Fantasy Football 2012: Guide for the New York Jets

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Fantasy Football 2012: Guide for the New York Jets
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

When it comes to the New York Jets, a lot has been focused on their training camp problems such as the “brawl” before the first preseason game or who will be starting between Sanchez and Tebow throughout the season.

Until now, something that has not gotten much attention is the New York Jets and fantasy football.  There are a quite a few players on the Jets roster that fantasy owners will be taking a look at this season, and this guide is to help give insight on who to draft and who to stay away from on this year’s New York Jets team.

 

No-Brainer Picks


New York Jets Defense/Special Teams

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Darrelle Revis, David Harris, Antonio Cromartie, Sione Pouha, Muhammad Wilkerson.  Those are just five of about 14 names of defensive playmakers that will be playing on the starting defense during the regular season.  The reason why I say 14 is because of the great situational players coming off the bench like Aaron Maybin, Kyle Wilson and Mike DeVito.

Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum made revamping the defense their No. 1 priority this offseason.  They drafted defensive end Quinton Coples so that they can efficiently run the 4-3 defense, they brought in veteran safeties Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry as a way to band-aid the bad situation they’ve had at safety the last few years. 

So far during preseason, the new defensive unit has looked pretty good, with Quinton Coples being the big hero of it all.  Against the Bengals in the Jets' first preseason game, he was making plays all over the field.  Over the course of the game, he recorded five tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss and a pass deflection.

Meanwhile on special teams, saying the name Mike Westhoff is more than enough.  Westhoff is one of the, if not, the best special teams coach in the league.  Westhoff is entering his final season in the NFL, with plans to retire after 2012.  There is no doubt that he is going to pull out all of the stops this season.  He already has Tebow on the punt team!  On top of that, the Jets also have one of last year’s best kick returners, Joe McKnight who is looking to continue his great work on special teams and take on a bigger role on offense.

The Jets are doing their best to get back to that intimidating defense they had in 2009 and 2010, it is so far so good on that front and they have a great special teams. Late in the draft when you’re looking to pick up a defense, don’t shy away from the New York Jets, they will have a good season.

 

Dustin Keller

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

At this point, Dustin Keller is a player that is on the borderline of a “must have” pick and a “take caution” pick.  Last season, Keller was easily Sanchez’s favorite target, and Keller had his best season yet because of the attention he received from his quarterback.  In 2011, Keller reeled in 65 passes for 815 yards and five touchdowns.

This season, Keller is looking to do even better.  Earlier in August, Keller stood in front of the media and made it known that he is expecting to have a breakout season.  He said:

“I definitely feel that I’m a Pro Bowl tight end.” He later added, “I’m in my prime right now.” Source: New York Daily News

Prior to Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers, Keller's statement seemed like he was on point, consider the facts: he is still a young guy at 27 years of age, his numbers have been increasing across the board, throw in the fact that he is still Sanchez’s favorite target and that he is confident about this season, why shouldn’t he have a big season.

Against the Panthers though, Keller suffered a knee injury that makes him questionable for the Jets September 9 game against the Buffalo Bills.

While Dustin Keller is not on the same level as guys like Jimmy Graham or Vernon Davis and his injury adds yet another obstacle for the Jets to overcome, he is definitely a good option for a No. 1 tight end.  When he returns, he will still be Sanchez's favorite target and get plenty of opportunities to make plays. So fantasy owners, don’t wait too long or be too afraid to draft Keller because he could easily become a top-tier tight end by the end of the 2012 season.

 

Risky Picks

 

Santonio Holmes

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

When it comes to Santonio Holmes, a team owner must be cautious.  He is not the same receiver that made this catch in Super Bowl 43: 

At end the 2011 season, Santonio Holmes threw a fit that brought to light a ton of locker room turmoil inside of the Jets' locker room; only making those who called it the “Florham Park Circus” look even smarter.  Holmes got into an argument with right tackle Wayne Hunter and was upset because he had yet to get a pass.

