Matchup Analysis: New England Patriots at Jacksonville Jaguars

Vegas Prediction

Vegas says: Patriots 24, Jaguars 22

FBG Projections

TeamRushYardsTDCompAttPass YdTDINT

New England Patriots Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Patriots Offense27.0 (+3.1) (11)122 (+8) (12)267 (+29) (10)
Jaguars Defense15.0 (-8.9) (6)114 (+0) (16)210 (-27) (11)

Jacksonville Jaguars Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Jaguars Offense20.0 (-3.9) (21)137 (+23) (10)168 (-69) (24)
Patriots Defense20.0 (-3.9) (13)167 (+53) (29)158 (-79) (8)

Patriots Rushing offense

Tough matchup vs. the Jaguars defense.

The Patriots backfield, once brimming with bodies of various skillsets, has been thinned out drastically by the injury bug. Bill Belichick is almost certainly missing Dion Lewis (and even Mike Gillislee) deeply, if through clenched teeth. Jeremy Hill’s injury could mean rookie Sony Michel will be forced into action sooner than expected. It was once a luxury to keep Michel bubble-wrapped while his knee recovered from minor surgery, but now the offense needs the services of at least one more runner. It’s very likely, though, that the Patriots keep Michel out with the long-term in mind. Rex Burkhead is also dealing with an injury as he is in concussion protocol and if he is unable to go the Patriots would only have a healthy James White and Kenjon Barner at running back meaning it’s likely that they would promote Ralph Webb to a big role if Sony Michel is not ready. Belichick and Josh McDaniels will need to get creative to manufacture production against the Jaguars’ suffocating front.

Saquon Barkley posted a great NFL debut, but it still feels like a fool’s errand to expect production. This is an up-and-down unit, but one populated by powerful down linemen and an active second level. Last year’s Jaguars allowed plenty of yards, but they were generally hard-earned, and a handful of elite runners (including LeVeon Bell, Melvin Gordon, and LeSean McCoy) struggled mightily to find room against them. And in Week 1, Barkley was thoroughly bottled up for 3 quarters; apart from his dazzling 68-yard touchdown, he managed just 38 yards on 17 carries. There’s no shame in allowing a generational athlete like Barkley erupt down the sideline, and this still looks like a unit it’s best not to test in fantasy. As long as Calais Campbell and Marcell Dareus are engulfing blockers, inside holes will be few and far between for grinding backs.

Patriots Passing offense

Bad matchup vs. the Jaguars defense.

Tom Brady may be throwing to a depleted group, but he’s still as surgical as they come. Supported by Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan, and little else in terms of experience, Brady completed 26 of 39 passes in a small-ball attack in Week 1. Of course, that low-impact approach doesn’t work without a dose of big plays, and Brady still boasts a handful of weapons capable of them. Gronkowski hauled in passes of 21, 28, 19, and 30, serving as the prototypical “down the seams” dynamo he’s always been. And better days are ahead for Hogan, who’s gained 20 yards or more on a whopping 17 of his 73 catches as a Patriot. The rest of the passing game will continue to feature slot men Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson on quick-hitting space routes, as well as James White as a security blanket out of the backfield. But fantasy players will discount their big-play potential at their own peril.

Week 1 was a bit of a mixed bag for 2017’s most dominant and prohibitive pass defense. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey didn’t have his best game as a pro, with Odell Beckham Jr. and company beating him on numerous pick plays over the middle. That’s generally the best way to test this secondary: with quick-hitting, physical routes, and throws that take coverage mostly out of the equation. In Week 1, that opened things up for Eli Manning to test the end zone, and he just barely missed on two touchdowns to Beckham. Of course, we can’t fault a secondary for losing a few battles to Beckham – especially when they kept him from breaking any real splash plays. And it’s important to note that Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard combined to produce just 66 yards on 7 catches. All told, as long as this unstoppable pass rush is healthy and together, throwing consistently against the Jaguars will be arduous. Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson, and Yannick Ngakoue make up arguably the NFL’s most powerful and hard-to-contain pass-rush trio. Vanquishing them is a frightening Step One; finding exploitable openings downfield against Ramsey and A.J. Bouye is an equally tough follow-up. Tom Brady is Tom Brady, but an organic, three- or four-man rush that pushes his pocket can wildly swing his game.

Jaguars Rushing offense

Good matchup vs. the Patriots defense.

