The PYRO Fantasy Football Depth Chart is a rundown of where Team PYRO projects the fantasy production for each team at each position. It is NOT an attempt to inform you of the current starters for each team. For example, we are well aware that Brandon Manumaleuna is currently the starting TE for the Chicago Bears, but if you look at the Bears Team Page, we have Greg Olsen listed at TE. Why? We’re projecting that Greg Olsen will be the most Fantasy Football relevant TE for the Bears this season. Since Olsen will be the Bears leading FF point scorer at TE, it’s his name at the top of the TE column on our PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart.
Despite being relatively insignificant as a fantasy tight end since his 10-TD outburst back in 2010, Marcedes Lewis showed some surprising potential over the last five weeks of 2013.
During the run, Lewis caught 16 balls (on 27 targets) for 242 yards and four TDs - numbers that would place him third amongst all fantasy TEs, behind just Jimmy Graham and Tony Gonzalez.
Pyro's take: The short-lived girth of production was certainly a nice bonus for the scant amount of Lewis fantasy owners out there, but not quite a trend for dynasty leaguers to hang their hats on.
Still, the 6'6", 272-lb. former Jacksonville first-rounder will have a new (and better!) starting QB tossing him the pill next season, so anything's possible.
Marcedes should continue to be drafted as a middling TE2 next summer, though now he'll be coming with an interesting upside dependent upon who the Jaguars end up tabbing as their 2014 starting quarterback.
Cecil Shorts III began the season as the Jaguars’ No. 1 receiver, and though he’s back in that role in the wake of last week’s indefinite suspension of Justin Blackmon, Shorts said he’s trying not to overemphasize the change. “I’ll take the same approach,” Shorts said. “Nothing changes.” Shorts said his on-field role stays the same, and he’ll run the same routes in the same plays as before. He said if he’s focused on anything it’s trying not to press too much because he’s the “go-to receiver,” something he said he perhaps did the first four games of the season. “I’m not going to press,” he said. “At the beginning of the year, I was pressing a little bit. I have a certain routine in the week, preparing. I’m going to keep it that way.” Shorts had 26 receptions for 337 yards in the first four games without Blackmon, but also had four dropped passes. He has 46 receptions for 565 yards and a touchdown this season.
Pyro's take: Shorts will once again be the main receiver in Jacksonville, now that Justin Blackmon has been suspended for the rest of the season. Mike Brown will fill the role left by Blackmon, but Shorts should be the receiver that sees the most targets going forward.
Shorts and the Jags will match-up against the Titans this week, which is not the best news for Cecil. The Titans have given up the fewest points per game to wide receivers at 14.3. He will be targeted, but don't expect a huge game this week.
Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon’s season ended Friday when he was suspended indefinitely for a violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.
The Jaguars were made aware of the league’s ruling this afternoon.
“Justin has taken the news very hard as you can imagine so you know he cares,” general manager Dave Caldwell said in a conference call. “He is willing to take the correct steps to make sure he does not make bad decisions anymore. That is a big step for Justin.
“It’s not in our nature to just turn our back on one of our members that needs help.”
Asked if Blackmon will play for the Jaguars again, Caldwell said: “That is our hope. … We’re just not going to cut ties with him today and have him fend for himself. We’re going to make sure he gets the best help out there.”
In a statement released by his agent, Blackmon said in part: "I want to sincerely apologize to Mr. Khan, my teammates, my coaches and to the Jaguars fans for not utilizing the resources that I was provided to overcome my challenges. I am determined to overcome the issues that have resulted in this situation.”
Pyro's take: And just like that Blackmon is gone, in a puff of smoke. I hope it was good weed he was smoking. This puts a hurt on owners who had sat on Blackmon during his first 4 game suspension, but it automatically makes Cecil Shorts and Mike Brown more valuable.
Blackmon may not have made my last article, so here it comes.
