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Offseason Primers: New York Jets

Senior Fantasy Writer
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The Jets were a disaster in 2012. The Tim Tebow trade was terrible. Santonio Holmes and Darrelle Revis suffered season-ending injuries before Week 5. Ground and pound turned into soft and mush. And then there was the butt fumble.

The Jets season could be summed up in one play. It was Week 12 on national TV against the Patriots when quarterback Mark Sanchez ran into the backside of his own offensive lineman and lost the ball, which was returned for a touchdown. It was, unfortunately, the most memorable moment for the Jets in 2012.

2012 Touches Leaders
987 total touches (rush attempts + receptions)
Shonn Greene 295 (276 car., 19 rec.) 29.8%
Bilal Powell 127 (110 car., 17 rec.) 12.8%
Jeremy Kerley 61 (5 car., 56 rec.) 6.1%
Joe McKnight 31 (30 car., 1 rec.) 3.1%
Jeff Cumberland 29 rec. 2.9%
All Others 444 44.9%

This year, the Jets should have a significant facelift. Sanchez is likely going to be replaced as the starting quarterback, and Tebow will likely be gone as well. Veterans like Shonn Greene and Dustin Keller have left as free agents, and the Jets also have a new offensive coordinator in Marty Mornhinweg, who brings a West Coast offense that should improve on Tony Sparano's outdated run-based system.

Things might not get much better for the Jets from a Fantasy standpoint -- Holmes and potential starting running back Bilal Powell or Mike Goodson look like the lone options worth drafting -- but it can't be much worse than last season. How the Jets play should be determined by the new starting quarterback, if Holmes can return at 100 percent and if Revis is still a dominant force on defense following last year's torn ACL.

Bilal Powell -- Sleeper

2012 Target Leaders
493 pass attempts
Jeremy Kerley 95 19.2%
Jeff Cumberland 53 10.7%
Stephen Hill 47 9.5%
Santonio Holmes 41 8.3%
Chaz Schilens 41 8.3%
All Others 216 43.8%

Powell has the chance to be a surprise Fantasy option in 2013 if he opens training camp as the starter in what should be an open competition with Goodson. Greene is gone as a free agent, and Powell would appear to have the inside track on the starting job ahead of Goodson based on his play in 2012. After a slow start, Powell closed the season with double digits in Fantasy points in three of his final seven games with four touchdowns over that span. He finished the season with 110 carries for 437 yards and four touchdowns and 17 catches for 140 yards. If Powell is indeed the starter then he should be considered a No. 3 Fantasy running back with upside. He is worth drafting with a mid-round pick and could end up as a flex option or spot starter if he starts off the season playing well.

Dustin Keller -- Player on the move

Keller signed with the Dolphins this offseason, and he'll try to resurrect his career in Miami. He did not leave New York on a high note. In 2012, Keller appeared in only eight games due to injuries. He finished with just 28 catches for 317 yards and two touchdowns. He has the ability to be a standout Fantasy option, but he needs the Dolphins to trust him. His best year in the NFL so far was 2010 when he had 55 catches for 687 yards and five touchdowns, which equates to 98 Fantasy points in a standard league and would have made him the No. 10 tight end in 2012 with those same stats. Keep an eye on how he's used with the Dolphins, but Keller should only be drafted with a late-round pick.

Santonio Holmes -- Late-round flier

Expected 2013 Draft Averages
Mark Sanchez Undrafted
Tim Tebow Undrafted
Bilal Powell 80-87 overall
Mike Goodson 90-95 overall
Santonio Holmes 133-140 overall

Holmes has a long way to go before Fantasy owners can trust him again. Since coming to the Jets in 2010 he has been a disappointment, and in 2012 he appeared in just four games before suffering a major foot injury. He should be fine for training camp, but the Jets need plenty of help in their passing game to make Holmes successful. A new quarterback is a possibility, and Holmes would benefit with an upgrade over Sanchez. The Jets did get a new offensive coordinator with Mornhinweg replacing the fired Sparano, and the Jets will now have a West Coast-style offense, which could give Holmes the chance for more catches. He has the look of a reserve Fantasy receiver with upside, and he's worth the gamble with a late-round pick in all leagues. Keep in mind he is still the Jets' No. 1 receiver and has averaged more than seven targets a game since joining the team. With an increase in activity based on the new offense, Holmes could be in line for a productive season.

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

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Player News
Raiders bring back Kaelin Burnett
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Raiders have inked exclusive-rights free agent Kaelin Burnett to a one-year deal. He's expected to compete for a roster spot in training camp. 

Dekoda Watson moving to strong-side LB
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) In the wake of the release of veteran linebacker Russell Allen, the Jaguars are expected to make Dekoda Watson their new starting strong-side linebacker, ESPN reports. He'll also play as a pass rusher and potentially line up as a defensive end on third downs. 

Watson had 42 total tackles, two sacks, an interception, a pass defensed, a forced fumble and a blocked punt with the Bucs last year. 


