For all of the talk Gardner Minshew has generated this season, the biggest part of it has been linked to off-field and character topics. It makes almost no sense that his actual game isn’t generating much more buzz. In the ten last seasons (including 2019) only three rookie quarterbacks (Cam Newton, Deshaun Watson, Robert Griffin) have accrued 100-plus fantasy points combined through their first five games. Kyler Murray (98) and Garner Minshew (90) rank fourth and fifth in the list. I have no insider information on how Nick Foles feels about this, but I’d bet he’s starting to get worried. And he has enough reasons to be so. Minshew has gone from a sixth-round forgotten pick to the future locked-in starter of the Jaguars in less than a third of the season — and he’s getting better.
Minshew’s start to the season was great. He replaced Foles against Kansas City and was able to hang 275 yards and two touchdowns on the Chiefs in his first professional game. Then he had another run of three games in which he passed the 200-yard mark, threw for five more touchdowns combined and gave up no interceptions. And last weekend against Carolina he just exploded. As if averaging 20 fantasy points per game wasn’t good enough, Minshew went to work and finished the day with 30.9 points. This is no joke: 374 yards on 26 completions for two more touchdowns. And with that, Minshew is one of only six quarterbacks to have thrown two TDs in four different games, and one of only five with one TD in each game. Add a group of wide receivers and tight ends that ranks eight in fantasy points scored and includes the fifth-best WR in PPR leagues (D.J. Chark) and you have everything to keep betting on Minshew.
Fantasy football analysis, Jacksonville Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew
By no means was a game like the one Minshew had against Carolina expected. Yes, Jacksonville trailed and had to throw the ball (Minshew attempted 44 passes), but even with that, throwing for 374 yards almost doubled his average to date (and he added 42 more yards rushing). Going from the Panthers defense (10th-fewest points allowed to QBs) to the Saints (third-most) should make things easier this weekend for Minshew and the Jaguars. New Orleans has been stout against the run but suffered a lot against the passing game. Leonard Fournette will definitely have his touches, but with Jacksonville as underdogs, I expect Minshew to air it out again. Regression has not impacted Minshew or Chark, and they enter a match in which both should be hugely favored by the game script and the softness of New Orleans’ defense.