With receivers Cecil Shorts and Allen Robinson dealing with continuous injuries, rookie Marqise Lee has a chance for relevance in your 2014 fantasy football league.
The offense for the Jacksonville Jaguars doesn’t really inspire confidence in most fantasy players, but the yards are there for a receiver to become the focal point of the passing attack. Last season, a mix of Shorts, Justin Blackmon, Ace Sanders and Mike Brown totaled 2,122 receiving yards and seven touchdown catches. That touchdown total is low, but Chad Henne will rely on a go-to guy.
Lee will most likely not have to worry about Blackmon being in the lineup this year, and Sanders is facing a four-game suspension to start the 2014 NFL season. Robinson is a nice endzone target for Henne at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, but he has faced repeated hamstring injuries since the spring, and he will miss some time at training camp. Shorts is currently battling a hamstring injury of his own and he has recently recovered from a groin surgery in December. Brown didn’t do anything last season to earn a consistent role in the offense, so Lee is walking into a very favorable situation.
Coach Gus Bradley stated that Lee has “that speed factor,” and that should help the 22-year-old receiver see plenty of targets. Shorts, Brown, Sanders and Blackmon were targeted 315 times, so Lee should be able to see a large chunk of those go his way this season. Henne has also been given the go ahead to audible as much as he likes, and more freedom in the offense should improve his game. Henne won’t be very fantasy relevant, but he should have more opportunities to create big plays than last season.
Lee will not be a consistent starter from week to week, but he isn’t even selected in most 15-round drafts. For a player that could finish as a top-25 receiver, he is worth drafting in the last round. If he has a few good weeks early on, you could shop him around your league to try and improve your other roster spots.
The Jaguars will not produce elite talent from the wide receiver position in 2014, but someone has to catch the ball in Jacksonville, and that someone is Lee.