Jacksonville Jaguars vs New Orleans Saints
Details of the Script
- TNF – 8:15pm @ Caesars Superdome
- Weather – Indoors 🙂
- What Vegas is saying – Line (NO -1.0) & Over/Under 40
Identifying the Game Script
The Jaguars and the Saints haven’t played each other since the 2019 season. The Saints would win a close one over the Jaguars on the road 13-9. The Jaguars are coming off a divisional win as they seem to have found their stride. The Saints are coming off a loss to the up-and-coming Texans. The Saints will need to take advantage of a hobbling Trevor Lawrence. Derek Carr will need to get the passing game going to win since the Jaguars secondary has been beaten in the air. Neither run game has a good matchup, but the Jaguars may need to rely on theirs with Lawrence slightly banged up. It’s going to be a tough, low-scoring game in New Orleans.
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Trevor Lawrence has been the definition of a mediocre fantasy quarterback in 2023. He had not finished over 20 fantasy points since week one. As you can see, Lawrence is in that sweet spot of not great but not bad for fantasy. His matchup against the Saints won’t be an easy one. They have done well keeping quarterbacks under 260 passing yards this year. Recently, they have allowed two quarterbacks in the last three weeks to produce two-plus touchdowns against them. The Saints are a turnover machine and have picked off opposing quarterbacks in five of six games this year. The biggest issue for Lawrence is his knee injury that he is dealing with right now. He is considered day-to-day and could miss this game. If Lawrence plays, I would be a sit in 1QB leagues and, at best, a mid-range QB2 in Superflex leagues. If Lawrence can’t go, then CJ Beathard would start for him. The last time Beathard started a game was in 2020, and he had 270 yards and a touchdown. He would likely be outside the top 24 quarterbacks.
Derek Carr has put up back-to-back decent fantasy performances as he is still recovering from his shoulder injury in week two. He threw his first 300-yard game since week one of the season. The issue with Carr this year is his touchdowns; he has one or fewer in five of six games. He has had some difficult matchups in the season’s first six games. The Jaguars are a great matchup as they are in the bottom ten vs. fantasy quarterbacks. The Jaguars secondary has allowed 280-yard passers in four of the last five games. They also have given up at least one passing touchdown in each game but two or more in three of six games. This may be the opportunity for the passing attack to get going for fantasy in a short week. I like Carr to step up and finish as a high-end QB2 in fantasy for week seven.
The Jaguars backfield may need to step up with Lawrence’s injury concerns. The matchup for this backfield is challenging as the Saints ranked in the top three vs. fantasy running backs. The Saints have yet to allow a 65-yard rusher on the season. The one thing the Jaguars backfield has done is produce rushing touchdowns. Well, the Saints haven’t given up a rushing touchdown or any touchdowns to a running back this year. This leads me to Travis Etienne, who has been on fire for the last two weeks. He has scored four rushing touchdowns between weeks five and six. Etienne is being used like a workhorse back, as he averages 24 touches per game this year. I’m concerned that this offense won’t be able to move the ball that well, which could stop Etienne from scoring. He is a borderline RB1 in week seven. Tank Bigsby had a career-high in snaps in week six but has not produced this year. He continues to not be worth mentioning in fantasy.
The Saints backfield is run by Alvin Kamara, who has been dominant since returning from suspension. Kamara has 13-plus fantasy points in all three games this year. He has ten plus carries and 25 targets from weeks four to six. This matchup for Kamara won’t be that bad, but on paper, the Jaguars allow the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs. The Jaguars give up production in the passing game to running backs. They have allowed six-plus receptions on four of six games this year. Last week, they allowed 11 receptions to the Colts backs for 70 yards. The rushing yards are where the Jaguars have been dominant for this season. They have allowed only two running backs to over 45 yards this year. They also don’t allow backs to score, with just two rushing touchdowns through six games.
If the Saints can use Kamara as a passing weapon like last week, he should have no problem finishing as an RB1 in week seven. Jamaal Williams may return in this game for the backups, but it’s unlikely on a short week. Kendre Miller will likely get the backup role. Miller has been that great on the ground, but if he can see some passing work, maybe he’ll have some value. He is a low-end RB4 this week.
The Jaguars pass catchers have been slightly annoying in fantasy this year. Since week six, Christian Kirk remains the most production receiver in the offense with double-digit fantasy points. This matchup is decent for the pass catchers, as the Saints have given up a receiving touchdown in four of the last five games. The yardage has been up and down, but the slot receiver has done well against the Saints. Christian Kirk has the third most slot snaps in 2023 and should be in for a mid-range WR2 finish in week seven.
Calvin Ridley has been very inconsistent for fantasy this year. He has seen at least seven targets in five of six games this year. He has been under 50 yards in four of six games this year. Ridley would likely have to go up against Marshon Lattimore, which could give him some trouble. Ridley’s inconsistent play concerns, especially with question marks at quarterback. He is a low-end WR2 in week seven. Zay Jones missed six with an injury, so his status is questionable. Jones has been productive as a red zone threat when he does play. He would likely be a WR5 with some upside. Evan Engram had a bounce-back game in week six with seven receptions for 41 yards. He has five straight games with seven-plus receptions this year. The Saints are a top-ten defense vs. fantasy tight ends. Engram should still be a TE1 in week seven.
The Saints pass catchers looked great in week six. Chris Olave put up seven receptions for 96 yards. Michael Thomas continues his five for 50 yards. Rashid Shaheed’s big play ability put him over 100 yards and a touchdown. This group has a great matchup against the Jaguars, who are in the bottom ten against fantasy receivers. The Jaguars secondary has allowed at least one receiving touchdown to a receiver in each game this year. In the last two weeks, they have given up three 100-yard receivers as they have been allowing big plays.
Chris Olave seems like a little boom/bust this year, but he has double-digit fantasy points in four of six games. Olave’s big play ability has a favorable matchup in week seven. He should be a WR1 in this matchup. Michael Thomas has been a WR3 in each week this season. Thomas should remain a consistent flex option and finish as a WR3. Rashid Shaheed will be the downfield threat in the offense, but his role and snaps are inconsistent this year. He is a boom/bust WR4 in this matchup. Taysom Hill had a fantastic game in week six, but his production is all over the place this year. It is hard to trust his production in back-to-back games. Juwan Johnson is still week to week, so he is unlikely to play here. Foster Moreau had four receptions for 33 yards. The Jaguars are a decent matchup, but it’s hard to trust the production with the Saints tight ends.