Updated: Jul 26, 2022
Before we look at where we're going, let's take a look at where we've been (that's a shoutout to Mader from Cars for all you fellow Moms and Dads).
On paper, there wasn't a whole heckuva lot to get excited about in Robert Saleh's debut season with the New York Jets, at least from a fantasy football standpoint. They ranked 28th in points scored (18.24 per game) 26th in offensive yards (306.35 per game), 28th in plays run (60.94 per game), 26th in first downs (18.2 per game), 28th in scoring percentage (29.4%) and had the 5th most turnovers in football (27).
They had the 13th most passing attempts (35.47 per game) yet finished 20th in passing yards (208.29 per game), 28th in passing TDs (20), 17th in passing first downs (11.47 per game) and had the 2nd most interceptions (20).
They had the fewest rushing attempts (22.35 per game), 6th fewest rushing yards (98.06 per game), 14th fewest rushing TDs (14)—which is actually somewhat impressive considering they were dead last in rushing attempts—and 4th fewest rushing first downs (5.12 per game). Encouragingly, they did have the 10th best yards per carry at 4.4.
Now let's add some context:
It was Robert Saleh's first season as the head coach
The offense was essentially led by rookies: Zach Wilson, Michael Carter and Elijah Moore
Wilson missed 4 games
Carter missed 3 and only "started" 11
Moore missed 6 and only "started" 6
Tevin Coleman missed 6
Jamison Crowder missed 5 and only "started" 4
Corey Davis missed 8
Ryan Griffin and Tyler Kroft combined missed 11
It was absolutely a year to forget for the airplanes, but there's understandable reason why. And still, the arrow is pointing straight up on this unit in 2022.
Like the rest of the division, there's a lot to be excited about for the Jets in 2022. Considered by many to have had the best NFL draft in April, the Jets stocked up on talent and weaponry for sophomore QB Zach Wilson.
The Jets moved on from WR Jamison Crowder (71 targets), Keelan Cole (51 targets), Ryan Griffin (42 targets) and Tyler Kroft (25 targets) but upgraded across the board, bringing in RB Breece Hall (2nd round pick), WR Garrett Wilson (10th overall pick), TE CJ Uzomah (free agent from Cincinnati) and TE Tyler Conklin (free agent from Minnesota).
After all of the shuffling, the Jets' starting lineup is projected as follows:
QB Zach Wilson
RB Breece Hall, Michael Carter
WR Garrett Wilson
WR Corey Davis
WR Elijah Moore
TE Tyler Conklin, CJ Uzomah
Not too shabby. By all intents and purposes, this *should* be a unit that takes a step forward across the board in 2022.
One assumption I'm willing to bet on—and will write the following projections with in mind—is that the Jets do not finish dead last in rushing attempts this season after spending the 36th overall pick on Breece Hall. Of course, how well and how long they'll be able to stay in close ballgames will dictate that as well, which could prove challenging in an impossible AFC conference.
Still, I like the Jets to finish closer to middle of the pack in rushing attempts (somewhere around 20th), which might come at the expense of Zach Wilson's passing attempts if the Jets maintain a similar pace of play.
Zach Wilson 📈
2021 Fantasy Points Per Game: 11.83 (QB 29)
There's no way to sugarcoat it; Zach Wilson's rookie season was...well...a jet crash.
In 12 fantasy football games (weeks 1-17), he finished 29th in fantasy scoring, 30th in passing yards (2,247), 31st in TDs (8), 20th in rushing yards (161) and had 11 interceptions.
Encouragingly enough, he did have 4 rushing TDs (8th most among QBs), but that was likely a blip on the radar more than something we can count in.
In those 12 games, Wilson never hit 24 fantasy points and hit 20 just 16.67% of the time.
He scored under 10 fantasy points in 33.33% of his games.
That said, the two games where he did hit 20+ fantasy points came later in the season, weeks 13 and 16, a potential sign that he's "figuring it out?"
Now in year 2 he'll get a healthy Elijah Moore and Corey Davis while adding Garrett Wilson, Tyler Conklin and CJ Uzomah plus a sturdy RB room to lean on with Breece Hall and Michael Carter behind him. There's no way the arrow is not pointing straight up for Wilson this year (granted, that's not really saying much if you're already at the ground level).