Brandon Gibson begins light jobbing
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Brandon Gibson has begun light jogging as he works his way back from a torn patellar tendon, the Miami Herald reports. The Dolphins are expected to keep him on the roster, if only because of the cap hit he'll cost, per the report. He said recently he expects to be ready for Week 1. 

'Humbled' Richardson explains 2013, promises a better 2014
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Colts running back Trent Richardson spoke openly about his disappointing 2013 season, saying that it took him too long to learn a new playbook and get over leaving Cleveland after Week 2. Richardson also told the official team website that he's planning to do everything within his power to be as prepared as possible for 2014. 

"Y'all will see a big significant difference in the way I play, the speed. I won't have to think about a lot of stuff," Richardson said earlier this offseason. "It's going to be big -- timing with the offensive line, timing with Andrew (Luck), just knowing a lot more with the program, the whole system.

"They haven't seen everything they're going to get out of me yet. A lot of it is going to come next year. A lot of it is going to come in the offseason. I'm going to put in a lot of work, as I've been doing this whole season. This season humbled me. ... This season was a lesson to me."

Colts coach Chuck Pagano has had Richardson's back, says the running back, and the coach stressed back in March that his running back's involvement in the offseason program will be key. 

"It's going to be very, very important for (Richardson) to be here for the offseason program and to dive into this thing full steam ahead, which he will," Pagano said. "He wants to be great. He's got all the talent. He's got all the ability. We would have never done what we did if we didn't believe that deep down in our core. So we look for him to have a great offseason and to have a great 2014 campaign."


Saints bring back Robert Meachem
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Saints announced Friday that the club has re-signed veteran free agent wide receiver Robert Meachem to a one-year contract.

Meachem is a seven-year NFL veteran who was originally the club's first round draft pick (27th overall) in 2007. He re-signed with the Saints prior to the start of the 2013 regular season and appeared in 15 games with five starts. He finished with 16 receptions for 324 yards with two touchdowns.

Meachem said signing with the Saints now should help with his preparations as he will be able to take part in the team's offseason conditioning program, OTAs and mini-camp. Plus, "this is home," he said.


Can Chris Johnson turn into Tomlinson?
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Jets are hoping running back Chris Johnson can do for them what LaDainian Tomlinson did in 2010, reports ESPN.

That season, Tomlinson came from San Diego to New York after he was released. He responded with a team-high 914 yards with six touchdowns on 219 carries and caught 52 passes. He was supposed to be Shonn Greene's backup, but Tomlinson was so impressive that he won the starting job and became an integral part of a team that came within one game of the Super Bowl.

Maybe Johnson, who was let go by the Titans, can do the same thing.

"I can turn the bad things people are saying into a good thing for me, to give me motivation, to keep me hungry and to keep a chip on my shoulder and prove the naysayers wrong," he said Thursday.

Johnson had a disappointing year in 2013 when he averaged just 3.9 yards per carry, but he played 13 games on a torn meniscus and was running behind a suspect offensive line for a team that didn't have its starting quarterback for half the season. The situation in New York should be improved, and hopefully being teamed with Chris Ivory will allow him to play like Tomlinson did in 2010.


Aikman worried about Tony Romo
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Former Cowboys quarterback and Hall of Famer Troy Aikman is worried about current Dallas quarterback Tony Romo coming off back surgery, reports the team's official website.

Romo, 34, is coming off back surgery in December, which was the second procedure on his back in a year.

"I came back in a relatively short period of time because of when I had my surgery, so he's at least afforded more time to get ready," Aikman said. "But having said that, two back surgeries in less than a year at his age, I would be a bit concerned.

"I'm hopeful that he's able to come back -- everybody is. This team won't be the same if he's not able to. I anticipate that he will come back. But to say that, 'Hey, he's ahead of schedule and everything's going fine,' I'm not sure how you can really measure that here in April."


Bengals, A.J. Green not talking extension - yet
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Bengals are expected to exercise the fifth-year option on receiver A.J. Green's contract by May 3, reports Pro Football Talk. But the sides have yet to discuss a long-term contract extension, according to the report.

The Bengals hold the rights to Green through the 2015 season. And in 2016, if a long-term deal hasn't been signed yet, the Bengals can use the franchise tag on Green for that season.

The report says Green can force the issue by trying to boycott offseason workouts or hold out from training camp. But Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is confident Green will be there.


Chris Snee will give it a shot this spring
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Giants guard Chris Snee will attempt to go through the Giants offseason program once he's healthy, the New York Daily News reports. Snee had hip surgery last season and an elbow surgery earlier this year. There is no timeline for him to be at 100 percent but he is expected to be on the field for the "bulk" of offseason activities. 

Report: Niners won't release Aldon Smith
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The 49ers might expect a suspension for pass rushing linebacker Aldon Smith, but they are not planning to release him, NFL Network reported on Friday.

Smith was arrested recently for making false bomb reports at a Los Angeles airport, the latest of a string of troubles for the highly talented linebacker. He was also arrested for suspicion of DUI in January, 2012 and again September, 2013. He also had marijuana on him during that September arrest. In October, 2013 he was charged with three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon. 


 
 
 
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