The Phinest Hype-Train Series Part 3 of 5: Jags WR Laviska Shenault Is On The Rise!

Laviska Shenault’s hype-train is on the move as he draws rave reviews from OTA’s and minicamp from coaches.

Laviska Shenault will seek to build on his strong rookie year next year, and the arrival of Trevor Lawrence will undoubtedly help him do so. The second-year receiver will compete for targets in a crowded Jaguars wide receiver room and will be an important part of the Jaguars’ offense for years to come. He should be a great buy low target in your Dynasty leagues for a third or fourth round pick.

Shenault had an above-average rookie season with 600 yards and five touchdowns while only playing 14 games. The more impressive statistic is that he accomplished this with Gardner Minshew, Mike Glennon, and fellow rookie Jake Luton as his quarterbacks. The Jaguars had the highest pass play percentage in the NFL in 2020, at 66 percent. This is primarily due to the game script dictating that they pass to remain competitive, and it should remain relatively similar in 2021. 

Shenault’s skill set and role in the offensive scheme offer an intriguing glimpse into his fantasy output in the future. He was regarded as an explosive receiver with strong versatility and playmaking skills coming out of college. One of Shenault’s most intriguing traits is his ability to gain yards after the catch, something he has demonstrated regularly in both college and the NFL. His versatility as a gadget player who can line up everywhere on the field helps him in fantasy, as more opportunities mean more chances to score points. 

Tyreek Hill is a perfect comparison for Laviska Shenault at his ceiling. He’s a player who can line up everywhere on the field has good speed, and had nearly identical rookie stats. Expectations for 2021 should be kept in check since Shenault does not have the best quarterback in the league and does not play on a top offense. His stats for next year should be around 900 total yards and 8 total touchdowns, putting him in the same range as someone like Cole Beasley and Michael Gallup.

Last season, Shenault finished as the WR 50 behind two of his teammates Keelan Cole and DJ Chark. The opportunity for Jacksonville’s skill position players was significantly limited in 2020, as the team finished the season with the fifth-fewest overall offensive yards in the league, while also scoring the third least points in the league. Positive regression is impossible to avoid for Duval’s pass catchers, and Shenault is prepared to capitalize on it. You shouldn’t be concerned about the signing of Marvin Jones Jr. or Travis Etienne taking that many targets from him either, because the Jaguars have 210 vacated targets, so Lawrence should have no problem spreading the ball around. Even in a crowded WR room, Shenault has the tools to take the next step and become Trevor’s favorite target.

Another factor to consider is the long-term contract situations of Jacksonville’s wide receiver core. DJ Chark’s rookie contract is set to expire at the end of the season, after which he will become an unrestricted free agent. While Chark has shown some promise, he is not guaranteed to return to Jacksonville on a new deal. The rest of the Jaguars’ wideouts are on one or two-year contracts with no definite future in the franchise. Shenault’s rookie deal, on the other hand, goes until 2024, providing some long-term stability.

The addition of Trevor Lawrence is certainly an upgrade at quarterback from the Jaguars’ previous options. Lawrence’s long-term potential should benefit the whole offensive unit, and more consistent quarterback performance will offer Shenault and the rest of the Jaguars offense with more consistent productivity. As he enters his second season in the league, Shenault should be able to take a step forward, especially for a player with his potential. Because of Lawrence’s presence, Shenault should be a reliable WR in dynasty formats for many years to come. He should be a target in your Dynasty leagues and should be a good bye-week fill-in or bench player for redraft and other formats.

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