Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette named a fantasy ‘winner’ in free agency

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 14: Leonard Fournette
PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 14: Leonard Fournette /

In the active free agency period for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the team’s 2017 first-round draft pick is deemed as a considerable beneficiary.

Running back Leonard Fournette had a productive season in year one. The rookie surpassed 1,000 yards on the ground and scored 13 rushing touchdowns, despite missing three games. On a ground-and-pound, run first mentality team, Fournette is the catalyst of the offense.

Different from previous offseasons, it didn’t appear that the Jacksonville Jaguars were going to be big players in 2018. But the Jaguars put that notion to bed quickly, bringing in seven new players, and making one of the biggest splash signings league-wide.

After the hustle-and-bustle first week of free agency, Pro Football Focus listed winners and losers of the initial week of the new league year, pertaining specifically to the fantasy football landscape. Leonard Fournette was grouped as a winner:

"Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville JaguarsWhile he was able to top 1,000 yards in his rookie season, Fournette averaged an uninspiring 3.9 yards per carry. We should see that number go up after the Jaguars added guard Andrew Norwell. Fantasy drafters should feel much more confident selecting Fournette in the back end of the first round."

With the Jaguars signing Andrew Norwell, the top guard in free agency, and one of the best overall at the position in the NFL, it is easy to see how Fournette benefits from free agency. Jacksonville had the top rated rushing offense in 2017, but a decent extent of that was fool’s gold. The offensive line, particularly inside, failed to get push and control the line of scrimmage far too often. That was evident when it mattered most, when the Jaguars failed to hold a fourth quarter lead against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship.

Plugging Norwell in between left tackle Cam Robinson and center Brandon Linder will immediately bolster the offensive line, and the impact in the running game will be noticeable in 2018.

To view a detailed look at the effect Norwell had with the Carolina Panthers, and why his addition is so vital to the Jaguars, Brian Baldinger of NFL.com broke down the film:

It’s clear that the Jacksonville Jaguars bringing in Andrew Norwell will allow the team to more efficiently pound the rock, and Leonard Fournette will be in a position to put up staggering numbers next season.