2020 Fantasy Previews Part 25: New York Jets

The New York Jets started the season awfully, going 1-7 in their first 8 games. Sam Darnold missed 3 of these games with mono and the team struggled heavily without him. Many people don't even know that the Jets finished the season 6-2 last year. In their first 8 games, they gave up 26.4 points per game and scored 12 points per game. In the back half of the season, they gave up only 18.5 points per game and scored 22.5 points per game. Both of these numbers attributed to their great streak at the end of the year. For the entire year, the Jets didn't even have that bad of a defense. They were one of the top defenses in the league in a couple of categories. They had the 7th ranked total defense, 17th ranked pass defense, 2nd ranked rush defense, and the 16th ranked scoring defense. Jets quarterbacks were sacked 52 times last year and they tried to fix that in this year's draft. They drafted 6 foot 7, 364-pound offensive lineman Mekhi Becton from Louisville. He should help both the run and pass game. I think Adam Gase is an awful coach and the Jets won't be any better than mediocre until he gets fired.

Projected Depth Chart:

Quarterback: 1. Sam Darnold 2. Joe Flacco

Running back: 1. Le'Veon Bell 2. Frank Gore

Wide receiver: 1. Breshad Perriman 2. Jamison Crowder 3. Josh Doctson 4. Vyncint Smith

Slot receiver: 1. Denzel Mims 2. Quincy Enunwa

Tight end: 1. Chris Herndon 2. Ryan Griffin

Quarterbacks - In Sam Darnold's second game back from mono, he had the worst fantasy game since Nathan Peterman in 2017. Darnold went 11 of 32 for 86 yards and 4 interceptions. He finished with -6.66 fantasy points. That was the worst fantasy performance of the entire season. The second worst performance was when Will Grier had -3.34 fantasy points against the New Orleans Saints. You have to be pretty bad if you had the worst fantasy game since Nathan Peterman.

Sam Darnold played in 13 games last year and had 3024 passing yards with a 61.9 completion percentage for 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He also had 66 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. Darnold scored 189.16 fantasy points and finished as the QB27. He averaged 14.6 fantasy points per game and if he had kept that average through 16 games, he would've been the QB19. When the Jets went 6-2, Darnold averaged 17.3 fantasy points per game and if he kept that average through 16 games, he would've been the QB10.

Sam Darnold played pretty well in the second half of the 2019 season. Because of his performance in that portion of the season, I have Darnold as a deep sleeper heading into 2020. You can get Darnold for free in almost every league, which is crazy because he was a low-end QB1 in the second half of the season. Sam Darnold is worth a look in deeper leagues as a backup quarterback.

Le'Veon Bell was a star for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2013-17. He averaged 21.9 fantasy points per game over that span. In those years, Bell finished as the running back 14, 1, 47 (only played in 6 games), 3, and 2. When he played, Bell was one of the top running backs in the league. When he played in Pittsburgh, he only played in 62 of 80 possible regular-season games. The Steelers kept franchise tagging him and he got mad so he took the whole year off in 2018 and signed with the Jets in 2019.

Le'Veon Bell was decent for the Jets in 2019. He had 245 carries for 789 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground. He had 66 receptions for 461 yards and 1 touchdown through the air. Bell finished as the RB16 with 215 fantasy points. He was a pretty good flex option as he had over 10 points in 13 of 15 games. The ceiling was a bit of an issue as he scored over 15 points in only 7 games.

Le'Veon Bell is one of my sleepers in 2019. There's no way he only has 3.2 yards per carry. Last year, if he would've averaged 4 yards per carry he would've had 980 rushing yards. Le'Veon Bell is a workhorse running back that you can get in the 3rd-4th round of drafts. He would be a great 3rd running back on your team. The Jets signed Frank Gore in free agency who probably won't get many carries. He shouldn't be a fantasy asset on any team in any league.

Wide receivers - There were only 2 fantasy-relevant receivers on the New York Jets last year. The worse one, Robby Anderson caught 52 passes on 96 targets for 779 yards and 5 touchdowns. He averaged 10.1 fantasy points per game and finished with 162.3. Anderson was the WR39 in fantasy. Robby Anderson was extremely boom or bust as he had over 15 fantasy points in 4 games and under 10 in 9 games.

Jamison Crowder was the better of the two receivers as he had 78 catches on 122 targets for 833 yards and 6 touchdowns. He averaged 12.4 fantasy points per game and finished with 197.7 fantasy points. Crowder finished as the WR26 and was fairly boom or bust. He had over 15 points in 7 games but 10 or fewer points in 9 games. Crowder had over 15 fantasy points in 3 more games than Robby Anderson which is why he finished with more points.

The Jets have had a lot of turnover at the receiver position during the offseason. Robby Anderson and Demaryius Thomas are gone and Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims are filling their spots. Jamison Crowder is going in the 8th round and I think that is great value for a sleeper who will probably see 100 targets this year. Breshad Perriman is going in the 10th round, but I'm not so high on him. The former first-round pick definitely has upside, but he has only played 1 full season in his 4-year career. Denzel Mims is going in the 13th round and I love him as a deep sleeper. He is a big-bodied, slot receiver who should get a decent amount of targets next year.

Tight ends - Chris Herndon played in 14 games for the Jets in 2018. In those 14 games, he had 39 receptions on 56 targets for 502 yards and 4 touchdowns. This was good for 113.2 fantasy points and the TE16. His best game came against the Green Bay Packers where he had 6 receptions for 82 yards and 1 touchdown. In 2019, he was suspended and injured pretty much the whole year and only played in 1 game.

Ryan Griffin was the New York Jets' starting tight end in 2019 and was not that good in 13 games. He had 34 receptions on 41 targets for 320 yards and 5 touchdowns. This was good for 98 fantasy points and the TE22. Griffin's two best games came against the Jaguars and Redskins. Against the Jaguars he had 4 receptions for 66 yards and 2 touchdowns. Against the Redskins he had 5 receptions for 109 yards and 1 touchdown.

I have Chris Herndon as a deep sleeper heading into 2020. He will take the starting tight end role from Ryan Griffin as he is fully healthy. He is going in the 13th round and I think that is great value for a backup tight end. Herndon is being drafted in the same tier as Austin Hooper, Hayden Hurst, and Mike Gesicki, all of whom I like better than Herndon. If he plays the whole season and Darnold improves, he could finish as a top 12 tight end.

Fantasy analysis:

Sleepers: Jamison Crowder, Le'Veon Bell

Deep sleepers: Sam Darnold, Denzel Mims, Chris Herndon

I'm not targeting: Breshad Perriman (Injuries), all other Jets players (volume)

Handcuffs: Joe Flacco, Frank Gore, Josh Doctson, Ryan Griffin

I hope you liked 2020 Fantasy Previews Part 25: New York Jets. Next up is 2020 Fantasy Previews Part 26: Philadelphia Eagles. Feel free to comment your thoughts on the Jets' offense for fantasy 2020.

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