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2012 Fantasy outlooks: New York Jets

Senior Fantasy Writer
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In the spirit of Rex Ryan and his guarantees, here's a guarantee for Fantasy owners: You won't have any more than two Jets on your roster this season.

That's because there might be just two Jets drafted in your Fantasy league (three if you include the DST). There's Shonn Greene and there's Santonio Holmes, and frankly not many people outside of New York are excited about either guy.

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For a team that's always in the playoff chatter, and a team that finished last season with a quarterback among the Top 10 in Fantasy points, that's quite the declaration. But as the Jets have gone younger on offense, they've developed a ton of questions, none bigger than what's going on at quarterback.

When the Broncos signed Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow became expendable. The Jets, who always look for ways to make headlines, jumped at the chance and traded for him. Throughout the offseason he's been rumored to participate on offense as a quarterback and running back as well as on special teams as a punt protector. He's practiced in all of those roles but primarily at quarterback, which means we're probably going to see him replace Mark Sanchez from time to time, if not all the time if Sanchez struggles.

This couldn't be worse for Sanchez, who finished 2011 with 26 touchdowns (more than Ben Roethlisberger), 3,474 passing yards (more than Andy Dalton) and 56.7 percent of his passes completed (better than Sam Bradford). Sanchez's six rushing touchdowns -- tied for second-most of any quarterback -- especially propelled his Fantasy exploits.

With Tebow now wearing green, you can expect Sanchez to lose a few reps per game and certainly not be under center near the goal line when Tebow can barge in for six. And if Sanchez can't connect with his new receivers or help lead the offense to wins with the help of his run game, then Tebow will start picking up starts just like he did last year in Denver.

The uncertainty at quarterback combined with the youth movement at running back and wide receiver (Plaxico Burress and LaDainian Tomlinson aren't on the roster) not only make for a challenging team to project heading into the year, but a team that could struggle to win more than eight games. Even with their defense adding some talent this offseason, the Fantasy results for the offense might not favor owners, and the headlines for the Jets in New York would follow suit.

Fantasy Value Chart
Player Draft Day value Estimated round
Quarterbacks
Mark Sanchez ND
Tim Tebow ND
Running Backs
Shonn Greene 6
Bilal Powell ND
Joe McKnight ND
Wide Receivers
Santonio Holmes 7
Stephen Hill 14
Jeremy Kerley ND
Chaz Schilens ND
Tight Ends
Dustin Keller ND
Kickers/Defense
Josh Brown ND
Nick Folk ND
Jets DST 14
ND - not expected to get drafted

Bust ... Dustin Keller, tight end
You might want to like Keller, and for the first few weeks of the season you might. After all, Keller has 40 catches for 615 yards and six touchdowns over his last three Septembers, all of which with Sanchez under center. But once the calendar turned to October over his last three years, Keller has amassed one game over 80 receiving yards and six total touchdowns. We're talking about 39 regular-season games here! Between that and the mass of tight ends expected to make an impact in the NFL, Keller is easy to pass on as a backup much less a starter. You'll find better sleeper tight ends in Indianapolis, Denver, Seattle, Minnesota and Tennessee. If Keller does something around or after Halloween, expect him to be available off waivers.

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Impact rookie ... Stephen Hill, wide receiver
Like many draftniks, we were intrigued by Hill in the spring. His tremendous size/speed combination enamored us even though he was a product of the Georgia Tech offense, which didn't throw a lot. But that's the same offense that developed Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas, and Hill is more or less in the same mold. There's plenty of potential for Hill to put up some numbers this year, particularly if he's fast-tracked to the starting lineup as many expect. This Jets roster features Santonio Holmes as a sure-fire starter, and a lot of other suspect names (Chaz Schilens, Jeremy Kerley). It's going to be hard for the Jets to pass up using Hill, especially if he proves in camp that he understands the offense and can handle press coverage. Hill's not yet worth a draft pick, but a strong camp could put him in the conversation toward the end of drafts.

