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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a new offensive coordinator in Marty Mornhinweg, who brings a West Coast offense that should improve on Tony Sparano's outdated run-based system.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
Jordan Reed not going all out yet
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:40 pm ET) Redskins tight end Jordan Reed returned to individual drills Tuesday but said he didn't fully test his injured hamstring. "It felt all right," he said, via ESPN.com. "I didn't do too much to try and test it so I can't say if I'm 100 percent yet or not. The closer we get to the game, they'll test it more."

Washington hosts the Seahawks on Monday night.


Bills add Jamie Childers, cut D.J. Tialavea
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:36 pm ET) The Bills signed tight end Jamie Childers to their practice squad and released tight end D.J. Tialavea from the squad.

Cards release Victor Butler
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:33 pm ET) The Cardinals released linebacker Victor Butler after signing him two weeks ago.

Making sense of the Browns backfield
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(3:25 pm ET) With Ben Tate expected back in Week 5 to start against the Titans, how should Fantasy owners approach the Browns' backfield?

Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West have emerged as contributors in Tate's absence, but the Browns have maintained that they expect Tate to be the No. 1 back when he plays. Though the team will likely limit his workload, Tate should be at the top of the hierarchy in Week 5, with Crowell and Terrance West filing in behind.

Though there is obviously the chance for re-injury, both Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard consider Tate the best option for Fantasy owners this week. Tate was running well in Week 1 prior to his injury, and could be in line for 15-plus touches this week against a Titans defense that has allowed 21.5 Fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. He should be considered a No. 2 Fantasy running back, barring a setback this week in practice.

If Crowell or West are to find success, it will have to come with a much smaller workload than they have experienced so far. Crowell has been the team's go-to option on the goal line, which makes him slightly more valuable than West in a diminished role. Still, neither player is likely to be worth starting as anything more than a flex option in deeper leagues, especially with so few teams on by this week. 


Mike Pouncey 'doing more each and every day'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:22 pm ET) Dolphins center Mike Pouncey, who has not played this season following hip surgery, is "doing more each and every day and he looked good today," coach Joe Philbin told the Palm Beach Post. "He seems to be moving around well. I think the bye comes at a good time for a variety of reasons."

Miami is off this week. Pouncey has a chance to play Week 6 against the Packers.

Packers a worthwhile play for Week 5
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(3:02 pm ET) The Packers have more than held their own in tough matchups against the Lions and Bears over the last two weeks, racking up 21 combined Fantasy points. Things should get a lot easier in Week 5, with the Vikings on the schedule.

The Vikings might be down to their third quarterback this week, if Teddy Bridgewater's ankle keeps him out. Even if Bridgewater does play, however, he will be making his second NFL start just four days after suffering an ankle injury. If Bridgewater is limited, the Packers could feast on a one-dimensional offense that has struggled to run the ball before last Sunday.

The Packers' defense has improved in each game this season, and they will look to keep the trend going in Week 5. Consider them a solid starting option, worth picking up on waivers for this week.


Mike McCarthy blames himself for overlooking James Starks
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:56 pm ET) Packers coach Mike McCarthy was upset with himself for not getting running back James Starks a single carry in the Week 4 win at Chicago. "That shouldn't have happened," McCarthy told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "James Starks should touch the football every single game."

Starks is averaging 5.0 yards on his 15 carries this season.


Vikes hold out Teddy Bridgewater
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:51 pm ET) Vikings rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater missed practice for the second straight day with his sprained ankle. Minnesota will hold a walkthrough Wednesday, a day before it visits the Packers on Thursday Night Football.

If Bridgewater can't play, Christian Ponder would get the start.

Browns DST facing solid matchup in Week 5
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(2:50 pm ET) The Browns DST unit has not had an impressive start to the season, scoring double figures in just one of their first three games before the bye. However, they could be worth a look for Fantasy purposes in Week 5, with the Titans on the schedule.

The Colts notched just their second double-digit scoring effort of the season last week against the Titans, with an assist to backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. Whitehurst started in Jake Locker's place last week, and though Locker is expected back this Sunday, the Browns might still find some success on defense against him.

Opposing DST units have racked up at least 12 points in three of four games against the Titans, including each of Locker's two starts. The Titans have had trouble protecting the quarterback, so the Browns will look to feast in Week 5. Consider them a solid weekly fill-in.  


Ben Tate expected to start Week 5
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:48 pm ET) Browns running back Ben Tate is expected to start Sunday at Tennessee, assuming his knee responds well to practice this week, reports ESPNCleveland.com. Tate sprained his knee in the season opener and hasn't played since.

He rushed six times for 41 yards against the Steelers, suffering the injury on a 25-yard run. Tate said he might play with a brace on his knee Sunday.


 
 
 
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