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Football Daily Dose

TNF Preview: Mania vs. Magic

by Kate Magdziuk
Updated On: September 24, 2020, 2:40 pm ET

It’s here, everyone ... the Thursday Night Football matchup we’ve all been waiting for. It’s the battle of the Sunshine State: Minshew Mania vs. Ryan Fitzmagic time. Though the lack of “superstars” might make this game appear a little “blah” at first glance, there are plenty of things to spark the interest of NFL fans.

The Quarterbacks

Whether or not you’re a fan of either of these NFL teams, it’s hard not to enjoy watching these two quarterbacks under center. Each of them comes with a personality that could keep us entertained for days and bring energy to a TNF matchup, regardless of how barren the corps of skill players may look on the outside.

The Jaguars Offense has been a pleasant surprise so far on the season. They are currently tied with the Chiefs and Rams in points scored so far on the season, 2019 6th round draft pick Gardner Minshew has displayed nice development as a passer in their first two contests. His 75% completion percentage and 9.2% touchdown rate have led us all to question whether #TankForTrevor wasn’t really ever a thing or the Jaguars are just that bad at tanking. It seems as though he could be the real deal, though. Minshew is one of just six quarterbacks in NFL history to be drafted outside of the first round who has thrown for more than 3000 passing yards in his rookie season. Even more impressive, he’s the only quarterback who has done so after being drafted outside of the fourth round.

Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t the long-term answer for the Dolphins. We know that. #TankForTua was a thing. When will we see Tua Tagovailoa in the active lineup? That remains to be seen. Fitzpatrick is an interesting specimen, as you never know which version you'll see: the highest of highs or the lowest of lows. So far The Dolphins have started off 0-2 however, and given the lack of depth with the team's skill players, we shouldn't rush to see Tua on the field. Air yards = opportunity, and fantasy managers should be hoping that Fitzpatrck will remain under center for offensive production. He has a willingness to create big plays with less of a regard for whether or not those plays may result in a turnover - it's the ideal recipe for fantasy production for any receiving weapon.

Is Jags RB Robinson the real deal?

Most of the NFL community was a bit puzzled at the news of the release of Leonard Fournette. We quickly surmised that it was tank time for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Most expected the depth chart to look like a bit of a question mark with Ryquell Armstead sent to IR and newly signed Chris Thompson’s difficulty staying healthy. The team surprised us all when listing UDFA rookie RB James Robinson atop the chart.

Robinson is a 5’9” and 219 pound running back out of Illinois State in the FCS whose college production may be surprising to those who don’t know him. Robinson totaled 4,444 rushing yards in his time at Illinois with 1,899 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns in 2019 alone. He was named first team FSC All-American in 2019 and was named first team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference in each of his three seasons as a starter.

Robinson went undrafted in 2020 after posting a 4.64 40-yard dash. His speed was likely a red-flag for teams in the pre-draft process, but it’s worth noting that Robinson excelled above the 50th percentile in other drills, including the bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, 3-cone and shuttle run. In his first two games, Robinson has showcased this explosivity along with excellent vision for finding rushing lanes.

The Jaguars drafted Fournette with the fourth-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and had been a focal point of the offense when healthy over the last three seasons. Entering his fourth year, the team declined his fifth-year option and rumors swirled that the team was looking for a trade partner. The Jags released Fournette August 31 when no trade partner came calling.

Fournette’s release was a huge shock, but through two games, Robinson may have shown us why. Let's compare Fournette and Robinson through their first two games as rookies. 

 

Fournette

Robinson

Rush Attempts

40

32

Rushing Yards

140

164

Yards per Carry

3.5

5.13

Targets

8

5

Receptions

5

4

Receiving Yards

45

46

Touchdowns

2

1

Robinson should be rostered in all league formats, and with the surprising performance we’ve seen from the Jaguars Offense so far, he might wind up an MVP for your fantasy leagues in 2020.

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Daily Slants

The 49ers' injury woes continue. Kyle Shanahan announced Wednesday that RB Tevin Coleman is likely headed to injured reserve with a knee injury, to miss up to four weeks. He also notes that QB Jimmy Garoppolo is unlikely to be ready for Week 3 with an ankle injury. Backup Nick Mullens would see the start.  … Adam Schefter reports that Chargers QB Tyrod Taylor has been advised by his medical team “not to play indefinitely” after suffering a punctured lung Sunday. Taylor was receiving an injection for pain management in his ribs, when his lung was punctured by the needle. … Rams RBs Malcolm Brown (finger) and Cam Akers (ribs) did not practice Wednesday. … Jets WR Breshad Perriman didn’t practice Wednesday following an ankle injury suffered on Sunday. Teammate Jamison Crowder (hamstring) also didn’t practice. Sam Darnold may need to start passing the ball to himself soon. … Lions WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring) looks on track to play in Week 3 after getting in a limited practice on Wednesday. … Julio Jones (hamstring) didn’t practice Wednesday, and it’s entirely possible that this isn’t just a “maintenance” day off. Jones exited Sunday’s game with a tight hamstring but returned to the game with little impact. Teammate Calvin Ridley could be on pace for another performance as the week’s WR1 in this matchup versus the Chicago Bears.

Kate Magdziuk

Kate Magdziuk is a contributor for Rotoworld, RotoViz, and host of BallBlast: A Fantasy Football Podcast. You can find her on Twitter @FFBallBlast.