by Andrew Teuscher
Trevor Lawrence: The golden boy prospect out of Clemson completely disappointed last season as a rookie. It is difficult to know how much of this failure should be actually be attributed to Lwarence, however. The number one overall pick was obviously not only drafted to the worst team, but he was also drafted by the most incompetent and toxic head coach possibly in NFL history. Heading into the 2022 season things look a bit brighter now that Doug Pederson is taking the reigns. Pederson runs a RPO, west coast offense that likes to throw the football. His offenses in Philadelphia ranked in the top half in pass attempts in the league every season. He helped Carson Wentz briefly become an MVP favorite. Pederson is going to try and make this offense as simple and easy as possible for Lawrence with lots of participation from the RB and TE position. The Jaguars actually went out and spent at the WR position as well. So, Lawrence should be in a much better situation this year to bounce back from what was truly a dreadful season by the entire organization. QBs typically make a leap in their second year and he looks like a prime candidate to do so. Look for Lawrence to improve as he learns a new offense and new weapons. He still cannot be drafted as more than a low-end QB2 until we begin to see improvements.
Travis Etienne: Travis Etienne is looking poised to have nice season in 2022 after missing all of his rookie year with a foot injury. The back out of Clemson was taken in the first round, which means not only is he extremely talented but that he will also be used by the Jags in order to justify the pick. Urban Meyers is gone, but the GM who drafted him is still there. Etienne had incredible production in college doing it on the ground and catching passes from Trevor Lawrence who is now his professional teammate as well. Etienne has size, speed, and production. The only thing that was in his way was competition. Now that James Robinson tore his achilles in week 16, there will be no competition for Etienne. Robinson’s torn achilles will keep him out at least until training camp (if he’s lucky to return that early) and even upon return he will be a shell of himself. Travis Etienne is a super talented runningback who is walking into a nice workload. The Jags new coach, Doug Pederson, helped Miles Sanders catch fantasy managers eyes posting back-to-back RB2 seasons with at least 52 targets. Eitenne is a better back than Sanders. Etienne is a mid-RB2 who has the opportunity to sneak into RB1 territory.
James Robinson: Robinson was a waiver-wire fantasy hero who came into 2021 with hopes of repeating his success again after Etienne suffered a season ending injury. Robinson finished the season as the RB25 as the lead back, but most unfortunately he suffered a torn achilles in week 16. Head Coach Doug Pederson has seemed optimistic about Robinson’s recovery and hopes to have him back in training camp. The issue is that the effects of achilles tears continue to plague runninbacks even after they return to action. This was the case for recent examples like Cam Akers and Marlon Mack. Both backs came back after their injuries and did not look anything like their former selves. So not only will Robinson be battling this, but he will also have to split reps with the former first round pick Travis Etienne. Things look bleak for the former undrafted breakout star heading into 2022.
Christian Kirk: Christian Kirk is finding himself in a new spot coming into 2022 after getting a huge bag in free agency. The former Arizona Cardinal had good college production in the SEC but came into the NFL where he was constantly battling for target share or bad QB play. In his fourth season with the Cardinals he finally established himself as the top option behind the target hog Deandre Hopkins and was the WR26 in 2021. This coming season Kirk is the assumed number one option in the Jacksonville passing game. The other competition he has is an old Marvin Jones, Zay Jones, and Laviska Shenault. Kirk will finally have the chance to be a true number one receiver in an offense especially after seeing the investment the Jags gave him. In order for him to have success this year he will be relying on the second year breakout of his QB Trevor Lawarence. New head coach Doub Pederson should make 2022 better than 2021 at least. Kirk has shown the ability to line up anywhere as a WR and 2022 will show if he can actually be an alpha target hog. He is a fine WR3 coming into next season.
Marvin Jones: Marvin Jones is entering the 11th season of his long and productive career. He was the Jaguars top option last season and was one of the few usable options in a terrible offense. The 32 year-old will have some new target competition in town in 2022 ater the team signed Christian Kirk and Zay Jones. This is a big issue because a lot of Jones’s production came from his volume. Additionally, Doug Pederson offenses typically like to share the ball with the RBs and TEs in the passing game. Jones could continue to assert himself as the most talented option but the team has committed a lot to the position in the offseason and father time is not on Marvin’s side. Jones should likely be left off of draft boards in 2022.
Laviska Shenault: Shenault was a big sleeper for many coming into 2021 but was a massive disappointment. The former second round pick excited some in his rookie season but he took a step back in 2022. This could be in part because of the terrible situation all of the Jaguars were in, but he was unable to establish even though he had every opportunity to do so. Shenault will have far more target competition this year than he did last year. There is a chance that the third year WR develops in 2022 with a new coaching regime in town but it seems unlikely due to the investment the team made at the WR position in the offseason. Leave Shenault to the waiver wire to start 2022.
Evan Engram: If you’re a believer in punting the TE position and instead look for TE sleepers, Evan Engram is an option for you. Engram is one of the most athletic tight ends in the NFL and has some seasons of fantasy production. 2021 was a down season for the speedy TE but he does have two top 12 finishes under his belt including his rookie season where he was the TE5. What really makes Engram interesting is that he is now on a one year prove it deal where he’ll play in an offense run by Doug Pederson. All you need to know about Pederson is that he loves two TE sets and has helped Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert have fantasy success. The Jags have a very ominous receiving situation so he should have the opportunity to seize some target share. Engram is a mid-TE2 option with a chance to finish as a top 12 TE if he and the Jags offense can improve under Doug Pederson.
Andrew Teuscher is a fantasy-football enthusiast and certified fantasy try hard.