Keeper-league target ... Bilal Powell, running back
When the Jets drafted Powell, we initially labeled him as a possible replacement for LaDainian Tomlinson in 2012. Well, it's 2012 and Tomlinson is retired. The Jets will obviously give Shonn Greene some generous opportunities to shoulder the run game but Powell is a candidate to fill in for Greene if he gets hurt or replace him if Greene can't deliver. Powell's numbers last year were nauseating -- he followed up a 2.2 rushing average in the preseason with a 1.6 rushing average over 13 regular-season carries. And he also missed some practice time with a hamstring injury this spring. This really isn't the momentum-building argument you'd want to read about a potential sleeper, but with Greene not doing much to elicit excitement and the Jets unlikely to give Greene all the carries, Powell is a candidate to get involved. If you can draft him cheap or trade for him cheaply in dynasty/keeper leagues, it's worth it.

Schedule breakdown

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
BUF @PIT @MIA SF HOU IND @NE MIA bye @SEA @STL NE ARI @JAC @TEN SD @BUF

If the Jets are going to stick to their ground game, they'll have very mixed results through their first six games thanks to games at the Steelers and vs. the 49ers and Texans. The good news is that once they're past that, the Jets won't face many stingy run defenses. Whether or not that helps Shonn Greene remains to be seen -- he's disappointed through much of his short career. They also face plenty of teams with quality safeties, which might impact how consistent Dustin Keller is over the season.

Training camp topics

Tebow, Tebow Tebow. Tebow Tebow Tebow. And Tebow.

And now with that out of the way ...

There have been plenty of headlines about Tony Sparano joining the Jets as an offensive coordinator following his dismissal as the head coach at Miami. It's no secret that Sparano prefers to run the football: In three of his four seasons in Miami, Sparano's offense was nearly 50-50 in run/pass ratio. And in three of those four years, Sparano's offense finished in the Top 12 in rushing. Reggie Bush and Ricky Williams each had 1,000-yard seasons under Sparano and Ronnie Brown would have gotten there in 2008 had he not shared carries with Williams. And in three of four years (2010 was really bad for Miami), the primary rusher has had at least six rushing touchdowns.

Year Rush rank Leading rusher Rush yards Rush TDs
2008 11th Ronnie Brown 917 10
2009 4th Ricky Williams 1,121 11
2010 21st Ronnie Brown 734 5
2011 11th Reggie Bush 1,086 6

Point is, there are no excuses for Greene not to get to 1,000 rush yards for the second straight year. Sparano should find himself relying on Greene early and often, especially with the passing game in its current state. Though defenses will likely key in on Greene and force Sanchez/Tebow to throw, he should still find a way to grind to at least his rushing totals of last year: 1,054 yards and six touchdowns. A breakout season isn't out of the question, either. He's OK as a No. 2 Fantasy running back so long as he earns his coach's trust in camp.

2011 Touches Leaders
Player Touches
Shonn Greene 253 carries, 30 catches
LaDainian Tomlinson 75 carries, 42 catches
Dustin Keller 65 catches
Joe McKnight 43 carries, 13 catches
Santonio Holmes 51 catches, 3 carries

Sparano's tendencies might make things hard for the Jets' receivers, but it's not entirely clear who will play when anyway. Santonio Holmes is a given and Dustin Keller will see snaps too. Everything else is a crapshoot as the Jets added injury-riddled Chaz Schilens to their receiving corps and drafted Stephen Hill. They'll join Jeremy Kerley, Scotty McKnight and Patrick Turner as receivers on the roster. How that crew shakes out might be more interesting to Jets fans than Fantasy owners, though we certainly like Hill's upside.

There's even a kicking battle in New York as Josh Brown will face off against incumbent Nick Folk. Folk has made about 76 percent of his field goal attempts in two seasons with the Jets; Brown made fewer than 79 percent of his field goals for the first time in six seasons last year with the Rams. We'd bet a subway token on Brown getting the job but wouldn't draft either kicker. Whoever wins is a potential waiver-wire pickup during the season.