There’s probably no way of knowing until Sunday morning whether Leonard Fournette will be available. His hamstring tweak is reportedly minor, but that “reporter” is head coach Doug Marrone, who was wildly unreliable last year when tracking Fournette’s foot injury. The fact that he couldn’t return to a tight Week 1 game isn’t encouraging. One way or another, the Jaguars will rely somewhat on T.J. Yeldon in this game. Yeldon is a quick-footed back miscast in the Fournette role, and he’s not very efficient as a workhorse. Last year, apart from a 58-yard scamper against the Colts, he averaged a serviceable 4.1 yards per rush. At least his front line has improved by leaps and bounds, thanks in large part to two key additions over the past two years. New left guard Andrew Norwell was an All-Pro last year with the Panthers, and he brings a road-grading element to the Jaguars’ inconsistent interior running. At right tackle, ex-Cowboy Jermey Pernell has stabilized a longtime trouble spot with stout, no-nonsense play.

The New England run defense, generally poor in 2017, was definitely prioritized entering this season. Nose tackles Danny Shelton and Lawrence Guy were added and put front and center in the rotation, joining occasional stud Malcom Brown to seal up the inside. However, week 1 brought the same problems as 2017 as Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue (a combined 134 yards on 25 carries) found plenty of holes inside and out, while Deshaun Watson (8 for 40) exploited gaps for key runs all afternoon. The Patriots don’t often allow huge rushing totals as their tendency to lead games throughout forces opponents to abandon the run earlier than they’d like. But on a run-by-run basis, they’re still exceptionally soft, and few units make for a weaker matchup in terms of efficiency. Whenever a team projects close to the Patriots, it’s fair to expect them to post one of their better ground games of the year.

Jaguars Passing offense

Neutral matchup vs. the Patriots defense.

Blake Bortles no longer looks as erratic and cringeworthy as he did at his lowest NFL point, two years ago. He’s developing into a serviceable starter in the Case Keenum vein, one who can ride play-action off of a strong running game into just enough downfield efficiency. Last year, he continued to trim his sacks and turnovers, posting the best adjusted net yardage per attempt of his career. But in Week 1, he struggled without Leonard Fournette grinding down the Giants defense. In the second half, Bortles struggled mightily to complete passes down the field and move the Jaguars. It doesn’t help, of course, that he’s also without his top wideout, Marqise Lee. The Jaguars stable of receivers is at least explosive, packed with intriguing long-ball options, and Bortles created very little with them in the opener. It looks as though he’ll need a respected run game to keep the pressure – and tight coverages – off of this offense. Keelan Cole should help as he’s developing into a dynamic playmaker, with 12 of his 45 career catches going for 20 yards or more. Alongside Cole is second-year man Dede Westbrook, who has worked his way into a significant role, is an eruptive prospect himself. Simply put, if the ground game shows up Sunday, we can expect several deep-ball opportunities for Bortles to take advantage of them. This is still not a passing game we can just project to success in a vacuum, even in an exploitable matchup.

Week 1 brought an encouraging turn for the much-maligned Patriots pass defense. DeShaun Watson completed just half his throws and found next to nothing down the field, and Houston receivers not named DeAndre Hopkins totaled just 98 yards. Hopkins himself was limited by bracket coverage, catching 8 balls but for 78 mostly-uneventful yards. In this matchup last year, Watson went 22 of 33 for 301 and 2 scores. In fact, the Patriots allowed the first 6 quarterbacks they faced to top 300, then crumbled spectacularly against Nick Foles in the Super Bowl. For 2018, though, things look a bit brighter. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore took a step forward after a season to forget, and Eric Rowe is developing into a quintessential Bill Belichick contributor on the other side. With Trey Flowers looking like a dominant edge rusher, there’s reason to no longer consider this unit one to target in fantasy.

Jaguars vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)5T (-9.6)5T (-9.6)5 (-9.1)5 (-10.0)
1Eli Manning7123372240112010.410.48.28.2

Tom Brady (FanDuel: $8500, DraftKings: $6500)

1vs HOU7526392773112025.125.122.322.3
2PROJ-Dodds25372701.8112019.919.919.9 (H=41)19.9 (H=54)
2PROJ-Tremblay25392831.60.912019.919.919.9 (H=41)19.9 (H=54)
2PROJ-Bloom23382321.71.1110.1181818.0 (H=35)18.0 (H=45)

Jaguars vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)19 (+0.7)15T (-0.9)18 (+0.2)20 (+1.6)
1Saquon Barkley551810616222018.820.819.823.8
1Jonathan Stewart1028000000.

