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.”
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Much of last off-season, the Jets organization spent their time chasing veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was playing hard to get despite having few other options for starting jobs around the league. The two sides finally agreed on a one-year contract paying Fitz a cool $12 million. After a productive 2015, some actually argued the Harvard grad was underpaid. That opinion faded once the Jets stepped on the field this season. The Jets won just one of Fitzpatrick’s first six starts of the season, while he threw 11 interceptions during that span. A blowout loss at the hands of Arizona was the final straw as the Jets QB carousel began. Due to injuries to his teammates, Fitzpatrick did see more opportunities, but nothing changed his poor play on the field. After throwing for over 3,900 yards and 31 touchdowns the season before, Fitz managed just 2,710 and 12 this year. With that one-year deal now expired, the two sides are certain to part and while the Jets search for answers at the quarterback position, Fitzpatrick will do well to find a backup job around the league.
After former second round draft pick Geno Smith relieved Fitzpatrick in that week six contest against Arizona, he drew the start in week seven. After flopping earlier in his career, this was viewed as Smith’s last chance in New York considering he was set to enter free agency following the season. For some reason, there was actually a growing sentiment at that point that Smith could be the team’s starter for the remainder of the season and position himself for a nice payday come free agency. Unfortunately for Smith, things did not work out that way. Instead, Smith suffered a knee injury early in his first start since the 2015 season opener. While the Jets first claimed the injury was minor, further tests revealed he’d torn his ACL and his season, and likely his Jets career, was over. The injury obviously dampens Smith’s chances of landing a job with a new team, though someone will likely take a shot on him. Recent reports have claimed Smith should be fully healed in time for training camp, though that almost certainly won’t be with the Jets.
After a redshirt rookie season, the Jets finally turned to former Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty in week ten following the injury to Smith and further ineptitude from Fitzpatrick. Petty started four of the team’s final six games with his season ending due to a week 16 shoulder injury. While Petty was not exactly successful, leading the Jets to a 1-3 record in his starts, he did give Jets fans a little hope. Unlike Fitzpatrick and Smith, he is also under contract for the 2017 season. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess who starts under center for the Jets in week one, but Petty did prove he has little weekly fantasy upside and no real dynasty value.
Rookie Christian Hackenberg might be the most talked about fourth string quarterback of all-time. The Jets spent a second-round pick on Hackenberg in the spring, but then seemed intent on never giving him a chance to see the field. Even though the team had many “meaningless” games late in the season, inserting the former Penn State star was seemingly not an option. Instead of seeing him on the field, we’ve been peppered with recurring reports from inside the Jets organization about how bad Hackenberg is, how he’ll never make it in the league and on and on and on. Needless to say, Hackenberg has no dynasty value.
Last off-season, the Jets thought they were fixing their running back issues by signing former Bears star Matt Forte to a three-year deal. Forte ended up sharing the backfield for much of the season and missed the final two games of the season after dealing with multiple injuries late in the season. Forte posted career lows in rushing and receiving yards, along with receptions. While the rebuilding Jets may be interested in moving on and acquiring young skill players, Forte has a $5 million cap hit if released, which likely means he’ll be back in 2017.
While Forte was a bit of a disappointment, veteran back Bilal Powell established new career highs in rushing yards (722) and receptions (58) and matched last year’s 388 receiving yards as a career mark. Powell was a late season fantasy savior for the second consecutive year. Fantasy owners are admiring Powell right now, but at 28 years old, he’s unlikely to ever become an every-down back without an injury, as he had this season. With so many other spots to fix on this team, we could see a repeat of Forte/Powell in 2017.
Rookie Brandon Wilds out of South Carolina signed with the Falcons after going undrafted, but latched on with the Jets and saw some late-season playing time. Wilds gained 29 total yards on 12 touches spelling Powell and Forte in the season’s final month. He’ll battle other young backs for a roster spot in training camp.
Veteran Khiry Robinson missed much of training camp with an injury and was eventually waived due to injury. Months later, the Jets added Robinson back to the roster, but he continued to deal with injury issues. Unfortunately, Robinson suffered a broken leg that ended his season before it really began. This is the third time Robinson has suffered a broken leg in just over a year. Robinson is a free agent and may struggle to find work and/or stay healthy.
