Leonard Fournette emerged from Week 10 without a setback but looked sluggish in his first game back and longest game action since Week 1.
With a monster workload projected weekly, are you buying his middle-of-the-road salary or heading elsewhere in Week 11 against the Steelers? If fading him, what similarly priced running backs do you prefer and why?
James Brimacombe: Coming off a five-week absence, Fournette didn’t seem to miss a beat or have any injury setbacks as he touched the ball 29 times against the Colts. Granted it was 24 rushing attempts for only 53 yards he also had five catches for 56 yards and a pair of touchdowns (1 rushing, 1 receiving). Fournette also has a nice history against the Steelers as he thrashed them in his rookie season. With the home matchup and the Jaguars struggling to have a strong passing game, they are going to need Fournette to have a big game to keep up with the Steelers this week. Just based on the workload alone it will be hard to not consider Fournette this week.
Justin Howe: When, exactly, hasn’t Fournette looked at least a little sluggish? He’s a career 3.73-yard guy, and he’s only finished above 4.00 in 5 of 16 career games. (I did my best to filter that number for games he’s left early with injuries, but who can keep track?) He’ll now move forward without top lineman Brandon Linden, who’s been one of football’s best guards this year. In other words, our only projectable hope for efficiency is that Blake Bortles is able to keep defenses back on their heels.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m much more of a volume guy than an efficiency guy, and Fournette should see a minimum of 22-24 touches. There’s just too much running back upside this week to spend up at all for Fournette. That ceiling looks capped fairly tightly, and I don’t want to pray for Jacksonville touchdown opportunities.
Phil Alexander: It's early in the week for dollar per touch projections, but my guess is Fournette will profile as a solid value from that perspective. The 5-56-1 receiving line he posted in his return was a welcome surprise, considering he never caught five passes in a game during 13 starts as a rookie. It's worth noting Pittsburgh has yet to allow a single running back to top 80 yards in a game against them this season, but it wouldn't be shocking if Fournette totaled 100 scrimmage yards and scored at least once in this matchup. There is room for profit at his RB8 price tag (DraftKings).
Dan Hindery: The offensive line injuries for the Jaguars are scaring me off of Fournette despite the fact he should see again see a healthy workload. Left tackle Cam Robinson was lost for the season in September and underrated Center Brandon Linder was lost for the season last week. Offensive tackle Ereck Flowers is also questionable.
Instead of Fournette, I’m spending the few hundred extra dollars to get up to David Johnson. He is back to being a huge part of the passing offense and is in a fantastic spot as a home favorite against the Raiders.
BJ VanderWoude: I will have exposure to Fournette this week, if for no other reason than his volume. He is the type of back that gets better as the game goes on, so if the Jaguars continue to give him a big workload, the production will come. If this game was being played in Pittsburgh, I would be hesitant to buy into Fournette's workload, as the Steelers play at a much faster pace at home. With that said, Fournette was active in the passing game in his return, catching five passes on five targets for 53 yards and a touchdown, which makes him much more attractive to me at his current price point. With his heavy volume of touches, as well as his target share in the passing game (on a team that is devoid of top-end pass catchers) Fournette looks very much matchup-proof at home, regardless of how the game script plays out. He offers a high ceiling, which is really important in GPP's, because the top tier of running backs are putting up a massive amount of points, and it makes it harder to play merely "solid" point per dollar plays in the middle tier. I am buying Fournette stock this week in a very important game for the Jaguars and their playoff hopes.
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