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New York Jets fantasy football team preview

Who to target and avoid in fantasy football from the New York Jets.   

NFL: New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

HC Adam Gase is likely the worst coach in football, making it tough to have interest in any of his players. Things aren’t helped by a schedule (per Sharp Football Strength of Schedule metrics, listed below) that sets up to allow the Jets to run the ball while facing a slew of stellar opposing passing offenses. Think of the Jets continuously establishing the run while they get repeatedly scored upon. The only viable pieces of this offense are QB Sam Darnold’s safety blankets: slot receiver Jamison Crowder and tight end Chris Herndon.

Sharp Football’s Strength of Schedule:

  • 3rd toughest overall schedule
  • 8th toughest in terms of the opponent’s overall defensive efficiency
  • 5th toughest blend of pass defenses
  • 4th toughest in terms of the opponent’s pass defense efficiency
  • 10th softest blend of run defenses
  • 3rd softest in terms of the opponent’s run defense efficiency
  • 10th toughest in terms of the opponent’s overall offensive efficiency
  • 9th toughest in terms of the opponent’s offensive passing efficiency
  • 13th softest in terms of the opponent’s offensive rushing efficiency

Quarterback

Over the last two seasons, Gase’s 2018 Dolphins and 2019 Jets ran the 1st and 5th fewest plays per game, respectively. Low volume offenses are indicative of archaic minded, losing coaches. Gase’s 30-34 head coaching record is a good representation of this matter. The way this will play out for Sam Darnold is not great. Darnold will be asked to win against lockdown secondaries like the Buffalo Bills (twice), San Francisco 49ers, and the New England Patriots (twice) while being hamstrung by his play caller who will intentionally give Darnold few chances to succeed. The third-year QB is appropriately going undrafted. Avoid him in fantasy football.

Running Back

Adam Gase’s public disdain for RB Le’Veon Bell is well documented at this point. The most recent occurrences were when Gase signed his favorite running back of all time, 37-year old Frank Gore. Gase then immediately announced Bell as unable to practice due to a hamstring injury, gave Gore 1st team practice reps, and promised Gore would be a big part of the Jets’ offense. Bell immediately went on social media and asserted that he did not, in fact, have a hamstring injury. This clown-car of a situation is not going to end well for fantasy drafters. Gase doesn’t like Bell and refuses to adjust his blocking scheme to fit Bell’s strengths. The head coach/play caller will inevitably get Gore going and fight to keep him in the starting lineup. Given the weak slate of run defenses and worrisome slate of opposing passing offenses, Gase will be able to point to the team losing games early on, and blame Bell. When Gore gets reps against the bad run defenses and performs, Gase can point to Gore’s success and give him more reps. Bell either needs to be avoided at his late 4th round ADP or traded away immediately after he has a good game. This is not a situation fantasy players want to be a part of.

Wide Receiver

The Jets wide receiver group has been decimated by injuries and it’s unclear as to who will even be available in Week 1 — outside of Jamison Crowder. Crowder’s game logs of 2019’s Weeks 1, 14, and 16 show the connection he has with QB Sam Darnold. His absurd 17-target Week 1 does so doubly so. Their plan, entering the season, was to light up the slot with Crowder. They did so, as much as they could, all year long as Crowder ended up leading the team in targets last year (122). With free agent signee Breshad Perriman again battling a knee injury throughout training camp, even if he does play, he has little in the way of established rapport with Darnold and his downfield role won’t interfere with Crowder.

Rookie Denzel Mims was expected to lock down the X-receiver role in training camp but he appears to have pulled both of his hamstrings in camp and was barely able to practice. If he’s a go in Week 1, he and Darnold will be learning each other’s tendencies on the fly.

Braxton Berrios is just a rotational slot receiver who is unlikely to make much noise if asked to play on the outside.

Jamison Crowder is looking like a great bet to smash his 122 target total from 2019 and is a great pick at his 8th/9th round ADP in .5PPR. He has a great shot to be a rock solid WR2 in .5PPR and PPR formats given the volume of targets headed his way.

Tight End

A litany of issues kept tight end Chris Herndon off of the field last year, after his breakout 2018 season. For all of the reasons listed in the Wide Receiver section, Herndon could end up second on the team in targets this year, making him one of the best values in fantasy football. Herndon has gone largely undrafted and should be added to any team with a question mark at the tight end position.

Kicker

Avoid Sam Ficken at all costs. We do not want kickers on bad offenses who will not be routinely placed in scoring position.

Defense/Special Teams

The Jets’ defense is in contention to be the worst in the NFL. Do not roster their D/ST.