One thing the New York Jets have not been known for in the past decade is producing fantasy football relevant players. For reference, according to FantasyPros.com, since 2012, the only Jets quarterback to finish inside the top 20 at their position was Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2015. In terms of running backs, Chris Ivory was the only one to crack the top 10. These stats are consistent with wide receivers as well, but once again the exception was 2015, when Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker finished as top 10 wide receivers.
Regardless, quarterback play and offensive line struggles are the biggest reasons for the struggles of Jets offensive players. However, with a brand new franchise quarterback in Zach Wilson, as well as a revamped offensive line, many fans are buying stock in Jets players. With that said, here is the fantasy outlook for key New York Jets players in 2021. (Note: Assume PPR format)
Corey Davis was arguably the biggest free agent signing for the Jets in 2021. He is coming off a great year with the Tennessee Titans, where he had 65 catches on 92 targets for 984 yards and five touchdowns. He only played in 14 games, yet he finished as WR29. Granted, the Titans had a great offense led by hyper-efficient Ryan Tannehill.
It will be quite the change for Davis, who has shown some chemistry with Wilson so far in training camp. He will automatically take over as the #1 receiver on the Jets depth chart, but a lot of his production comes down to how Zach Wilson plays. He is currently the WR54 in terms of consensus ADP, which means you should be able to wait until round 13 or 14 to draft him, if you are optimistic about him this season.
Elijah Moore is intriguing as a late round stash. Reports out of training camp are saying that he is lighting things up, and he continues to make amazing plays daily. Should he find his way onto the first team offense, he would likely kick outside, but he has shown the ability to do so time and time again while at Ole Miss.
Assuming he does play with the first team offense by the time the regular season starts, he will likely soak up a decent amount of the targets, much like he has in training camp. However, not only does he bring the potential of a target machine, his speed is enough to label him as a game breaker.
Think of some of the biggest receiver names in fantasy football, such as Tyreek Hill and D.K. Metcalf. Hill, for example, was targeted 9 times per game in 2020, and averaged 14.7 yards per reception. Metcalf was targeted 8.1 times per game and averaged 15.7 yards per reception. Both of these players show that a combination of targets and big play capability can go a long way, and hopefully Elijah Moore can follow in these footsteps.
Ultimately, expect a similar situation to that of Davis, where Moore’s production depends largely on how Wilson develops.
Michael Carter was drafted in the 4th round of the 2021 NFL Draft, but he is currently on a starting-by-week-one trajectory. The Jets brought in Tevin Coleman, and also roster Ty Johnson, La’Mical Perine and Josh Adams, but Michael Carter still projects as the starter come week 1. Even in a Running Back by committee (RBBC), Tevin Coleman has shown throughout his career to not be able to carry a heavy load, highlighted by his time with the Atlanta Falcons and Devonta Freeman.
Not only does this lean towards a nice chunk of carries for Carter, but he provides a decent target for Wilson. Rookie quarterbacks tend to lean on their running backs more, and Carter showed at North Carolina to be a capable pass catcher. Even if he doesn’t churn out many yards per carry, volume is key in fantasy, especially when you pair that with lots of targets.
Carter is currently being drafted at RB30 based on consensus ADP, and can be drafted in the 8th or 9th round on average. Carter, like Moore, brings value as a later round stash, and could be a great Dynasty pick.
The Jets are mostly unknown as of now in terms of Fantasy production for 2021. There is lots of potential, but no players are worth reaching for. Wilson is likely not worth rostering, except for in Dynasty leagues, where he can sit on the bench. This is a developmental year for him, so don’t expect any Justin Herbert-type numbers (though it is welcome).
The only receivers to roster include Davis, Moore and maybe Jamison Crowder, but there is a world where Keelan Cole is also fantasy-relevant. In terms of tight ends, Chris Herndon is basically a coin-flip, but his ceiling isn’t very high, so there is likely no reason to roster him. This has been the fantasy outlook for key New York Jets players.