Jaguars fantasy breakdown: Week 5

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Looking for some help with your fantasy football lineup? Every Friday I'll give you my opinions on which Jacksonville Jaguars players to play and sit, as well as which of the opposing players might be a good play against the Jags. For more fantasy football advice, check out ESPN.com's fantasy football page.


Quarterback Blaine Gabbert: He has been sacked 10 times and has thrown five interceptions in his two starts. He is getting his top target back, but he’s got a rookie left tackle going up against Rams defensive end Robert Quinn, who already has 5.0 sacks. Verdict: Sit him.

Running back Maurice Jones-Drew: This matchup should be a good chance for the Jaguars’ struggling run game (49.0 yards per game) to finally get going. The Rams give up 133.5 yards per game on the ground. But what kind of impact will the move of Luke Joeckel to left tackle and the insertion of Austin Pasztor at right tackle have? Verdict: If you’re willing to gamble, play Jones-Drew. If there’s a week in the first half of the season for him to get going it’s this one.

Wide receiver Justin Blackmon: He’s back after his four-game suspension and all reports are that he has looked great in practice. He’s gained eight pounds coach Gus Bradley said and his conditioning is great. He’s going to get a lot of targets, too. Verdict: Start him as your No. 2 or 3 receiver. He should have an immediate impact on the offense.

Wide receiver Cecil Shorts: He has been battling a groin injury this week but is expected to play. He’ll be the biggest beneficiary of Blackmon’s return because defenses will not be focused solely on stopping him. Verdict: The groin injury is a concern, so only play him if you need a flex.

Tight end Marcedes Lewis: He’s out (again).

Kicker Josh Scobee: He’s still perfect this season and last week kicked a 53-yarder. It’s hard to play him, though, because the offense is still struggling so much. Verdict: Sit him.

Defense/special teams: Blackmon’s return means Ace Sanders won’t have to play as many snaps at receiver so he’ll be fresher to handle punt returns. The Rams are the only team in the NFL running the ball worse than the Jaguars, but Sam Bradford is averaging more than 250 yards per game passing and he’s thrown for seven touchdowns in four games. The Jaguars have given up nine touchdown passes this season. Verdict: Sit them.


Quarterback Sam Bradford: He has to be excited about facing a secondary with two rookie safeties, especially with the matchup issues that tight end Jared Cook creates. Could be a big game for Bradford. Verdict: Start him.

Running back Daryl Richardson: He tweeted earlier this week that he wasn’t starting. Coach Jeff Fisher said that hadn’t been determined yet. It doesn’t really matter if Richardson, Isaiah Pead or Benny Cunningham starts. The Rams are averaging an NFL-worst 47.3 rushing yards per game. But the Jaguars are last in the NFL in rush defense (165.0 yards per game) and have given up a league-high nine runs of 20-plus yards. Verdict: With the uncertainty of which back will get the most work, it’s best to sit all of them.

Wide receiver Tavon Austin: He’s the Rams’ leading receiver (20 catches) but he’s averaging only 6.2 yards per catch. He should be more of a big-play receiver. Verdict: If you need a flex, play him. He’s just not putting up good enough numbers to warrant being a top three receiver.

Wide receiver Austin Pettis: He has 18 catches and is averaging 9.6 yards per catch -- better than Austin but still nothing spectacular. Verdict: See above.

Tight end Jared Cook: The Jaguars have had some issues with covering tight ends and he’s a matchup nightmare, especially for linebackers. He’s averaging 14.1 yards per game and has two touchdown receptions. He should have a solid game. Verdict: Start him.

Kicker Greg Zuerlein: He is 6-for-6 on field goal attempts. Always like a kicker who plays home games on turf. Verdict: Play him.

Defense/special teams: The Rams must be excited about the thought of Quinn going up against a rookie tackle and an offensive line that has given up 18 sacks in four games. St. Louis is a big banged up in the secondary but Jaguars quarterbacks have thrown seven interceptions in four games. Verdict: Play them.