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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a new offensive coordinator in Marty Mornhinweg, who brings a West Coast offense that should improve on Tony Sparano's outdated run-based system.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
Broncos TE Julius Thomas has 'a chance' to play Week 13
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(8:39 pm ET) Broncos tight end Julius Thomas sat out Week 12 due to his "severely sprained left ankle," but "there's a chance" he'll return for Sunday night's game at Kansas City, reports the Denver Post. More will be known Wednesday when Denver returns to practice.

"I have had better days, and I have had worse days," Thomas told the paper on Monday. "You hope you just wake up one day and it feels good again, but that didn't happen last week. But it has improved."

Thomas still leads the NFL with 12 touchdown catches.


Rams settling into three-receiver rotation
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(8:25 pm ET) The Rams "seem to have settled into a three-man rotation at wide receiver," reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The paper noted Kenny Britt played 59 snaps at San Diego, followed by Tavon Austin (50) and Stedman Bailey (43).

Chris Givens played just 14 snaps and was not targeted.

St. Louis hosts the Raiders on Sunday.


Bengals TE Tyler Eifert might not return until playoffs
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7:53 pm ET) The Bengals' official website suspects tight end Tyler Eifert won't be back for the stretch run, but will return for the playoffs. Eifert has been sidelined since suffering an elbow injury in the season opener.

New injury for Lions RB Reggie Bush
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7:42 pm ET) Lions running back Reggie Bush has missed four of the past six games due to an ankle injury. Now Bush is dealing with a back injury too, per the team's website. Bush was limited in Tuesday's practice with the two injuries, though he has said he plans to play Thursday against the Bears.

Bush has scored one touchdown in seven games this season.


Tony Romo benefiting from better supporting cast
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7:36 pm ET) Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is playing some of the best football of his career. He's thrown 22 touchdowns against three interceptions since the first half of the season opener against San Francisco.

Coach Jason Garrett said a number of factors are at play. "I think a lot of it has to do with the supporting cast," Garrett told the Dallas Morning News. "I think we're protecting better. We're running the ball better. He's got a lot of different weapons at his disposal. He's just doing a good job seeing the defense and throwing it to the right guy."

Romo plays the Eagles on Thanksgiving.


Brandon Marshall limited with ankle injury
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7:11 pm ET) Bears wideout Brandon Marshall (ankle) was limited in Tuesday's practice ahead of Thursday's game at Detroit. Marshall was held to three catches and 32 yards Week 12 after back-to-back dominant performances.

Alshon Jeffery no longer on injury report
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7:07 pm ET) Bears wideout Alshon Jeffery is not on the injury report this week after several weeks of dealing with a hamstring problem. Jeffery has caught a touchdown pass in three of his past four games entering Thursday's game at Detroit.

Calvin Johnson limited in Tuesday's practice
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7:03 pm ET) Lions receiver Calvin Johnson (ankle) was limited in Tuesday's practice ahead of Thursday's game against the Bears.

Saints WR Nick Toon looking to build off best game
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(6:52 pm ET) Saints third-year wideout Nick Toon set career highs Monday night with three catches for 42 yards in the loss to the Ravens. The five targets he received also were a career best.

Toon is seeing increased snaps due to injuries to Brandin Cooks and Robert Meachem.

"Obviously, I prepare every week like I'm playing," he told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "I got an opportunity to go out there and get some good work in. Hopefully, I can continue to be out there contributing and I just have to build off of what we did last night."

New Orleans visits the Steelers on Sunday.


DeMarco Murray says he's getting stronger as season progresses
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(6:21 pm ET) NFL rushing leader DeMarco Murray told the Dallas Morning News he's excited about playing on a short week. The Cowboys won Sunday night at the Giants and host the Eagles on Thursday.

"As the year goes on, you feel better," he said. "I feel like I've gotten stronger throughout the year, so I have to continue to work hard during the week and it'll show up on Sundays."

Murray has run for 1,354 yards and seven touchdowns while averaging 5.1 yards per carry. His 268 carries are by far the most in the league. Philly's LeSean McCoy is next with 217 carries.


 
 
 
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