Thursday PM update: D.J. Chark has been downgraded to OUT for Thursday Night Football, according to Ian Rapoport. Remove him from your fantasy lineups. Cole gets a bump in most leagues, Shenault in deeper leagues.
UPDATE: Chark is questionable with chest and back injuries. He’s “trending upward,” according to Tom Pelissero, but his final status will be determined closer to game time. If he can’t go, bump up Cole, Shenault and Chris Conley.
Keelan Cole has always been more of a minor role player in the Jacksonville offense, but he seems to have taken a step forward this year. Cole was a steady contributor in each of the first two weeks of play and he currently leads the team in targets. Will this trend continue for Cole, or will D.J. Chark Jr. and Laviska Shenault Jr. dethrone the Jags current pass-catching leader? We break down the fantasy analysis below.
Fantasy Football analysis: Jaguars WRs D.J. Chark, Laviska Shenault, Keelan Cole
Chark is off to a slow start and has yet to return value at his ADP that placed him in the WR2 category. He had only seven targets in the first two weeks combined and is currently tied with Laviska Shenault Jr. in PPR points on the season with 23.9, as they both trail behind Keelan Cole. The good news for Chark is that he was able to catch every one of his targets thus far and remains a deep threat in any match-up. He faces off against a weak Miami defense this weekend, that has both Xavien Howard and Byron Jones listed on the midweek injury report along with safety Clayton Fejedelem. Although he is far from a WR2 lock, he can play a serviceable role in most lineups. With some increased volume Chark could easily have a big day. It is worth noting that he was a limited participant in practice as of Tuesday with a chest injury. Keep an eye on this situation as practice reports are published towards the end of the week.
Keelan Cole has been a pleasant surprise in the Jacksonville offense this year, as he racked up 11 receptions on 12 targets for 105 yards and two touchdowns through the first two weeks of the season. Cole has an opportunity to continue his streak of double digit fantasy games in Week 3 against the Miami Dolphins. While it is entirely possible that Cole returns to a smaller role once fellow wideout Dede Westbrook becomes healthy and rookie Laviska Shenault receives an increased workload, he appears to have a steady workload in this offense at the moment. For the time being Cole seems to have a good floor and may be a solid fill in for anyone in a pinch due to last week’s onslaught of injuries.
Laviska Shenault Jr. is keeping pace with D.J. Chark Jr. at the moment, as he hauled in six of eight targets for 72 yards and one touchdown in the first two weeks. He shows promise as he settles into this offense. There are a lot of mouths to feed in Jacksonville and the volume is not quite there to feel confident in adding Shenault to your lineup just yet, but he is certainly a player to watch who may work his way into the WR3 territory as his role grows.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
Start D.J. Chark as a low end WR2 with a plus matchup
Start Keelan Cole as a flex in deeper leagues
Sit Laviska Shenault Jr. but hold as a bench stash