Sophie Seconds (James Robinson & Laviska) - The Fantasy RB1 Being Left For Dead

Sophie Seconds (James Robinson & Laviska) - The Fantasy RB1 Being Left For Dead

We've got an all Jags episode on tap for you today.

We've got a lot to break down here, there's arguably no team with a bigger glow up then the Jags this off-season. Changes we've seen:

  • Drafted Trevor Lawrence, so new QB
  • Drafted Travis Etienne, so new RB
  • Signed Marvin Jones, so new WR
  • Signed Tim Tebow, so new TE
  • Urban Meyer is now the head coach
  • Darrell Bevell is now the OC
  • Brian Schottenheimer is their new passing-game coordinator

Interestingly enough, Darrell Bevell was the Seahawks OC from 2011-2017, Schottenheimer the Seahawks OC from 2018-2020.

"10 of Bevell's 14 offenses have ranked among the top half of the league in rush attempts. Only 4 of them have finished top-16 in pass attempts. Between Bevell and Urban Meyer, #Jaguars looking like a run-leaning offense."

 

 

James Robinson

Current ADP: RB29, 84 Overall

  • Coming off of a historic rookie year, as an UDFA
  • Played in just 14 games and went over 1400 YFS
    • 240-1070-7-4.5 || 60-49-344-3 || RB7 in fantasy
    • 21.1 opps/game
    • 85%+ of all RB opportunities in the games he played. Single highest rate in the NFL.
    • Now that number is going to nosedive, because they added two players: 
  • The obvious being Travis Etienne 
  • Going to take a lot of the pass-catching work
  • And something I likely overlooked was the type of offense that Urban Meyer wants to bring and that Lawrence and Etienne ran together in college, the RPO. I listened to Urban Meyer talk about how important it is to have chemistry bw the running back and QB in this system, which would make a ton of sense as to the draft pick of Etienne to pair with Lawrence. 
    • Clemson averaged 6.7 yards per read-option run play over the last three seasons, the fourth-highest mark among Power 5 offenses. They also posted a top-10 mark in the Power 5 on designed quarterback runs (6.3 yards per play) and RPOs (6.7 yards per play).
  • 1st round capital - on avg 14.7 opps/game as a rookie, in the 2nd half of round = like 11.7 opps/game as a rookie
  • They also added Carlos Hyde, and that doesn't really matter but they literally didn't have another back to give Robinson a breather with last year on early downs. They have that now with Hyde. And maybe Hyde takes 5-8% of the opps, but that still matters. 
  • I think Robinson should still see GL work, but Lawrence adds mobile threat on the GL (17 rushing TDs over last two years at Clemson)
  • I really wouldn't be surprised if Robinson leads the backfield in snaps, and touches again in 2021. Neither would the JAX beat reporters:
  • But are they going to be valuable touches?
  • IF he gets the GL work it could be valuable.. but Robinson and this was kind of wild to me, had 5 GL carries in total last year (per PFR). That did account for 71.4%, only Dare had 1 and Minshew had 1, but still a gross number. Todd Gurley had more than 3x as many, Kenyan Drake had more than 4x as many.
  • Maybe you wipe all that away and say the offense is better, so more opps and they're his.
  • But the pass-catching work is basically gone. And that kills a fantasy running backs ceiling.
  • You take away anywhere from 10-15 touches/game from Robinson and like half his pass-catching work, you're looking at a floor play, with a floor that we don't even really know how high it is.

 

Laviska Shenault

Current ADP: WR38 || 84 Overall (b2b with robinson)

I want to love Viska, I really do, I just can't seem to get onboard. Though, all the reports from JAX are making it hard not to.

 

 

This is really not surprising --- when you're an athlete built the way Viska is like a fucking bull, you're going to dominate in shorts, especially against a shit defense like Jacksonville.

Last year, Viska finished as the WR46 in fantasy:

In 14 games, 79-58-600-5 also had 18 carries for 90 yards

So when we look at the makeup of this team, we can try to get a feel for where the targets are going to go. They have Chark, Viska, added Marvin Jones and added Travis Etienne. 

They did let go of Keelan Cole who is a sneaky walk here since he had 88 targets last year. And I would argue him Chark and Marvin Jones are similar in play style. I think Jones eats more into those targets as well as Chark's then he does into Viskas. Chris Conley, another similarly styled player, is gone too, who saw 63 targets last year.

Here's Viska's lineup for routes last year:

We're hearing somewhat mixed reports, that he's playing heavily in the slot during spring, but also that they're developing him as a pure outside receiver idk. Sounds dumb, I'm not going to look too far into it. It would make sense from a personnel stand point to have him Chark and Jones on the outside with Viska working the middle of the field. 

Urban Meyer is a guy that's always used some kind of weapon in his college offenses, Curtis Samuel, Percy Harvin, etc. Viska fits that roll, if those guys ate themselves. But it's really hard to trust that type of volume in fantasy.

I think this is going to be a run-first offense like I said for at least 2021. 

Viska was good as a rookie for sure. 600 rec. yards, it's not ground-breaking. But you add in the 90 rushing yards, and account for it being in 14 games and it becomes impressive. Since 2000, he's one of 29 rookie WRs to average > 49 total yards/game, and > 4.1 receptions/game. 

It's a pretty strong fuckin list

 

I know the numbers seem nit-picky but i just took Viska's numbers and saw who hit them or out-performed.

Also just want to throw in there one of those ridiculous touchdowns he caught where it like deflected off of one player and somehow zoomed across half the field to him in the endzone. 

Now, based on the numbers and situation, Viska is certainly on a trajectory to be a player at the NFL level. My personal take on Viska, outside of these stupid fucking numbers, is that I don't know how sold I am on him as an actual NFL wide receiver. I wasn't overly impressed with him outside of the flashy plays last year, running guys over, his YAC etc. 

And I wanted to see what Matt Harmon thought, and Viska's RP kind of echoed what I saw. He was definitely not refined last year.

That being said, like obviously he can improve as a separator, but we've also seen guys like JuJu Smith Schuster and Cooper Kupp excel as slot guys. And be fantasy great for years. That's certainly in the range of outcomes. But I like to draft guys like that, who are in pass-first, explosive offenses and at worst the WR2 on their team. We really don't know what this Jaguars offense is going to be like, for almost any player. Maybe I'll get a share of Viska, bc he's exciting, but at this point, he's the 84th pick, that's in the 7th round folks. And I don't see the hype chamber stopping any time soon, again with a guy built like him, he's a beat reports beat beat-off material. 

At the end of the 7th round, you can get a veteran back 

To be honest, I think Marvin Jones is the best fantasy value at WR on this offense. 


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