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2020 Player Outlooks: New York Jets

By Andrew Swanson | 7/18/20 |

LeVeon Bell

QB Sam Darnold
(2019 QB Rank - 29, 18.9 FPts/G)

Mononucleosis derailed the sophomore season for quarterback Sam Darnold and the entire New York Jets offense. The former first round pick from USC was limited to just 13 contests, and we do not know for sure how long the illness affected him in the games he did manage to play.

Despite missing Weeks 2 through 5, Darnold did improve on his completion percentage from his rookie season, threw two more touchdowns, and two fewer interceptions, leading the team to wins in six of their final eight games.

The Jets used significant draft capital to address deficiencies on the offensive line while adding a big-bodied wide receiver on the outside in rookie Denzel Mims from Baylor. The team also added free agent WR Breshad Perriman to help fill the vacuum left with the departure of Robby Anderson to the Panthers in free agency.

For fantasy purposes, Darnold projects to be no more than a streaming option in standard one-quarterback leagues, as the position is deep, and Darnold has yet to top 20 passing touchdowns in his career. He will have value in Super Flex leagues, but a rough schedule to start the season of games against the Bills and the 49ers should give owners pause on drafting Darnold this year.

RB LeíVeon Bell
(2019 RB Rank - No.29, 9.9 FPts/G)

Bellís first season with the Jets turned out to be a massive disappointment, with the former pro bowl running back, posting career lows in rushing average, rushing touchdowns, rushing yards, and receiving average. The team forked out a massive contract and received barely replacement-level production from a payer with three seasons of over 1800 total yards on his resume.

Part of Bellís terrible play can be attributed to a subpar offensive line, part of it should be attributed to Sam Darnold dealing with mono and the offense overall struggling, yet a big part should be put squarely on his shoulders, as he did not appear to run with the same effort as when he was playing for a big contract from the Steelers.

Will Bell return to his old form now that that team addressed some issues on the offensive line, and Darnold is fully recovered? We doubt it, but it is hard to pass up a player who may receive close to 300 total touches. As of now, you can buy Bell almost at where he finished last season, making him a possible value should those two variables lead to improve efficiency. He could also continue to struggle, lose some carries to veteran Frank Gore, and the team may want to see more of what they have in La'Mical Perine.

WR Jamison Crowder
(2019 WR Rank - No. 50, 7.5 FPts/G)

As the slot receiver in an Adam Case offense, Jamison Crowder was heavily featured in the passing game, while posting career highs in targets and receptions. His 122 targets placed him at 16th among wide receivers, ahead of other more prominent fantasy options like Kenny Golladay, Tyler Lockett, Stefon Diggs, Terry McLaurin, and Amari Cooper.

Although he did not do much with those targets in teams of touchdown production, and he was the only player in the league besides Davante Adams to fail to reach 1k yards with over 120 targets, Crowder is an excellent value pick for owners in full point per reception leagues.

The team did not add a wide receiver to take targets away from the slot, and Sam Darnold and Crowder certainly showed a strong rapport last year. Rookie Denzel Mims projects to work outside with free agent acquisition Breshad Perriman as the other outside receiver.

Crowder has yet to score more than seven touchdowns in a season, so donít expect him to be a huge producer in TD heavy leagues. But he is a nice option for owners looking for volume on an offense that projects to be better than last year.

WR Denzel Mims
(2019 WR Rank - NA)

The Jets used a second round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to select Denzel Mims from Baylor University. At 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, Mims has a large frame and large catch radius. He ran an impressive 4.38 40-yard dash at the combine and was the No.1 rated player on the three cone drill.

A drop issue in college and reported lack of separation dropped Mims into the second round, but the opportunity with the Jets could not be better. He will likely start right away opposite of Breshad Perriman outside, with Jamison Crowder and Chris Herndon working inside.

From a fantasy perspective, he may not have a ton of value this season, as rookie wide receivers tend to get off to a slow start and the COVID-19 shortened offseason will not make in any easier to build rapport with Darnold. His long-term value could be high, especially if the journeyman WR Perriman does not impress on his one-year deal.

WR Breshad Perriman
(2019 WR Rank - No.52, 7.3 FPts/G)

Perriman had little to no value as the No.3 three option for the Bucs last season until that final five games of the year when injuries to Chris Godwin and Mike Evans opened to door for a massive volume increase. Perriman did not disappoint, with back-to-back 100-yard games in the fantasy playoffs, including a three-touchdown game on the road against the Lions. The gunslinging mentality fo Jameis Winston and a terrible defense for the Bucs helped bolster the fantasy production for the wide receivers in Tampa Bay.

Perriman was not resigned by the Bucs despite his impressive finish. Instead, he signed a modest one-year, show-me deal with the Jets.

The massive volume Perriman enjoyed in those games with the Bucs will not likely be there as the third wide receiver and the fourth option for the Jets. Going from the third-ranked offense in yards per game to the worst is not good for any player, especially if that player is not slotted in to be the No.1 target in the offense.

He will likely have a few big games here and there, but overall, Perriman will likely disappoint and should be rostered in only the deepest of leagues.

TE Chris Herndon
(2019 TE Rank - No.99, 0.7 FPts/G)

Injuries and a suspension for off-field issues limited Herndon to just one game in 2019. After an impressive rookie campaign in 2018, Herndon was a favorite sleeper candidate in the fantasy community, only to end up a complete disappointment on and off the field.

Could Herndon be a post-hype sleeper in 2020? It is certainly possible, with the Jets losing two starting wide receivers and replacing them with a rookie in Denzel Mims and a journeyman bust in Breshad Perriman. There are targets to be had in this offense, and Herndon is a big-bodied receiver who looked to be a budding star back in 2018.

Due to the fact that we donít know a ton about how well he stayed in shape during his suspension and the inability for him to work out with Darnold this offseason due to COVID-19, Herndon may be a stretch to rely on as your starting tight end in the draft. But he should garner No.2 tight end consideration in deep leagues where owners typically take two tight ends.

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