2012 Team Outlook: New York Jets
WR Jeremy Kerley, SF - Deep-league Only
Setting aside backs and tight ends, Jeremy Kerley was the Jets' 3rd leading receiver in 2011; not that that's saying much seeing as Kerley had just 29 receptions for 314 yards. With numbers like these, fantasy owners would be wasting a roster spot drafting Kerley. That is of course pending Hill getting the starting nod opposite Holmes. Should the rookie faulter during preseason then Kerley could get a chance to start. At this point it doesn't appear as though Kerley will be starting, so until we hear otherwise it's best to stay away from Jeremy on draft day.
WR Stephen Hill, --- - Gamble (high risk)
With Burress no longer under contract, the Jets needed to find someone to play opposite Holmes this season. New York filled that void in the second round of the draft when they selected Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill. The 6'4" speedster has impressive speed, length and leaping ability. The drawback here of course is that Hill is a rookie and he is very raw. He'll need to work with Sanchez on his routes and gain Mark's confidence if he's going to produce this season. As is the case with all rookies, there's a big risk for fantasy owners. The up side here is the Jets don't really have another receiver, so Hill will have plenty or opportunities to produce.
WR Santonio Holmes, --- - Quality Backup
It sounds like Holmes and Sanchez have made up during the off season after last year's late season meltdown. Late in the 2011 season Holmes publicly criticized Sanchez, Schottenheimer and the offensive line causing many to question Rex's decision to name Holmes a captain. During the off season Holmes, Sanchez and some of the other receivers got together to work out. Hopefully this time together gave them a chance to mend fences and move on to this year. Last season was one of Holmes' worst years since his rookie season when he pulled in just 49 receptions. So long as Sanchez remains the starting quarterback Holmes' numbers should be worthy of a fantasy starter this season. On the other hand, if Tebow takes over the starting role, Holmes' production is likely to suffer. Not knowing just how big a role Tebow will play in this offense is cause for concern. Until we know more its probably best to select Holmes as your third receiver. The potential is here for a big season but I'm not sure this run heavy offense can make it happen.
WR Chaz Schilens, --- - Deep-league Only
At this time all signs point to the rookie Hill getting the start opposite Holmes when the season begins. We all know that could change between now and early September, so we'll need to keep an eye on this situation. Schilens was signed by the Jets with the intent of starting opposite Holmes and I'm sure he'll be working hard in camp to earn that starting spot. Schilens' best season came in 2009 when he played in just 8 games, catching 29 passes for 365 yards and a pair of touchdowns. There's some potential here for a decent season if he can get on the field. With Holmes and Hill ahead of him on the depth chart, it doesn't seem likely Chaz will get enough playing time to be fantasy worthy in most leagues.
TE Dustin Keller, --- - Solid/Safe Pick
In 2011 Keller was the Jets' leading receiver in receptions with 65, targets at 116, yards with 815 and 20+ yard receptions with 12. The only area Keller didn't lead the team in was touchdown receptions, where he was third with 5 behind Holmes and Burress (who each had 8). Week in and week out Keller is by far Sanchez' favorite target; no matter where on the field they are Keller gets a look. At season's end Keller was the 6th best tight end in the league. With everything else changing in New York the one constant Sanchez will have this season is Keller and it wouldn't surprise us to see him used early and often.
TE Hayden Smith, --- - Low Potential
The only way Smith sees enough playing time to be fantasy worthy would be if Keller misses a few weeks. Smith is an unknown here in the states. Hayden is an "Aussie" rugby player trying out football for the first time. That's right; Hayden has never played football before, which means he has a lot to learn. It's hard enough to be a rookie in the NFL, let alone a rookie with no football experience. Smith has to learn how to block, run routes and oh yeah take a hit while catching the ball. There are much better options for fantasy owners at tight end.