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 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.”
It’s hard to say that anything went the way the Jets planned this year after taking Sam Darnold in the first round of the 2018 NFL rookie draft. Their 4-12 record was enough to get head coach Todd Bowles fired and have the team turn their gaze towards Adam Gase.
Let’s look at how the team’s fantasy relevant players did this season and what it means for them going forward.
If you’re a member of team #QBWins, you probably hated Darnold’s rookie season. However, if you look past that, you find a 21-year-old rookie quarterback who completed 57.7% of his passes for 2,865 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions in 13 games played. You may not think much of those numbers but they’re not all that dissimilar to Carson Palmer Ben Roethlisberger’s rookie seasons. In terms of fantasy points, of quarterbacks who started at least ten games, Darnold finished 24th in points per game.
In most cases, he was not worth starting this year even in Superflex or 2QB leagues. That said, it’s not hard to attribute much of what he was going through to his being a rookie. Before his awful stint with the Dolphins, Adam Gase was considered a quarterback whisperer. Additionally, the Jets are armed with the second-most cap space to surround their young quarterback some more weapons. It’s not difficult to envision a scenario where Darnold improves upon his rookie season and improves his dynasty stock in the process. The Jets currently have no one on the depth chart behind Darnold for the 2019 season so they are certainly hoping for the best.
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Last off-season, the Jets signed Isaiah Crowell to a three-year contract to lead their backfield. In 13 games played this season, he rushed for 685 yards and six touchdowns. He added 21 receptions for 152 yards with zero touchdowns as a receiver – likely not what the Jets were hoping for, as those numbers represent Crowell’s worst end of season stats since his rookie season. Probably not what his fantasy owners were hoping for either, since he finished as RB36 in PPG and only moved up to RB31 if you account for players who played at least ten games. Crowell is currently RB66 in DLF’s Jan 2019 ADP, and that is likely to sink even further with rumors that the Jets are going hard after Le’Veon Bell.
McGuire only managed to play eight games this season, rushing 92 times for 276 yards and three touchdowns. He added 19 receptions on 31 targets for 193 yards and another touchdown. However, this does not account for his strong end to the fantasy season. During the fantasy playoffs, McGuire was the RB12 in PPG. I doubt many had him in his lineup unless they were playing best ball, but it was highly encouraging to see. Due to these results, McGuire finds himself currently at RB53 in DLF’s Jan 2019 ADP. Much like his backfield mate Crowell, this is likely to fall further if the Jets sign Bell or draft a rookie running back with a high pick.
Cannon played a full season but only rushed 38 times for 113 yards and one touchdown as a rookie. He added 17 receptions for 144 yards. Cannon currently doesn’t even show up on the DLF ADP which accounts for 298 players. He’s best left on the waiver wire except in the deepest of deep leagues for 2019.
It’s not much of a secret that in 2017, Robby Anderson was the apple of Josh McCown’s eye. Some thought that a change from McCown to Darnold, and Anderson’s off-season arrests might impact his fantasy output. They weren’t totally off, though in 14 games played Anderson was able to catch 50 of 94 targets for 752 yards and six touchdowns. That placed him as the WR36 in PPG for the season. The most recent ADP has him priced almost exactly at that position as the WR37. He is currently an RFA, though I fully expect the Jets to re-sign him considering their amount of cap room. There is some hope he can show some improvement with Darnold in their second season together, but I’m not sure I’d be putting him above Marvin Jones or Golden Tate personally.
Quincy Enunwa missed all of the 2017 season. So how did he respond in 2018? By putting up 38 receptions on 68 targets for 449 yards and one touchdown in eleven games played. The numbers don’t sound all that impressive. However, they don’t consider his strong start to the season. In the first four games, his worst numbers were four receptions for 57 yards. The Jets apparently saw enough to give Enunwa a four-year extension. They clearly see Enunwa as a key piece to develop with Darnold and that may be reflected by his WR52 ranking in the most recent ADP. Still, his selections in the various mocks to determine ADP were all over the place so it seems fantasy players are split on how to value Enunwa.
Burnett caught 10 of 15 targets for 143 yards. He saw his most heavy action in week 17 when he caught five of five targets for 73 yards. He should be on your radar in deep leagues simply because he and Darnold played together in college and he put up over 1,000 receiving yards in their final collegiate season together.
Peake was only targeted three times all season. That’s really all that needs to be said about his dynasty value.
If any player could be considered a pleasant surprise for the Jets this season, it would be rookie Herndon. He caught 39 passes on 56 targets for 504 yards and four touchdowns. In fantasy, he found himself as TE21 in PPG, and TE16 if you only count those who played at least ten games. His performance has seen him rise to TE15 in ADP, and knowing how rare it is for rookie tight ends to produce, it’s well deserved.
If anyone isn’t happy that Herndon balled out as a rookie, it’s likely Leggett. He was entering his sophomore year and supposed to be the one to break out. Instead, he caught 14 receptions on 24 targets for 114 yards and one touchdown. He’s a name to keep an eye on if Herndon gets hurt, but it’s Herndon’s show now for fantasy purposes.
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