Obviously, the Jets will go nowhere this year if their defense can't perform. That starts with Darrelle Revis actually being at training camp -- he's contemplating a holdout with two years left on his contract. His presence is vital for the Jets to succeed since he can take away an opponent's top receiver, but it will be newcomers like rookie lineman Quinton Coples and safeties Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry to help get this defense into elite status. Landry's status is up in the air as he battles numerous injuries; he's not promised a full season. Bell follows Sparano from Miami and should be a competent addition. If the pass rush is improved (35 sacks last year ranked 17th), they could be a dominant force. As it stands now the Jets are worth a late-round pickup but not a mid- to late-round reach. And if the defense disappoints and the Jets miss the playoffs, owner Woody Johnson might "guarantee" Rex Ryan a one-way ticket out of town.

Injury update

Stephen Hill (hamstring; probable for the start of training camp) ... LaRon Landry (groin, Achilles; questionable for the start of training camp) ... Jordan White (foot; questionable for the start of training camp).

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Dave at @daverichard and on Facebook .

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Player News
Flowers' college position coach thinks he can fill in for injured Beatty
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(3:18 pm ET) Things are moving really fast for Giants offensive lineman Ereck Flowers. The eighth overall pick in the draft, because of an injury to Will Beatty, might have inherited a huge workload this season, per nj.com.

Art Kehoe, Flowers' offensive line coach at the University of Miami, thinks Flowers will be up to the task of protecting quarterback Eli Manning.

"I'm sure he raised his level up a notch or two, but I think he plays every week, I think he plays hard in practice," Kehoe said. "He's an unproven commodity at the next level, and he's a high draft pick, [the Giants] drafted him to be a fixer, so I'm sure he's going in there to do what he did in Miami — scrap his ass off every day in practice, and if you're supposed to be a badass the next weekend [against] your opponent, he's gonna be there and he's gonna bring everything he's got. That's what he does. He wants to know that there's a dude, and he has to take care of him, and he'll be up to the challenge.

Giants' 2013 first-round pick, Justin Pugh is also a top candidate to fill in for the injured Beatty.


Union: Goodell must back off hearing of Patriots QB Tom Brady
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:00 pm ET) NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith is growing impatient awaiting word from Roger Goodell on the request of the NFL commissioner to recuse himself as arbitrator of the appeal hearings ofPatriots quarterback Tom Brady.

The league suspended Brady for the first four games next season for his alleged role in the Deflategate scandal, claiming that he likely knew that game balls were being deflated for his benefit before the 2014 AFC title game.

Smith is claiming that neither Goodell nor the Wells Report, which investigated the incident, could legitimately claim impartiality. He added that the NFLPA will "advance the volume" of the request if they don't hear from Goodell by next week. Part of the union's press release reads as follows:

Given a process that has contained procedural violations of our collective bargaining agreement, the Commissioner's role as a central witness in the appeal hearing and his evident partiality with respect to the Wells report, the Commissioner must designate a neutral party to serve as arbitrator in this matter. The players also believe that the Commissioner's history of inconsistently issuing discipline against our players makes him ill-suited to hear this appeal in a fair-minded manner.

As for the Wells Report, Smith stated that "you can't really have credibility just because you slap the word independent on a piece of paper." He offered into evidence the findings in regard to NFL official Walt Anderson, who was a key figure in the investigation, citing one part of the report questions his memory and another credits it.


Zimmer happy with progress of Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:32 pm ET) Mike Zimmer has expressed optimism that underachieving Vikings wideout Cordarrelle Patterson is gaining a better understanding of route-running and the nuances of playing the position in the NFL, which would allow his talent to result in greater productivity.

Patterson took a step back in 2014 after a mediocre rookie year. He played in every game, but managed just 33 receptions for 384 yards and one touchdown. He has since stated that 2015 is his make-or-break year and is apparently acting like it in the offseason.

"He's done real well," Zimmer told Fox Sports North. "He's running routes good. He's working hard. So we just need him to continue to do those things and continue to keep getting consistent and keep improving. I've been impressed."


GM: Dolphins LT Branden Albert should be fine for Week 1
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:22 pm ET) Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey has expressed optimism that left tackle Branden Albert will be ready to roll by the regular season opener.

Albert has been rehabbing from a torn ACL and MCL sustained last November against Detroit. He had signed a five-year, $46 million contract the previous March and had been performing particularly well before going down.

