Every year we give our premium content members a team-by-team, player-by-player look at the NFL season that was. The coverage will be in-depth, but because the Dynasty Capsule series begins immediately after the regular season, we won’t use it to discuss free agency or the draft. Come see us in early May once Mr. Irrelevant is off the board for another 32-article series giving you the same detailed discussion you’ll see below.
Buckle up dynasty fans, because you’re about to be reminded why our motto is, “There is no off-season.”
Chan Gailey is either a deity, warlock, or both. Unless somebody can explain how he coaxed career years out of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell and Brandon Marshall, I’m sticking with that theory. Heck, even Eric Decker was only a half point off of his 2013 season, which, as you may remember, is the one where his QB, Peyton Manning, threw for an absurd 55 touchdowns.
Like I said, the dude is a magician, and probably the Tooth Fairy.
There was a dark side in the fantasy equation, though, namely the tight end position. How dark? Eight receptions on the season dark. The next lowest total in the last decade was put up by the 2008 Atlanta Falcons who managed 19. That’s right, the Jets had less than half as many receptions from their TEs as the next worst team in the last ten years.
Despite the pitiful production from anybody outside of the five players I mentioned above, somehow the perennial fantasy wasteland that is the NYJ managed to give us the goodness we crave. How did it all go down? Can they do it again next year? How many squirrels live in Fitzpatrick’s beard? Let’s find out…
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The NFL has compelled all NFL media to mention at least once per article or broadcast that Fitzpatrick went to Harvard. Failure to comply will result in Vontaze Burfict moving into your guest room.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about how good Fitz is when Gailey is calling the shots. 3,905 yards passing, 270 yards on the ground and 33 total touchdowns against only 15 interceptions is pretty strong evidence of this, but a look back at prior seasons also supports the narrative.
When you take a look at Fitzmagic’s per game production with and without his favorite offensive coordinator, you can see there is a pretty massive difference. Even if we remove 2015, their three years together in Buffalo also vastly outpaced Fitz’s non-Chan career.
Assuming the coaching staff stays status quo and Fitzpatrick is back in green and white, I don’t know why we would expect any different result next year. When you consider he played through a significant mid-season a thumb injury that eventually required surgery, it may even be that 2016 is another career season.
I actually feel for Geno. He has shown in spurts that legitimate NFL starting QB talent exists inside his 6-foot-3 frame, but due to a broken jaw, coaching changes and inconsistency, he’s hasn’t gotten the chance I’d like to see. With Fitzpatrick breaking out and likely to be back in 2016, the West Virginia product is going to have to wait a year for a shot at another opportunity.
Regardless of where Geno ends up in 2017, he isn’t a particularly fantasy relevant player, except perhaps in deeper two quarterback leagues.
Petty is a strapping young lad scouts loved for his size and intangibles. That he also has an NFL caliber arm doesn’t hurt either. The big downer here is that thanks to Baylor’s spread attack, Petty lacks experience in anything resembling a pro system.
It wouldn’t be a huge shock if he challenged for a starting role in 2017 or 2018, but as with Smith, unless you are in a deep two QB league, Petty shouldn’t be on your radar.
For years now we’ve been waiting for Ivory to get a real shot at meaningful carries. The Jets must have heard our pleas, as they fed the beastly back 277 times. As expected, he rewarded them handsomely to the tune of 1,287 total yards and eight touchdowns. That isn’t to say there weren’t hiccups.
As with most any running back in his tier, there were several occasions where Ivory pretty much disappeared. A couple of those games happened as Fitzpatrick was battling his thumb issue,which necessitated they play out of the shotgun the vast majority of the time. With Ivory more of a traditional downhill runner, his skill set is ill-suited for that style of offense, likely contributing to the mini-slump.
In a totally shocking development nobody could possibly have expected based on his complete lack of an injury history of any kind, Ivory spent part of the season battling lower-body soft-tissue issues. Two separate quad injuries caused a missed game week 3 and several less-than-100% outings starting with week 7 against New England and continuing with a disastrous week 8 and 9 (38 carries for 42 yards). That all this also coincided with Fitzpatrick’s thumb injury couldn’t have helped matters.
2016 is a bit of a mystery, as Ivory is an unrestricted free agent (UFA). Considering their joint success, it seems likely he’ll be back in New York. Assuming that is the case, it is safe to mark him down for a season similar to what we saw this year.
Installed as the third down/passing game specialist, Powell turned in the best season of his career with 701 total yards, 47 receptions, and three touchdowns over only 11 games (a 1,020 yard, 68 catch, 4.4 TD 16 game pace). A week 6 ankle injury that caused Powell to miss five outings is the only real black mark on his 2015. Once he returned for week 11, he went on a late season run that saw him post over16 PPR points per game until another ankle sprain caused a missed week 17.
As with Ivory, Powell is a UFA. Also like Ivory, I would have to venture a guess that both parties want to reunite. If you remember back to last summer, the Jets aggressively pursued the pass catching back, eventually giving him $2 million dollars. Most analysts scoffed at the size of the deal at the time, but apparently the Jets knew what they were doing. With that in mind, I can’t imagine Powell being anywhere else next year.
