The Duel

Ryquell Armstead Fantasy Outlook Could Skyrocket Following Leonard Fournette Release

Jason Schandl
Ryquell Armstead's fantasy outlook is on the rise with Leonard Fournette released.
Ryquell Armstead's fantasy outlook is on the rise with Leonard Fournette released. / Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

In a move that was only surprising because it took so long to happen, the Jacksonville Jaguars released running back Leonard Fournette on Monday.

Given they went through almost the entire offseason without getting rid of the former first-round pick, it seemed that Fournette was going to be the Jags' lead back again, which had made him a reasonable fantasy football pick.

But now with Fournette gone, Ryquell Armstead has the opportunity to step up as the No. 1 RB in Jacksonville. Chris Thompson and Devine Ozigbo should also see their fantasy outlooks improve.

Ryquell Armstead Fantasy Outlook

Now the top dog on the RB depth chart (unless a free agent is brought in), Armstead established himself as Fournette's direct backup after being selected in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

He didn't receive much playing time, but he showcased the kind of well-rounded skill set that can lead to some interesting fantasy football value, seeing 24 targets to go with his 35 rush attempts.

Most importantly, when Fournette was out (Week 17), Armstead saw significant volume. 10 of his carries and 9 of his targets came in that game, during which he played 62 percent of the Jags' offensive snaps and racked up 19.5 PPR fantasy points.

Chris Thompson Fantasy Outlook

Fournette's release all but solidifies Thompson's outlook as the team's primary receiving back, and that could also limit Armstead's value a bit.

Fournette had been a true three-down back for the Jags, and he tallied 76 receptions on 100 targets in 2019. This team is likely to throw to its RBs, and that's why the addition of Thompson made a ton of sense. Despite missing at least 5 games in each of the last three seasons, Thompson has racked up at least 39 receptions on at 54 targets in four consecutive years.

As icing on the cake, the Jaguars' new offensive coordinator is Jay Gruden, who was the OC in Washington that got Thompson so involved with receiving volume.

Thompson doesn't have a ton of upside because of his lack of rushing volume, but he may be the safest fantasy pick in the stable.

Devine Ozigbo Fantasy Outlook

Devine Ozigbo is a long shot, but he now becomes an interesting late-round deep sleeper because of his potential to overtake the unproven Armstead.

In that Week 17 contest last year, Ozigbo played second fiddle to Armstead, but still saw 9 carries and 5 targets.

It's safe to assume Armstead gets the first crack at the starting job, but it's far from a given that he holds onto it for the long run. Ozigbo probably isn't worth a pick in 12-team leagues unless we hear some news that he may already be in line to start, but as a late round pick in 14-team leagues (or leagues with deep benches), his upside could make him worth a flyer.

As for Fournette, we'll have to see where he lands, but it's hard to imagine his fantasy outlook doesn't take a serious hit now that he's unlikely to be used as a workhorse.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.