The New York Jets are expected to be one of the leagues worst teams in 2017. So what does that mean for your fantasy football team? Below are a few of the slim options that you may have to select from.
Sleeper – Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tight End
Remember Cameron Brate’s 2016 semi-breakout campaign with Jameis Winston down in Tampa Bay? That was supposed to be ASJ’s. Unfortunately, for Seferian-Jenkins, the coaches care if you scream at them from the sidelines in the preseason. His benching for Brate and subsequent release (due to a DUI) had more to do with intense knuckle headedness than a lack of talent. The New York Jets picked him up and let him take 2016 to compose himself and get his career back together. He saw few targets last year thanks to injury and Chan Gailey’s proclivity for ignoring the tight end. ASJ has slimmed up, changed OCs and is reportedly the most impressive player at Jets camp. That is a low bar to cross, but he is literally without an average draft position right now and is a name to file away as a dark horse, post-hype sleeper in your fantasy football league.
Breakout – Bilal Powell, Running Back
Bust – Matt Forte, Running Back
The bounce back and bust labels here are a matter of perception in fantasy football circles. Forte and Powell are likely to reprise their 1a and 1b relationships to start 2016, yet Forte is the #38 off the board, and Powell #28. Forte was the man last season. That was until injuries started to break him down, and Powell took off. If you just listened to coaches right now, and even early in the season, you might go after Forte.
However, the game tape showed Powell is the better of the two backs. Powell is currently #28 off the board, due to the lingering specter of Matt Forte. This also shows you the dangers of constructing narratives. Do not forget, Forte escaped the Jets’ vet purge, as they released anyone making more than a few bucks in order to rebuild. This bodes well for Forte, as he is a good asset to have around, and he is likely to earn starts and snaps that eat into Powell’s production. At the same time, however, Powell is undoubtedly the more talented back at this point.
While Forte will eat into Powell’s touches early in the season, the New York Jets will shed him off into a #2 role before Halloween. Use the perception that Forte will chew up Powell’s touches to get the discount. Do not let the stories of Matt Forte getting the bulk of the carries deter you; he is going to be useless in 2017 unless Powell goes down.
Editor’s Note: This article can also be seen in our upcoming NFL Preview Edition.