June has arrived and before we know it, we’ll be breaking down mini-camp, then training camp and then the preseason. We’ll turn around and then the Bucs will be in town to kick off the 2013 season with their hopefully less than 100% healthy star cornerback and we’ll all rejoice that another football season has arrived. But almost as importantly, while all these things are going on, it means that fantasy football season has arrived, and it is never too early to start preparing so you can earn bragging rights and humiliate your friends on the fantasy gridiron. Today we are going to take a look at the roster and see which New York Jets are going to be worth taking a look at come draft day, and which are, umm, not.
The Blue Chips
RB: Chris Ivory - As you might expect, there’s only one potential blue chip fantasy player on the Jets roster as of now, and that is their new running back, Chris Ivory. Any avid fantasy football player will tell you the key to winning the championship is getting production from your running back spots, especially in this era of backfield-by-committees and teams splitting their workloads. Ivory has the potential to be a 300-touch running back in the Jets new offensive system and that could equate to huge numbers for a player with his talent. The Jets have a top-level run blocking offensive line, but previous starter Shonn Greene was just extremely poor at finding the holes and hitting them before stumbling and falling down on his face. Expect lots of chunk-yardage plays from Ivory this year, and as long as he stays healthy, 1,200 yards rushing and 8-12 TD’s can easily be achieved. You can hold off and snag Ivory anywhere from the 4th-6th rounds come draft day because he’s a bit of an unknown and of course there’s the whole “LOL I won’t draft a Jet, buttfumble!” dynamic at play. Ivory will be a steal.
WR: Jeremy Kerley – Last year Kerley racked up 56 catches for 827 yards in his second season in the league, and there’s no reason to think he can’t at least match and probably surpass those numbers in 2013. Marty Mornhinweg is a major upgrade over previous offensive coordinator Tony FieldGoalFistPump, and Kerley figures to be prominently featured in the new offensive system. Kerley will be especially valuable in Points Per Reception leagues, and I would expect him to rack up 75 or so catches for 850-900 yards this season, which makes him a useful player to use based on matchups.
WR: Santonio Holmes – While Holmes is obviously overpaid and not the true #1 receiver he is paid to be, he is still very talented and if he is healthy, he will be the top option on the Jets this season. He is expected to miss at least part of training camp so it may take him a little while to get into the swing of things, but once he is back you can expect him to be very involved in the offense. Holmes only played in 4 games last season before getting injured, but did still manage to rack up 20 catches for 272 yards. With improved quarterback play and a new offensive system, Holmes can absolutely approach 70 catches and 900 yards with 7-8 touchdowns, even factoring in a slow start due to recovering from an injury. You can draft Holmes late and end up with a potential steal on your hands on draft day, especially if Stephen Hill develops and becomes the badly needed deep threat, which will open up the underneath routes for Holmes and eliminate some of the double teams.
TE: Jeff Cumberland - This is not an endorsement for Cumberland as a player, but more so because of the lack of tight end options around the league when it comes to fantasy football. Remember, things like being a terrible blocker and having no idea what the hell he’s doing most of the time don’t matter in fantasy football. The only thing that counts is that he’s going to be on the field a lot and is the main receiving threat at tight end for the Jets. He had 29 catches for 359 yards and 3 TD’s last year, and now that he’s the full-time starter heading into the season, something like 40 catches for 500 yards and 5 TD’s is realistic. That makes him a solid #2 TE option and a fine fill-in during bye weeks.
RB: Mike Goodson - Obviously this is pending him actually being on the team and not in, you know, prison or anything. But if Goodson is on the team he would be a great handcuff option for anybody who drafts Chris Ivory, who does have a history of injuries. Goodson is a dynamic player who figures to factor into the Jets passing game a great deal out of the backfield. In PPR leagues, he could even be a solid option during bye weeks to fill in here and there. If Goodson gets released, then Bilal Powell or Joe McKnight could take over this role. Just don’t expect either one of them to be as good at it.
QB: Mark Sanchez – Just kidding.