Rex Burkhead (FanDuel: $6300, DraftKings: $4400)

1vs HOU371864031506.
2PROJ-Dodds14540.42170. (H=20)12.1 (H=34)
2PROJ-Tremblay14620.52150.111.313.312.3 (H=24)13.3 (H=40)
2PROJ-Bloom12430.43270.311.214.212.7 (H=25)14.2 (H=45)

James White (FanDuel: $5900, DraftKings: $4500)

1vs HOU3651809438111.615.613.615.6
2PROJ-Dodds4130.15370.26.811.89.3 (H=16)11.8 (H=31)
2PROJ-Tremblay4170.16420.27.713.710.7 (H=20)13.7 (H=41)
2PROJ-Bloom5190.15420. (H=23)14.1 (H=43)

Sony Michel (FanDuel: $5600, DraftKings: $4100)

2PROJ-Dodds4190.11603.14.13.6 (H=3)4.1 (H=5)
2PROJ-Tremblay3140.11402.43.42.9 (H=2)3.4 (H=4)
2PROJ-Bloom000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

James Develin (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

1vs HOU35000442202.
2PROJ-Dodds0002130. (H=2)3.9 (H=7)
2PROJ-Tremblay0002180. (H=3)4.4 (H=8)
2PROJ-Bloom000160. (H=1)2.2 (H=2)

Jaguars vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)12 (-6.5)16 (-2.6)13 (-7.1)16 (-2.6)
1Odell Beckham Jr68151111101-1011.022.016.525.0
1Sterling Shepard61754800004.

Chris Hogan (FanDuel: $6200, DraftKings: $5400)

1vs HOU68511100001.
2PROJ-Dodds4500.40007.411.49.4 (H=15)11.4 (H=25)
2PROJ-Tremblay5600.40008.413.410.9 (H=20)13.4 (H=33)
2PROJ-Bloom3370.30005.58.57.0 (H=9)8.5 (H=15)

Phillip Dorsett (FanDuel: $6300, DraftKings: $4500)

1vs HOU577766100012.619.616.119.6
2PROJ-Dodds4420.30006108.0 (H=11)10.0 (H=23)
2PROJ-Tremblay4550.30007.311.39.3 (H=15)11.3 (H=29)
2PROJ-Bloom4350.20004.78.76.7 (H=8)8.7 (H=18)

Cordarrelle Patterson (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $3400)

1vs HOU16116031301.
2PROJ-Dodds1170.121203.54.54.1 (H=5)4.6 (H=8)
2PROJ-Tremblay2190.121403.95.95.0 (H=7)6.0 (H=13)
2PROJ-Bloom1503160. (H=3)3.8 (H=5)

Jaguars vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)12T (-2.8)11 (-4.0)12 (-3.3)11 (-4.2)
1Evan Engram64521801.

Rob Gronkowski (FanDuel: $8100, DraftKings: $7000)

1vs HOU7587123118.325.319.827.3
2PROJ-Dodds6780.611.417.414.4 (H=25)17.4 (H=40)
2PROJ-Tremblay5690.59.914.912.4 (H=19)14.9 (H=30)
2PROJ-Bloom6800.712.218.215.2 (H=27)18.2 (H=43)

Jaguars vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)21T (+1.8)21T (+1.8)22 (+2.1) (+0.0)
1Aldrick Rosas33009910.00.0

Stephen Gostkowski (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

1vs HOU2233999.00.0

Jaguars vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)4 (-5.7)4 (-5.7)5 (-5.3)5 (-5.3)
1New York Giants2030511000334.04.0

New England Patriots (FanDuel: $4200, DraftKings: $3000)

1vs HOU20.0032531100778.08.0
2PROJ-Dodds21.703592.20.90.700. (H=19)8.5 (H=27)
2PROJ-Tremblay21.503762.310.700. (H=20)8.8 (H=28)

Patriots vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)11 (-4.2)11 (-4.2)11T (-5.2)11 (-5.1)
1Deshaun Watson74173417611840015.815.812.013.0

Blake Bortles (FanDuel: $6500, DraftKings: $5400)

1@ NYG631833176114420161614.214.2
2PROJ-Dodds22342311.40.95240. (H=51)19.2 (H=61)
2PROJ-Tremblay21352321.315250.118.918.918.9 (H=50)18.9 (H=60)
2PROJ-Bloom19322021.31.24250. (H=42)17.2 (H=51)

Patriots vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)21 (+2.0)14 (-1.6)19 (+0.5)14 (-2.1)
1Lamar Miller57209802111010.911.911.411.9
1Alfred Blue10536100009.

