Fantasy football: RB Chris Thompson gets boost after Jaguars waive Fournette

Chris Thompson (25) joined the Jacksonville Jaguars this off-season and should see a boost in receptions after the team waived running back Leonard Fournette on Monday. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Chris Thompson (25) joined the Jacksonville Jaguars this off-season and should see a boost in receptions after the team waived running back Leonard Fournette on Monday. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Who will receive most of the Jacksonville Jaguars' carries in 2020 remains to bee seen after the team waived Leonard Fournette, but Chris Thompson should be the most consistent fantasy football play.

Jacksonville waived Fournette on Monday despite the veteran running back's career-high 1,674 yards from scrimmage in 15 starts last season. That leaves Thompson as by far the most experienced player in the Jaguars' backfield as they enter the 2020 season.


Jaguars coach Doug Marrone refused to name an RB1 for the 2020 season when asked Monday about who would fill Fournette's role. He said the top back role will be filled dependent on the team's game plan for any respective week during the 2020 season.

"Committee is a word that people use out there," Marrone told reporters. "We have guys that have really good skill sets and have had good [training] camps."

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Ryquell Armstead, Thompson, Devin Ozigbo, James Robinson and Nathan Cottrell now top the team's depth chart at running back. Armstead is in his second season and had just 108 carries and didn't score a rushing touchdown last season. Ozigbo had just nine carries last season and also failed to reach the end zone in 2019.


Robinson and Cottrell signed with the Jaguars in April as undrafted free agents. Armstead has missed most of training camp after he landed on the COVID-19 list. Ozigbo has had an impressive training camp, but likely will have to prove his value throughout the season to remain a consistent fantasy football option.

Thompson, 29, is regarded as one of the best pass-catching running backs in the NFL. He signed with the Jaguars this off-season in free agency after he spent seven seasons with the Washington Football Team.

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Thompson also isn't known for his running ability between the tackles, but his skills as a pass catcher should be on full display once again in 2020. Fournette's departure increases Thompson's fantasy football value, especially in points per reception formats. Fournette had career highs with 100 targets and 76 catches last season and Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew should use Thompson as a short receiving option.

I expect Thompson to haul in at least 60 catches this season and set a career-high in receiving yards. He should be a flex option -- based on matchup -- in points per reception leagues in 2020. He also holds more value in leagues with 12 teams or more.


Armstead and Ozigbo should also be rostered with a late-round pick in fantasy football drafts or through free agency. Both players are low-end lottery ticket-type values before the season and shouldn't be put in lineups until they produce on a consistent basis.

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Thompson is more valuable than the other running backs because the Jaguars likely will be playing from behind in a lot of games this season, which should result in more passing attempts and less ball-control strategy from the running game.

Fournette likely will be picked up by another team and could return immediate fantasy football value if he ends up with a team and is given adequate opportunities. He still could return RB2 value and his status should be monitored prior to your league's draft. Fournette held an average draft position in the second or third round before the move, but should not be drafted until the last few rounds until he lands with a new team.

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