2021 Fantasy Football Absurdity Check: Are the New York Jets Hands-Off?

Zach Wilson New York Jets NFL Draft Fantasy Football Quarterback

The New York Jets took a series of punches to the face, with the New Orleans Saints snatching them out of the sky and throwing them to the ground, like some sort of football King Kong. When the dust settled, the Jets had scored just nine points, with the Saints notching 30 for their efforts. While the week isn’t finished as I type this, all of Sunday’s action is done. As of right now, the Jets have the QB24, RB27, WR44, and TE24, as their highest-ranked player at each position. With Elijah Moore on IR, and Michael Carter iffy to come off IR next week, we have to ask ourselves if the juice is worth the squeeze when it comes to having any New York Jets player on our roster going forward into the fantasy football playoffs.

The Quarterbacks

On the year, the New York Jets have exactly three top-12 quarterback games. Zach Wilson mustered a QB6 rank in week thirteen, and Mike White pulled off QB4 in week eight. These were the flukiest possible flukes this year, as they are not indicative of the Jets’ QB situation moving in any possible direction. Between those games, the starting Jets QB went from White to Joe Flacco, to Zach Wilson, and they finished QB26, QB26, QB12, and QB25 in that span. It’s generally a bad thing for your quarterbacks to not finish top-twelve, and it’s also pretty bad to start three of them in one year. As it stands, the quarterbacks are all hands-off.

The Wide Receivers

Corey Davis hit injured reserve last week, and Elijah Moore hit injured reserve on Saturday before week fourteen. With those two players out, we are looking at 100% of the Jets’ top-12 wide receiver weeks getting wiped away. All that is left among Jamison Crowder, Braxton Berrios, Denzel Mims, and Keelan Cole is Jamison Crowder and Keelan Cole combining for two WR2 weeks and four WR3 weeks this season.

So, the first name we would think of is Jamison Crowder. Crowder has two WR2 weeks, 2 WR3 weeks, and that’s it, out of ten weeks active. That gives him a usable fantasy week about 40% of the time. Well, obviously he took advantage of the Jets losing both Elijah Moore and Corey Davis, right? Wrong. He finished this week with his second-straight six-target game, but he has just one game over 65 yards this year, and three 6+ catch games this year. He just doesn’t have the ceiling; he’s a poor man’s Hunter Renfrow or Jakobi Meyers at this point.

If I had to pick a name from the remaining wide receivers, it would be Braxton Berrios. Berrios, after all, had 10 targets in week fourteen! And he had 18 targets in the first two weeks! Unfortunately, he completely falls off the radar, getting 18 targets between weeks three and thirteen. So, I will not be trusting Berrios… or any other wide receivers. I don’t care who their matchup is, if I can help it, I am not going with the WR61 in PPR fantasy points per game (his best format). No, thanks!

The Running Backs

Well, we are going to operate under the assumption that Michael Carter doesn’t come back. The Jets have nothing to play for; they have a handful of wins so there isn’t even pride on the line. It’s just a team full of guys waiting for 2022. So, I doubt they bring back Carter. After all, Robert Saleh and Mike LaFleur watched Kyle Shanahan pack it in several times, so they have that in their DNA.

That leaves us with Tevin Coleman (absolutely not), Ty Johnson, and Austin Walter… to go up against the Dolphins, the Jaguars, and the Buccaneers. First, let’s knock the Miami matchup right off the board. Over the last five weeks, they have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to running backs, and are one of two teams (the Ravens) to not allow a  team to score against them. The Dolphins allowed fewer fantasy points in five games than fifteen teams have allowed in four, over the last five weeks. They’ve been absolutely dominant.

Then, let’s knock the Buccaneers off the schedule, as well. While they rank eighteenth against running backs over the last five weeks, it’s touchdowns or volume that allow running backs to get there. But, this is also skewed by playing Antonio Gibson and Jonathan Taylor over the last five weeks. Getting smacked around those guys is just something that happens, and it took Gibson 26 touches and two touchdowns to crack 20 half-PPR points. Taylor notched 17.7 on 20 touches. Over the last five weeks, high volume days from quality running backs did the Bucs in. Well, given that Michael Carter is the only quality back on the roster and the only back to get 20+ touches in a game this year, I won’t worry about it.

But nestled softly in there, is the Jacksonville Jaguars. A beacon of joy and hope for opposing running backs against them… except they rank 22nd in fantasy points allowed to running backs on the season, and 25th in the last five weeks. They’ve gotten beat up the last two weeks by a couple of marginal power backs, with Sony Michel and D’Onta Foreman notching 20.4 fantasy points and 13.2 fantasy points, respectively. So, I guess it could be the Tevin Coleman show that week! My advice is to monitor the Jets’ touch situation going forward to see if you could possibly spot-start Tevin Coleman or Ty Johnson. But, if you’re in the playoffs, is that the type of desperation you want to encourage? That’s a marginal play, at best. I wouldn’t recommend it.

The Tight Ends

I will make this quick: The New York Jets have three top-12 TE weeks on the season. Two of these are from Ryan Griffin, and both came because he scored a touchdown. The Jets throw the ball to their tight end 12.3% of the time; this is literally the lowest rate in the league. I don’t care who they are playing against, there are 31 other teams to find tight ends. Hands off.

So, there’s one path to some sort of paydirt with a New York Jets player going forward: week sixteen against Jacksonville, there will probably be some sort of offensive explosion. The best bets to take advantage of this are Jamison Crowder, Braxton Berrios, Tevin Coleman or Ty Johnson.  With the fantasy football finals on the line, I don’t see any of these players as anything more than desperate gasps to move on, rather than recommended starts. If your roster is in good shape, I would shed all Jets from your roster (except for Michael Carter nestled snugly in your IR slot… just in case). There’s just not a whole lot there for them coming up, and I’m not convinced this team can take care of marginal opportunities.

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About Jeff Krisko

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