2021 Fantasy Preview – New York Jets

Team Overview

The New York Jets ended the Sam Darnold project and worked to completely revamp their offense this offseason. It looks like they learned from their mistakes with Sam Darnold and have made a point to bring some weapons for their new QB in Corey Davis, Michael Carter, Elijah Moore, and Kenny Yeboah. Not to mention they made it a focus to work on their offensive line in the first round with top-end guard Alijah Vera-Tucker. The offense looks completely different than it did this time last year.

The defense was also an issue last year, granted they spent a lot of time on the field due to the poor offensive play in 2020. They addressed their glaring concern in the secondary later in the draft, picking up 5 DBs in rounds 5 and 6. This team is still rebuilding, but the key pieces are all still young, so this team has some time. With new Head Coach Robert Saleh, we’ll see if the Jets can get this rebuild right and build their team up the right way. The team does look promising, something that fans haven’t seen in quite some time.

Projected Depth Chart

Individual Players

Studs

  • N/A

Role Players

  • Zach Wilson: Wilson has been a polarizing prospect in the fantasy community since he had his breakout 2020 season. He carries a bit of risk in his game and definitely isn’t as polished of a player or prospect that Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields were. That being said, he was taken in the top of the first round and we all need to pay attention. The organization looks to have set him up for success by improving the offensive line and the weapons around him. His situation is already better than Sam Darnold’s any year he was with the Jets. 
  • Michael Carter: Carter is a fourth-round draft prospect that is walking into a wide-open RB depth chart in New York. Now that the Le’veon Bell experiment is over for the Jets, Carter looks to be the most talented back in that backfield. Tevin Coleman is at the tail end of his career, Ty Johnson showed flashes, and La’mical Perine also showed flashes but was never able to stay healthy in 2020. Carter looks to be a back that can play any down and excel in the passing game. He should be a perfect complement to Zach Wilson in this young offensive core.
  • Corey Davis: Once a top 5 pick in the NFL Draft, Davis has never quite lived up to his perceived potential. Statistically, he had one of his best seasons in 2020 and was able to parlay that into a nice contrast with the New York Jets this offseason. The WR core with the Jets is pretty up in the air with a lot of young pieces plus Crowder, whose future is murky with the organization. Davis looks to be a veteran presence and probably the WR1 for most of the season until newcomer Elijah Moore takes over that role. Davis should be a solid WR2 for fantasy teams for the near future.
  • Elijah Moore: Moore looks to be the starting slot wide receiver sooner than later for this young Jets core. But he can do more than just slot wide receiver duties, he can also be effective when lining up out wide. Jamison Crowder is Moore’s only obstacle to the starting lineup, and he was a cut candidate that is only on the team due to a restructured deal. Moore projects to be Wilson’s top target for a long time as they get to grow and develop together. He should be a solid low-end WR2/high-end WR3 for the back half of this season but could be primed for a massive leap next year for those dynasty teams.

Keep an eye on

  • Denzel Mims: Mims struggled to stay healthy during his rookie season, but showed flashes of why he was taken in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. With a new coaching regime and some new faces in the wide receiver room, he’ll have to prove his draft pedigree all over again and compete for a starting spot on the roster. The Jets last year used him almost exclusively as a downfield target, somewhat limiting his ceiling. If he can take a step forward by improving his game inside and stay healthy, he could be a solid fantasy contributor going forward. 
  • Jamison Crowder: When healthy, Crowder has provided a nice PPR floor for fantasy managers needing bye week fill-ins or injury replacements. That time seems to be coming to a close as the Jets weren’t invested in keeping Crowder around except for the bare minimum. If Crowder stays with the Jets he should have some early season value as Wilson’s safety blanket target. But the team has greatly improved its pass-catching group since last year, including fellow slot wide receiver, Elijah Moore. There’s a chance he gets a nice change of scenery this year if the Jets trade him or next year once his contract is up. That change of scenery might be the best thing for Crowder’s fantasy value. 
  • Tyler Kroft: Kroft has been getting some offseason hype as he has impressed coaches during camp and earned some starting reps. The depth chart at tight end is unimpressive with Chris Herndon who has struggled to make any real impact, Ryan Griffin who is more of a blocking tight end, and an undrafted free agent Kenny Yeboah. Kroft has a shot to make an impact, but the Jets offense hasn’t featured a tight end in a long time. Maybe that’s because they haven’t had a true weapon at the position, or maybe it’s by design. Kroft is a name to monitor just because of the scarcity at the position, and he could be a streaming tight end down the line. 
  • La’mical Perine: Perine got the short end of the stick during his rookie year. He struggled to stay healthy and was stuck behind Le’veon Bell for the majority of the season. He has a chance to redeem himself this season as the running back room is fairly light after their 4th round selection, Michael Carter. The two could form a formidable one/two combo, so keep an eye on Perine if he can stay healthy.
  • Tevin Coleman: The word coming out of camp is that the starting RB spot is Coleman’s to lose. Michael Carter will be fighting him for snaps right away, but the two could be effective splitting carries. That might be the plan as Carter thrived in a split backfield at UNC and Coleman has struggled to stay healthy recently. Coleman is a player to keep an eye on as he potentially will have early season value. But it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get beat out by some of the younger players on the depth chart once the season starts.

