The Jets front office is as bold as their brash coach (Rex Ryan). The passing game got a shot in the arm with the addition of Santonio Holmes. As long as they figure a way to make Darrelle Revis happy, they should be a force, both in fantasy and reality.

Fantasy Playoffs Schedule:  Moderate
Not exactly a walk in the park for the Jets. They face Miami at home in Week 14 followed by road games in Pittsburgh and Chicago. Weather could play a role in all three games.

Five Star Fantasy Options

Four Star Fantasy Options
Shonn Greene – Greene is probably more like a 3.5 star player given his limited track record (108 carries as a rookie), but I’ll bump him up to four given his upside and the Jets’ strong offensive line.

Jets Defense/Special Teams – Assuming Revis plays, this will be a tough unit once again. Rex Ryan has this unit playing with a swagger, and keeps you guessing. Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson were brought in to make their secondary even tougher. They clearly are building a defense to keep up with the Colts, Patriots, Saints, and Vikings.

Three Star Fantasy Options
Mark Sanchez – Sanchez should not only improve in his second year, but he should get a little more freedom after proving his worth. With a trio of solid WRs in Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edward, and Jerricho Cotchery, along with TE Dustin Keller, Sanchez will have plenty of weapons at his disposal.

Santonio Holmes - He’ll miss the first four games because of a suspension, but is easily the Jets’ best WR. He could take a game or two to get up to speed, but Holmes should be strong for the stretch fun.

Dustin Keller - Keller and Sanchez really started to gel in the playoffs with Keller catching a TD in each game.  His numbers could slip when Holmes returns, so he could possibly be a guy you want to unload after the first four games if the price is right.

Two Star Fantasy Options
LaDainian Tomlinson – LT isn’t what he once was, but he did go to a team that is committed to the run. Plus, Greene hasn’t had the opportunity to show he can handle the full load until now. If he can’t (or gets hurt) LT’s value increases dramatically. He’s a good flex option as he’ll likely be the goal line back.

Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery - Edwards and Cotchery will get a month to work with Holmes in the penalty box. When he returns Cotchery will likely handle slot duties. Edward is the best threat to lead the team in TDs. Cotchery, with the four game head start on Edwards, could lead the Jets in receptions for the fourth straight year.

One Star Fantasy Options
Joe McKnight - McKnight will handle third down duties for the Jets. He is extremely quick and has great hands out of the backfield. He’ll likely break a few explosive plays during the course of the year, but as long as he’s the third-stringer, he’s not a good fantasy option.

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Kevin Walter recorded his second straight 800+ yard season.  He doubled his TD output from 4 to 8 though, which gave him significantly more fantasy value.  His is pretty much the choice when defenses are forced to pick a poison.  With Andre Johnson, Steve Slaton, and Owen Daniels attracting so much attention, Walter is able to do his thing.  Consistency is his big issue.  He had nine games with fewer than 50 yards, and only one of those games did he salvage with a TD catch.  He also disappeared down the stretch with just 5 catches for 48 yards in Weeks 15-17.  You hate to see a player end on such a low note, but that could help you land him at a discount.  He’s going around the 8th round of fantasy drafts and is best used as a WR4 for spot starts and bye week fill-ins.  I think he’ll see a slight dip in his production as his TD total goes down, but he should still catch 60 passes for 800 yards and 5 TDs.

Ted Ginn, Jr. made a big leap last year going from 34 catches for 340 yards to 56 catches for 790 yards.  He also ran for 73 yards and two scores.  Even with those two rushing TDs, Ginn, Jr. had just four last year, a number he’ll need to improve on if he is going to rise in the ranks of fantasy WRs.  Consistency was also a problem he had with nine games with less than 50 yards, including a game where he finished with -1 yards.  Not only did he not score any points for those who started him, but he actually took .1 away.  Two games later he caught 7 passes for 175 yards.  Ginn, Jr. is going around the 9th round in fantasy drafts.  He is not a reliable WR3, but makes a decent WR4 or WR5.  I expect him to continue to improve in his third season with 70 catches for 1000 yards and 5 TDs.

Donnie Avery’s stock is slipping a bit because of he’s out the rest of the preseason with a foot injury, and Marc Bulger’s broken pinkie.  Avery had a nice Rookie season with 53 catches for 674 yards and 3 TDs.  It’s tough to pick a second year player without seeing how he’s progressing and with a questionable QB situation at best.  Marc Bulger is not and won’t be the player we once figured him to be.  Kyle Boller, his backup, doesn’t have the best track record.  I would take Avery as a WR5, but would not want to rely on him as my main backup.  Avery has been going around the 8th round of fantasy drafts, but that number is bound to drop with the aforementioned injuries.  I expect 65 catches for 725 yards and 5 TDs for Avery.

Jerricho Cotchery played better without Brett Favre.  He averaged 82 catches for 1045.5 yars and 4TDs in the two years before Favre’s arrival and had 71 catches for 858 yards and 5 TDs without him.  Laveranues Coles moved on to Cincinnati leaving Cotchery as the main weapon for whoever wins the Kellen Clemens/Mark Sanchez battle.  I like him a little more if Sanchez is his starting QB.  Either way he should be targeted early and often.  Cotchery makes a nice WR4, going in the 8th round of fantasy drafts.  I expect 80 receptions for 950 yards and 4 TDs. 

