Fantasy Focus: New York Jets
To wrap up the AFC East, let’s take a look at the New York Jets. The Jets suffered a dismal season in 2014, finishing with a record of 4-12. This prompted them to make major changes in the offseason.
The Jets fired Head Coach Rex Ryan after six season and two trips to the AFC Championship, in what some would say was one of the biggest sporting news of the offseason. In turn they hired Cardinals’ Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles. In March, the Jets traded a fifth round-pick to the Chicago Bears for Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall. In April, they signed former Patriots’ Running Back Stevan Ridley. The Jets were also able to draft Defensive End Leonard Williams out of USC who many considered the most NFL-ready prospect in the draft. With a new coaching staff and new players, the Jets are hoping to get back to their winning ways.
Player rankings generated by “The Machine” are listed next to each player.
Geno Smith – Not much went well for the Jets in 2014, including their quarterback play. In 14 games last season, Smith only managed to throw 13 touchdown passes. He matched that number with 13 interceptions and also ranked 27th in completion percentage with a 59.7. Needless to say, if Smith is to start for the Jets this upcoming season, look elsewhere.
Ryan Fitzpatrick – Fitzpatrick was traded to the Jets in March after a middling season with the Houston Texans. Fitzpatrick played in 12 games for the Texans, compiling 2,483 yards and 17 touchdowns. He threw just eight interceptions but fumbled three times. While Fitzpatrick isn’t necessarily a bad quarterback, he isn’t one you want to have starting for you fantasy team. Unless he breaks out, don’t give Fitzpatrick any thought.
Chris Ivory (179) – Last season, the Jets split their carries between Ivory and Chris Johnson. Ivory carried the ball 198 times picking up 821 yards while Johnson rushed for 663 yards on 155 carries. Ivory finished the season averaging 4.1 yards per carry and six touchdowns. Since the Jets were usually trailing in games, it’s no surprise that Ivory didn’t see more attempts. Because Ivory isn’t exactly a premier back, I would take the “wait-and-see” approach before investing in him. With Zac Stacy and Stevan Ridley on the roster, it may be tough for Ivory to see more carries.
Brandon Marshall (43) – Marshall is coming off his worst season since his rookie year in 2006. His season was limited to 13 games due to two broken ribs and a collapsed lung. It was the first time since 2006 that Marshall failed to eclipse 1,000 yards receiving. At the age of 31, Marshall will enter his 10th season. While his best years seem to be behind him, there’s no reason to think Marshall can’t be a productive fantasy receiver. Even with his down year in 2014, Marshall was still able to score eight touchdowns. He will immediately become the go-to end zone target through the air and should finish the season leading the team in receptions. The main thing holding Marshal back will be the quarterback play. “The Machine” fairly ranks Marshall as a fourth-round pick and the 25th best fantasy wide receiver.
Eric Decker (70) – Decker will try find his way back to 1,000 yards receiving as he failed to do so in 2014 for the first time in three seasons. Decker will benefit from the addition of Brandon Marshall as he will no longer be the biggest threat on the field. With more defensive back pressure on Marshall, Decker should be able to get back to 1,000 yards receiving. Don’t expect his touchdowns to increase greatly as Marshall is one of the biggest end zone threats in the league. Look for the Decker in the sixth round where “The Machine” projects him.
Jace Amaro (190) – Amaro’s rookie season was nothing special as he caught just 38 passes. Amaro did, however, accumulate 345 yards giving him an average of 9.08 yards per catch. Amaro’s six-foot-five-inch frame is what makes him an interesting fantasy football tight end. His size combined with his athletic ability make him a reliable guy downfield and a legitimate red zone threat.
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