With a 4-12 record, the Jets found themselves in the basement of the division for the third straight season. They finished in the bottom third of the league in both passing and rushing yards per game while the defense allowed an average of 27.6 points per game, which was fourth-most in the league. The team decided to move on from head coach Todd Bowles, bringing in Adam Gase to take over. It was clear that if they were going to help young quarterback Sam Darnold develop, they needed to add more talent around him this offseason.
Key Departures:James Carpenter, OG; Mike Pennel, DT
Key Acquisitions:Le’Veon Bell, RB; Jamison Crowder, WR; C.J. Mosley, LB; Quinnen Williams, DT
2019 Fantasy MVP
Le’Veon Bell, RB
The gem of the Jets’ offseason acquisitions is without a doubt Bell, who sat out all of last year due to a contract dispute with the Steelers. One of the top fantasy options at any position, Bell has accumulated at least 1,800 total yards in three of the last four seasons that he has played. A PPR monster, he also had at least 75 receptions in all three of those campaigns. If it wasn’t for him playing just six games in 2015, he very well could have been entering 2018 coming off of four monster seasons.
Now a member of the Jets, Bell will be tasked with taking some of the pressure off of Darnold. The key is, how will his body respond after taking a year off? While he might seem fresh, there is also the risk that all of the time on the sidelines will make him a bit rusty. Even if he gets off to a slow start, his volume in both the rushing and passing game is going to help make him a tremendous fantasy asset.
2019 Fantasy LVP
Jamison Crowder, WR
Another key offseason move for the Jets was to bring in Crowder to help bolster their wide receiver group. One of the better wide receivers on the Redskins, he was limited to just nine game last year due to injury. However, he was coming off of back-to-back seasons in which he received at least 99 targets.
While the Jets aren’t exactly loaded at wide receiver, they do have a couple of quality players to pair with Crowder in Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa. In particular, Enunwa seemed to have developed a great relationship with Darnold last year, which helped him secure a hefty contract extension. Crowder has caught three touchdowns or fewer in three of his four seasons in the league and again might not receive a ton of opportunities to score working out of the slot with the Jets, especially with Bell also in the fold. There just isn’t enough upside here to get overly excited about, especially in non-PPR leagues.
2019 Breakout Player
Sam Darnold, QB
I do like tight end Chris Herndon to have an improved season, but he could be facing a two-game suspension to start the season due to a DWI charge. Once he comes back, though, he’s someone to monitor in DFS. However, with the pieces that the Jets have put around him, Darnold is the player who could improve the most this season.
Darnold isn’t afraid to throw the ball deep and can be a bit turnover prone, evident by the fact that he threw 15 interceptions last year. There is some concern over how Gase will run the team, especially since the Dolphins ran the fewest offensive plays in the league last year. However, Darnold is a much better talent than anything Gase ever had to work with. They are going to put him in a position to succeed, and with better skill players around him, Darnold looks poised to easily surpass his 17 touchdown passes and 2,865 passing yards from last year.
After they face the Bills in Week 1, the Jets will go on a brutal stretch that will see them play the Browns, Patriots, Eagles, Cowboys and Patriots again over five games. While that might leave them with a poor start, the team could make up ground starting in Week 9 when it faces the Dolphins, Giants, Redskins, Raiders and Dolphins again in consecutive weeks.
A high-upside DFS stack that likely won’t cost much during that favorable stretch is Darnold and Anderson. It took time for the two to gel last year, but once they did, Anderson started to put up some big numbers. He had a gem of a performance against the Packers in Week 16, catching nine of 13 targets for 140 yards and a touchdown. He also found his way into the end zone in three of their last four games. With how Darnold likes to throw the ball deep, Anderson had a stellar average target depth of 15.6 yards.
As far as a handcuff at running back should anything go wrong with Bell, that’s a bit up in the air. The Jets will return both Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire while Ty Montgomery was brought in after he split last season with the Ravens and Packers. It might be best to avoid the mess that’s behind Bell and look to strengthen your running back depth elsewhere.
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