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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a new offensive coordinator in Marty Mornhinweg, who brings a West Coast offense that should improve on Tony Sparano's outdated run-based system.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
Reggie Bush says he doesn't plan to retire
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) Three days after being released by the Lions, RB Reggie Bush said he has no plans to retire. 

TMZ reporters confronted Bush outside a Beverly Hills restaurant and asked if Bush, who turns 30 on Monday, was going to quit football. Bush responded with, "No." 

Bush rushed for 297 yards and two touchdowns last season. 


Report: Cowboys to let DeMarco Murray test free agency
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) The Cowboys will let RB DeMarco Murray test the free-agent market, according to a report from Fox Sports Southwest

Cowboys VP Stephen Jones said that negotiations with Murray's agents have been "slow". 

Jones said that Murray "is probably going to get some peace and see what's out in the market, and then we'll talk and see. I do believe deep down he'd love to stay in Dallas."

Murray rushed for 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. 


Report: Cowboys to use franchise tag on Dez Bryant
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) The Cowboys will use the franchise tag on WR Dez Bryant on Monday, according to a report by Fox Sports Southwest

The team has been trying to negotiate a long-term contract with Bryant, a free-agent to be. If a deal can't be made by Monday's franchise tag deadline, the Cowboys will use the tag to keep Bryant a Cowboy. 

"I still think that (it) would be a stretch to think that we would have something done by Monday and beat the franchise-tag deadline," Cowboys VP Stephen Jones told Fox. "Looks like we're eyeing a franchise tag on Dez, but certainly won't stop us from working hard to get a long-term deal. ... We just don't want to lose his rights."

Bryant had 88 catches for 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns last year. 


QB Josh McCown's contract with Browns worth $14 million
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) Quarterback Josh McCown's deal with the Browns will pay $14 million over three years, a league source told CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora.

With incentives related to playing time and playoff berths, McCown could earn $20 million over the course of the deal.

McCown will earn $6.25 million in fully guaranteed money, with $5.25 million of it coming in the first year of the deal.


Report: Panthers won't re-sign Greg Hardy
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) Panthers DE Greg Hardy is scheduled to become a free agent on March 10. He missed most of last season while appealing his conviction for domestic violence. 

Even though the charges were dropped on appeal, the Panthers have no intention of bringing Hardy back, multiple league sources told BlackandBlueReview.com's Bill Voth


Texans' Brian Cushing has had three offseason surgeries
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) Texans LB Brian Cushing has had three surgeries since the end of the season. 

In a public appearance on Saturday, Cushing told the Houston Chronicle's John McClain that he's had surgery on his broken right wrist as well as arthroscopic procedures on his left knee and left ankle. 

"It’s not uncommon for stuff like that to happen," he said of the two arthroscopic surgeries. "It’s just little things here and there, the residual effects of two major surgeries and injuries, the wear and tear of playing throughout the season. There were still some things bothering me a little bit. Just went in there and had real good success in both areas."

Cushing has a cast on his wrist. “It’s coming along real well,” he said. “I’m going to start working out a little bit. From a pain standpoint, there’s really nothing going on there. I’m real happy about that. I’m real happy to get the cast off and start doing some physical therapy on it, and I don’t have to worry about it anymore."


Report: 49ers to release wide receiver Steve Johnson
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) The 49ers are expected to release wide receiver Steve Johnson, according to Dianna Marie Russini of NBC Washington D.C.

The move will reportedly save the team $5.5 million in cap space. Johnson had 35 catches for 435 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games last season.


Patriots running back Stevan Ridley: 'I have something to prove'
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Patriots running back Stevan Ridley is expected to become a free agent in the coming weeks and he is ready for the experience.

"I'm excited about it," Ridley told Sirius XM Radio Friday. "As a player coming into the league, you get there and your first contract you kind of have to establish yourself and see what you can do. Everybody is a good player if you get to make it to the NFL, but there is something to be said if you get to that second contract."

Ridley has rushed for 2,817 yards and 22 touchdowns in his first four seasons in the league with the Patriots.

"Where I'll be playing, and who I'll be playing for, is still unknown, but I know I've come in and done my job up to this point and now I have to put it in my agent's hands to get me on another team, or stay where I'm at, and make sure I’m in pads playing ball somewhere next year. I know if you think about it too much it will worry you sick."

Ridley has played in 20 of a possible 32 games the last two seasons, starting in just 11 of them.

"I take it personal to any team or anybody that says I can't be a very productive player on whatever team I land on," he said. "I've been playing ball my whole life, I'm going to come in and be a leader, and I'm going to be a guy that comes in and busts his butt in the weight room and busts his butt on the field. I'm a good teammate, I have fun with my guys, but when the lights come on Sundays, it's all business and I plan on going out there and making plays."


Patriots' Aaron Dobson doing well in rehab of hamstring injury
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Patriots wide receiver Aaron Dobson is still recovering from a hamstring injury that ended his season in 2014. Trainer Brett Fischer said Friday he thinks Dobson is going to turn heads when he heads back to Foxboro for training camp, according to the Boston Herald.

"He was talking about, 'When I go up there (to Foxboro) and they see me again, I want to make sure they know I'm in the best shape of my life.' He is really determined," Fischer said. "That is the underlying theme every day: 'Hey, I've got to be ready when April comes, be ready as far as the best shape of my life.' It's frustrating with two years of freaky-type stuff."

Dobson finished a disappointing 2014 season with three catches for 38 yards.

"He is doing great," Fischer said. "I'm really excited for him. He has put the time and effort into it, comes in early, gets all his work in and he is hungry. There are a few specific things we found, minor little things we're working on, that make his program a little bit unique to everybody else's. Nothing major."


Report: Should be a 'very active market' for Broncos' Julius Thomas
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Broncos tight end Julius Thomas turned down a five-year, $40 million contract for a reason. That's because it's believed he will have a "very active market" when the new league year begins on March 10, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. 

Two teams that are expected to target Thomas in free agency are the Raiders and Jaguars, both of which need to upgrade considerably at their skill positions to help out their young quarterbacks. The expectation is for Broncos general manager John Elway to let Thomas test the waters in free agency to see what he's offered. 

The Falcons have also reportedly been interested, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter. 

Injuries slowed what was an otherwise fast start to his 2014 season. Thomas' season ended with 489 yards and 12 touchdowns. 


 
 
 
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