The New York Jets went all-in on a speedy rebuild this offseason, getting the best cornerback, the best wide receiver, the best running back and—potentially—the best tight end. While the Jets try to build a contender around Zach Wilson, can we contend in our fantasy football leagues in 2022 with these guys? Let’s find out.
FULL NEW YORK JETS DRAFT RESULTS
Round 1, Pick 10 Overall: Garrett Wilson, Wide Receiver, Ohio State (6’0” 183 lbs)
WR1: Garrett Wilson
WR2: Elijah Moore
WR3: Corey Davis
WR4: Braxton Berrios
WR5: Denzel Mims
If you like small (but not too small) and shifty receivers who snatch ankles and who always seem to somehow be open underneath, then you’ll love Garrett Wilson. Wilson is shifty off of the line of scrimmage and is just as shifty once he has the football in his hand. He’s also devastating at the top of his route, which leads him to almost always be open. Wilson also boasts great body control and hands, and there’s no other way to put this: he’s extremely swaggy on a football field. Wilson isn’t perfect, however, as he can get jammed on the line by bigger CBs and he doesn’t seem to have the top speed to blast past defenders on a consistent basis, and he’s hit-or-miss on contested catches. Luckily, he can do the classic Odell Beckham Jr move of catching a slant and running until his team has six more points.
This is where things get sticky for Garrett Wilson. I have no doubt in my mind that Wilson will (assuming health) lead the Jets in targets and air yards in 2022. But the problem comes from the quarterback. Zach Wilson isn’t exactly the greatest QB in the land (#31 in passing yards per attempt, and #33 in clean pocket completion percentage). So, we have to figure out how far a good receiver with a bad quarterback can go. We have precedent for this, with Terry McLaurin, D.J. Moore, and Diontae Johnson in recent memory making chicken salad from chicken you-know-what at quarterback
2022 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK
Garrett Wilson is currently WR44 in fantasy football drafts, behind DeVonta Smith, Chris Olave, Tyler Lockett, and several other wide receivers with worse situations (including his WR2, Elijah Moore). I don’t see a reason to not take Wilson with the WR44 pick, as he has top-24 wide receiver upside, the same way that Michael Pittman worked his way into fantasy prominence last season by taking advantage of a questionable depth chart by becoming the quarterback’s favorite target.
Round 2, Pick 36 Overall: Breece Hall, Running Back, Iowa State (5’11” 217 lbs)
RB1: Breece Hall
RB2: Elijah Moore
RB3: Tevin Coleman
RB4: Ty Johnson
Breece Hall seems to be the best the position offers this year, though he would be a second-or-third best back in other years. He is a bruiser type who can run decisively, though he is determined to let great be the enemy of good most of the time, trying to find just the right hole that lets him hit a home run. If I was elusive in the open field like Hall, I would do the same thing. Hall is a great runner once he’s in space, but his tendencies make the first few yards the difficult part because he trusts his vision too much and thinks that there’s a better hole opening up somewhere. Luckily, if he does get hit, he always churns forward (though he has trouble not going down on first contact).
Hall is a complete back, with soft, natural hands and is truly wonderful to watch in space. He’s a home run hitter who has three-down abilities.
Everyone talked themselves into Michael Carter as a force last season, but in reality, his talent is not on Breece Hall’s level. Hall immediately makes his way to New York as the RB1 in that room, and he has the talent to repay that opportunity. There isn’t any reason why Hall doesn’t top the 15 touch-per-week threshold that can make him a fantasy football stud, especially not with Michael Carter as his main competition. Carter profiles better as a passing-down back, meaning that if and when he spells Hall, it will be on passing downs. It’s unlikely that Carter poses a significant threat to Hall’s touches.
2022 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK
Breece Hall is a top-20 running back in 2022, and it’s hard to find anyone disagreeing with that. He’s currently going at about pick 50 in Underdog drafts, which feels like a steal when you consider all the other marginal running backs going in his range. I would rather Hall than Damien Harris, Ezekiel Elliott, or Elijah Mitchell, for example.
Round 3, Pick 101 Overall: Jeremy Ruckert, Tight End, Ohio State (6’5” 250 lbs)
TE1: C.J. Uzomah
TE2: Tyler Conklin
TE3: Jeremy Ruckert
TE4: Trevon Wesco
Ruckert is really good at football, which is something that tends to matter for fantasy football. Ruckert is fast, agile, a crisp route runner, and he has good hands and a good vertical ability to get up and get a football. All-in-all, Ruckert should hit the ground running in the NFL as there are very few holes in his game, facilitating his transition to the league. He’s a willing blocker even if his execution isn’t always there, but being a willing blocker is half the battle. He could be the next Pat Freiermuth if the Jets use him correctly.
Well, that’s the rub. While Ruckert has the talent to be the next Pat Freiermuth, unfortunately, the Jets brought in two tight ends via free agency who are good enough to keep him off the field: C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin, of Cincinnati and Minnesota, respectively. Unfortunately, the Jets ran two-tight end sets just 21% of the time last year, which is in the bottom half of the league. They threw out of 2-TE sets just 13% of the time, which was ninth-lowest in the league last season. That means that Ruckert would need to best not just Conklin, but also Uzomah, to get a decent target volume.
2022 FANTASY FOOTBALL OUTLOOK
While I feel good about Ruckert’s future in the NFL, his present is somewhat bleak, from a one-season perspective. Just like most other rookie tight ends. Keep the name in the back of your mind, but don’t go out of your way to get him onto your roster during draft season.