New York Jets Preview

27 August 2008

The Jets made some noise this offseason with the acquisition of Alan Faneca, Damien Woody, and Tony Richardson.  They also drafted Vernon Gholston.  Finally, they upgraded at QB as well.  You may have heard about it.

I initially thought the Jets main focus was going to be on the ground attack when they added Faneca and Woody to a line that already had D’Brickshaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold.  Obviously the addition of Brett Favre to the mix means they will be a balanced attack.  You can’t key on shutting down the run because Favre will make you pay.  If you try and stop the pass, Thomas Jones and company will make you pay on the ground.  It’s amazing how much easier life is when you have an offense that can stretch the field.

Defensively is where I worry.  The addition of Kris Jenkins, Calvin Pace, and Gholston should help.  How much so is the question.  Fortunately for them they get to face Miami and Buffalo twice each.  That should offset the challenge of playing New England twice.  They have looked good in the preseason, but we all know that isn’t exactly a good representation of how they will fare when the season gets underway. 

I don’t think the Jets will make the Patriots sweat out the division title, but I do think they have what it takes to win a Wild Card berth.  With Favre at the helm, a playoff victory isn’t out of the question.  I don’t see them winning more than one playoff game though.

Fantasy-wise there are some nice options here.  Obviously Brett Favre is worth having on your roster.  I’m not sure I would trust him as my starter, even in a 12 team league, but he’s showed last year he’s still capable of winning some fantasy games.  I think both starting receivers will be decent plays as well.  I liken Jerricho Cotchery to Greg Jennings (deep threat) and Laveranues Coles to Donald Driver (possession WR).  Therefore, I expect better fantasy numbers out of Cotchery.  I like Thomas Jones as well.   He should be able to produce 1400+ total yards and even crack the endzone a half-dozen times.  I also like Dustin Keller as a sleeper Tight End.  NYJ Defense will be worth using when the matchup is right.  Even Mike Nugent could end up being a solid fantasy starter.

Third Tier WRs
We’ve profiled the Big Dog WRs and Second Tier WRs, now it’s time to examine the next wave of wideouts.  Again, these will be #2 & #3 wideouts for most teams.

Santonio Holmes/Hines Ward – Has Santonio Holmes officially surpassed Hines Ward as the top dog?  Juding by last year’s stats (942 yards, 8 TDs to 732, 7) and it appears that way.  I’m not quite ready to write Hines Ward off, but Holmes will likely be the first Steeler WR drafted.  They will probably be picked fairly close together and produce very similar numbers.

Marvin Harrison – Last year was a wasted year for the former Syracuse Orangeman.  Then he showed some bad judgement in the offseason.  Was last year the beginning of the end for #88?  I don’t think so.  I think he keeps himself in good enough shape, has one of the games best QBs slinging it to him, and has great knowledge of his system that he’s in for a nice rebound.

Calvin Johnson – Here’s a guy I’m high on.  He has the size and speed to be an elite wideout.  He was decent enough (756 yards, 4 TDs) as he was adjusting to the NFL.  Now that he has a year behind him, I can see his career taking off.

Dwayne Bowe – Bowe had a nice rookie campaign last year, nearly hauling in 1000 yards.  I see him leaving that mark behind as well as tacking on a couple of TDs to his decent five-spot he produced last year.

Roddy White – Roddy had a sneaky 1200 yards last year.  On name recognition alone I wouldn’t put him in this tier, but his numbers talk.  He was one of the top wideouts from Week 12 on (minus the dud he dropped in Week 15) scoring in 4 games and topping 140 yards twice.

Chris Chambers – I think San Diego was a good fit for CC.  With a full training camp and preseason with the Bolts, I expect him to do even better.   He’s one of the WRs I’m targeting for ’08.

Lee Evans – If someone can just convince Evans that December year round (17 of his 29 career TDs have come in December), he’ll make the leap into Big Dog status.  He almost always starts off slow out of the gate so he’s a guy you may want to hold off on using during the beginning weeks of the season.  However, targeting him for a midseason trade may not be a bad idea.  I think he can return to the 1000 yard territory with 8 TDs.  Let’s just hope they don’t all come in December.

Jerricho Cotchery – He’s produced back-to-back 82 reception seasons for the Jets.  He topped the 1100 yard mark.  He just needs to prove he can be more a factor in the endzone.  His measly 2 TDs conjure up thoughts of past Jet Wideouts like Keyshawn Johnson.

Donald Driver – Driver slid under the Third Tier wall like Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark.  He failed to reach 1200 yards for the first time since 2003 last year, but his 1048 weren’t bad.  What was bad was the 2 TDs he scored.  Greg Jennings was clearly Brett’s go-to-guy last year in the red zone.  With a new QB though, the steady Driver could be leaned on heavier than the explosive Jennings.

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