New York Jets 2023 Fantasy Football Rookie Roundup

The good news for the New York Jets is they finally solved their quarterback problems by bringing in Aaron Rodgers. The bad news is that Aaron Rodgers comes along with a whole mess of potential distractions. If I had to put money on how Aaron Rodgers will do for the Jets this season, I would bet on him being a dominant fantasy football player. The one thing we know about Rodgers is that he plays his best football when he is fueled by spite. He is clearly upset with how the Green Bay front office has treated him, regardless of whether they actually did treat him badly. The Jets, on the other hand, were one quarterback away from being a contender last year. The question for us is whether the two rookies the Jets brought in will help contribute to their championship run.

Rd. Pick Player Pos. College
1 15 Will McDonald IV EDGE Iowa State
2 12 Joe Tippmann C Wisconsin
4 18 Carter Warren OT Pittsburgh
5 8 Israel Abanikanda RB Pittsburgh
6 7 Zaire Barnes LB Western Michigan
6 27 Jarrick Bernard-Converse CB LSU
7 3 Zack Kuntz TE Old Dominion
Round 5, Pick 143 Overall: Israel Abanikanda, Running Back, Pittsburgh (5’10” 216 lbs)
Depth Chart:
RB1:       Breece Hall
RB2:       Michael Carter
RB3:       Zonovan Knight
RB4:       Israel Abanikanda



One thing I love about Israel Abanikanda (besides having the best name in the draft class) is he is so freaking fast. The man has blazing speed and I adhere to the rule that all my running backs must be fast. Izzy is a very patient runner who follows his blocking. He has good change of direction and just blows past people. Abanikanda will be great in a zone scheme because of this.

Israel Abanikanda was my number six running back in this class, but he was easily one of the most fun to watch. He is not very strong, but he will lower his shoulder to get an extra yard. He has good vision and decent hands. While Izzy won’t break tackles, he does not need to with his speed. They can’t tackle you if they can’t catch you! It’s science. If he has good blocking, Isreal Abanikanda could be an incredible runner at the next level.


Breece Hall is the clear number one in New York, but he is recovering from a torn ACL. I think, based on the injury, we will see Hall’s workload managed. The question will be whether Israel Abanikanda can beat out Michael Carter and Zonovan Knight for the number two position on the roster. The fact is that Abanikanda ended up in a very crowded backfield with a lot of talent, but he has to ability to carve out a role in this offense.


Unless something dramatic happens in training camp this year, the opportunities will be limited for Israel Abanikanda. Breece Hall was on pace for Offensive Rookie of the Year before tearing his ACL. Michael Carter and Zonovan Knight have both shown flashes of playmaking ability. At this point, Izzy is not draftable, but as always you should monitor reports out of Jets training camp to see if he ends up climbing their depth chart.

Round 7, Pick 220 Overall: Zack Kuntz, Tight End, Old Dominion (6’7” 255 lbs)
Depth Chart:
TE1:        Tyler Conklin
TE2:       C.J. Uzomah
TE3:       Zach Kuntz
TE4:       Jeremy Ruckert



The first thing I noticed watching Zack Kuntz was just how athletic he is. The man moves like a wide receiver: He just pops out of his breaks. Kuntz was incredibly fast and runs decent routes. He is an incredibly raw prospect. As a blocker, he was not very good. Kuntz would engage, he just wasn’t an active blocker. Truth be told, it felt like he was not on the field nearly as much as he should have been, considering every time he ran a route he beat his guy. It has me wondering why his team did not utilize him more.


Unlike Israel Abanikanda, there is a clearer path of opportunity for Zack Kuntz on the Jets. The only two guys ahead of him are C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin. They are both decent NFL tight ends, but they lack his playmaking ability in the passing game. If Kuntz wants to get on the field, he will need to get much better at blocking. Otherwise, he will stay buried on the Jets’ depth chart.


Zack Kuntz is a rookie tight end. In the last ten years, only two tight ends have finished as TE1.

  • Kyle Pitts – 2021- TE7
  • Evan Engram – 2017 – TE5

Do you know the one thing that Kyle Pitts and Evan Engram have in common? They were both drafted in the first round. The odds that a seventh-round rookie will suddenly be fantasy relevant in 2023 are laughably bad. I like Kuntz as a developmental project, but I hate all tight ends for fantasy football. Especially seventh-round rookies.



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