Justin, I waited 4 weeks for you to come back, and when you did you made a splash, but that's all over now. After already being in the substance abuse program, you are so dumb that you test positive on a drug test. You had to know that you were going to get tested this season, so WTF!!! You have let us all down, so it is time to quadruple my efforts and you become this years first recipient of the GOLDEN SOMBRERO BITCHSLAP!!! BOOOO!!! THANKS FOR NOTHING!!! BITCHSLAP!!! BITCHSLAP!!! BITCHSLAP!!! BITCHSLAP!!!
Coming off a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, Blackmon has been the best receiver in the league over the last two weeks.
The former Oklahoma State star has caught 19 passes for 326 yards and a touchdown, becoming one of the lone bright spots on a team that has lost every game by double digits. His two-game totals are tops in the league in receptions, first downs and yards from scrimmage.
"He's got that 'it' factor," fellow receiver Cecil Shorts III said. "Some people just got it. Some people are just blessed with it, and he's one of them guys. There's a select few of them guys, and he's definitely one of them."
Blackmon credits his suspension for his recent success, saying he used the time away from the field to get in better shape. Blackmon missed part of the organized team activities and training camp following groin surgery.
Pyro's take: We had been beating the Justin Blackmon drum all the way back in draft preparation and repeatedly told you to add him in pickups early in the season. We told you to grab him in your drafts and you would have a stud when he returns. Well, I hope you took our advice, because he has been unstoppable since coming back. Blackmon might see a day similar to last week’s 14-catch 190-yard performance, with Cecil Shorts looking to be a game time decision.
Cecil Shorts says he is hopeful he will play Sunday. Says injured area is stable but he is in a lot of pain. #jaguars
Pyro's take: Shorts looks like he will be a game time decision, and for me that means I am looking for a better option if I have one. The fact that he is still in a lot of pain is not reassuring, and if he does play it could be the same scenario as last week, with an early exit.
When the Jacksonville Jaguars head west to take on the Denver Broncos on Sunday, they'll be starting Chad Henne for the third time this season. Blaine Gabbert has dealt with injuries all season, missing his third start this year and the team will once again turn to Henne for spot duty, and maybe longer.
Henne has a chance to hold on to the starting job longer than he did the first go-round if he plays well, but his play in the preseason and regular season so far have left a lot to be desired, and Gus Bradley doesn't seem ready to slam the door shut on Blaine Gabbert just yet.
Pyro's take: Henne is battling the the horrible Blaine Gabbert and the stupid Gus Bradley to try to win the starting job for the Jaguars going forward. This week the jags have no chance to win against the Broncos, but Henne will have a chance for a lot of garbage time to put up some nice fantasy stats this week. It should also be a good week for Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts.
Chad Henne will start this week, but Gabbert still the starter
Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said Monday he expects Gabbert to miss Sunday's game at Denver because of a strained hamstring. The injury knocked Gabbert out of Sunday's 34-20 loss at St. Louis.
Bradley also reiterated that he's planning to stick with Gabbert, the 10th overall pick in the 2011 draft, as the starter when he's healthy again.
"Right now, that's what I think," Bradley said. "There are some crazy things that can happen, I guess. ... We'll see how Blaine does this week with his injury. I know it's very important for him to get back, and he's going to do everything he can to get back."
Pyro's take: Gus, you have to be kidding me!!! How can you tell me that you understand football, because you must have some real nice rose colored glasses when you are looking at Gabbert.
Gabbert has now completed 42 of 86 passes for a 48.8% rate (Josh Freeman territory), and only thrown for 481 yards. Then there is the fact that he has just one touchdown pass (thanks to Justin Blackmon) and thrown 7 interceptions. Gabbert is atrocious and thankfully hurt at the moment.
So Gus, while watching your team get trounced by the Broncos this week, just think that if Gabbert was starting the Broncos would have had 21 more points of his turnovers. Wake up and let Henne have the job!
Jaguars leading wide receiver Cecil Shorts is expected to play Sunday against St. Louis despite a groin injury and questionable status, the Florida Times-Union is reporting.
Pyro's take: This is good news for Shorts owners, as he has been the one bright spot for the Jaguars this season, but keep in mind this is the week Justin Blackmon returns. If the groin injury starts acting up, Shorts could end up pulling a Roddy White decoy and set up Blackmon all day long.
