QB Mark Sanchez
(2012 QB Rank – #28, 13.3 FPts/G)
Entering his fifth year in the league and with the Jets having used a second-round pick to acquire Geno Smith, Sanchez is clearly at a crossroads in his career. His $8.5-million guaranteed salary and the fact that head coach Rex Ryan is facing a make-or-break season are quite likely the only two reasons he is still in New York. With Ryan in limbo, Smith will need to emerge as the clear-cut winner of the team’s quarterback competition, and spring OTA’s failed to provide much evidence of that happening. That likely means that Sanchez, who has led the NFL in turnovers with 26 in each of the last two seasons, will be the team’s opening-day starter once again in 2013. However, with a questionable talent level and injury issues at wide receiver plus the lack of a quality pass-receiving tight end, he’s not a player that you want to be relying on for fantasy purposes.
QB Geno Smith, Jets
(2012 QB Rank – N/A)
Hoping to provide competition for incumbent starter Mark Sanchez, the Jets used a second-round pick to acquire West Virginia’s Geno Smith. While Smith has plenty of natural ability, offseason reviews of his work during OTA’s were mixed, with the Jets acknowledging prior to training camp that he would need a strong preseason to unseat Sanchez in the starting lineup. With a mixed bag of talent at the skill positions and leading wide receiver Santonio Holmes doubtful to be fully healthy on opening day, it might be in Smith’s best interest to open the season on the pine. Smith has little to no fantasy value in his rookie season but is a decent prospect in dynasty leagues.
RB Chris Ivory
(2012 RB Rank – #73, 5.9 FPts/G; #87 PPR, 6.2 FPts/G)
There are two schools of thought when it comes to Ivory’s prospects for the upcoming season. One is that, free of the crowded depth chart that he had to climb to gain playing time in New Orleans, he will excel in New York as the Jets starting running back. The other is that, as a powerful, violent ball carrier with limited ability as a receiver, he will struggle to stay healthy and on the field for a less-than-stellar Jets squad in 2013. One thing for certain is that Ivory will get an extended opportunity to lock down the starting job, with the Jets acquiring Ivory and Mike Goodson this offseason due to their lack of commitment to returnees Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight. In three years in New Orleans, Ivory averaged 5.1 yards per carry but caught just three passes while missing significant time due to a various assortment of injuries. His lack of ability as a pass catcher will almost certainly hinder his fantasy production on a Jets offense that is expected to struggle in 2013. He rates as a mid-tier RB3 with upside. Knock him down a bit in leagues that use PPR scoring.
RB Mike Goodson
(2012 RB Rank – #62, 4.3 FPts/G; #61 PPR, 5.8 FPts/G)
Despite possessing enough talent to be a productive running back in the NFL, Goodson has been snake-bitten throughout his career. Drafted by the Panthers in the fourth round of the 2009 draft, he was buried on the depth chart behind DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, missing most of the 2011 season due to injury. Traded to the Raiders prior to last season, he backed up Darren McFadden but was only active for 11 games. Signed to the Jets and given an opportunity to earn significant playing time, Goodson’s offseason was a disaster as gun and drug charges put his availability for 2013 in doubt. Look for the Jets to keep Goodson on the roster, but it is anyone’s guess as to whether the rebuilding franchise will utilize him much this season.
RB Bilal Powell
(2012 RB Rank – #42, 5.8 FPts/G; #43 PPR, 7.1 FPts/G)
After a rookie season in which he barely saw the field, Powell was marginally productive in 2011, gaining 437 yards on 110 carries while scoring four touchdowns. A decent receiver, Powell also caught 17 passes for 140 yards. The issue with the Jets’ 2011 fourth-round pick out of Louisville is that he doesn’t really do anything very well. He’s not that quick, not that shifty, doesn’t have enough size to move the pile and lacks breakaway speed. What he does have is a pair of question marks ahead of him on the depth chart, and that’s what makes him an intriguing fantasy option in 2013. Neither Chris Ivory nor Mike Goodson has been able to stay healthy, and Goodson had a disastrous offseason that could see him jettisoned from the roster or subjected to league suspension at some point during the season. Monitor Powell in the preseason to determine if he is worth a late round flier in your league.
