2016 Fantasy Football Preview: New York Jets

2015 Fantasy Recap

At 10 – 6, the Jets were the best team not to make the playoffs last year.  The team MVP just might have been IK Enemkpali, that man that broke Geno Smith’s jaw in the preseason knocking him out for 6 weeks. That injury gave Ryan Fitzpatrick the starting job and he never gave it back. Of course Fitz had help from the highest producing wide receiver duo from 2015 in Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, the two combined for 189 receptions and 26 TD’s. The Jets also featured a power running game that was led by Chris Ivory’s 1,000+ yards and 8 TD campaign. The defense was not dominant, but it was a defense you could count on week in and week out. The Jets were not loaded with fantasy stars, but the few they had produced very consistently all season long.

Key Additions and Losses



QuarterBack Fantasy Outlook

Last season Ryan Fitzpatrick had his best year as a pro and finished as the 12th rated fantasy football QB. Can he repeat last years success? I certainly think he can repeat it, but I cannot see him improving on it, at least not enough to make a run at the top 10. I think what we saw last year is what we can expect. Last season Fitz averaged around 240 yards passing, 2 TD’s and 1 int per game, and while most people are thinking he regresses this season, I think those numbers a very doable, especially with the talent that he is surrounded by. I would not be targeting Fitz as my starting QB. He is, however, one of my top choices for a backup, especially if your number 1 is not a top 5 caliber QB. He would also be a top choice for a second QB in 2QB leagues.  Fitz is not going to take you to the ship, but he will keep your ship afloat while your starting QB has his bye. He actually has some pretty favorable match ups for most bye weeks, something to keep in mind.

Grade: B –

Running Back Fantasy Outlook

The Jets want to win this year, not down the road, but today. Nothing hammers that idea home any more than the free agent signing of the 31-year-old Matt Forte, who has a ton of miles on his tires. I really don’t see the Jets leaning on Forte the same way the Bears used to, which I think will hurt more than I think most people seem to think. His current ADP still has him being drafted as an RB2 in the fourth round and that is asking too much I think. The Jets have plenty of depth at running back and I think they will use it in order to keep everyone healthy and fresh. The RBBC will include Bilal Powell, who was actually the Jets third leading receiver with 47 receptions last season and also newly acquired Khiry Robinson who I expect will take goal line and short yardage work. All three backs are above average runners and all three have proven the ability to catch out of the backfield. So unless one guy goes down with an injury I think the workload will be pretty spread out. The bottom line is Forte will score points, but not enough to justify taking him in the fourth round. If I can get him in the 6th round as a flex play I might take him, but I am not looking to rely on him as my RB2. Powell will be the guy that offers the most value based on ADP, especially in PPR leagues. If you trying out the zero RB strategy he is a good one to target late in the draft. Fitz clearly trusted him late last season, and I expect that trust to carry over into this season. Khiry is currently not draftable unless one of the other two go down for multiple weeks.

Grade:  B

Wide Receiver Fantasy Outlook

The duo of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker caught 189 passes for 2529 yards and 26 TD’s. They were the best WR duo in the NFL last season and those number led them both to top 15 finishes. For perspective, the other five receivers caught 70 passes for 827 yards and 3 TD’s. With Fitz back under center, I think we can expect both guys to remain as the top options when he drops back to pass. Marshall’s ADP has him coming off the board late second round, and if he repeats last year that is an absolute steal, but I think it is right where he belongs. Decker’s ADP has him getting drafted late in the fourth round, and again is right about where he should be. My biggest concern here is both guys suffering a regression in TD’s. I think the reception and yards will be there, but repeating double digit TD’s is always hard to do. Plus I think Jace Amaro could play a role in the red zone, more on him later. The only other receiver that I think is worth a mention is Devin Smith. Smith tore his ACL in December meaning he likely will not be ready to start the season making him undraftable, but when he comes back he could carve out a role. At this point, though, I would only consider him in dynasty formats.

Grade:  A

Tight End Fantasy Outlook

Pop quiz. How many receptions did Jets TE’s have all of last season? If you said eight you were correct. That is eight receptions combined for every TE that played for the Jets last season. How does that even happen? To be fair the Jets played without their second round pick from 2014 Jace Amaro. He is back and ready to play. I believe Amaro is in line for a very solid season. I am not sure he can become a TE1 this season, but he could break into the top 20 this year. People forget that he was a second round pick and in his final year in college, he caught 106 passes for 1352 yards and 7 TD’s, so he is an athlete capable of contributing to the offense. In his rookie season, the Jets were a mess from top to bottom, and he missed all of last year with a shoulder injury. So honestly we have not seen what Amaro is really capable. Now that the Jets have a much better and more stable offense I think we will see what Amaro is really capable of.  I would not be surprised if he gets 40 receptions for around 400 yards and 7 TD’s. That would put him right around 120+ points in PPR formats and that should be good enough for a top 20 finish. In dynasty formats, I think Amaro could be a steal for someone, but in redraft leagues, it is hard to justify drafting him right now. Maybe after some preseason games we might get an idea what his role will be and maybe he sneaks his way to a TE2 role, but until then it’s too much of a gamble.

Grade:  D +

Defensive Fantasy Outlook

The Jets defense was very solid last season. They were in the top 10 in interceptions, fumble recoveries, points allowed, and total yards allowed. They were also 12th in sacks, but what killed their value last season was they had 0 touchdowns on defense and special teams. The Jets did not lose any key contributors to their defense so at a minimum I think we can expect similar stats, but they have to increase their defensive and special teams TD’s before they can be considered an every week starting D. If you plan to stream your defense you may find yourself using them often as they will have plenty of good match ups throughout the year. Either way, I would not worry about drafting them, but if they are there to stream they would be one of my first considerations.

Grade: B –

Article originally posted on Going For 2 on August 12th, 2016.

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