"He’s done tremendous these last four weeks. His body fat has dropped and his weight has gained. He’s in really, really good shape right now. He’s done everything that we’ve asked of him, he went on the trips with us. I could go with a list on some of the things we asked him to do that he’s done, so he’s a in a great frame of mind right now.” - Jags Head Coach Gus Bradley on Justin Blackmon
Pyro's take: Blackmon is a target machine, and this team sucks so they will always be playing from behind. Hopefully the Chad Henne regime starts this week, Blaine is terrible... I expect 15 targets this week, they are going to have a welcome back party this week. Playing against the Rams this week is a great way to start for Justin. I've been stashing him for weeks, really happy to have him back.
Blaine Gabbert gets vote of confidence from Gus Bradley
Jaguars coach Gus Bradley was pretty emphatic in his support for quarterback Blaine Gabbert after Sunday's 37-3 home loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
He dialed it up even more on Monday afternoon.
"I would probably be stronger now after watching the tape," Bradley said.
Bradley said he saw progress from Gabbert in the areas the coaches had stressed with him last week. He played looser, he took a few shots down the field and he scrambled out of the pocket to try to make plays. Those things didn't always work, but Bradley was encouraged by what he saw.
"I saw him use some freedom," Bradley said. "I saw him scramble around and make a play to Clay Harbor. I saw him scramble around and throw it to Ace [Sanders] on an explosive play. I saw him do some things. He took off and ran, although we have to teach him how to slide better.
"If you watch the film in that matter, you'd say, 'OK, we've got to find ways to help him.'"
Pyro's take: What is wrong with these people? Do they not see the same game film that we see? How many times does Gabbert have to fail before you say okay the experiment is over.
I have no idea what Bradley is talking about when he says he saw him do "some things". I saw him do some things too, like only complete 17 of 32 passes for a measly 179 yards. I also saw him throw 3 interceptions, and to me that does not give me any confidence. It is time to tell Bradley to give up on Rick Mirer...I mean Blaine Gabbert.
Chad Henne should be the starter for this team and will be as soon as the head coach stops sniffing Gabberts jock.
Maurice Jones-Drew suffered a left ankle sprain midway through the second quarter and never was able to return to the game. The Jaguars said Jones-Drew would have an MRI to determine the damage, but that X-rays were negative.
“It’s a little loose in there from the sprain,” Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said.
Jones-Drew missed the last 10 games of last season with a Lisfranc injury in his left foot. That injury occurred in Oakland as well.
“It was just frustrating for me to finally get healthy, then get hurt again,” Jones-Drew said. “I didn’t really see much of the game. … It was tough. We just got to try to get healthy and get everybody back, start getting that chemistry back.”
Pyro's take: It has been reported via twitter that MJD has a ligament strain, which really does not tell us a whole hell of a lot. For the second season in a row Oakland truly is the Black Hole for MJD, the Bay area native. There is no way of telling how bad this injury is going to be, but at this point Jones-Drew looks like a risky start in week 3 if he does play.
"It hasn't been a good homecoming, period," Jones-Drew told reporters on Wednesday of his previous trips to the Bay Area. "I'm not really worried about that right now. Obviously, we have a lot of things we need to focus on...I'm not really worried about going home."
(Last season) his day at O.co Coliseum ended on his second carry of the day when he suffered a foot injury that proved season-ending.
Pyro's take: This is a chance for MJD to exorcise some demons, as he returns to the scene of his injury last season. MJD did not have a great game in week one, but he should be able to get on track this week. The offense will now be run by Chad Henne, which should give the offense more continuity and MJD more touches. MJD owners should feel good about him this week.
Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley announced Monday that starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert has been ruled out for this Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders after sustaining a laceration on his throwing hand during the team's 28-2 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Gabbert jogged off the field in the season opener's final minutes Sunday after suffering the cut, which Bradley told reporters was "severe" enough to rip off a portion of the passer's skin on his right hand, The Florida Times-Union reported.