Dynasty Stashes

  • Kenny Yeboah: As mentioned with the Tyler Kroft segment, the tight end room is wide open. No one has proved themselves out of this group and all have had multiple years to do so. Yeboah was an integral big-play receiving threat for Ole Miss during his last season and could be a steal to the Jets as a priority undrafted free agent. In deeper dynasty leagues, he could be a great stash to see what kind of noise he makes during training camp this offseason.

***Note: All projections and discussions are assuming full PPR formats.***

IDP Analysis With IDPIggy

Key Additions

Carl Lawson, Justin Hardee, Jarrad Davis

Fantasy Football Starters

Marcus Maye (DB), Carl Lawson (DL), C.J. Mosley (LB), Quinnen Williams (DL), and Jarrad Davis (LB) (in deeper leagues)

New head coach Robert Salah will undoubtedly be involved the defensive side of the ball. The former 49ers defensive coordinator will look to improve on the NY Jets dismal 2 win season. Although ranked 26, the New York Jets could end higher. They have the advantage of playing in a division with only one complete offense (Buffalo Bills). New QB Zach Wilson, although expected to have rookie errors, should keep drives alive with his surprisingly quick feet. This could help the defensive unit by helping win the time of possession. DL Quinnen Williams, LB C.J. Mosley, DB Marcus Maye provide a true stud at each level of the defense. These 3 alone could provide big plays and halt offenses drives short of field goal range. DL Carl Lawson has high expectations and should lead the team in sacks. LB Jarrad Davis adds a veteran presence on the strong side, next to Mosley. DB Justin Hardee looks to lead their special teams unit as he inked a 3 year contract.

Stat Projections

Passing

Player Name Pos Comp Att Yards TDs INTs
Zach Wilson
QB
344
533
3,916
19
11

Receiving

Player Name Pos Targets Rec Yards Yds/Rec TDs
Corey Davis
WR
81
52
780
15.0
4
Jamison Crowder
WR
82
55
605
11.0
4
Denzel Mims
WR
86
52
603
11.6
4
Elijah Moore
WR
59
38
505
13.3
3
Chris Herndon
TE
54
34
357
10.5
2
Michael Carter
RB
32
24
266
11.1
La'mical Perine
RB
27
20
152
7.6

Rushing

Player Name Pos Att Yards Yds/Att TDs
Michael Carter
RB
158
744
4.7
5
La'mical Perine
RB
108
477
4.4
3
Zach Wilson
QB
23
120
5.3
2

***Note Player Projections are only fantasy relevant players. Team totals may not add up as we left out players that may not have a significant impact on the season. Projections are provided by Rich King and are based on 16 games.***

Team Projection

Record HC OC
6-11
Robert Saleh
Miek LaFleur
Rushing Att Rushing Yards Rushing TDs Passing Att Passing Yards Passing TDs Total Yards Total TDs
452
2,043
16
538
3,956
19
5,999
35
11th
14th
13th
24th
29th
31st
30th
31st

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Image Credit: Tommy Gilligan – USA TODAY Sports