Blake Bortles may be feeling more comfortable and confident right now, but he’s not buying into himself as a fantasy football commodity.
The Jacksonville Jaguars had a resurgent 2017 season, winning 10 games, a division title and two playoff games. Blake Bortles was not outstanding, with 3,687 yards, 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions during the regular season, but he did get to a 60 percent completion rate for the first time in his career (60.2, to be exact).
After adjusting to a new coaching staff last year, Bortles said he is more comfortable and “kind of owning” the offense this year. While that’s all well and good in June, the proof will be in the pudding when things matter come September.
The Jaguars have a great defense and a solid supporting cast around Bortles. So he really just has to keep the train on the tracks and not turn the ball over in the mass quantities he did prior to last season.
Bortles has been a top-10 fantasy quarterback twice in his career, and his rushing production (322 yards and two touchdowns) helped him be the 13th-highest scoring quarterback in 2017 (ESPN scoring). But when George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel asked him if he would take himself on his fantasy football team this year, Bortles had a clear, concise answer.
“Probably not”, “Maybe Leonard Fournette.”
Fournette will be a solid fantasy pick this year after rushing for 1,040 yards with nine touchdowns and 36 receptions (one receiving touchdown) on his way to finishing as RB9 (ESPN PPR scoring) in 13 games as a rookie last year. His workload will remain large this year (268 carries in 2017), and there’s room for better as he averaged just 3.9 yards per carry last year. Fournette will be the first Jaguar drafted in fantasy leagues until further notice.
Bortles has his shortcomings, and without passing volume (600-plus attempts in 2015 and 2016) he’s not a top-tier fantasy quarterback. But the general public should not completely ignore him in drafts and auctions this year (take a look at Week 12-Week 16 last year), even if Bortles will be crossing himself off his cheat sheets.