During Saturday’s preseason game versus the Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee received a pass over the middle and was running for yards after the catch when the helmet of safety Damontae Kazee met Lee’s left knee head-on in a collision. Lee’s knee bent at an awkward angle after the tackle and Kazee was flagged for a 15-yard penalty because he initiated contact with his helmet. Lee had to be carted off the field and thoughts that Jacksonville’s projected target leader could be lost for the season quickly emerged.
That situation soon became a reality. Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone told the media on Monday morning that Lee suffered ligament damage in his injured knee and will have to undergo surgery, ending his 2018 season before it even began. The team will place Lee on injured reserve while he recovers.
The Jaguars have plenty of wide receiver depth, but determining which pass catcher is the most fantasy relevant is the tricky part. The leading candidate at the moment is Keelan Cole, a former undrafted free agent that played a significant role in the Jaguars’ regular season success last season. Headed into his second year, Cole is the best deep threat on the team and was Jacksonville’s leader for receiving yards (748) last season.
Another attractive option is Dede Westbrook. At his current late-round price, he provides value if he emerges as the no. 2 behind Cole. He was also impressive, flashing potential at times last season, but nowhere on the level as Cole. If he can beat Donte Moncrief on the depth chart, he’s worth a bench spot.
D.J. Chark was drafted by the Jaguars this season and he is expected to see a bump in projections. However, in an offense with so many mouths to feed, Chark is only expected to see a limited role. The Jaguars will also rely heavily on the running game of Leonard Fournette, just like they did last season. Keep in mind that it is possible that even Cole may not be fantasy relevant due to Jacksonville’s reliance on Fournette.
Bottom line: Cole is the best option with Lee out for the season. Westbrook is worth a late-round flyer for boom-or-bust value (low-risk).
Cole Topham is the lead editor for snacktimefantasy.com and covers the MLB and NFL. He enjoys watching his opponents suffer as he defeats them week after week in his fantasy football/baseball leagues.