- AFC East: Bills | Dolphins | Patriots | Jets |
- NFC East: Cowboys | Giants | Eagles | Redskins |
- AFC North: Ravens | Bengals | Browns | Steelers |
- NFC North: Bears | Lions | Packers | Vikings |
- AFC South: Texans | Colts | Jaguars | Titans |
- NFC South: Falcons | Panthers | Saints | Buccaneers |
- AFC West: Broncos | Chiefs | Chargers | Raiders |
- NFC West: Cardinals | Rams | 49ers | Seahawks |
There may be no worse team to do the projection exercise with than the New York Jets. None of their skill positions are set and their offensive coordinator has one year of playcalling experience from eight years ago. Let's dig in.
At quarterback it will come down to Josh McCown and Sam Darnold. McCown has the incumbent's advantage and new OC Jeremy Bates was his quarterbacks coach last season. Darnold has the upside and the clamoring from the fans will only grow larger with each loss. The Jets are going to give Darnold a chance to win the job at camp, and I'm currently expecting he will do just that. If McCown wins the job, I wouldn't expect more than a handful of starts before Darnold takes over unless something goes terribly wrong.
At running back the Jets again have a newcomer competing with a holdover for snaps. But there's no rookie involved. The team added Isaiah Crowell in the offseason to a backfield that already included Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire. Powell is the best pass-catcher of the group and Crowell signed a $12 million contract, so this one seems a little bit more simple: Expect Crowell to handle most of the early down work and Powell to be the third-down back. That probably leaves McGuire in a very limited role unless there's an injury.
If running back is the easiest position to figure out for the Jets, wide receiver is definitely the toughest. Robby Anderson took a leap forward in 2017 but has some off-the-field problems that could lead to a suspension. Quincy Enunwa was the team's best receiver in 2016 but missed all of last year with a bulging disk in his neck. The team added Terrelle Pryor on a one-year deal and still has Jermaine Kearse, who actually led them in receptions last year. I'm ranking the Jets receivers as if Anderson and Enunwa will both play 16 games, which leaves little room for anyone else to have a Fantasy impact.
*Rankings expressed below are in terms of expected Fantasy points. This is a part of our actual Fantasy Football rankings but not a direct correlation to my rankings. Things like injury risk, upside, etc. factor into rankings but they're not being talked about here. This is simply an expectation as the team is currently constructed.
EXPECTED PPR FP
Breaking down the touches
Bates is a respected offensive mind, but his one year as an offensive coordinator — eight years ago! — left much to be desired. The Seahawks ranked 23rd in points scored that year and 28th in total offense. I'm not sure we should expect much more with a rookie quarterback and the mixed bad of weapons they've put around him.
I expect the Jets will be a below .500 team that leans just slightly towards pass-heavy because of that. With the lack of talent at tight end, I expect a lot of targets for the wide receivers, but that volume will be mitigated by the number of guys fighting for targets. One injury (or suspension) could be a significant boon for the receivers left standing, especially if Darnold takes off.
- We should listen closely for talk this summer about how the Jets plan to use their running backs. Crowell would be a starting running back in Fantasy if he gets even 60 percent of the carries, but for now I'm expecting more of a committee approach.
- Most of the Jets' receivers are right around a 55 percent catch rate for their career. If Darnold proves to be ready, he could increase that enough to add PPR value for Anderson and Enunwa.
- I don't imagine the tight end will matter much in this offense, partially because of how many receivers they have and partially because Jordan Leggett is currently the best tight end they have.
I was a big fan of ArDarius Stewart coming out of the 2017 draft, but he has a lot of obstacles coming into the year. There's not much to give me optimism about Stewart unless Darnold spends much of camp taking second team reps and talking about how much he enjoys throwing to him. Stewart could give the team a playmaker underneath, but he'll have to do far more this summer than he did in 2017.