Leonard Fournette (FanDuel: $7700, DraftKings: $6800)

1@ NYG219410331405.
2PROJ-Dodds15630.43190. (H=21)14.2 (H=29)
2PROJ-Tremblay18750.54340.114.518.516.5 (H=33)18.5 (H=46)
2PROJ-Bloom000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

T.J. Yeldon (FanDuel: $6200, DraftKings: $5600)

1@ NYG39145107318112.915.914.415.9
2PROJ-Dodds8320.23220. (H=13)10.2 (H=19)
2PROJ-Tremblay9420.33250. (H=19)12.1 (H=26)
2PROJ-Bloom18620.53170.111.514.513.0 (H=27)14.5 (H=36)

Corey Grant (FanDuel: $4800, DraftKings: $4300)

1@ NYG613000000.
2PROJ-Dodds21201601.82.82.4 (H=1)2.9 (H=2)
2PROJ-Tremblay1300000.30.30.4 (H=0)0.4 (H=0)
2PROJ-Bloom419021903.85.84.9 (H=6)5.9 (H=10)

Patriots vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)13 (-5.5)13 (-5.6)14 (-6.1)13 (-7.6)
1Bruce Ellington65843710009.713.711.713.7
1DeAndre Hopkins731187801-707.

Keelan Cole (FanDuel: $5500, DraftKings: $4900)

1@ NYG47435400005.
2PROJ-Dodds4540.30007.211.29.2 (H=16)11.2 (H=26)
2PROJ-Tremblay3410.20005.38.36.8 (H=10)8.3 (H=15)
2PROJ-Bloom4590.40008.312.310.3 (H=20)12.3 (H=31)

Donte Moncrief (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $3700)

1@ NYG43511400001.
2PROJ-Dodds3420.20005.48.46.9 (H=12)8.4 (H=21)
2PROJ-Tremblay3400.20005.28.26.7 (H=11)8.2 (H=20)
2PROJ-Bloom2260.20003.85.84.8 (H=6)5.8 (H=11)

Dede Westbrook (FanDuel: $5700, DraftKings: $4500)

1@ NYG31655100005.110.17.610.1
2PROJ-Dodds3350.30005.38.36.8 (H=9)8.3 (H=17)
2PROJ-Tremblay3430.20005.58.57.0 (H=10)8.5 (H=18)
2PROJ-Bloom5540.30007.212.29.7 (H=17)12.2 (H=33)

Patriots vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)16 (-2.4)13 (-3.6)13 (-2.9)13 (-3.8)
1Jordan Thomas14212702.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $3200)

1@ NYG55532502.
2PROJ-Dodds3290. (H=10)7.7 (H=21)
2PROJ-Tremblay3270. (H=9)7.5 (H=20)
2PROJ-Bloom3270. (H=9)7.5 (H=20)

Niles Paul (FanDuel: $4200, DraftKings: $2500)

1@ NYG171000000.00.0
2PROJ-Dodds190. (H=1)2.5 (H=3)
2PROJ-Tremblay160. (H=1)2.2 (H=3)
2PROJ-Bloom000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

James OShaughnessy (FanDuel: $4000, DraftKings: $2500)

1@ NYG262000000.00.0
2PROJ-Dodds1900.91.91.4 (H=0)1.9 (H=2)
2PROJ-Tremblay1140.1232.5 (H=2)3.0 (H=5)
2PROJ-Bloom000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Patriots vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)17T (+0.8)17T (+0.8)18T (+1.1) (+0.0)
1Kaimi Fairbairn2222889.00.0

Josh Lambo (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

1@ NYG2222888.00.0

Patriots vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)17T (-0.7)17T (-0.7)14T (-1.3)14T (-1.3)
1Houston Texans2738921200888.08.0

Jacksonville Jaguars (FanDuel: $4300, DraftKings: $2800)

1@ NYG15.0032421101121213.013.0
2PROJ-Dodds23.803882.40.90.600. (H=17)8.1 (H=26)
2PROJ-Tremblay23.503922.50.90.600. (H=17)8.2 (H=27)