Skip to main content

Rapid Reaction: Jacksonville Jaguars Release Leonard Fournette (2020 Fantasy Football)

Aug 31, 2020

Monday morning saw a stunner in the fantasy football world as the Jacksonville Jaguars cut ties with running back Leonard Fournette. The fourth-year pro totaled nearly 1,700 total yards and three touchdowns in 2019, and his departure has fantasy players – and those who drafted him, in particular – scrambling for answers.

Fortunately, our analysts have some for you! Check out their breakdown of the move, and what it means from a fantasy perspective:

Practice mock drafts with our FREE Dynasty Draft Simulator >>

Q1. What is the fantasy football impact of the Jaguars waiving Leonard Fournette?

This move isn’t likely the last move for the Jaguars when it comes to their backfield, as I can’t see them just handing Ryquell Armstead 18-plus touches per game. Sure, Chris Thompson is going to mix in and get his 6-10 touches per game, but I still believe they add someone. But for now, Armstead would receive the biggest boost to his projection. He should be considered a low-end RB3 in drafts for the time being. Another name to keep an eye on is Devine Ozigbo, as he’s the No. 2 behind Armstead.
-Mike Tagliere (@MikeTagliereNFL)

This leaves an incredible opportunity for Chris Thompson in PPR leagues. While he’s not necessarily going to be a factor much in the running game, he’s going to soak up targets out of the backfield. This team just signaled that they’re not ready to compete this season with trading away Yannick Ngakoue and now the release of Fournette. They’re going to be playing in a lot of negative game scripts, which should create plenty of opportunity for Thompson. Additionally, I expect Ryquell Armstead to be the main beneficiary for the work on the ground. He’s worth a bench stash as well to see exactly what his involvement in this offense will look like.
-Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL)

Well, I mean, I don’t even . . . . Ok, sorry. The primary beneficiary of the news is Ryquell Amstead, who was Fournette’s primary “handcuff,” to use that term as loosely as possible. He’s in line, as of this moment, to see the majority of the carries for the Jaguars, which necessarily makes him a must-add or must-draft if you haven’t already. But he’s far from a league-winner. Not only will the Jaguars likely play in consistently negative game scripts, but they could (and probably will) sign an additional back, rather than handing over the full reins to Armstead. Chris Thompson was always going to see a ton of passing down work and, if anything, the Jaguars will lean into the passing game even more now, slightly boosting his value. Truly, the biggest impact is that the Jaguars’ backfield is simply not a place in which you want to be investing right now.
-Dan Harris (@danharris80)

Q2. How should Fournette drafters proceed heading into Week 1?

It’s rare to find a running back just sitting there on waivers right now, so unless you can get your hands on Ryquell Armstead, you should be looking at high-floor/low-ceiling options to replace Fournette early on. I’m talking about guys like Chris Thompson, Boston Scott, Nyheim Hines, Jerick McKinnon, and maybe even someone like Darrynton Evans.
-Mike Tagliere (@MikeTagliereNFL)

Right now, there aren’t going to be very many options for you, so you have to swing for the fences and take shots on who’s available. Nyheim Hines, Rex Burkhead, and Jalen Richard might be the best options that you have available if you play in deeper leagues. Additionally, if you can afford to wait and you have a spot on your bench available…Devonta Freeman signing in Jacksonville to replace Fournette would not surprise me at all. He’s worth the speculative add at this point if you can afford it.
-Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL)

First, remember that Fournette could easily be signed to another team ASAP, and even get a role in Week 1, so try not to panic. Or at least, LIMIT the panic. As for pickups, obviously, Armstead is an immediate add for anyone who rostered Fournette, as is Thompson. If you have depth at the running back position, then think more long-term, looking for high-end backups who could have a huge role should anything happen to the starter (Carlos Hyde, Darrynton Evans). If you need help immediately, see if Boston Scott is available, as he should have a fairly reliable role even if Miles Sanders is healthy in Week 1.
-Dan Harris (@danharris80)

Mock draft vs. experts with our free fantasy football tools >>

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | SoundCloud | iHeartRadio

What's your take? Leave a comment

Follow the Pros!

Follow us on Twitter @FantasyPros for exclusive advice and contests