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Sleeper Spotlight: New York Jets

As part of the premium content package, we’re not only releasing exclusive team capsules (complete with commentary), but also focusing on one sleeper from all 32 teams in the NFL.

These sleepers all have varying levels of “sleeperness,” but all merit a little more talking about than we had room for in the dynasty capsules for each team. Some of these players are deep dynasty sleepers who could merit a spot on your bench in a deep league, while others are players who may contribute a little faster than the deep prospects, but deserve more attention than they may be getting. By definition, a sleeper could mean something a little different to everyone, but we’re simply doing the best job we can to unearth one player from each team who fits the category in some way, shape or form.

We’ll just never insult you with a comprehensive list of “sleepers” that includes such names as Demaryius Thomas, Ryan Mathews or even someone like Stevan Ridley. You’re all too good for that.

While many of these players will undoubtedly fizzle, we figure there’s value in looking more closely at these deeper prospects and players. We invite you to keep an open mind and even re-assess your value on those who may be rostered in your league. You may even consider adding a few of these deeper prospects we focus on this summer who are free agents in your league – after all, some are destined to pan out, too.

Mark Sanchez, QB

When it fell to me to write the Jets Team Capsule, I knew I was in trouble.  When it dawned on me that also meant I needed to write about a Jets Sleeper, I knew I was sunk.

The New York Jets are arguably the worst team from a fantasy perspective in the NFL.  Let’s look at some numbers:

  • The highest ranked Jet on our top-400 list is Stephen Hill at #108.  Think about that.  Hill hasn’t played a down in the NFL, yet somehow he’s the Jet the own.  And also at #108, that makes him a reasonable start-up selection somewhere in the ninth or tenth round.  Not exactly stud range.
  • In terms of composite ADP, the highest drafted Jet these days is Shonn Greene at #104 followed closely by Santonio Holmes at #107.  Worse yet, that makes Holmes the WR#45 off the board.
  • A little more encouraging are the redraft rankings from our partner 4for4, who have Greene at RB#19 and Holmes at WR#35.  So, in theory, if you own these guys you might get some 2012 production.
  • Jets backups Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight are being drafted in the same range as guys like Lestar Jean and Tony Moeaki (two recent DLF sleepers).

Okay, so it’s kind of tough to pick a sleeper here!

I simply can’t advocate rostering Jeremy Kerley or Greg McElroy, so after much gnashing of teeth I think the only guy who qualifies as a sleeper is Mark Sanchez.  Okay, okay so now you’re saying I copped out, how can I say the starting quarterback is a sleeper?

Well, I’ll tell you why I can say that.

Mark Sanchez is being drafted after Tim Tebow.  And not just a little bit later, a lot later.  Mark Sanchez is currently the QB#30 in terms of his ADP.  However, he finished last year as the QB#10 in a 6-pt/TD format.

I think we’ve given his job to Tebow a bit quickly.  I have to believe that the Jets still want Sanchez to succeed.  A couple of good games could solidify him as the starter and then he becomes a viable low end QB2.  A cheap way to back-up a stud like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady or Drew Brees.  In a deep league, what’s the harm of rostering both Tebow and Sanchez and seeing what shakes out?

When you look at the numbers that Sanchez put up last season, they’re not terrible. After all, many quarterbacks would have been perfectly fine with 3,474 passing yards, 26 passing touchdowns and six rushing touchdowns. Sure, the 18 interceptions need to be cut down, but Sanchez is being avoided like the plague, as if he performed as poorly as Curtis Painter.

There’s a ton of pressure on Sanchez to perform and the leash is short. However, he’s a player who can be acquired for next to nothing right now and the story on him has not yet been completely written.

Look, I’m digging deep here.  Cut me some slack.

Editor’s Note:  Tim Stafford can be found @dynastytim on twitter and in the forums as dlf_tims.

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bbwayne
9 years ago

Nothing to see here. Move along. 🙂

Yeah, this was a tough one. I was high on Kerley until he showed up out of shape and then injured himself where I then quickly dropped him. If Sanchez cuts down on the TO’s, he may have some value.

Thane Obijeski
9 years ago

According to Antonio Cromartie, he should be the Jets sleeper!

Ben Carter
9 years ago

What about Tebow stealing the Red Zone plays from Sanchez? That should drop his production compared to last year unless his passing yards go up and ints come down.

bbwayne
9 years ago

The real sleeper is Muhammad Wilkerson…

Casual Backhand Sauce
9 years ago

I liked Sanchez alot last year as my backup QB. I still like him this year in that role but knowing Tebow will steal a few touchdowns bothers me a little bit, but not enough to bail on him. I think the Tebow hype about him overtaking Sanchez by midseason is being way overblown. Sanchez isn’t nearly as good as Eli, but I remember Eli getting blown up like this in New York after his 3rd season and look how his career has turned out to be. Sanchez is a nice sleeper, and you can get him for pretty cheap.

Brady Lawson
9 years ago

A starting QB who finished in the top 10 at his position can’t really be considered a sleeper candidate… I agree he’s being drafted late but he’s a proven player. I think the best the team has to offer as sleeper candidates are probably McKnight/Powell and Kerley. None are likely to dominate but each should have a role in the offense this season with Tomlinson and Plax gone. If Greene continues to under perform, McKnight/Powell could end up with a bigger role and even outproduce Greene, similar to Tomlinson in 2010.

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