The Jacksonville Jaguars squared off against the Detroit Lions in their third preseason contest Friday night, and wide receiver Allen Hurns was among the team’s standout stars throughout the first half. Conversely, rookie running back T.J. Yeldon struggled in his first taste of preseason action.
Here’s a look at how Hurns and Yeldon fared statistically:
The Jaguars made a concerted effort to feed Yeldon like an every-down-back, but he couldn’t crack through to the second level of the Lions’ defense. The former Alabama standout took eight handoffs for an average of 1.25 yards per tote, including a one-yard goal-line touchdown.
While Yeldon’s not being horribly over-drafted at RB23, per FantasyPros.com, his ADP among running backs (24.8) is clocking in ahead of more established commodities like LeGarrette Blount (27.5) and C.J. Spiller (29.0).
The counter-point is that Yeldon is expected to serve as a three-down workhorse, whereas Blount and Spiller are slotted into timeshares that may cap their upsides. Yeldon could pay out serious rewards if he cashes in on red-zone conversions, but there’s risk involved with drafting an unproven player in an offense that could be playing from behind quite a bit.
Despite the underwhelming effort, Yeldon’s still worth a look as an RB2 in deeper leagues and a flex play in standard 10-team formats.
At receiver, Hurns was busy early as he hauled in three catches for 24 yards on the Jaguars’ first drive. A 13-yard hookup that resulted in a touchdown capped off a fruitful possession.
As Sports Illustrated‘s Peter King observed, Hurns and quarterback Blake Bortles appear to have established a nice rapport:
Hurns was targeted in the end zone on the Jaguars’ second drive, and he successfully drew a pass interference penalty that set Jacksonville up Yeldon’s score. He was then forced to leave the game with hip tightness and did not return. According to Jaguars PR’s Tad Dickman, the decision to remove Hurns was a precautionary measure taken by the team.
It would be a mistake to overreact based on such a small sample size, but Hurns ran crisp routes and displayed steady hands working on the outside of the Jaguars’ offense.
Hurns’ current ADP sits at No. 99 overall among wide receivers, per FantasyPros, which essentially means he’s going undrafted in all formats.
As a rookie, Hurns tallied 51 catches for 677 yards and six touchdowns, and those numbers should improve as Bortles enters Year 2 with more poise and confidence under center. However, it should be noted four of Hurns’ touchdowns were compiled over the course of just two games, as were 222 of his receiving yards.
If the Jaguars’ defense can’t hold up and the offense is forced to play from behind throughout the season, Hurns could pile up some respectable garbage time numbers. That said, owners shouldn’t spend a draft pick on the second-year receiver until he proves he can produce consistently.
Consider him a waiver wire target and not much more.
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