Leonard Fournette and his fantasy stock have been a rollercoaster since entering the league in 2017, but he has been railroaded out of Jacksonville for now before he starts his vengeance tour.
The reason he was dumped dates back to the Tom Coughlin regime it seems. Fournette never seemed to win over on Coughlin and Doug Marrone just never seemed to do him any favors even when he was healthy. Fournette was not drafted fourth overall on a whim, he was drafted fourth overall because he was an extreme talent.
Does he fit the mold of the ideal NFL running back in today’s schemes? Not necessarily.
Does he have the talent to be a lead back on the majority of teams? Absolutely.
Leonard Fournette – The Draft Pick
Leonard Fournette was an absolute force coming out of high school. A kid coming from New Orleans who faced adversity early on because of Hurricane Katrina grew into the number one overall recruit in the nation. He would commit to then Les Miles’ LSU Tigers and as a freshman became the workhorse for a top team in not only the SEC but the nation.
He would have a successful enough career at LSU to be one of the first big-name players to skip a bowl game in order to avoid injury and prepare for the draft. He impressed people enough throughout the process and on tape to have the Jaguars select him fourth overall in 2017.
The sky was the limit as he was seen to be a back who could take the load off of Blake Bortles and help an emerging offense take the next step. He did just that as he became a leading force on the Jags’ run to the AFC Championship in 2018.
After that, things began to fall apart within the franchise despite Fournette taking off from a fantasy perspective.
Leonard Fournette – The Fantasy Back
In his two full seasons, 2017 and 2019, Fournette finished as RB8 and RB9 in 0.5 PPR formats. In his 2018 season where he only played eight games, he finished as RB40, although he was RB15 in points per game. If he had played in a full 16 games, he would have been projected to finish as RB11. He can produce meaningful numbers and be a reliable back when given the chance.
Have the Jaguars done him any favors? I don’t think so. Especially for Leonard Fournette and his fantasy stock.
Last year though when he had a reliable quarterback play from rookie Gardner Minshew he was able to have career highs in rushing yards, targets, receptions, and receiving yards. Forever he was seen as the old school power back but when push came to shove, he flashed the ability to be an all-around back.
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Leonard Fournette – The Avenger
Fournette was railroaded by Jacksonville as I mentioned above. He deserved better and didn’t get it. By him being dropped this week just two weeks out from the season, the odds are that he will have to wait for an injury or go to a team “all-in” on this season for better or worse.
According to Charles Robinson, Fournette is going to be looking for a scheme that will benefit his skillset which leans towards the power side. Teams that have been thrown around are the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles due to their coaching staff’s approach on offense.
Wherever he lands I expect this to be a giant wake up call for Fournette from a personal and professional perspective. He hasn’t faced adversity like this when it comes to his “football life”, but you don’t have the career he has had by accident.
He worked hard, he became a Louisiana high school legend and top recruit.
I think he can come onto almost any roster and immediately earn meaningful reps this year and have the ability to take over next year. His value will be highest in dynasty and keeper leagues but I would not sell Fournette if you have him.
In fact, buy Leonard Fournette and his fantasy stock cheap while you can because as soon as he lands with a team that cheap buy will take off like Apple Stock.