He'll have no excuses to fall back on if he doesn't show notable improvement in hi sophomore season.
Fantasy Drafts: Zach Wilson is currently the QB 22 in Underdog best ball leagues, drafted around pick 169 (15th round). He's drafted behind Trevor Lawrence, Jameis Winston, Matt Ryan, Daniel Jones but notably ahead of Mac Jones, Ryan Tannehill, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz and Baker Mayfield.
In a typical 1 QB redraft league, I'm not taking Wilson at all and he'll need to show notable improvement to be worthy of streamer consideration during the season.
In a superflex or 2QB league, he's an unexciting bottom-barrel QB2 that would be much better treated as a high end QB3.
In best ball leagues, I've taken him a few times just to have exposure to him in my portfolio, but I'm taking equal parts Mac Jones, Ryan Tannehill, Carson Wentz and Jared Goff as well, all of which are drafted after Wilson.
Breece Hall 📈 and Michael Carter 📉
Michael Carter was fine in his rookie campaign, registering 11.73 PPR points per game (RB 28) and finishing 17th among RBs in targets (52) and 16th in receiving yards (325). He also flashed some weekly upside by hitting 15 or more PPR points in 23.08% of his games and even topping 30 points in week 8 (32.2 to be exact).
That all came to a screeching halt when the Jets used the 36th overall pick on Iowa State's Breece Hall, a potential stud who will walk right into the RB1 role in New York (and a potential RB 1 role in fantasy football). A talented receiver himself, Hall checks every box of a capable workhorse in a three-down role.
That said, I'm not expecting Michael Carter to just disappear after the Jets used their 4th round pick on him last year and he led the team in carries (147) and paced the backfield in targets (43% of the RB targets).
It seems likely the Jets will roll out a 1A (Hall) and 1B (Carter) type of approach with Carter likely getting the bulk of the passing down work to start with.
Fantasy Drafts: Breece Hall is currently the RB 19 on Underdog, drafted around pick 45 (late 4th round). The cost itself is fine, but he's hard to draft when he's usually surrounded by WRs like Diontae Johnson, Terry McLaurin, Jerry Jeudy, Allen Robinson, DK Metcalf and Gabriel Davis (depending on how you feel about that). And that's not even including Darren Waller, Cam Akers, Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes. With Michael Carter still hangin' around, I haven't drafted much of Breece Hall in best ball.
Michael Carter, on the other hand, is currently the RB 46, drafted around pick 143 (12th round). He's a solid ZeroRB pick in that range (if you think he'll get the passing down work) but, like Hall, he's hard to draft when he's surrounded by Darrell Henderson, DeVante Parker, Van Jefferson, Robert Tonyan, Albert Okwuegbunam and Hunter Henry. Still, Carter is one of my favorite draft picks in that range.
Dynasty Leagues: Breece Hall is the 1.01 in rookie drafts—although I think a case could be made for Drake London—and an exciting one at that. That said, he's not as clear-cut/obvious as some other 1.01s in the past (Saquon Barkley, for example) so I'm putting the 1.01 on the trading block wherever I have it to see what it can bring back.
Michael Carter is just a hold at this point. Can't really sell him and if you do, it'll be real low.
Elijah Moore ↔️ Corey Davis 👍 ↔️ Garrett Wilson
It's going to be interesting to see how this pecking order shakes out with Elijah Moore and Corey Davis both healthy and adding Garrett Wilson to the mix.
Last season, Elijah Moore averaged 12.56 PPR points per game (WR 34) while Corey Davis reeled in 11.69 PPR points per game (WR 38).
Moore hit 20 or more PPR points 27.27% of the time and Davis did so 22.22% of the time.
In just 7 games that the two played together, Moore averaged 11.16 PPR points per game on 7.57 targets, 3.71 catches, 48.71 yards and 3 total TDs. He scored under 9 PPR points in the first 4 of such games, but scored 13.4, 28.1 and 19.7 in the last 3.
In the same 7 games, Davis averaged 11.09 PPR points per game on 6.43 targets, 3.71 catches, 48 yards and 3 TDs of his own. He scored under 10 PPR points 4 times while scoring 14.3 in week 10, 14.7 in week 7 and 26.7 in week 1.
