2018 New York Jets Fantasy Preview — Tight End, Defense, Kicker

Joe Malfa breaks down the New York Jets tight ends, defense and kicker from a fantasy football perspective…

The Jets have failed to make the playoffs since 2010. I have no idea whether or not that streak will end this season, but what I do know is they have some players who can help you make your fantasy football playoffs this season (and in the years to come). Over the next four weeks, I will be taking a position-by-position look at this Jets roster from a fantasy football perspective. The tight ends, defense, and kicker will round out this series today.

There’s a case to be made to draft Sam Darnold, and he may actually help your team. The same can be said for Isaiah Crowell, Bilal Powell, Robby Anderson, and the other wide receivers. The tight ends, defense, and kicker, on the other hand, won’t do much for you.

Projected statistics:

This is where I normally give you some numbers, but I’d be lying if I said I had any idea what the pecking order at tight end will be. Neal Sterling, Clive Walford, and Eric Tomlinson are battling it out for two of the three available slots. Chris Herndon should lead the pack in terms of production, but he is all of a sudden a question mark with his health. Jordan Leggett seems to have bowed out of the race. He seems to be the leading candidate to be released.

Fantasy Analysis:

Chris Herndon — Darnold found Sterling and Walford a couple of times against the Falcons, and I think he will target the tight end frequently in Jeremy Bates’ scheme. Assuming Herndon gets past this little injury he’s dealing with and can get a couple more good weeks of camp under his belt, I think he wins the job at TE and will form some good chemistry with Darnold. He has flashed throughout training camp so far with his athleticism and receiving ability.

When to draft? I typically save one of my last picks for a back up tight end with a lot of upside. Herndon might just be the guy. If he is on the same page as Darnold, he may surprise some people and rack up 500 yards and five touchdowns. That’s TE2 value right there. Maybe take a flier in the 16th round rather than hoping you can get to him on the waiver wire if he has a couple of good weeks.

The rest of the tight end bunch — I’d venture a guess that it will be Neal Sterling and Clive Walford in the second and third tight end slots behind Herndon. Walford started his career with back-to-back seasons of 300+ yards and three touchdowns. If Herndon goes down, he could have waiver wire value as Darnold’s safety valve. The same could be said for Sterling. It’s just a matter of who ends up second and who ends up third on that final depth chart.

When to draft? Don’t even consider it.

Jets Defense/Special Team — There are three types of people in the fantasy world when it comes picking defenses. The first person likes to take a defense early. One they know they can start regardless of the matchup because they are flat out dominant. The second person likes to grab a defense, set it and forget it, but they do so near the end of the draft with a ore average defense. The last person takes a defense in the final round with the intent to stream defenses each week, meaning they will scour the waiver wire to find the defense with the best matchup.

If you’re the first person, you only care about the Jaguars, Vikings, Rams and Broncos this year. If you’re the second person, the Jets would fit the bill. I could very well see them in the middle of the pack in terms of fantasy points by defenses. They probably won’t cost you many games, but they probably won’t win you many games either. Set them and forget them. If you’re the third person, you should be very interested in the Jets because they open the season with a semi-difficult matchup in Week 1 against the Lions followed by two easy matchups against the Dolphins and Browns. That means you won’t have to start the streaming process until Week 4 at the earliest.

When to draft? One of the last two rounds. If you take them any sooner, you’re either a true homer, a fantasy rookie, or both. They will be better this year, but not that much better.

Cairo Santos — The Brazilian had three good seasons with the Chiefs. Then he got hurt, lost his job, and found himself in need of a new team. He caught on with the Bears after he was healthy, but found his way to the Jets in the offseason. Kickers are fluky. Any one of them can go off at any time. Unless you have one of the top guys — Greg Zuerlein, Justin Tucker, or Stephen Gostkowski — it doesn’t matter. If you want Santos because you have a certain Jets quota you like to fill, knock yourself out. I’m serious when I mention the quota. I always like to have one Jet. If I don’t get Crowell, Powell, Anderson or Enunwa, Santos will be my 16th round pick.

When to draft? The final round. No sooner. Your friends will laugh at you if you take him sooner.