Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9, 4-7 ATS) at Los Angeles Rams (7-4, 4-7), 4:25 p.m.
Brolley’s Jaguars Stats and Trends
The Jaguars have played under the total in six straight games and in nine of their last 10 contests.
The offense has failed to produce more than 17 points in five straight contests with Trevor Lawrence averaging just 5.0 YPA with two TD passes in that span. He actually had his best fantasy performance last week against the Falcons since Week 5, completing 23/42 passes for 228 yards (5.4 YPA) for one TD and one INT against the Falcons, and he added 5/39 rushing to finish with 18.0 FP. The Rams are giving up the 16th-most FPG (18.5) to QBs this season.
Laviska Shenault continued to underwhelm in Week 12 with his fifth consecutive game with fewer than double-digit FP. He finished with 5/33 receiving against the Falcons but he at least saw a team-high nine targets (21% share). Marvin Jones has also finished with fewer than double-digit FP in five straight games after posting 4/43 receiving on seven targets last week. Former Vikings’ first-round pick Laquon Treadwell actually led the Jaguars with 4/53 receiving on eight targets, which is all you need to know about the sad state of this passing offense. The Rams are giving up the 11th-most FPG (36.5) to WRs this season.
James O’Shaughnessy made some noise in Jacksonville’s season opener with 6/48 receiving before going down with a high ankle injury in Week 2. He returned to the lineup at the right time in Week 12 with Dan Arnold going down with a knee injury that will likely keep him out for the rest of the season. O’Shaughnessy stepped up with 3/29 receiving on five targets on a promising 81% snap share, and he added a two-point conversion for 7.9 FP against the Falcons. The Rams are giving up the 12th-most FPG (13.8) to TEs this season.
James Robinson saw a season-low 52% of the snaps last week and he’s sat at 63% or lower in each of his last three games since coming back from injury — Carlos Hyde even ran more routes than him (21 to 16) against the Falcons. He failed to score last week for the first time in his last seven full games, but he still posted 13.5 FP thanks to 20/115 scrimmage. A.J. Dillon managed 25/90/1 scrimmage against the Rams last week.
Brolley’s Rams Stats and Trends
The Rams have quickly sunk to the bottom of the ATS standings in the NFC with five straight failed covers.
The Rams haven't been particularly close to winning the last three weeks with three consecutive outright losses as favorites with an ugly average cover margin of -17.8 points in that span.
The Rams have turned the ball over seven times with a -5 turnover differential in the last three games after turning it over seven times combined with a +6 turnover differential through eight contests.
Matthew Stafford has been the driving force behind those turnovers with seven INTs and a lost fumble in the last three weeks. He at least got back to throwing for three TDs last week, which gives him 23+ FP and 3+ TD passes in four of his last six games. The Jaguars have limited five of the last seven QBs they’ve faced to fewer than 200 passing yards, and they’re giving up the eighth-fewest FPG (17.6) to the position.
Cooper Kupp failed to score a touchdown for the third straight week, but he still strung together 7/96 receiving on 10 targets against the Packers. He’s now reached 90+ receiving yards and 7+ catches in 10-of-11 games this season. Russell Gage hung 6/62/1 receiving on seven targets against the Jaguars last week.
Odell Beckham is dealing with a hip issue this week, but he emerged from LA’s bye as a full-time player with a 98% snap share. He had his best game of the season with 5/81/1 receiving on 10 targets, which was his first game with double-digit FP since he was with the Browns back in Week 6. The Jaguars are giving up the 12th-most FPG (36.3) to WRs this season.
Van Jefferson scored a 79-yard touchdown against the Packers, which propelled him to his best fantasy performance since Week 4. Jefferson caught just three of his nine targets last week, and he now sports a 41.4% catch rate with an aDOT of 15.0 yards over his last four games. The Jaguars are giving up just 12.2 YPR to WRs this season.
Tyler Higbee bottomed out last week with just a three-yard catch on five targets against the Packers, which gives him fewer than 10 FP in 7-of-11 games. The Jaguars limited Kyle Pitts to 2/26 receiving last week and no TE has topped 35+ yards against them since their Week 7 bye.
