The Jaguars made the leap from 3-14 to the second round of the playoffs, with both their offense and defense ranking in the top 12. The key now will be to avoid taking a step back, and Trevor Lawrence's continued development will once again be the key there.
Record: 9-8 (11)
PPG: 23.8 (10)
YPG: 357.4 (10)
Pass YPG: 232.9 (10)
Rush YPG: 124.5 (14)
PAPG: 35.1 (10)
RAPG: 26.4 (17)
2022 Fantasy finishes
Number to know: 11
That's how many games Lawrence had last season with fewer than 20 Fantasy points -- 12, if we include his 15.3-point showing against the Chiefs in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Lawrence certainly had his high points, and on the whole was quite good, tying for eighth with nine top-12 finishes. But he wasn't really a consistent difference maker at the position, especially outside of one five-game stretch between Weeks 10 15, when he had 13 of his 25 passing touchdowns. It looked like Lawrence might be making a true leap with that stretch, but he followed it up with multiple passing touchdowns in just one of his final five games -- and that one also saw him throw four interceptions.
Which is all to say that, while I like Lawrence as a Fantasy option, how much I like him ultimately depends on his price. In NFC drafts since June 1, he's ranked eighth in ADP, basically in a dead heat with Justin Fields -- Fields' ADP is 49.55, while Lawrence's is 49.62. I've got Fields in a tier ahead of Lawrence, so I don't love that price; I'm much more likely to pass on him there and just wait for Tua Tagovailoa if I want upside or Dak Prescott if I want safety. He belongs a few rounds behind Fields and the rest of the second tier, in my eyes.
1. (27) Anton Harrison, OL
2. (61) Brenton Strange, TE
3. (88) Tank Bigsby, RB
4. (121) Ventrell Miller, LB
4. (130) Tyler Lacy, DE
5. (136) Yasir Abdullah, LB
5. (160) Antonio Johnson, DB
6. (185) Parker Washington, WR
6. (202) Christian Braswell, DB
6. (208) Erick Hallett, DB
7. (226) Cooper Hodges, OL
7. (227) Raymond Vohasek, DT
7. (240) Derek Parish, DL
81 RB carries, 11 RB targets, 85 WR targets, 21 TE targets
Rankings and projections
Chris Towers' projections
|QB||Trevor Lawrence||PA: 587, YD: 4228, TD: 26, INT: 15; RUSH -- ATT: 67, YD: 302, TD: 4|
|RB||Travis Etienne||CAR: 269, YD: 1208, TD: 10; TAR: 47, REC: 35, YD: 282, TD: 1|
|RB||Tank Bigsby||CAR: 112, YD: 448, TD: 4; TAR: 24, REC: 18, YD: 132, TD: 1|
|WR||Calvin Ridley||TAR: 141, REC: 94, YD: 1133, TD: 7|
|WR||Christian Kirk||TAR: 117, REC: 74, YD: 928, TD: 5|
|WR||Zay Jones||TAR: 106, REC: 73, YD: 770, TD: 5|
|TE||Evan Engram||TAR: 100, REC: 70, YD: 720, TD: 4|
What does the next step look like for Trevor Lawrence?
Lawrence took a big step forward last season, but he didn't quite play like a superstar -- 13 of his 25 passing touchdowns came in one five-game stretch from Week 10 through 15, for example. He'll be adding Calvin Ridley to what was already a pretty solid receiving group, though we haven't seen Ridley play at a high level since 2020, so it's fair to wonder how much of an impact he can make. Lawrence is going to be drafted as a difference maker at QB, and I'm just not sure he's there yet.
One sleeper, one breakout and one bust
Etienne did a lot well last season, but he wasn't great when the Jaguars got near the goal line, scoring three touchdowns on 13 carries from inside the 5-yard line, the second-worst rate of any player with 10 or more touches that close. It's a tiny sample size so we don't want make too much of it, except the Jaguars just spent a third-round pick on a guy who profiles as a powerful short-yardage runner. That doesn't necessarily mean Bigsby is going to have a significant role -- Etienne should open the season as the clear lead back here. However, Bigsby has some value as a handcuff if anything should happen to Etienne, and might even have some standalone value if Etienne struggles in short-yardage situations again. That's the combo you're looking for in a late-round RB target.
It's possible Ridley just isn't the same guy after not playing the past year and a half, and I think that possibility should be baked into his price. For now, it is -- he's WR21 in NFC ADP since July 1, which is a terrific price, and one I'm happy to pay. Because, if Ridley is still the same guy he was in 2020, there's no denying the upside here. He's a tremendous route runner with the skills to make plays with the ball in his hands or, primarily as a downfield receiver. Lawrence has a strong arm and was a productive passer down the field in 2022, and he could be even better with Ridley stretching the field. Could Ridley get to 1,400 yards and double-digit touchdowns in this offense? If you're a believer in Lawrence, then that outcome is well within the realm of possibilities.
As a prospect, Etienne drew a lot of praise for his work in the passing game with Lawrence at Clemson, but he did not look like a particularly natural pass-catcher in his rookie season and never had more than three catches or five targets in a game. That lack of a passing game role, if it sticks, both lowers Etienne's ceiling and narrowed his margin for error to be a must-start Fantasy option. Even after becoming the starter in Week 6, Etienne had as many games with fewer than 10 points in PPR scoring as he had with more than 17 (three). If Bigsby takes on any amount of short-yardage work, Etienne could end up pretty disappointing as a borderline top-12 RB.