In The Blitz, RotoViz writers react to the latest news and help you place it within the context of our 2020 research and recommendations.
It’s been an incredible start to the season for rookie wide receivers. Big plays, stacked box scores, and highlight-reel touchdowns are flying across the headlines. Bold claims are already being made that this is one of the greatest classes of wide receivers ever. It’s only been five weeks, but there are several players from this class who have met or exceeded expectations.
In particular, one wideout has quietly been one of the most consistent options both for his team and for fantasy owners: Laviska Shenault Jr. He’s seen at least four targets through five weeks and has scored double-digit fantasy points in four of five weeks. We haven’t seen the big blowup game from him yet, but in Week 5, he led the team with seven receptions.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. caught a team-high seven passes for 79 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Houston Texans. The rookie continues to see an increase in his usage and has established himself as the No. 2 receiver on this team. While his usage won’t be consistent enough to make Shenault a weekly starting option, his upside does make him a matchup-dependent flex play and makes him a strong waiver wire option this week.
I’ll get right to it. This might be one of my favorite visuals of a rookie wide receiver. Comparing incoming players to past or current players is always a difficult, subjective task. However, if you use tangible, objective data, it becomes much more realistic. The most eye-catching visualization I have that highlights the elite potential of Shenault is right here.
You will be hard-pressed to find a more impressive list of professional comps for an incoming prospect. Amr Gabr tabbed Shenault as a potential breakout with the WR2 role in Jacksonville being wide open. Furthermore, his dual-threat usage was emphasized by Ryan Bobbitt in his draft profile. His college stats suggest that he can handle a significant load and is best utilized with the ball in his hands.
Second-Half League Winner
Earlier this season, several RotoViz writers tossed out their bold predictions for the 2020 season. Our own Jack Miller claimed that Shenault would be the WR1 for the Jaguars over the second half of the season. After five weeks, it’s well within the realm of possibility. The overall lack of consistent playmakers outside of D.J. Chark opens up many opportunities for Shenault. As the team continues to manufacture ways to get the ball in his hands, he could see his already growing role increase even more as the season progresses.
The Jaguars might very well be in the race for a top pick in 2021. That doesn’t change the fact that Shenault is a highly talented, legitimate weapon with league-winning upside. His lack of a blowup game is likely depressing his price. Go and acquire him before his bye week (Week 7) and set yourself up with a player who is poised to explode down the stretch.