"It's got to heal, and we need to keep it clean," Bradley said. "The big concern would be with the amount of stitches, that it could re-open and then the chance of infection occurring. We're going to handle that right. Hopefully we get him back next week or after the (Week 3) Seattle game."
Pyro's take: Chad Henne will get the start in week 2 for the Jaguars, and he has a great chance to keep the starting job even when Gabbert is healthy. Gabbert had an absolutely awful game in week 1 completing 16 of 35 for 121 yards and 2 interceptions. Henne helped to ignite the offense last season and will a get his chance this year in week 2. This will boost the value of Cecil Shorts and MJD for week 2.
Blaine Gabbert continues to make progress in his return from a thumb injury. At this stage, it looks like the quarterback is on track to start for the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1.
ESPN.com's Michael DiRocco watched Gabbert take part in most individual drills at Monday's practice. Gabbert threw the ball extensively, but he did not take snaps under center or shotgun. DiRocco wrote that Gabbert is "on track" to start the season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Pyro's take: Blaine Gabbert was the more impressive quarterback this preseason for Jaguars and now it looks like he will be ready for week 1 against the Chiefs. Gabbert is by no means a recommended starter, but he is an interesting quarterback to keep an eye on, especially once Justin Blackmon returns to the team after his 4-game suspension to start the season.
Blaine Gabbert impressive and then hurts his thumb
Gabbert left Saturday night's 37-13 preseason loss to the New York Jets with a sprained right thumb after playing for a quarter and a half. The Jaguars announced that the quarterback was scheduled to come out of the game at that point anyhow, and coach Gus Bradley said afterward that X-rays were negative.
"It doesn't feel too well, but at the same time, we're going to see what the deal is and just move on," Gabbert, who wore a brace on the thumb, told NFL.com's Kimberly Jones.
Gabbert was seen shaking his right hand after hitting one of the Jets' helmets on a follow-through. That came after one of his few poor passes of the night. Gabbert completed 13 of 16 passes for 165 yards and one touchdown in a hurry-up offense that played well to the third-year pro's strengths.
Pyro's take: Blaine Gabbert was impressive in this game, actually about as impressive as I have ever seen him. Chad Henne who replaced Gabbert only completed 4 of 10 passes and threw an interception. Gabbert should not be out of action for too long, and with this performance under his belt looks like the frontrunner to be the Jaguars starting quarterback.
Sometimes it just takes some players longer to finally get it and Gabbert displayed all those qualities against the Jets. He looked poised, comfortable and confident in the pocket, which is quite a change from what I have seen over the previous two season. Gabbert should be fine and ready to go for the season opener.
Cecil Shorts was a huge pickup for a lot of fantasy owners last year, putting up big points on a number of Sundays in 2012. But, he needs to prove he's not a flash in the pan, and is a top flight receiver. Had he not had a couple of concussions last year, he would have eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark. It'll be interesting to see if he can achieve that century mark this season with Henne or Gabbert.
Pyro's take: Cecil had either a TD or a 100-yards in every away game he played in last year! If he can keep that road domination up, he's going to be a nice treat again this season. With Justin Blackman out the first 4 games with a suspension, Shorts III will get a ton of targets and have every opportunity to score a lot of fantasy points for owners.
My issue is I'm not sure whether having Blackman in or out of the line-up helps the 3rd year wideout from Mount Union College, (huh? - he's gotta be the only NFL player ever from that school) is better for #84 or not. Some people, are really high on this little fella', I'm a little more lukewarm due to the fact he's on the Jaguars.
Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew (knee) practiced in full on Wednesday and is good to go for the game against the Colts on Thursday night.
Pyro's take: The Jags will likely try to play a little ball-control against the high-scoring Colts tonight, so expect MJD to get plenty of action. He's a nice RB1 for your fantasy football team in Week 15.
As expected, Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew (knee) was a full participant in practice on Tuesday.
Pyro's take: Indy is nothing special against the run, but the Jags will likely be playing catchup the whole game, so MJD might not get as many touches out of the backfield as you would like in your fantasy football playoffs.