Darrell Henderson strained his quad against the Packers last week, but he still played on five-week high 81% of the snaps. Sony Michel would be in line for a major workload if Henderson is unable to play in Week 13. Henderson has topped out at 55 or fewer rushing yards in four of his last five games, but he has 3+ catches in three straight games but for just 31 combined receiving yards. The Jaguars are giving up only 3.8 YPC but they’re allowing the third-most rushing TDs per game (1.0) to RBs.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Pace (seconds in between plays): 26.6 (7th)
Plays per game: 62.3 (19th)
Pass: 63.6% (9th) | Run: 36.4% (24th)
Pace: 26.5 (6th)
Plays per game: 64.1 (12th)
Pass: 65.2% (4th) | Run: 34.8% (29th)
All pace / play data is from the last eight weeks.
The Rams three-game slide has coincided with how defenses are defending Matthew Stafford and their passing game. I went into more detail about how their opponents have just stopped blitzing them in this week’s Stat-Pack and it’ll be interesting to see if the Jaguars take a similar approach. Jacksonville is blitzing at the sixth-highest rate (31%), but those extra rushers aren’t getting home as they are generating a lowly 5.3% sack rate (seventh-lowest).
Regardless, the spread points to a way more run-heavy game-script for the Rams. Over the last eight weeks, L.A. is the third-most pass-heavy team in tight games (67.7%) and when trailing (74.6%), but they flip the switch to the ground game when leading (51.5% pass | 48.5% run). This is certainly a spot for the Rams run game to find a runway for take off.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars offense has generated a score (TD or FG) on just 27.4% of their possessions over the last eight weeks – which is the fourth-lowest rate behind the Lions (25.3%), Texans (23.5%), and Seahawks (23.4%). We need them to show up for this game to shootout… and no one should be optimistic that happens.
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
Had Van Jefferson Jr. only drug his foot an inch before stepping it out-of-bounds, his Week 12 would’ve concluded with four receptions, 133 receiving yards, two TDs, and… wait for it… 32.3 FPs. Sean McVay knew exactly what he was doing when he selected Jefferson with his ‘20 second-rounder. And he appears to be a clone of Robert Woods. The upside plot would thicken if Jacksonville continues to hold Shaquill Griffin out due to concussion symptoms. If Griffin is out again, Jefferson’s responsibility will fall to Tyson Campbell.
Dolan’s Vantage Points
It’s clear that Jaguar star RB James Robinson is not 100% as he deals with knee and heel injuries. And he caught the dreaded midweek downgrade this week, going from a limited practice session on Wednesday to no practice on Thursday, which is rarely a good sign. He returned to practice on Friday, but he’s clearly not feeling great.
Even if Robinson plays, it’s possible you look to sit him this week. Here’s Graham Barfield from Start/Sit:
“This of course comes with the caveat that you might not have any better options – especially in such a brutal year at the position – but there are some red flags around James Robinson right now. J-Rob is probably the most underrated runner in the league and has bell cow ability, which is what has made him a weekly RB1, but his role has really started to decline as of late likely because of a nagging ankle/heel injury. Robinson got it done again last week with 115 scrimmage yards on 20 touches against the Falcons, but his 52% snap rate was a season-low. In fact, Robinson ran fewer routes (17) than Carlos Hyde (21) in a game that the Jaguars trailed and chased throughout. That’s a concern for Robinson considering we need him on the field in garbage time – which is all of the time in Jacksonville. This matchup isn’t easy, either, as the Rams run defense has tightened over the last eight weeks (3.55 YPC allowed; third-fewest). Robinson’s health, declining role, and tough matchup make him a lower-end RB2 this week.”
I wouldn’t have much interest at all in Carlos Hyde if Robinson can’t play against this pissed-off Rams team. He’s a FLEX option for me.
