presence of Fournette and significant improvements on defense redefined the Jaguars as a run-first team. He finished the regular season seventh in per-game fantasy points among running backs, and ninth in overall points – despite missing two games. There are some ongoing injury and durability concerns for Fournette, but January ADP reveals that he’s just outside the first round of startups and holding steady in the 13th spot from December. Having just turned 23 on January 18, we can expect to see him in this value range for a long time to come.
Although he averaged only nine points per game in 2017, Yeldon may have found his niche with the Jaguars after receiving almost as many receiving targets (41) out of the backfield as rushing attempts (49). With Fournette firmly entrenched as the between-the-tackles back, Yeldon showed versatility and reliability for Bortles in the short passing game.
Entering the final year of his rookie contract at a reasonable salary, expect Yeldon to continue his role into 2018. He’ll look to free agency (and likely a new home) next off-season. In the meantime, he may return some (not all) of the value he had entering his rookie season as a bye-week filler with a boost in PPR leagues.
Turning 30 in March, with little production to his name since signing a $32 million contract with Jacksonville two years ago, Ivory is a potential cut candidate this off-season. He’s slated to earn $5.5 million in base salary, though there is still $3 million in dead cap should he find his way off the roster. Each of the next three years, his contract makes it much more palatable for the franchise to cut him. At best, he’ll be in a committee next season. With an influx of running back talent entering the league, Ivory’s days in the NFL may be numbered.
With the exception of a few flashes of talent sporadically throughout the 2017 season, Grant was used sparingly. That was until he came out of nowhere to total 61 yards in the AFC Championship game, including 59 yards on three receptions. He is a restricted free agent, possibly returning as no more than the third running back on the depth chart, but may be worth a stash in deep leagues.
Wilds recently (January 22nd) signed a two-year reserve/future contract with Jacksonville. He received some hype prior to his rookie season with the Jets in 2016, but only saw ten touches that season and none in 2017. He’ll battle for a roster spot in training camp.
Entering the second year of a three year contract, Mathers will be challenging Wilds and other hopefuls for a roster spot.
Bohanon is a good fullback but only John Kuhn-lite in fantasy. He amassed nearly all of his 2017 fantasy points on two one-yard rushing touchdowns against Houston in week 15. Nothing to see here.
While it’s fun to speculate landing spots for unrestricted free agents as talented as Robinson, all signs are pointing to a return to Jacksonville in 2018. Should the two sides not agree to a long-term contract, it is likely that the team will give him the franchise tag. Following a rookie season in which he caught 48 passes for 548 yards and two touchdowns, Robinson averaged 76.5 receptions for 1,142 yards and ten touchdowns prior to suffering an early season-ending ACL injury in 2017.
The year off caused Robinson to fall from late-first round startup value to early-third round, which is a value given his age and talent. This may be a good time to check in with the Robinson owner on a price, given uncertainty about his contract and ACL, before it starts to increase again.
Character concerns caused his draft stock to fall, allowing Jacksonville to sign him to a team-friendly four-year contract. Talent was never a question for Westbrook, who caught 20 passes in his first four games after spending the first ten weeks of his NFL career on injured reserve. With the likely departures of both Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns and the still-possible departure of Allen Robinson, Westbrook is expected to take a big step forward in snaps and targets. A relatively quiet end to the season, including in the playoffs, may make him an affordable dynasty buy as an eighth-round startup pick.
Drafted by the Jaguars before Robinson in the 2014 draft, injuries and inconsistency delayed Lee’s production and put him on the backburner on dynasty rosters after being a late-first round rookie pick. Although he improved from WR43 in 2016 to WR37 in PPR scoring in 2017, this happened despite a decrease in receptions (63 to 56) and receiving yards (851 to 702). Even with Robinson out for the year, Lee was unable to post even top-36 fantasy points at WR and was bypassed for targets by rookies.
Entering unrestricted free agency, Jacksonville will likely let him walk. Though he could provide a high floor the ceiling is as a low-end WR3 in 12-team leagues, which is just about in line with his eighth-round value.
Taken nearly two full rounds after Lee in January ADP, Cole should maintain a role as a starter on the Jaguars in three-WR sets. After signing as an undrafted free agent rookie, Cole caught 42 passes for 748 yards and three touchdowns as he showed the ability to stretch the field. His dynasty arrow is pointing up and he’s well worth the 11th round value.
Initially expected to serve as nothing more than Bortles’ security blanket, Hurns proceeded to catch 115 passes for over 1,700 yards and 16 touchdowns in his first two seasons. He cashed in at the right time as Jacksonville gave him a sizable contract extension prior to the 2016 season, and he has only combined for 74 receptions for 961 yards and five touchdowns combined in the last two seasons.
With $0 in dead cap on his nice $6.9 million 2018 contract, Hurns is all but guaranteed to be shown the door along with Lee. He should have a similar high floor with a low ceiling elsewhere, though may return a better dynasty value in the 14th round.
Yes, THAT Arrelious Benn (as if it’s possible there were two). Tampa Bay drafted Benn in the second round all the way back in 2010, and he remains in the NFL despite only ten receptions since 2011. Most of his value is limited to special teams, and he has no place on a dynasty roster.
A fifth-round pick, Greene is entering the final year of his rookie contract. He received some hype in his rookie season and was a popular end-of-bench stash, but he regressed in 2016 and spent 2017 on injured reserve. He has no dynasty value until he proves he’s healthy and can carve out a role, likely outside of Jacksonville.
As one of Houston’s day two picks in 2015, Strong was often being selected in the second round of rookie drafts that year (even sneaking into the end of the first in some). Two seasons and only 28 receptions later, he landed at the bottom of Jacksonville’s depth chart. If he had any chance of carving out a role, it would have been in this young and injury-plagued WR corps. Between his inability to get on the field and tearing his ACL in December, the future is looking very bleak for the restricted free agent.
Formerly on the Colts’ practice squad, Smith signed a two-year reserve/future contract with the Jaguars in January 2018. He’s off the fantasy radar for now.
Jaydon Mickens and Shane Wynn
These WRs are grouped together as they share two things in common. First, they are both Exclusive Rights Free Agents (the team only needs to offer them a minimum contract and they are signed). Second, they have no dynasty value.
A career streaming tight end, the career Jaguar could find himself looking for work shortly. Lewis will be 34 this year, and though still an excellent blocker could be deemed expendable given a $3.5 million base salary with $0 in dead cap. Regardless of his destination, he’ll catch a pass or two each game and occasionally fall into the end zone, but he’s only a desperation bye-week filler at this point in his career (as his end-of-the-23rd round value reflects).
Another Exclusive Rights Free Agent, expect Koyak to return and continue to provide no fantasy value.
O’Shaughnessy has bounced from Kansas City to New England to Jacksonville, where he finally showed some of the offensive skill that prompted Kansas City to draft him in the fifth round in 2015. Although he has $0 dead money in 2018 on an expiring contract, he comes at a reasonable price and could complement Koyak well if Lewis leaves. That said, competition will also be brought in via the draft and/or free agency, so temper expectations.
Better known for having a famous sister than his talent on the gridiron, Rivera is a likely cut candidate and is not long for the NFL.
Originally signed as a rookie free-agent by Green Bay after the 2016 draft, Grinnage signed a two-year reserve/future contract with Jacksonville in January 2018. He has the size for the position but offers little else to an NFL team, much less your fantasy roster.