The wide receiving corps was a surprising strength of this team in 2015, but even veteran Brandon Marshall couldn’t overcome the erratic quarterback play. It’s no surprise if you saw the Jets play much this year, Marshall’s output was among the lowest of his career, including 59 receptions for 788 yards and three touchdowns. Marshall will soon be 33 years old and it is hard to imagine this team fixing the quarterback play anytime soon, meaning we might never see the Marshall we had all become accustomed to dominating defenses. His dynasty value is plummeting and may not ever recover. For dynasty contenders, he’s a worthy buy low target in case he somehow lands on a contending team come next year.
This was certainly a season to forget for veteran Eric Decker. Known as one of the most consistent, yet underrated receivers in the league, Decker missed most of the season with multiple serious injuries. Originally diagnosed with a shoulder injury that would end his season, it was discovered that Decker also required hip surgery that delayed his shoulder process. After his October hip surgery, Decker was forced to wait another month to repair the shoulder and the eight-month rehab window then began. Still expected to be back and ready for next season, Decker will be 30 years old by the time he steps on the field again. Like Marshall, he’s an excellent trade target for contending teams.
Even before Decker suffered the injury and Marshall went into his lull, the Jets breakout receiver was Quincy Enunwa. After logging very little action in his first two seasons with the Jets, Enunwa was dominating the targets through the season’s first month. He finished the season in a bit of a slump, but still totaled 58 receptions for 857 yards and four scores. Enunwa had just one reception in four of the final eight games as other young receivers began to step up. While Enunwa was a nice surprise this season, but with what is looking like a suddenly crowded depth chart, he may struggle to be a consistent fantasy option going forward.
The Jets snagged former Temple receiver Robby Anderson after he went undrafted and that proved to be a wise pickup. Anderson played a minor role in the Jets offense until Petty took over at quarterback. The backup bond was real as Petty peppered Anderson with targets, often ignoring the veteran Marshall. Here’s a look at the increase in production Anderson saw once Petty took over, thanks to the team at Rotoviz.
As the Jets search for answers at nearly every spot, Anderson will see some up and down production, but I like his as a player to take a chance on this off-season.
The Jets added Charone Peake in the late rounds of last year’s NFL Draft and he hoped to be the next in a long line of recently successful wideouts from Clemson. If that will be the case, he’s off to a slow start. The highlight of the season for Peake was a week six game in which he saw ten targets, catching five of them for 43 yards. Beyond that, Peake routinely had just a few opportunities per game and failed to find the end zone in his rookie season. He was passed on the depth chart by undrafted free agent Anderson, ending the season with 19 grabs for 186 yards. I do think Peake is in the Jets plans for the future, but it is difficult to see a path to fantasy relevance in 2017.
After leaving Ohio State after his redshirt sophomore season, Jalin Marshall went undrafted and the Jets scooped him up. After suffering a shoulder injury early in the season, Marshall missed multiple weeks. He did come back and was an inconsistent option for the multiple Jets signal callers, often failing to even draw a target. By the end of the season, he was a healthy scratch. While Marshall flashed and did well to make the team as a UDFA, he’s far from a lock to crack the final roster in 2017. His role on special teams may aide that, but he offers little fantasy upside at this point.
The Jets spent a second-round pick on former Ohio State wideout Devin Smith in 2015 and he’s offered them little return on their investment. Smith suffered a rib injury during his rookie season that slowed his development before tearing his ACL and officially ending his season. An ankle injury cost him playing time this past season, but even when he’s been on the field, he’s failed to make a difference. Jets coach Todd Bowles has mentioned Smith’s struggles to pick up the offense on multiple occasions. While Smith still has that draft capital going for him, he’s now been outplayed by multiple late round picks or undrafted free agents and has very little if any dynasty value remaining.
The Jets have rarely use their tight end on offense over the past couple of seasons and after they dumped second round bust Jace Amaro prior to the season, it appeared they would just punt the spot and rely on blocking tight ends once again. After an early season DUI arrest, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers waived their former starting tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. The Jets claimed ASJ and early reports suggested the veteran receiver Marshall would serve as a mentor. While Seferian-Jenkins had no other reported run-ins with the law, he also failed to make a real impact on the offense. ASJ didn’t even catch a pass for the Jets until week 12 and ended the season with eight grabs for 93 yards. Seferian-Jenkins has the talent to be a starter and a fantasy starter, but just might not be cut out for the role. The Jets will have a new offensive coordinator following the retirement of Chan Gailey, so we could see the tight end role gaining importance for this team.