2012 Fantasy Football Preview: New York Jets

Contributed by: Michael Schwartz
Last Updated: Jul 17, 2012 12:52 AM

QB Mark Sanchez- Thanks to the signing of Tim Tebow, Mark Sanchez has now inherited one of the worst positions in the NFL. After being a part of successful playoff runs in his first two seasons, he regressed last year despite achieving career highs in yards (3,474) and touchdowns (26). The common mistakes associated with Sanchez (turnovers and inaccuracy) were too much for the Jets to overcome because the running game and the defense struggled. Therefore, skepticism over whether Sanchez has the heart and intangibles to win has peaked with the arrival of Tebow. The USC standout is now stuck in a tricky situation as he’ll be hounded by fans and the media with every gaffe he makes. If you’re optimistic, the arrival of Tebow is a wake-up call to Sanchez to cut out the errors and lead the team to victory. Yet, even if he improves and keeps his job, Tebow will be favored often in the red zone which will severely hurt Sanchez’s value. In the end, drafting Sanchez just doesn’t seem like a wise choice.

QB Tim Tebow- Even though all he does is win, having Tebow on your Fantasy team doesn’t seem logical. Despite his much-publicized throwing issues, (47.3% career completion) Tebow will start the year as a backup. As a utility player, Tebow could be potentially valuable on 3rd down and in the red zone which will certainly benefit fantasy owners. If he becomes the starting QB, Tebow’s worth will primarily come from pounding the ball into the end zone as he has scored 12 career rushing touchdowns and averaged 5.4 yards per carry. Yet despite all the hype, he really isn’t all that explosive as he’s basically the poor man’s Cam Newton. Besides being a spot starter against a team that struggles against the run, there’s no point in starting Tebow on a weekly basis due to his woeful throwing abilities. In the end, the only thing consistent about Tebow will be the weekly frustration owners of other Jets players will feel when he vultures touchdowns.   

RB Shonn Greene-Despite his moments of promise, Shonn Greene is another frustrating Jets player who has never been able to be consistently dominant. He rushed for only six touchdowns last year (half of which came in one game) in an offense that uncharacteristically struggled to run the ball. However, with the appointment of Coach Tony Sparano, the Jets will have a conservative offense and Greene doesn’t have much competition for the starter’s role. Yet, the biggest drawback to Greene will be Tebow as he’ll take away touchdown opportunities from the red zone (Willis McGahee only had one touchdown from 10 yards or less once Tebow started last year). Overall, the Jets main RB is an average rusher who has to deal with a serviceable offensive line and potentially Tim Tebow in the pocket. Don’t invest heavily into Greene.

RB Joe McKnight- McKnight is the must have handcuff Greene owners should look for at the end of their drafts. Like Greene, McKnight has had his moments but has failed to be a dependable powerhouse. While he is a speedster with good elusive skills, he was never able to take the backup role from an aging LaDainian Tomlinson. With past work-ethic issues, McKnight will have to truly focus on trying to keep his spot from youngsters like Bilal Powell and Terrance Ganaway.  

WR Santonio Holmes- The enigmatic Holmes has never been far away from drama and that knocks his fantasy value. In a toxic locker room, Holmes faltered and his inability to connect with Sanchez eventually lead to him laying down in the dying minutes of a lost season in Miami. Yet, Holmes is still a talented receiver and managed to have ten games with 7 or more points last season despite the unpredictable form of Sanchez. However, the Jets look committed to controlling games through rushing the ball again and Holmes’ value may get even worse if Tebow took over. He’s the most potent and reliable player on the Jets offense but that won’t mean much if they are plagued with lackluster quarterbacks.

WR Stephen Hill- Stephen Hill is a potential breakout rookie and a sleeper because he possesses ideal speed and size. The Jets traded up in the 2nd round of the draft to get the Georgia Tech WR because he is both strong and fast. However, Hill is raw and inexperienced and it’s ridiculous to expect that he’ll be immediately successful as the starting No. 2 receiver. Yet, besides Holmes, the Jets only have the injury-prone Chaz Schilens and sophomore WR Jeremy Kerley in the slot so Hill may be headed towards a baptism of fire. Hill is gifted but this may not be the year to invest in him.

TE Dustin Keller- If Dustin Keller was on another team, he may have the talent to be a borderline elite TE in the NFL. Instead, he’s Sanchez’s favorite receiver which is good in that he had the most targets on the team last year. However, Sanchez was only able to complete slightly more than half his attempts to Keller which is surprising considering he often doesn’t often go out as far as the receivers. With Tebow in the pocket, Keller may benefit as an emergency target to dump the ball off too but his value will be ultimately decreased by touchdowns ran in by Tebow. While he’s a talented player, it may be unreasonable to rely on him every week considering who’s throwing him the ball.                                        

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