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NFL Matchups: Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver Broncos Fantasy Football Preview

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This a snippet of Adam Pfeifer’s NFL matchups column, previewing the Jaguars vs. the Broncos for Fantasy Football Lineups. Fantasy rosters needed protective spray because players were bit hard by the injury bug in Week 3. Multiple backup quarterbacks made starts, and running backs and wide receivers all suffered injuries this past weekend, with a handful of key offensive linemen also going down. As a result, we missed on plenty in this article, but we hit on plenty, as well. Back on the horse. With that in mind, let’s dig into some NFL matchups and NFL game breakdowns for your Week 4 Fantasy Football Lineups. Will Leonard Fournette break out?

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Jacksonville Jaguars @ Denver Broncos 

Total: 38.5

Line: DEN -3

Jaguars passing game 

Gardner Minshew continues to give this Jacksonville offense a spark. He has been surprisingly accurate while adding some potential with his legs, running 10 times for 74 yards over the last two weeks. Minshew is taking more shots down the field than Nick Foles would, presenting him with legitimate fantasy appeal. I still don’t think you need to use him against a Denver defense that has allowed just two touchdown passes through three weeks. It is absolutely shocking that the Broncos have yet to record a sack this season, but it has to be coming. Minshew has been fun but is nothing more than a two-quarterback option this weekend.

If you ask me, D.J. Chark is Jacksonville’s new number-one receiver. He has scored in all three games this season, while seeing a healthy 14 targets over the last two weeks. Chark and Minshew have developed a nice rapport lately and he remains the big play threat in this offense, handling 40 percent of the team’s air yards, the 12th-highest mark among all wideouts. Chark is also averaging 3.68 yards per pass route (seventh) and 15.4 yards per target (third), so the big play potential is clearly there. Unfortunately, he is going to line up against veteran cornerback Chris Harris Jr., who is not playing in the slot this year. That doesn’t mean you have to totally get away from him, but Chark’s upside is definitely capped in this spot.

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Dede Westbrook saw a healthy nine targets last week but only had five catches, as he had some issues with drops. His looks aren’t from very far out, as Westbrook’s aDOT of 5.89 is the eighth lowest in football. There is very little upside with Westbrook and for whatever reason, he is $5,500 on DK, which is way too high of a price tag.

Jaguars running game 

If it weren’t for a 69-yard run in the fourth quarter last week, Leonard Fournette would have finished that game with negative rushing yards. Yikes. He had nowhere to go the second the ball touched his hands but he also looked incredibly slow in this game. Jags beat reporter Phillip Heilman pointed out on Twitter that 151 of Fournette’s 179 rushing yards have come after first contact this season, so it definitely hasn’t been totally is fault. However, Fournette has been an absolute workhorse, playing 86, 97 and 100 percent of the snaps so far this season.

He has also been used more as a pass-catcher, currently ranking fourth in the league in routes run (84), 15 less than the 99 (math is fun) than he ran all of last season. His 20 targets rank fifth at the position, which means that Fournette is finally game script-proof. The Broncos have allowed five rushing touchdowns this season, though they all came from three yards out or less. Still, Fournette is getting all of those looks from the goal line. He remains a top-15 running back and an intriguing GPP target at just $6,000 on DK.

Broncos passing game 

Do you want to play Joe Flacco in a game with a 50-point total? No? Then why would you play him in a game with a 38-point total? Flacco isn’t taking any shots down the field, as his 6.2 aDOT is the fourth-lowest in football. Jacksonville’s defense has been closer to that 2017 form this season and even with Jalen Ramsey away from the team, there is simply no reason to deploy Flacco this week.

Emmanuel Sanders let a lot of people down last week, catching just two passes for 10 yards. The Packers used emerging cornerback Jaire Alexander to shadow Sanders on nearly 70 percent of his routes. Still, Sanders has a respectable 22 percent target share, while his four end zone targets are tied for the league-lead. Ramsey being out certainly helps but this is a Jaguars pass defense that has only allowed passing touchdowns to Patrick Mahomes this year. Sanders is a low-end WR3 this weekend for me, while Courtland Sutton is a deep league PPR FLEX. His catch rate, air yards and yards per route run are all up in year number two.

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Broncos running game 

I definitely missed on this backfield last week, as I had Phillip Lindsay as an easy avoid. He got it done, however, scoring two touchdowns, while touching the football 25 times. The Broncos continued to establish the run. They called run 52 percent of the time in a game they were trailing throughout, while Royce Freeman was on and off the field with a shoulder issue. That led to the 25 touches for Lindsay, a number that is sure to go down. Freeman still touched the ball 19 times, despite playing less than half of the snaps. It is interesting that Lindsay, the smaller back, has handled 83.3 percent of Denver’s rushing attempts from inside the five-yard line this season, which is one of the highest rates in the league. Because the Broncos are so run-heavy and this game doesn’t scream point-chasing, both backs are viable FLEX options.

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