The Jacksonville Jaguars were dealt a brutal blow during their third preseason game. Wide receiver Marqise Lee suffered a knee injury which will send him to injured reserve, as NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo revealed.
It’s tough news for both the Jaguars and Lee, and the hope is that he’ll have a speedy recovery and come back strong in 2019. For now, though, the team has to move forward and will likely do so with the players they have in house. Garafolo followed up his original report by pointing out that head coach Doug Marrone said the Jaguars are “comfortable” with who they have on roster.
While Marrone wouldn’t go as far as completely shutting down the idea of adding another wide receiver, the Jaguars have a plethora of options. Unfortunately, that just makes life tougher for fantasy football players.
From a fantasy perspective, either replacing Lee on your current roster (if you’ve drafted) or figuring out who to select in his place won’t be an easy task. Let’s check out a few options specifically on Jacksonville who make sense.
Fantasy Football Replacements for Marqise Lee
Keelan Cole, who led the Jaguars in receiving last year is likely going to remain the top option, but Lee’s injury probably won’t impact his value all that much. Realistically, Jacksonville is a run-heavy team, and will rely heavily on Leonard Fournette, so grabbing any Jaguars receiver early in a fantasy football draft is a risky move.
The names which do jump out as top replacement candidates for Lee, though, include second-year pro Dede Westbrook, free-agent signing Donte Moncrief and rookie D.J. Chark.
Moncrief had an impressive game in the third preseason matchup against the Atlanta Falcons, catching three passes for 62 yards and looked to be a strong target. The Jaguars obviously envision him having some type of a role, or else they wouldn’t have handed him nearly $10 million ($9.6 million, per Spotrac) for one year.
The former Indianapolis Colts wideout is only 25 years old and has caught eight passes for 106 yards this preseason. If the Jaguars want experience next to Cole, he’s likely the best option to provide that.
Westbrook came with plenty of upside last season out of Oklahoma, but only caught 27 passes for 339 yards and one score in seven games. If he hits his stride, though, the former Sooner could become one of Blake Bortles’ favorite targets.
This preseason has been a mixed bag for Westbrook, who’s caught six passes for 49 yards. The upside here for Westbrook is worth taking a flier on in fantasy, though, especially if your league offers deep benches and is a 12 or 14-team league.
The former LSU pass-catcher is arguably the most exciting option to replace Lee, along with Westbrook. He hasn’t produced this preseason for the Jaguars, and only had one collegiate season with more than 500 yards, so there’s some concern over his ability to adjust to the speed of the NFL.
Chark is more of a home-run hitting option in this offense, as he averaged 21.9 yards per reception in 2017 with the Tigers. I can’t envision Chark’s role changing all that much this season due to Lee’s injury.
The decision on replacing Lee on your fantasy football roster this season comes down to what you value more. If you want the safe option, who has a bit of upside, then Moncrief is the best choice. On the other hand, Westbrook offers a tremendous amount of upside and could quickly become a top option in the passing game.
The stock of any wide receiver on the Jaguars doesn’t increase drastically from this injury from a fantasy football perspective, though. It’s safe to temper expectations and grab either Moncrief or Westbrook in the late rounds with the hope that they turn a corner.
Source: Heavy Sports