“History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” – Mark Twain
For the Jacksonville Jaguars, injury has caused their starting quarterback to sit. In his stead, an unhyped rookie sixth-round pick becomes starter. He’s kind of impressive actually, keeping his team competitive, and making receiver DJ Chark a household name.
That was 2019. That was Gardner Minshew.
But as it turns out, those exact words fit the description of this year’s Jaguars sixth-round rookie wonder… Jake Luton.
In his first start, Luton went 26-for-38 with 1 TD and 1 INT, including a rushing score. Jake “felt confident and never overwhelmed at the moment” and came within a 2-point conversion from taking the Texans to overtime in week 9.
DJ Chark’s Fantasy Relevance Revived
Much like Gardner Minshew’s arrival, Luton’s performance boosted Chark’s stock up into starting fantasy lineups. DJ’s momentum from last season wasn’t carrying over, as he was only producing at the WR40 rate through week 8.
Jake’s arrival saw Chark put up a 7-146-1 line on 12 targets. It was his second-highest fantasy week, with his second-most targets this season, and blew away his previous season-high of 95 receiving yards.
The output wasn’t really a surprise, as the Jags’ coaching staff sort of warned of its coming, with OC Jay Gruden saying:
“From arm talent, he’s impressive. He can throw the deep ball, the intermediate stuff … he can throw with touch.”
Gruden added that Luton, “has a great arm. He’s got the ability to put touch on the ball. He can stroke it now – that’s for sure. We’re excited to see him throw the ball downfield.”
As a result, Chark has risen back into starting lineup consideration in fantasy after 20.9 yards-per-catch.
Luton’s Confidence Not Going Unnoticed
Jaguars QB legend Mark Brunell saw Jake’s swag and wants to see more of the rookie:
“Luton started well and he finished really well.”
“Luton’s drive at the end of the game was solid and he handled the pressure of that moment very well.”
“I think that Luton…has earned another week of starting.”
As a Browns fan, I’ve been watching Cleveland try to figure out how to finish games since Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was a disappointment in theaters in 1999. So for Brunell to see unwavering confidence in Luton’s game for all sixty minutes bodes well for his and Chark’s rest-of-season prospects should he remain the starter.
The Wolf entered week 9 in the top-10 of FantasyPros Accuracy Challenge. Keep track of where he ranks Luton and DJ Chark in our Rest Of Season Big Board And Rankings.