The New York Jetropolitans are the laughingstock of the AFC. Luckily, Washington Football Team (???) exists so the New York Jets (gotta fix that SEO boondoggle I created for the sake of the Jetropolitans joke) isn’t the laughingstock of the entire NFL. Their offense was shaky last year, with Sam Darnold getting mono and the whole team getting a nasty case of Adam Gase. The New York Jets hope to vie for the top spot in a suddenly wide-open AFC East, but I’m not seeing it. That having been said, they have to field an offense, so here are the New York Jets sleeper, breakout, and bust options for 2020.
Sleeper – Chris Herndon, Tight End (TE26, 201 overall)
Remember Chris Herndon? Last season’s “draft-and-stash” tight end ate a four-game suspension and then had his debut delayed by a hamstring injury. He finally showed up in week ten, caught one pass for seven yards, broke his rib, and went on IR. That was certainly a season for Chris Herndon, who some people stashed from week one to get just one, terrible game when all was said and done.
Let’s hop in the Way Back Machine and look at what we thought about Chris Herndon headed into the 2019 season:
“From weeks 12 through 16 last year in 2018, when you needed him most, Herndon was TE9, mostly on the back of his massive reception totals. In two games in this stretch, he had 13 combined receptions. He topped it all off with an amazing 6 catch, 82 yards, and a touchdown game in the  fantasy football championships. He’s going outside the starting tight ends, but he’s a great guy to pair with an injury-prone guy (*cough* Jordan Reed Hunter Henry *cough*) to ensure you get fantasy football TE1 production throughout the year without having to scour your waiver wire.” All of that is still true, after a lost season for Chris Herndon. We lost sight of him in the shuffle because he burned us last season, but he should have the opportunity to produce this season for an extremely cheap price.
Breakout – Denzel Mims, Wide Receiver (WR68, 198 overall)
I was a big fan of Denzel Mims going into the draft. He wasn’t one of the top-tier guys like CeeDee Lamb or Hank Ruggs, but I did have him inside my top-ten WRs (#9, ahead of Michael Pittman). I pegged him as a long strider with easy speed, vice grips for hands, and insane focus on 50/50 balls. He plays in a New York Jets offense bereft of playmaking pass catchers. The closest they come is uh, Breshad Perriman? Breshad Perriman who flamed out of Cleveland and Baltimore and was on the verge of flaming out of Tampa Bay before Mike Evans and Chris Godwin went down with injuries. Mims is set to start outside alongside Perriman with Jamison Crowder in the slot.
And really, look at that receiving corps, who is getting those targets? Jamison Crowder will get his inexplicable 90 targets, but I don’t trust Perriman’s breakout. That leaves Mims to soak up a ton of wide receiver targets. We are desperately trying to jam Jalen Reagor into a situation where he produces, and we are letting Denzel Mims go by the wayside because it’s funnier to post gifs of Adam Gase’s crazy eyes and Sam Darnold Mono dot gif. There’s no reason for him to go eleven WRs after Reagor.
Bust – Le’Veon Bell, Running Back (RB18, 39 overall)
While the Jets drafted Mekhi Becton and Cameron Clark and added George Fant, Greg Van Roten, and Connor McGovern, I am still not bullish on Le’Veon Bell this season. Last year, I tabbed his style (patient, stop-and-go) and the offensive line (just godawful) as a mismatch: when you build your game around being able to wait for holes to open up… what happens if they never open up? Lev Bell went from patient to a sitting duck in one season. Granted, the Jets built up the line, but I’m not confident these guys will do enough right away.
There’s also that Adam Gase hates Le’Veon Bell. The two have taken potshots at each other in the media, and Gase brought in the eternal Frank Gore to steal touches from yet another more talented back, as Gase did with Kenyan Drake before the Miami Sound Machine ran him out of town. Bell lost about 25% of his touches last year, and that number will likely decrease again this year. He was also one of the least-efficient running backs in the league last season, posting a flat 4.0 yards per touch. Drafters snag Bell as a middling RB2 and I’m not sure if I see it this year. Outside of the offensive line concerns, he created less than a yard per touch (#80), had one breakaway run, and ranked #37 in juke rate.
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