"It's been a long rehab and he's really attacked it every day," Hickey told SiriusXM NFL Radio, adding that there was a "reasonable explanation" that he would be ready for Week 1. "We really like his progress. He's out there with his team working out. We're really encouraged by what we're seeing with him."

Ja'Wuan Williams was forced to move to left tackle following the Albert injury in 2014. But he struggled at that position and is expected to move to his more familiar right tackle spot this year.


Report: Bills still want to extend Marcell Dareus
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(1:15 pm ET) The Bills still want to extend the contract of defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, according to a report by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

Despite the one-game suspension levied by the league against Dareus on Thursday, the team still hopes to have an extension wrapped up before the start of training camp. 

2015 is scheduled to be the last season of Dareus' current contract. He'll make $8.06 million.


Shanahan: Struggles of Robert Griffin III unrelated to injury
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:13 pm ET) Former Redskins coach Mike Shanahan does not believe injuries have prevented quarterback Robert Griffin III from maximizing his potential in the NFL. Rather, he feels it was the team not creating an offensive system that best fits his talents and his own belief that he could play a traditional role at that position.

Griffin sustained a serious knee injury in the 2012 playoffs. He then struggled in 2013 in an offense designed to transform him into a drop-back quarterback rather than one that took advantage of his mobility. He suffered another knee injury last year and did not perform well in the offense of new coach Jay Gruden.

"I don't think getting hurt has anything to do with it," Shanahan told 106.7 The Fan. "In college he didn't have a route tree, didn't have a playbook. That does take some time. ... If you take a quarterback like that you must run the kind of system that allows him to be successful. ... I really believe Robert thought he was more of a drop-back quarterback. He hasn't done things the NFL asks you to do. It does take some growing pains. You better really work on it inside and out."

Some have wondered why the Redskins went so hard after Griffin if they weren't willing to create an offense that maximizes his skill set.


Sheldon Richardson not at Jets' OTAs because 'I have a life'
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(1:05 pm ET) Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson is skipping the team's OTAs this week, a decision that earned him criticism from fans and media. 

Richardson's explanation isn't likely to win anyone over. 

Richardson went on Twitter and told fans he missed the workouts because, "I have a life outside of football."

"I chose to enjoy my family a little longer," he continued. "So to (you) fans that know everything, please worry 'bout yourself."

Richardson pointed out in another tweet that he "jus' wasn't at practice," but that he was still "putting in work tho'"


Jaguars relying on young WRs Allen Hurns, Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(12:54 pm ET) The Jaguars will be young at wide receiver this year, but that doesn't concern the team. 

The Jaguars don't have a receiver with more than 59 career receptions on the roster. The team is relying heavily on a trio of second-year players in Allen Hurns, Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson

"Those guys all had 40-some catches," general manager David Caldwell said, per ESPN. "It’s not like they didn’t produce at all or missed a whole year. They did some good things ... They’re no longer young guys. They have to be our veterans."


Raiders sign draft pick Neiron Ball
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(12:46 pm ET) The Raiders signed their fifth-round draft pick, Neiron Ball , the team announced

Ball is a linebacker out of Florida. With his signing, the Raiders have seven of their 10 picks from the 2015 draft under contract. 


Eagles DB Maxwell: 'We're going to do big things here'
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(12:45 pm ET) Byron Maxwell knows what it takes to win big. He won a Super Bowl ring with the Seahawks two seasons ago and was one play away from winning a second last year.

Maxwell wants to continue his tradition of winning with the Eagles. The Eagles signed Maxwell to a six-year, $60 million contract this offseason in hopes he can help get them to the playoffs.

"I'm starting to get adjusted to Philadelphia. I love this city. I love the people around here. It's cool," Maxwell said. "I think we're going to do big things around here." "I'm starting to get adjusted to Philadelphia. I love this city. I love the people around here. It's cool," Maxwell said. "I think we're going to do big things around here."

Maxwell recorded 39 tackles and two interceptions in 13 games played last season. And though he just got a huge contract, he still motivated to getting that second Super Bowl ring.

"I'm more addicted to that feeling of getting another one. Winning is addicting. The fun is in the winning. I'm chasing after that," Maxwell said. "I'm excited about the season."


 
 
 
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