With the next several weeks being filled with coach speak and buzzwords, I’m going to do a series of articles going deeper on said pieces. First, on the docket, we’re going to take a look at the Austin Seferian-Jenkins Hype Profile. The tight end position for fantasy purposes is generally a dumpster-fire outside of Gronk, Kelce, and Ertz. Finding streamable options for those not wanting to spend higher capital on the “Big Three” is key. This year, ASJ has that potential in Jacksonville.
For those that have forgotten, some quick reminders:
- ASJ ran a (reported) 4.56 40-yard dash at 6’5″ 262 lbs, according to PackerReport.com.
- Drafted 38th overall in 2014 by Tampa Bay. This made him the second TE off the board, behind Eric Ebron.
- After a 2016 DUI and a handful of other issues, was released and claimed by the New York Jets.
- Focused on himself through sobriety, posted his best season last year, going 50/357/3.
- This was across 13 games and placed him at TE 22 in half-point PPR. If you owned him, you know he had a few shoulda-been-TDs. This would have likely made him a high-end TE2.
- Signed with the Jags this offseason to a 2-year, $10.5 million deal.
- Will only be 26 this season, making him a cheap dynasty target as well as a late redraft option.
THE HYPE PIECES
Here are the pieces of news that have recently been hyping up ASJ.
- Mike Kaye, First Coast News – States that there’s a “strong connection” between Blake Bortles and ASJ. Goes on to say that they’re in rhythm not only in the middle of the field, but also on “downfield lobs” as well and that ASJ has been getting open down the seam of the defense regularly.
- John Oehser, Jaguars.com – Oehser is another writer close to the team to mention the rapport between Seferian-Jenkins and Bortles. He took it a step further, saying a “major theme” of minicamp was the potential impact of ASJ on the offense, and that it “appears likely” that he’s set to be an integral part of it.
- Jay Johnson, JagsWire – Named four players with momentum heading into camp, and mentioned Seferian-Jenkins first. Johnson also says that ASJ has established himself as Bortles’ favorite target. Combine this with the Jags’ scheme being TE-friendly, Bortles’ penchant for big targets, ASJ “could be in for a career year”.
- Albert Breer, MMQB – This piece doesn’t mention ASJ outright, but it does say that OC Nathaniel Hackett feels that the passing game will be more aggressive this year. That’s not saying much, but it does give us reason to be optimistic that ASJ will see the targets necessary to be fantasy-relevant.
This all sounds great, but has Austin Seferian-Jenkins put anything on tape to back this up? Let’s take a look at some GIFs!
First thing’s first, this offense is still going to be run-heavy. Last year, Jacksonville led the league in rush attempts and rush yards, while ranking 21st in pass attempts. The most important thing is going to be whether or not ASJ can function as a blocker.
Looking at the middle of the screen, ASJ takes on Tashaun Gipson and stays with him throughout, giving Elijah McGuire a cutback lane. It isn’t uncommon to see offensive linemen or tight ends struggle to engage with corners due to their (in most cases) superior athleticism.
Here, ASJ is lined up at the bottom of the screen and works a combo block. He helps seal the edge by pushing the defensive end toward the interior of the line, then works up to the second level to take care of Paul Posluszny.
Before I lose all of you, here are some GIFs of Seferian-Jenkins making plays that will show up in your fantasy scores this season.
Running this route with his hand in the ground, bursts off the line to get behind Telvin Smith, and makes the athletic catch.
I’m not showing this GIF to showcase the corner play here, but it shows the versatility ASJ could bring to the Jags. With the lack of a true red zone threat, it’ll be interesting to see how he’s deployed in these situations.
Who doesn’t love a tight end with a little YAC-ability? Releases late into the middle of the field then puts the moves on.
This is how I’m expecting ASJ to be used all over the field this season, not just the redzone. With the Jags being a run-dominant team, play action passes should be a huge part of his production.
I’m buying the hype! I’m going to go on record as saying Austin Seferian-Jenkins has a TE1 season in fantasy this year. He’s a strong enough blocker to stay on the field on all downs and fits Bortles’ game perfectly. With Marqise Lee, Donte Moncrief, and then approximately nine of the same wide receivers, ASJ provides something this team doesn’t currently have. Keep your eye on Seferian-Jenkins as your late-round redraft target. For dynasty, send out some buy-low offers before it’s too late! Reach out to me on Twitter and let me know your thoughts on how you see his season going.