We're continuing our preseason series to get you ready for your fantasy drafts this summer, this time we're heading to the Big Apple with our 2023 Fantasy Football New York Jets Preview.
After ending the season 7-10, the Jets needed a change. Zach Wilson wasn't cutting it and the Jets are approaching win-now territory after hitting the lottery with three talented players on both sides of the ball in Garrett Wilson, Breece Hall, and Sauce Gardner. Their defense is increasingly formidable, and their offense needed a spark.
So they went out and got Aaron Rodgers in a blockbuster trade just before the 2023 NFL Draft. Then they grabbed Dalvin Cook in free agency as injury insurance for Hall. Jets fans now have a team they can hope in and root for. They don't project to be a fantasy goldmine, but they have a potential QB1, RB1, RB2, and a WR1 on their roster. So, maybe you can call that a goldmine.
So let's get to it!
2023 Fantasy Football New York Jets Preview
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Rodgers comes in having won the MVP in 2020 and 2021 but suffered one of the worst statistical campaigns in his career in 2022. I highlighted some of that when I covered the trade impact initially and went into more detail.
The issue with Robert Saleh’s offense, since he took over as coach, is quite simple: there isn’t any. He turned around the defense in spectacular fashion, going from allowing the most points in the league to the fourth fewest. And yet, they still went 7-10, because their offense was 29th in points per game in 2022. Zach Wilson was uninspiring, Breece Hall went out due to injury, it just wasn’t working. The offense just needed a spark.
The Jets are betting on Rodgers to be that spark. I think despite his down season, Rodgers is a QB2 this year with QB1 upside with the weapons he’ll have at his disposal.
- Breece Hall
- Dalvin Cook
- Michael Carter
- Israel Abanikanda
- Zonoavn Knight
Breece Hall was on his way to having a huge rookie season before tearing his ACL. He’s part of a growing list of backs who have suffered an injury in their first year or two in the league: Javonte Williams, JK Dobbins, Travis Etienne, Jonathan Taylor, so much talent has been hampered by injury.
It will take Hall time to recover from injury, but he should be an RB1 when he is fully recovered. Dalvin Cook's signing gives the Jets some injury insurance if Hall isn't ready right away. Cook may not be who he once was, but he is still a talented back. His 264 carries in 2022 were the second most in a season of his career and he showed he's still a capable receiver. Cook projects to be an RB2 in fantasy. For the first part of the season, it's probably a 1A/1B type of timeshare. Once Hall returns to form, however, I expect he will get a majority of the carries, closer to a 60/40 split.
Carter and Abanikanda are depth pieces at this point and I'm not interested in taking them in redraft formats.
Rodgers brought two of his buddies with him to New York: Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb. Lazard is by far the more intriguing of the two. He was a WR3 after returning from injury after week 1, and it’s entirely possible he remains a WR3 in New York even with Garrett Wilson in town.
Rodgers's new No.1 WR, Garrett Wilson, is hyped for a good reason. In his rookie season, he accumulated 147 targets, 83 receptions, over 1100 yards, and four TDs. What’s crazy is how good his rookie year could have been. Player Profiler credited Wilson with only 94 catchable passes (meaning he had 53 passes deemed uncatchable and only a 56% catch rate) and over 800 unrealized air yards (6th most).
It’s unrealistic to expect every target to be deemed catchable, but if Rodgers can deliver more accurate passes his way than what he saw last year, Wilson is in for a big season. Coupled with a better offense, his scoring opportunities should also rise.
Cobb, Davis, and Hardman will all have their one-off weeks, but I’m not looking to roster any of them. Side note: isn't it crazy how quickly Davis has been phased out of the offense and is the WR3 after being brought in via free agency just two seasons ago to be their WR1?
New York’s tight end room is nothing to get overly excited about. Tyler Conklin is atop the depth chart and ended the 2022 season as the overall TE16, but was the TE21 in points per game in PPR formats.
Uzomah contributed little, and Ruckert had an almost non-existent season, catching only one pass. Conklin can be a bye-week fill-in or a TE2 for best ball purposes, but he’s not an every-week starter. Not that the tight-end position has a lot of those to begin with.
All in all, I expect the Jets offense to be a productive one for fantasy football.
Rodgers may not return to his MVP self, but that doesn’t mean he’s in for a bad year. If he can sustain even high-end QB2 production, Garrett Wilson, Breece Hall, and Dalvin Cook are all fantastic options for your fantasy lineups.
Guys like Allen Lazard could be weekly flex plays as well in the Jets' new offensive system run by Nathaniel Hackett, Rodgers's OC in his recent MVP seasons.
The tight ends are shaky, but other than that, draft the Jets with confidence.
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