2014 Fantasy Football Team Previews – New York Jets

Rex Ryan survived another season as the head coach of the Jets.  His head seemed to be on the chopping block when New York dropped out of playoff contention early in the 2nd half of the year when they lost 3 straight games.  Ryan was able to rally the troops over the last month of the season to secure his 6th season with the Jets.  Rex is 42-38 over the last 5 years.  Realistically, the Jets have regressed in each of their last four years.  Their defense is fading with a struggling offense.  They finished 4th in the league in rushing yards (2,158), which was helped by the 5th most rushing attempts (30.8 – 10% higher than the average team in the NFL).  Their passing game finished 31st in passing yards (2,932).  Their lack of WR options led to only 13 TD passes with 47 sacks.  The strength of this team was their rushing defense (3rd in the league in rushing yards allowed {1,412 yards – 3.4 YPC}).  Their pass defense finished 22nd in the NFL (246.7 YPG).  Marty Mornhinweg returns as the offensive coordinator.  Dennis Thurman has one more swing as the defensive coordinator.

Position Breakdowns

*Quarterbacks

Geno Smith – His final results in 2013 didn’t look like an upgrade over Mark Sanchez, but Smith was able to start 16 games while leading an undermanned Jets team to an 8-8 record.  Smith only passed for over 300 yards once all season (Week 3 – Buffalo).  His completion rate (55.8%) was poor in most weeks, but he was even worse in Weeks 10 through 13.  Over this period, he only completed 39.2% of his passes for only 374 yards with no TD’s and 8 INT’s (benched in the 2nd half of Week 13).  He bounced back to lead New York to three victories in their last four games, averaging just under 200 yards passing per game with 4 TD’s and 2 INT’s.  Geno finished the year with 3,046 passing yards with 12 TD’s and 21 INT’s.  He did have some value in the run game (72/366 with 6 TD’s), but Smith had 8 fumbles.  Part of his lack of success was the poor play of his offensive line (plus weak receiving options).  New York signed Eric Decker, which gives Geno an NFL proven wide receiver.  The tight end position has a chance to be upgraded, but the rest of the receiving core has plenty of question marks.  Smith will be asked to run a ball control offense where turnovers will be the key to him keeping the job.  With a proven NFL quarterback behind him on the depth chart, Smith could be at risk of losing the starting job at any point during the season.  He may not even beat out Michael Vick in training camp.  Plus, there is always the chance that Tajh Boyd has more upside in the Jets style of play.  I don’t expect Smith to be fantasy relevant in 2014.

Michael Vick – Vick is 58-48 in his NFL career with flashes of elite upside.  He has only played a full season once during his NFL career.  His athletic ability allows him to make plays in the run game, plus it buys him more time to make big plays downfield when throwing the ball.  Injuries have haunted him for most of his career.  Vick has a more established skill set than Geno Smith with more upside in the run game.  His legs may create more room in the running game for the RB position, plus he has a better chance of limiting turnovers.  Even if Vick wins the starting job, he is probably no more than a bye week fill in or possible play against a weaker opponent.  Based on the style of play the Jets would like to play this season, Vick probably gives them the best chance to win games.

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