Holmes ended the season on the bench.  He has started the 2012 season the same way.  Going into preseason and training camp, Holmes has spent a lot of time on the sideline with several injuries, one to his hamstring, another in his back and then his bruised ribs.

CBSSports has Holmes reeling in 60 catches for 790 yards and recording about 106 points for owners.  In an article I published last month, I predicted another declining season for Holmes.  Look at all of the factors, he is going to get paid his large contract no matter what happens (that’s why the Jets could not unload him during the offseason), he is aging, his body is banged up and he is not Sanchez’s favorite receiver.

The bottom line is, Holmes can still be a playmaker but considering everything that has gone on until now, we may not see that Holmes until mid-season.  Holmes’ best fit on a fantasy team is as a flex player or third wide receiver (possibly a No. 2 depending on how many teams are in the league) but do not expect a pre-2011 Holmes any time soon.

 

Mark Sanchez

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Watch this video.

Now, watch this one.

You decide.  Which Mark Sanchez would you prefer?

While those highlights are from two different seasons, they easily convey the kind of quarterback Mark Sanchez is.  In the first clip, he threw a great touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes to cap off a 55-second game winning drive against the Houston Texans, helping the Jets in their playoff push at the end of the 2010 season. 

In the second clip, Sanchez rolls out on first down, throws into a crowded area rather than throwing the ball away, killing a possession and giving the other team momentum.  The Jets would later lose that game against the Raiders; had they come out of that possession with some points, maybe things would have been different.

As of right now, it is unclear whether or not Mark Sanchez will be a solid quarterback this season.  He changed the way he prepared for the season, his decision making has looked better during preseason games, but when Sunday September 9 against the Bills comes, who knows, which Mark Sanchez we are going to see.

Advice when it comes to Mark Sanchez, he is improving.  Since entering his rookie season, his touchdown numbers have been on the rise, and between 2010 & 2011, so were his interception numbers.  The best thing to do in terms of Sanchez is draft him if you have a deep league and there are not many other quarterbacks left, play the matchups well enough depending on what teams he’s playing and you could actually earn a nice amount of points.  Keep in mind though, he will not always have good games. In fact, he can have awful games at times so when drafting Sanchez, remember that is at your own risk.

 

Shonn Greene

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Going into the 2010 season, Shonn Greene seemed like he was going to be one of the greatest sleeper picks after his great 2010 postseason performance.  Against the Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers Greene was an absolute monster in comparison to the regular season starter Thomas Jones.

Then in 2010, Greene came into the season and the expectation was for him to be the starter, with LaDainian Tomlinson as his backup.  Unfortunately, Greene had a slow start and lost his starting job to Tomlinson.

In 2011 though, Greene was able to regain his starting spot and had his first 1,000-yard season.  While Greene was able to have 1,000 yards on the ground, he was very inconsistent throughout the season.  His yards per carry and total yards per game fluctuated each week, and it is unclear whether or not he will be able to make the jump in 2012 to be a more consistent quality runner.  Therefore, like Sanchez, you should always take caution and play the matchups when deciding whether to start/sit Greene.  Against tougher defenses (i.e. Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2) you may not want to start him against weaker ones (i.e. Indianapolis in Week 6) feel free to play him. 

 

Stay-Away

 

Tim Tebow

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If you are one of those people who decided to draft Tebow in your league, I am sorry for you and your team; odds are that it was not a good one to begin with.  Those who draft Tim Tebow for their fantasy teams this season are wasting a spot on their roster in the hopes that Sanchez gets hurt or plays poorly enough that he gets benched, making Tebow the starter.

That is not going to happen.

Since acquiring Tim Tebow, the Jets have made it quite clear that they plan on having Mark Sanchez be their quarterback in 2012, with Tebow as his backup and the main piece in the wildcat offense.

Last season, Tim Tebow was a monster when it came to scoring fantasy points for his owners, but fans cannot expect the same results this season.  He won’t get an extensive amount of play-time, especially if the wildcat ends up backfiring and the Jets have many other ways in which they can score.

 

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