Editor?s note: To help you prepare for your fantasy football draft, NESN.com will profile each NFL team and analyze which players are worth picking and which players aren?t worth your time. Today, we look at the Jets.
The New York Jets actually were a pretty good team last season, thanks in large part to having one of the best offenses in franchise history. That group has improved — assuming quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick returns — and they have more than a few players who certainly can help you contend in your fantasy football leagues.
In advance of the upcoming fantasy season, we took a closer look at the Jets players you should draft, avoid and peg as sleepers.
Brandon Marshall, Wide Receiver: Marshall’s still got it. The 32-year-old wide receiver put up career numbers in 2015, catching 109 passes for 1,502 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. The receptions and yards totals both were the second-highest of his career, and the TDs broke his previous career high. He finished as the No. 3 fantasy WR in standard-scoring leagues. Assuming Fitzpatrick re-signs with New York (which, as of this writing, he hasn’t) and Marshall stays healthy, it’s probably safe to assume Marshall will have another terrific season. He’s being drafted as the ninth wide receiver and 20th player overall, and we can’t argue with that logic.
Matt Forte, Running Back: Forte’s 2015 season was a far cry from his monster 2014, but we’re among those who haven’t completely given up on the 30-year-old, who likely will be pretty motivated in his first season with the Jets. Despite just 44 receptions in 2015 (a huge falloff from the 102 he caught in ’14), Forte still finished tied for 12th in receptions among running backs. He also missed three games and began splitting time with youngster Jeremy Langford. In New York, he’s the No. 1 option in the backfield ahead of guys like Bilal Powell and Khiry Robinson, and though those two backs might end up getting some red zone touches, we aren’t worried about Forte’s fantasy numbers, which have never solely relied on huge touchdown numbers (he’s had double-digit TD totals in just three of eight seasons). His stock takes a hit if Geno Smith is the QB, but he’ll still be a safety blanket if that’s the case. We like Forte a lot where he’s going: in the fourth round as the 14th RB.
Eric Decker, Wide Receiver: Believe it or not, Decker finished as the ninth-best WR in fantasy least season, thanks in large part to his 12 touchdown receptions. Even if he’s healthy — a big if — we don’t think he’ll match those numbers again, but he’s a nice guy to have on your bench or as a flex option with breakout potential. He’s going in the sixth round as the 24th wide receiver, and there’s less than a handful of other wideouts we like better at that spot.
Bilal Powell, Running Back: He’s the clear backup, despite a few big games at the end of the season and increased PPR relevance in the second half. Plus, Robinson also will be vying for those red zone touches, so we’d really only gamble on Powell in a very deep league. He’s being taken in the 15th round, and if you have to take him, it shouldn’t be any sooner than that.
Jets Tight Ends: This is a cluster of nothing. If one of them breaks out, you’ll have a chance to grab him on the waiver wire, but there are far too many other weapons in this offense and not nearly enough talent in the entire tight end group.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Quarterback: This one’s kind of odd, we know, but hear us out: Fitzpatrick is only being drafted in 8.6 percent of leagues. We know he doesn’t have a contract, but he finished as the No. 12 QB in fantasy last season after tossing a career high 31 TDs. If he’s on an NFL roster in September, he needs to be owned in all leagues.
Have a question or comment for Pat? Send it to him on Twitter at @PatBradley_.
Thumbnail photo via Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports Images