Led by an elite defense and dominant rushing attack, the upstart Jets made it all the way to the AFC Championship game before finally falling to the Colts last season. While the loss was a disappointment to Jets fans, the future looks awfully bright for this team, both ing reality and fantasy.
The Jets have made some changes offensively, most notably signing LaDainian Tomlinson and trading for Santonio Holmes. These were two big moves for the team, but the biggest changes from a dynasty perspective should be the continued development of Mark Sanchez and the “jet”-isonning of Thomas Jones in favor of Shonn Greene.
Let’s take a look at the Jets in the latest edition of the dynasty C-A-P-S-U-L-E.
Players in their Prime
Santonio Holmes WR
The Jets were more than happy to send a fifth round-pick in the 2010 NFL Draft to the Steelers for Holmes. He’ll miss the first four games of 2010 after being suspended, but his addition could be a huge long-term coup for New York.
This former Super Bowl MVP set a career high in yardage with 1,248 with the Steelers last year and brings a new standard of legitimacy to the wide receiver position for the Jets. While the knucklehead factor is high for Holmes, it wouldn’t surprise us to still see him lead the Jets in receiving yards this season and get a long-term extension in the process. He’s a high-risk player to own in dynasty leagues, but not one without a big upside.
Dustin Keller TE
Many dynasty league owners expected more from Keller than the 522 yards and two touchdowns from a year ago. Don’t let those numbers fool you though. Keller had 181 yards and three touchdowns in the playoffs and emerged as a favorite target for the developing Mark Sanchez. Expect more of the same in the future.
Mark Sanchez QB
Dynasty owners may be going a little overboard on Sanchez right now, citing his 60 percent completion and 4:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio he posted in the playoffs last season. Just remember he had the fewest number of completions and passing yards among quarterbacks who started at least fifteen games last season, finishing with just 12 touchdowns against 20 interceptions.
He’ll need to continue to grow, but he has the offensive line and skill position players who should allow him to do just that. Temper your expectations for 2010 as he facilitates a run-first attack, but he’s in the perfect environment to cultivate his talent.
Shonn Greene RB
If you don’t know who Greene is, you will very soon. You may not be impressed with his 540 yards and two touchdowns from the regular season, but you should be in awe of his 304 yard and two touchdown performance from the playoffs. Greene was good enough for the Jets to let an excellent running back in Thomas Jones go to Kansas City.
Don’t let the Tomlinson signing fool you either. Shonn Greene has a golden opportunity to vault himself into a No. 1 dynasty league running back this season. He’s an easy Round Two pick in startup dynasty league drafts this season and a long-term gem not to trade away.
Players with Falling Values
Braylon Edwards WR
It seems like ages ago when Edwards broke out for 80 catches, 1,289 yards and 16 touchdowns with Cleveland. Since that 2007 season, Edwards has somehow developed a well-documented case of the dropsies and was given up on by the Browns. While he still has elite talent, his total of 90 catches since that breakout season is an epic disappointment.
The addition of Holmes clouds his future and he’s running out of chances to be a fantasy building block. You can’t expect the Jets to sign both Holmes and Edwards long-term; our money is on Holmes performing like the superior player and earning that big contract.
Jerricho Cotchery WR
He was the biggest loser in the Holmes acquisition. Cotchery will likely make the move to the slot receiver position this season, while Edwards and Holmes start. While he still may catch 40 to 50 passes, his big-play potential has been suddenly extinguished.
LaDainian Tomlinson RB
If you ever wanted a case study on the shelf life of running backs, this is it. LT was the consensus No. 1 pick in dynasty leagues three years ago. In the recent dynasty experts league draft we participated in with other elite fantasy sites this spring, he was taken at No. 267 overall.
The wear and tear of the NFL has finally caught up to him. He’s shown very little in recent practices to make anyone believe he has much left in the tank. He’s a clear backup to Greene at this point. Dynasty owners should sell on him, but it’s probably a year too late.
Joe McKnight RB
He’s displaying a renewed work ethic after showing up for mini-camp out of shape and overweight. With Leon Washington out of the picture, McKnight has a chance to be an effective third-down back and utility player as soon as this season. His talent has never matched his production as he struggled living up to the comparisons to Reggie Bush at USC. The Jets have to hope the light comes on for him soon. McKnight makes for a good pick in the Third Round of rookie drafts.
David Clowney WR
This speedster is an annual sleeper in dynasty circles as he typically dominates the preseason headlines for the Jets. With the long-term depth chart at wide receiver unsettled, he merits stashing on a deep dynasty league roster.
With the Patriots finally showing some vulnerability, the Jets are primed to make a run at the AFC East title this season. There aren’t too many intriguing camp battles to watch from a fantasy football perspective, that’s for sure. However, the maturation of Mark Sanchez and Shonn Greene, combined with the new weapons they’ve added on offense are going to make for some must-see TV for dynasty league owners this preseason. This is a team with some real talent just coming into a window of opportunity for winning. Expectations are high in New York, and expectations for the dynasty league players on the Jets should follow.