Wow. This was a hard team to pick a fantasy “stud” from. The Jets don’t really have anyone that I’d take in the top half of my fantasy draft except maybe for Chris Ivory. After losing Shonn Greene to the Tennessee Titans, the Jets made a move to get Ivory as their lead back, and looking at a depth chart that features Mike Goodson, Bilal Powell, and Joe McKnight, I think it’s safe to say the only ‘stud’ on this team for fantasy football could be Chris Ivory.
With the Saints, Ivory had a breakout performance as a rookie rushing for 716 yards and five touchdowns in 2010. The Saints’ backfield got healthy, and Ivory was sort of lost in the fray, but he is a talented back. The 6’0″ 220 pounder will be the kind of big, powerful back the Jets like to utilize, and I think he probably has even a little bit more upside than Shonn Greene had last year. Greene was a thousand yard rusher, but couldn’t quite break four yards per carry.
The Jets sought out to improve parts of the offensive line to get back to the power running game and set up the play-action, and Ivory was a key piece of their offseason rebuild. He will almost certainly be the lead back, and he could be in line for a thousand yard season if the Jets run as much as they are currently expected to.
Fantasy Risk — Santonio Holmes, WR
Holmes had a severe Lisfranc injury last year, and his status for week one is seriously in doubt. However, there’s no denying that when on the field, Holmes is a consistent and potent threat at the receiver position. If at any point this season he returns to form, he could be a good late round or free agent pickup. As of mid-June Holmes was still not running or cutting. That’s a pretty bad sign for a guy whose position requires him to do that on every single play.
It could very well be mid-season before Holmes is even able to run and cut like he used to, or perhaps even later than that.
The fantasy prognosis isn’t great for Holmes, especially with the Jets’ quarterback situation. However, I think when he’s in the lineup, there’s a good chance he’ll see the most targets of any other Jets receiver.
Fantasy Sleeper — Stephen Hill, WR
Hill has struggled with dropped passes, but he has the size and speed to be a big time receiver in the NFL. The Jets had high hopes for this guy’s potential when they drafted him last year, and he struggled to adapt to the NFL. As a rookie, Hill caught just 21 passes for 252 yards and three touchdowns.
The upside is still there with Hill. He has a chance to be a really good receiver, and I think his value would significantly rise if Geno Smith were to win the starting QB job for New York.
Hill likely won’t be drafted in most leagues, but if you can pick him up as a free agent in the middle of the season, he might turn out to be a pretty nice steal toward playoff time.
Rookie to Watch — Geno Smith, QB
The Jets are trying to force a square peg in a round hole by putting Geno Smith into a West Coast offense, but what can you do? The Jets are one of the worst coached teams in the league in my opinion, or at least one of the worst managed. Geno Smith is being set up to fail in so many ways, but if he beats out Mark Sanchez for the starting job, I think he offers a LOT more upside in fantasy football.
Smith had some problems with inconsistency at WVU, but he can certainly sling the ball around the field. It would have been much preferred if he’d been drafted to an offense that wants to spread the ball around, but instead, he’s going from an air-it-out attack to a plodding run-first offense.
See what I mean?
The Jets need to create an offense around Smith, their second round pick, in order for him to be successful in the NFL. Otherwise, they’ll be looking to draft another QB relatively soon.
If Smith sees the field early in the season, he’s worth picking up. This is a talented rookie.