No team had a funnier injury designation this season than Sam Darnold missing games with mononucleosis. That set the tone for the 7-9 New York Jets. There were a lot of things to like about the roster and the squad, but they continually shot themselves in the foot via unforced errors. What, then, should we remember about the 2019 New York Jets for fantasy football in 2020? Is there anything?
What to Remember from the 2019 New York Jets Season
- Did Le’Veon Bell forget how to play football in his year off, or is his rushing style a dramatic mismatch for the Jets’ dreadful offensive line? According to PlayerProfiler.com, Le’Veon Bell created 0.97 yards per carry in 2019. He averaged 1.16 yards per carry in 2017. That sounds like a big difference until you break it down: he created an extra 6.8 inches per carry in 2017 compared to 2019. What’s the problem, then? The line. He juked players at about the same rate (21% in 2019, 22% in 2017), but had just one breakaway run in 2019 (he had 8 in 2017). Lev Bell played for his life behind that line, which made it look like he was bad. In actuality, Bell’s stop-go running style doesn’t work when the line plays poorly. It turns into stop-oh no-oh no-tackle for loss. If the Jets free Lev Bell, he’s a huge bounce-back candidate for 2020.
- When current free agent Robby Anderson lost Sam Darnold for four weeks in the middle of 2019, it certainly derailed his season-long numbers. Anderson ranked near the top of the league in opportunity metrics, such as average depth of target (where he ranked eighth). Without Darnold, his aDOT dropped to 11.6 yards, which ranked thirty-sixth in that span. Without Darnold, Anderson averaged 36 yards per game and did not score a touchdown. He ranked in the 70s at wide receiver in all scoring systems; with Darnold, Anderson ranked in the 20s in standard scoring and half-PPR. Take the Robby Anderson discount, even if he returns to the Jets.
- Here’s a really weird stat that, to be honest, I can’t make heads-or-tails of: Jamison Crowder ended 2019 with 122 targets. One hundred twenty-two targets! Jamison Crowder! This marks the third time in four years that Crowder ended the season with at least six targets per game. All told, Crowder ranks twenty-sixth in WR targets over the last four seasons, despite missing eight games over the last four years. Don’t forget about Crowder in the middle-late rounds of your PPR drafts.
- Only Jared Goff and Mitchell Trubisky had bigger home-road splits than Sam Darnold in his 2018 rookie campaign. At home, Darnold averaged 18.75 fantasy points per game, and on the road, that number plummeted to 9.27 fantasy points per game in 2018. That’s over half as many points! In 2019, however, he cleaned that up considerably. While Darnold averaged about 15 points per game over the course of the season, his home-road split was nearly non-existent. He averaged just 0.54 more points at home than on the road, which ranked second last season to Russell Wilson among QBs to start at least 10 games.
- We spent week after week waiting for a Chris Herndon useful week that never came. He faced a suspension, then injury, then he played in a game, then he never played again. That game? One catch for seven yards. We really should not have played this game with Chris Herndon, outside of how the Chris Herndon factor played out. The Jets threw just 57 passes to tight ends last season, the third-fewest in the league. This marks the third time in four years as head coach that Gase’s team ranked in the bottom-three in tight end targets. It’s time to give up on Chris Herndon, or any other tight end, having fantasy relevance for the Jets.