Fantasy Tour Around the NFL, Part III: The New York Jets

(See Part 1 (NE) and Part 2 (NYG) by following the links)

We didn’t have to climb aboard our fantasy bus for our next team review; this time around we’ll be looking at the other team to share New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey: the New York Jets.

New York Jets

2010 Team Stats

Rushing Att./Yards/TDs: 534/2,374/14

Passing Att./Yards/TDs/INTs: 525/3,242/20/14

Defense/Sp. Teams Sacks/Turnovers/TDs: 40/30/5

Quarterbacks

Mark Sanchez

Entering his third-year, Mark Sanchez could be exposed as a true dud if his supporting cast fails to contribute.

Mark Sanchez: “The Sanchize” may have improved statistically in his Sophomore NFL season, and he is certain to be the Jets’ starting QB in 2011, but I don’t think he’ll ever be a viable fantasy option at quarterback. In his rookie season he threw 12 touchdowns and 20 interceptions, went 9-7 in the regular season and 2-1 post-season. Last year he threw 17 touchdowns and 13 picks (although he had by far the most interceptions dropped, at 15), went 11-5 and again 2-1 in the playoffs. He finished league-27th in passer rating (75.3), 29th in completion percentage (54.8), and 26th in yards-per attempt (6.5). He might have a career record of 20-12 in the regular season and 4-2 in the playoffs, but Mark Sanchez is not statistically relevant in fantasy football. Due to his win-loss ratio, someone in your league will draft him as their backup. Don’t be that guy.

Mark Brunell, Kevin O’Connell, Kellen Clemens: About as useful as a bag of hammers. Sanchez isn’t a fantasy option, and if he goes down the Jets will only run more.

Running Backs

LaDanian Tomlinson: Tomlinson carried the ball at least 10 times in every regular season game last year (except when he was rested in Week 17), but his production dropped late in the season. Through the first five weeks he averaged 5.8 yards per carry and scored 3 touchdowns. He only scored 3 more touchdowns in the remaining 10 games he played in, and his yards per dropped to just 3.5. I would steer clear of the future Hall of Famer from now on.

Shonn Greene: Greene had 185 carries last season, and turned those into 766 yards and 2 scores. If Tomlinson loses some carries to him in 2011, he can only go up. He’s definitely worth hunting down in your fantasy draft.

Joe McKnight: McKnight is one of my favourite sleepers this year. While he was only picked in the fourth round in 2010 and only played running back in 3 games last season (he returned punts sporadically throughout the season), he had a monster game in Week 17 against the hapless Buffalo Bills, accumulating 158 yards on 32 carries. If Tomlinson’s ability wanes and the Jets stick with their committee system, McKnight could be the next back in line to benefit from New York’s running game.

Wide Receivers

Braylon and Santonio

Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes probably won't both be back in New York in 2011.

Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes: Both of these guys are set to be free agents whenever free agency opens up, and it’s sounding like at least one of them won’t be with the team when football starts up again. Fantasy wise, they’re very similar. Edwards is more of a deep threat while Holmes is more of an all-round receiver, but in 2010 their stats were certainly comparable. I’d say whichever of them remains will be a pretty nice number 2 receiver on your fantasy team. If both of them stay, they’ll both remain as good flex players.

Jerricho Cotchery: If only one of Holmes and Edwards remains, Cotchery should benefit. In the four years before Holmes and Edwards were both in New York, Cotchery averaged 73 receptions for 943 yards and 4 touchdowns, making him an average flex play.

Brad Smith

Gadget man Brad Smith plays just as well with just one cleat, but won't be much use on your fantasy team.

Brad Smith: Smith has been a Jet since he was drafted by them in 2006, and is very much a gadget player with little fantasy value. In his five seasons he averages 20 carries and 13 receptions for a combined 265 yards from scrimmage a season. He has 8 combined touchdowns in his career including two kickoff return touchdowns and a passing touchdown last year. Giving him roster space in 2011 would certainly be a stretch.

Tight Ends

Dustin Keller: Keller was the 10th scoring tight end in fantasy last season, and he has been consistent since being drafted in 2008. He’s never gained less than 500 receiving yards and last year had career highs in receptions (55), yards (687), and touchdowns (5). He’s one of Mark Sanchez’s favourite targets, especially in the end zone, and at 27, he’s still got plenty more left in the tank.

Defense / Special Teams

Last season, the Jets’ made 40.0 sacks (8th in the league), 12 interceptions (25th) and scored five return touchdowns. They’ll be a top 10 DST and in 2011, but let someone else pick them in the 7th round. DST should be your last pick.


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