Two short years ago, Stacy was the toast of St. Louis. Here we are in 2016 and he looks like a guy who isn’t long for the NFL. Following a second-straight disappointing campaign (164 total yards on 40 touches), the exceedingly average running back may have troubles keeping his roster spot. A late season broken ankle has the potential to further muddy the waters.
After sporting 2.9 YPC for the Jets, it doesn’t much matter where Stacy is next year. He isn’t somebody you want to burn a roster spot on anyway.
After missing out on the first nine weeks of the season, Ridley returned and almost immediately became Ivory’s handcuff. With limited carries available, the former Patriot managed a paltry 40 touches for 88 yards and zero trips to pay dirt.
As with two of his backfield mates, Ridley will hit free agency this spring. The odds he finds himself somewhere that will give him a legitimate chance to start is slim, but stranger things have happened. Even if that opportunity presents itself, limited pass game chops and a penchant for fumbling will limit Ridley’s upside and open the door for him to be replaced by a better all-around back.
Fun fact: Marshall has outscored Calvin Johnson by .03 PPR points per game since 2007.
Due to his personality issues and off-field antics, it’s easy to forget how great of a player Marshall is. But as productive as his career has been, the 31-year-old receiver somehow turned in his best ever fantasy season by a whopping .6 points. The career-high 14 touchdowns is very responsible for that, but the 109 receptions and 1502 yards (both rank second in his career) didn’t hurt either.
Because Marshall plays a very physical, yet highly technical style that has never relied on speed, he promises to age better than most. I look at him as a higher ceiling Anquan Boldin type who could easily be fantasy relevant into his mid-30s. As such, Marshall currently occupies the WR16 slot in my rankings, some five spots above the DLF consensus.
Can we please put the “product of Peyton Manning” thing to rest? If you remove the games Decker played last year with a badly injured hamstring, he’s averaged over 16 PPG in his tenure with the Jets, which is only one fewer than in two years with Peyton. This, of course, includes his 80 catch, 1,027 yard, 12 TD 2015.
While Decker is a much better player than most thought, it is reasonable to expect the TDs to regress a bit in 2016. If the peripheral numbers don’t rise a bit in the absence of those touchdowns, we should see a slight fall off from borderline WR1 territory to mid-WR2. Either way, he is one of the best bargains in all of fantasy.
Due to an injury to rookie Devin Smith, Enunwa found himself third among Jets’ receivers in targets with 46. Unfortunately, the youngster didn’t capitalize on those opportunities, catching only 22 passes for 315 yards.
Big (6-foot-2, 225 lbs) and fast (4.45 40), there is every reason to expect the soon to be third year receiver to compete for the same role next year. He will have competition from at least Smith and perhaps Jeremy Kerley (if he doesn’t get cut) for the spot. If he wins it, there are worse guys to stash at the end of your bench.
I’m loath to write about Thompkins. He isn’t good, yet somehow keeps getting opportunities. He’s like a 39-year-old left handed reliever who has a 4.83 career ERA yet still finds himself in a major league bullpen every spring.
From the par for the course department, Thompkins managed to catch only 51 percent of his targets, which is somehow a career high. Even more inspiring is the 9.7 yards per reception. No, that is not a typo.
A season that started with a rib injury the first day of camp ended with a torn ACL in mid-December. What we saw in-between (9/115/1 on 28 targets) wasn’t great either.
It isn’t that Smith lacks for talent so much as refinement and diversification. Especially in the system Gailey runs (lots of short passes), Smith is going to need to become a more complete player if he has any hope of seeing a meaningful role.
I’m holding for now, but my sights are set a bit lower than they were last fall.
Kerley, the quintessential replacement level talent, struggled his way to the worst season of his career with a 16/152/2 line. There were some dings (a preseason concussion) and dents (a late season calf injury), but mostly he was stuck behind the others already mentioned.
Owed an obscene $9 million over the next three years, Kerley being cut is one of the more foregone conclusions of the off-season.
A big (6-foot-5, 265 lbs), fast (4.74 40), strong (28 reps), explosive (33” vertical, 118 broad) tight end, the Texas Tech product checks a lot of the right boxes. Unfortunately, a severe shoulder injury in the first game of the preseason derailed Amaro’s sophomore campaign before it ever really got started. Also unfortunate? He isn’t a good football player.
The scouting report out of college couldn’t have been more accurate, as Amaro is an awful route runner and has displayed hands that wouldn’t be out of place if they were your kitchen’s granite countertop. In an offense where the position is marginalized anyway, I’m not sure the former Red Raider can develop enough to matter.
I have him ranked 38th, which is 12 spots below the DLF consensus. If somebody can make an argument for ranking him higher, I’m all ears.
Jeff Cumberland and Kellen Davis
After a historically bad season, I can only sum up these two with this:
- How to Win Without Watching Football - July 22, 2021
- 2018 Summer Sleeper: Chicago Bears - July 9, 2018
- NFL Draft Aftermath: Winners and Losers from the AFC North - June 18, 2018
Jeff, how did you fail to mention how tiny Amaro’s hands are
I didn’t want to pile on too much?