The Jets shipped off former first-round bust Sam Darnold to the
Panthers and replaced him with 2021 second-overall pick Zach Wilson.
Wilson parlayed a breakout junior campaign with BYU in which he
threw 33 touchdowns and just three interceptions into the second
pick of the draft, jumping ahead of other top QB options like
Trey Lance and Justin Fields.
Unlike Fields and Lance, Wilson will be thrown into the fire
as a rookie instead of learning behind a veteran quarterback.
The Jets did not have much luck using the same formula for Darnold,
and it is likely that Wilson will struggle in his first season.
From a skill position standpoint, Wilson has a better supporting
cast than the team gave Darnold in previous seasons, with free
agent WR Corey Davis joining veteran Jamison Crowder and second-year
player Denzel Mims. The team also added running back Tevin Coleman
via free agency and drafted Michael Carter out of North Carolina
to help a struggling run game.
The quarterback position is one of the deepest in fantasy, and
Wilson is not someone who should be drafted in most leagues outside
of SuperFlex formats. However, keep an eye on him as we have seen
young QBs like Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes shine early
in their careers. Wilson has a ton of athleticism and could turn
into a streaming option later in the year.
Coleman signed a modest one-year, $2 million deal to join former
coaches Robert Saleh and Mike LaFleur in New York after a disappointing
injury-riddled two years with the 49ers. The six-year veteran
managed just 53 rising yards on 28 carries last season with San
Francisco and failed to score a touchdown despite seeing action
in eight games.
We anticipate he will get the first chance to start based on
seniority, but reports out of camp are positive for rookie Michael
Carter. In addition, Coleman has a long history of injuries and
has just one full 16-game season on his resume.
Both Coleman and Carter are worth drafting in all formats, with
the latter possessing far more upside than the former. The Jets
also have La’Mical Perine in the backfield and Ty Johnson,
both of whom could eat into the workload of Coleman.
Carter posted back-to-back 1000-yard seasons as part of a two-headed
monster with Javante Williams for Mack Brown and the Tar Heels.
At 5-8 and just over 200 pounds, Carter does not possess the prototypical
size of a workhorse NFL back, and his mediocre combine stats likely
attributed to Carter falling to the fourth round.
Although he is not the biggest or the fastest player, he is elusive,
and according to Connor Hughes of The Athletic, he looks primed
to take over the 1A role in the Jets running back rotation. Hughes
believes the Jets will use a similar rotation used by the 49ers,
with Carter eventually taking the first spot along with Tevin
Coleman, La’Mical Perine, and Ty Johnson.
Davis signed a lucrative three-year, $37.5 contract with the
Jets after posting career-bests in yards, touchdowns, and receiving
average with the Titans in 2020. The former fifth overall pick
from Western Michigan struggled most of his time with Tennessee
and never lived up to his draft stock, but he did post a nice
season in a contract year and is poised to be the top WR option
for rookie Zach Wilson.
Although he finally produced last year, he has yet to post 1000-yards,
or more than 5 five receiving touchdowns in a season. As the top
receiving option for the Jets, he is in line for reaching 100
targets for only the second time in his career. The question is
will those targets be valuable coming from a rookie in Zach Wilson
who will likely struggle in his first NFL season.
Also, Davis will be matched up against the No.1 CB on opposing
defenses like Tre’Davious White and Stephon Gilmore, not
like how it was for Davis as the No.2 option for the Titans.
It may surprise some fantasy owners to learn that Crowder posted
his best per-game-average as a pro last season, with 11.4 fantasy
points per game in half-point PPR. He averaged a touchdown in
every other contest and started the season off with three straight
100-yard games. He was clearly a favorite target of Sam Darnold
to start the year and was on pace for nearly 120 targets despite
playing in just 12 games.
Despite his stellar play, Crowder projected to be a cap casualty,
especially with the addition of rookie Elijah Moore, a similar-sized
wide receiver with a comparable skillset. Instead, Crowder renegotiated
his contract and is still on the team heading into camp.
From a target standpoint, repeating on the volume he received
last season will be a challenge for two reasons. First, Sam Darnold
is gone, and rookie Zach Wilson will be under center. Wilson may
build a quick rapport with Crowder, but that is a huge unknown.
Second, Crowder will have a ton of competition for targets with
veterans Corey Davis and Keelan Cole joining the team, along with
Moore. Sure, there will be a few big games for the veteran WR,
but it is hard to envision him being a focal point of the offense
like in 2020.
Mims’ rookie season was an injury-riddled disappointing
campaign in which the former second-round pick managed to play
in just nine of the team’s 16 games and did not make his
debut until Week 7 against Buffalo.
At 6’3” and 210 pounds, Mims has the size to be a
WR1, and his measurables are off the chart in terms of speed,
agility, and contested catches in college. We have not given up
on the talent, but now Mims has competition with the free agent
signing of Corey Davis and the selection of Elijah Moore in the
second round of the 2020 draft.
As the No.3 or No.4 option in the passing game, Mims is not going
to be a volume play and should likely be avoided on draft day.
However, his big-play ability could earn him more targets as the
season progresses and could make him a mid-season waiver claim.