While Laviska Shenault went back to his natural position in the slot, lining up inside on 25 of his 36 routes and even 2 snaps in the backfield, he still didn’t produce last week, so he’s not on the radar for me.
Here’s Scott with more:
“If you’re desperate for a TE, and Moreau isn’t available off waivers, you can do a lot worse than O’Shaughnessy. In his only two full games (Weeks 1 and 12), O’Shaughnessy averages 7.5 targets, 11.7 XFP, and 8.4 FPG.
If we combine Dan Arnold (now on IR) and O’Shaughnessy, then Jacksonville’s TE1 is averaging 8.1 targets, 12.7 XFP, 51.9 YPG, and 10.1 FPG on a 76% route share in full games started. If over the full season, those numbers would rank: 4th-, 5th-, 13th-, and 12th-best.
And he gets an especially favorable matchup this week — the Rams rank 7th-worst in schedule-adjusted FPG allowed to opposing TEs (+2.7), and 3rd-worst over the last 5 weeks (+4.0).
But of course this is just the best bull-case argument I can make. He’s still James O’Shaughnessy, so you’re only starting him as a high-end TE2. But, again, you could do a lot worse if desperate.”
Now, we have yet another loss — three in a row — after which we’re asking “what is wrong with the Rams?” And indeed, Matthew Stafford is bearing the brunt of that.
Stafford has thrown a pick-six in each of those three losses, and it comes amidst a troubling morning report last Sunday from ESPN that his body is basically Baker Mayfield-like right now — riddled with all kinds of injuries. Stafford, of course, has enough ability and enough talent around him that, unlike Mayfield, he’s capable of putting up numbers regardless. Though much came with a big deficit late, Stafford finished 21/38 for 302 yards and 3 TDs, with the aforementioned pick-six, against the Packers. That’s certainly good enough for your fantasy team even if it isn’t pretty the whole way, but the fact that Stafford’s body may be breaking down and is affecting his decision-making (of course, he’s always been aggressive, often to a fault).
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, has been dealing with pain in his throwing arm, his elbow, a sore ankle, and chronic back pain, per sources.— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) November 28, 2021
He will play today.
Matthew Stafford says there is nothing that is affecting his play. “I’m going to look in the mirror and make the corrections”— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) November 29, 2021
The Rams have no choice right now but to hope Stafford turns things around. There’s just no other option for them. If you have Stafford for fantasy, well, you hope he doesn’t collapse. But maybe Sean McVay can be doing more to help.
they don’t run many plays on O and don’t seem to self scout tendencies as the season goes on. We beat them twice later in season when we had a really good idea of exactly what they were going to do #Rams https://t.co/cK9FbNLfsP— Ryan Paganetti (@PaganettiRyan) November 19, 2021
Paganetti, a former Eagles staffer, doesn’t seem to be referring to the volume of the Rams’ plays but the concepts and schemes they run. In other words, he’s talking about how the Rams seem to get easier to play the later the year goes on — something that was true with Jared Goff and now with Stafford too. McVay needs to help out his quarterback more; that might not be what he bargained for when he traded so much for Stafford, but the Rams, of their own tongue, are “all in,” so he has no choice.
#Rams coach Sean McVay said receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (hip) and running back Darrell Henderson (thigh) will be questionable for Sunday's game vs. Jaguars. Said he'd be surprised if OBJ missed it, but Henderson looks like a game-time decision. Receiver Ben Skowronek (back) is OK.
— Kevin Modesti (@KevinModesti) December 3, 2021
If Hendo doesn’t play, just replace him with Sony Michel, who could be a borderline RB1 in a good matchup. OBJ is a little trickier.
He played all but 1 offensive snap for the Rams in their Week 12 loss to the Packers, and put up 5/81/1 on a team-high (well, tie for a team high) 10 targets. It appears unlikely that OBJ will return to his heights from his days with the Giants. But what we did need to see if we wanted to put Beckham into fantasy lineups is a significant increase in role from his Ram debut before the bye, and we got that. Given the state of this offense, he’s more of a volatile WR3, but he’s certainly usable if he plays.