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New York Jets Fantasies: WR/TE

Nick Laham

In my last post, I broke down the New York Jets RB position from a fantasy standpoint. This post will focus on the Jets receiving corps. Last year the tight end's and receivers were dealt a blow by the loss of WR Santonio Holmes and the nagging injuries to TE Dustin Keller. This forced the team to resign WR Braylon Edwards, thrust rookie WR Stephen Hill into a starter's role and give TE Jeff Cumberland a larger role in the offense.Edwards was a shell of his former self, Cumberland showed flashes, and Hill couldn't hold onto to the ball.

Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg's WCO is proving to be very receiver friendly so far. Unlike last year the receiver's seem to be getting open much more frequently and have plenty of space around them after the catch. Much like the RB position, this system seems to be very fantasy friendly to the WR's and TE's. Mornhinweg's system in Philadelphia produced fantasy starters in both the WR and TE position. Let's take a look at the key Eagle receivers in Marty's system since 2009:

Name Year End of Season Fantasy Rank
WR DeSean Jackson 2009 4th
2010 14th
2011 26th
2012 60th (11 games)
WR Jeremy Maclin 2010 13th
2011 32nd (13 games)
2012 27th
TE Brent Celek 2009 4th
2010 18th
2011 9th

2012 21st

The success these receivers had could be based upon the system but also due to the QB play. Donovan McNabb was the starter in 2009 and then Michael Vick took over in 2010. While the system is basically the same, you could argue that as of right now, QB's Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith are not comparable to McNabb and Vick. So what does that tell us? Not to fully expect the fantasy success that Jackson, Maclin, and Celek had in Marty's system. There are only a few New York Jet's receivers that will have marginal fantasy value. Let's take a look at the key Jets WR's and TE's:

WR Santonio Holmes: As I stated above, Holmes missed all of camp recovering from a Lisfranc injury sustained last season against the 49ers. Holmes has told fellow players that he can play and was activated from the PUP list and placed on the active roster. That means that the Jets feel he will be able to play within the first six games of the season. Holmes thrives on quick slants and short crossing routes, where he is able to rack up YAC(Yards After Catch). When healthy, you can expect Holmes to fill the Maclin role in Mary's system. He may be the most valuable receiver on the Jets roster, in terms of fantasy. I just completed a 12 team PPR draft on Sunday and Holmes went undrafted. He has the potential to be a WR3/4 , and should be drafted as such in leagues with 14 teams or more. In 10 or 12 team leagues he will most likely go undrafted.

WR Jeremy Kerley: Kerley actually had a decent fantasy season last year, 56 receptions, 827 yds., 2 TD's. As was the case last year, it seems like Kerley is Sanchez's go to guy when they need to convert a 3rd down. He seemed to be able to get open last year, and you can already see he is going to play a big role in Marty's offense this season. He will primarily fill the slot receiver role and could exceed his numbers from last year. He finished in the top 50 WR fantasy rankings last year, which means he produced as a WR3/Flex starter. Much like Holmes, he will go undrafted in 10 or 12 team leagues, but look to draft him in the later rounds of a 14 team or larger league.

WR Stephen Hill: Hill's rookie season saw a lot of ups and downs. From his 2 TD performance against the Bills, to his case of the dropsies in the week five match-up with the Patriots. Hill was never expected to contribute much last year, but the Holmes injury rushed him into action. Hill worked on his route running and sticky fingers in the off-season. The early returns have been positive, he is getting open and catching a lot more passes thrown his way. Hill could turn out to be the Jackson type receiver in Marty's offense. While not as fast as DJAX, he does have the speed to get deep and stretch defenses, while Kerley and Holmes get open underneath. I can see him developing into a red zone threat and catching a lot of bombs from whomever the starting QB could be. With that said he is still destined to be a backup on your fantasy squad with the potential of becoming a flex starter.

TE Kellen Winslow/Jeff Cumberland: Winslow was invited to tryout back in June, after impressing the Jets he was signed to the active roster. We all know the skill set he brings to the table, which is an excellent route runner who catches everything thrown his way. While he may not be as healthy as he once was, he can still contribute to this team, which will feature the TE.  Cumberland was signed by the Jets in 2010 as an undrafted free agent.  He hit a road bump in 2011, when he suffered a torn Achilles tendon. Last year, Cumberland showed flashes of why the Jets were high on him. This year will see him become a bigger part of the offense. He has two TD's already in the preseason and could contribute a lot this year for the Jets. For 10 and 12 team leagues both Winslow and Cumberland are non starters. In a league with teams of 14 or more they could find there way onto rosters as either backups or starters.

Next up for New York Jets Fantasies, I will breakdown the Jets D/ST and K position.