RB Joe McKnight
(2012 RB Rank – #101, 1.6 FPts/G; #110 PPR, 1.7 FPts/G)
Possessed with outstanding speed, McKnight has been unable to carve out a meaningful role for himself (just 129 total touches) in a less-than-stellar Jets backfield since being taken in the fourth round of the 2010 draft. New York opted not to re-sign Shonn Green and added Chris Ivory and Mike Goodson to the roster as competition for Bilal Powell and McKnight, and that tells you all you need to know about McKnight’s fantasy prospects for the upcoming season. Basically, he doesn’t have any.
WR Santonio Holmes
(2012 WR Rank – #102, 8.3 FPts/G; #106 PPR, 13.3 FPts/G)
Since arriving in New York in 2010, Holmes has failed to set the town on fire, gaining 746 receiving yards in his initial season with the Jets, dropping to 654 yards in 2011, and then down to just 272 yards in 2012. Of course, a Lisfranc injury ended his season after just four games or he might have produced his first 1000-yard season as a Jet. With Holmes it seems like it’s always something, and a look at his career numbers leaves something to be desired. Despite being a first-round pick in the 2006 draft, he has just one 1000-yard season in his seven years in the league and seems unlikely to add to that in 2013 given the team’s issues at quarterback, the overall state of the offense and a question mark regarding his ability to come back from the Lisfranc injury. Consider Holmes a WR4.
WR Stephen Hill
(2012 WR Rank – #90, 3.9 FPts/G; #96 PPR, 5.8 FPts/G)
Considered a raw prospect coming out of Georgia Tech as the Jets second-round selection in the 2012 draft, Hill burst onto the scene with a five-reception, 89-yard, two-touchdown performance in Week 1 against the Bills. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there, with Hill appearing in just 10 games and failing to catch a single pass in five of those. In fact, outside of his Week 1 performance, the most yards he accumulated in a single game was 55, and he scored just one more touchdown. What’s in store for 2013 is anybody’s guess. Hill may have developed some better route-running skills, but offseason reports indicated that he was having trouble hanging on to the football. One of the Jets quarterbacks may step up and provide decent play at the position. But that seems unlikely. Hill looks like Tarzan and one day may put up Tarzan numbers, but in 2013 he looks a lot more like Jane. Consider Hill a WR5 with upside in 12-team leagues.
WR Jeremy Kerley
(2012 WR Rank – #48, 6.0 FPts/G; #44 PPR, 9.5 FPts/G)
After putting together a decent rookie season, catching 29 passes for 314 yards and a touchdown, Kerley enjoyed a breakthrough of sorts in 2012—taking advantage of a Santonio Holmes injury and Stephen Hill’s inexperience—to haul in 56 receptions for 827 yards and a pair of receptions. He averaged a very respectable 60 receiving yards per game over his first 11 games before hitting the wall with a four-game slump that preceded an 88-yard performance to finish the season. So, is Kerley the real deal? Or is he just a player that took advantage of an opportunity? At 5’9” and 188 pounds, the third-year receiver is destined to play out of the slot, and with Holmes expected back in the lineup and Hill expected to assume a greater role, Kerley is unlikely to duplicate the 95 targets he received last year. He is waiver wire material in all but the deepest of redraft leagues.
TE Kellen Winslow
(2012 TE Rank – #84, 1.2 FPts/G; #85 PPR, 2.2 FPts/G)
You know you’re desperate when it takes a player a full three-day tryout to earn a contract and he immediately ascends to the top of your depth chart. Such is the case with Winslow and the Jets. Hard to believe, but the former sixth overall selection in the 2004 draft was almost out of football last season at the tender age of 29, save for a one-game appearance with New England. In New York, Winslow could have a renaissance season with little competition at tight end and the team having a mixed bag of talent at wide receiver. Of course, renaissances for receiving tight ends don’t happen often with rookie quarterbacks or veteran ones who are fighting to salvage their careers.
TE Jeff Cumberland
(2012 TE Rank – #31, 3.9 FPts/G; #34 PPR, 5.9 FPts/G)
Cumberland was marginally productive subbing in for an injured Dustin Keller in 2012, catching 29 of his 53 targets for 359 yards and three touchdowns during his third year in the league. However, he is clearly a stopgap measure at most and is best suited to a blocking role. With Kellen Winslow signed prior to training camp, Cumberland is highly unlikely to match his 2012 production this season.