Now the Jets are adding Garrett Wilson to the rotation and he didn't come cheap, using the 10th overall pick in the NFL draft to get him in New York. He's going to find the field early and demand a fair share of targets, cutting into the workloads of Moore and Davis.
On the bright side, the Jets did just vacate 189 targets with the departure of Jamison Crowder, Keelan Cole, Ryan Griffin and Tyler Kroft (the TEs combined for 67 of those 189 targets), so there should be plenty for all three to feast.
Fantasy Drafts: Elijah Moore is currently the WR 32 on Underdog, drafted around pick 68 (6th round). He's fine at that cost and I've taken him a few times myself, but it's also a very competitive spot, surrounded by Chris Godwin, Jalen Hurts (if you're into that), Amari Cooper, AJ Dillon, Antonio Gibson, Adam Thielen, Russell Gage, DeAndre Hopkins, Miles Sanders and more.
Despite similar output to Moore last season, Corey Davis is much cheaper in 2022 fantasy drafts, going around pick 160 (14th round) as the 70th WR off the board. I recognize he's the odd man out, but he's really tough to ignore at that bargain price. There are several WRs drafted before him that I think is a mistake: Mecole Hardman, Jameson Williams, Jahan Dotson, Van Jefferson, Joshua Palmer, KJ Osborn, Jalen Tolbert, DJ Chark and, ironically enough, Garrett Wilson. He's also wrongfully drafted after Khalil Herbert, Tyrion Davis-Price and Gus Edwards. If you haven't guessed it, Davis is my favorite 14th round draft pick.
Garrett Wilson is the WR 51, being drafted around pick 110 (10th round). While Wilson certainly seems likely to outscore his current WR 51 standing, he's being drafted in a competitive spot; he's in the vicinity of Melvin Gordon, Aaron Rodgers, Chase Claypool, Derek Carr, James Cook, Zach Ertz, Chase Edmonds, Tyler Boyd, Rhamondre Stevenson, Kirk Cousins, Christian Watson, Tim Patrick, Michael Gallup and Rondale Moore, several of which I'd take over Wilson. I've taken almost zero shares of Wilson to this point but plan to add some exposure to him as the summer goes on.
To be clear, I'm in no way saying Corey Davis > Garrett Wilson. I'm just saying Davis is supremely undervalued in early July best ball drafts.
Dynasty: Elijah Moore is a hold and possibly even a "buy low" if there's a chance the Moore manager in your league is nervous about Wilson's arrival...Davis is a hold and a definite buy-low...Wilson is my 1.05 in rookie-only drafts and the WR4 in this draft class.
Tyler Conklin 👍 and CJ Uzomah 👎
The Jets remodeled their tight end room, bringing over 26-year-old Tyler Conklin from the Minnesota Vikings after his career best year—by far—and 29-year-old CJ Uzomah fresh off of a Super Bowl appearance with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Whereas Uzomah has never eclipsed 65 targets, 50 catches or 500 yards in any season, the younger teammate Conklin did all of that and more last season alone (87 targets, 61 catches and 593 yards).
The Jets brought in more target competition when they added Garrett Wilson to the mix, but they also vacated 189 targets from last season (67 of which belonged to far less adequate TEs Ryan Griffin and Tyler Kroft).
Both guys are unexciting TE3s, but I like Conklin to outproduce Uzomah in 2022 and beyond and he's actually one of my favorite 20th round picks in best ball leagues.
Fantasy Drafts: CJ Uzomah is currently drafted as the TE 32 around pick 214 (18th round). Conklin, on the other hand, is currently the TE 34 and often available in the 19th or even 20th round.
In best ball leagues, I'm usually done drafting TEs by the time these guys come up. But on a few rare occasions where I need a 3rd TE, Conklin is one of my favorite last round picks in fantasy football (I'm avoiding Uzomah entirely).
In typical 1 TE leagues where transactions are allowed, I'm avoiding these guys entirely. Maybe one will enter the streaming conversation at some point, but they're not on the fantasy draft radar.
That's a wrap on the New York Jets (for now). Next week I will publish Episode 5 of the Basement Brewed Fantasy Football Podcast to discuss this in greater detail. Please be sure to tune in and/or watch it on YouTube!
ALSO next week, I will be publishing my 2022 Fantasy Football Draft Kits!