About the Author
Recent posts by William Del Pilar
22nd in a series.
Can fantasy owners trust QB Mark Sanchez in 2012?
Living in Southern California, I saw Sanchez play almost weekly and never understood the love the Jets gave him. I wonder how long the team will ride him, as this will be a make-or-break season.
There's talk of pursuing Peyton Manning and while unlikely, why not? Manning's in his twilight and the Jets are a Super Bowl-ready team with a few tweaks and Sanchez has not progressed as expected. He ended the season with 3,474 yards and 26 TDs with 18 interceptions. He also rushed for 37-103-6, showing an ability to score with his legs. He averaged 217.1 passing yards and two total TDs with 1.1 interceptions in 16 games. His TD numbers are fantasy-starter-caliber but his yardage is why fantasy owners left him on many waiver wires. He'll enter his fourth season in a new but simplified offense built around the run. As a result, he is a No. 2 fantasy QB at best but more of a matchup play.
Does the RB position remain the same?
Shonn Greene is heading into a contract year and despite some good moments with 253-1,054-6 rushing and 30-211-0 receiving on 41 targets, he did not fulfill expectations. He was not consistent moving the chains when needed which hurt the team when trying to control the clock. He averaged 79.1 yards from scrimmage and 0.4 TDs in 16 games. Look for the team to utilize him much more in 2012 with new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano favoring more of a ground-and-pound attack. As a player with upside, Greene should be taken in the middle rounds.
LaDainian Tomlinson had 75-280-1 rushing and 42-449-2 receiving on 61 targets and looked and played old. He's a free agent and might retire, paving the way for Joe McKnight to be the team's change-of-pace back. The Jets might go with the Greene-McKnight duo as they rebuild other areas of need. McKnight rushed 43-134-0 and caught 13-139-0 on 18 targets and showcased himself in Week 11 against the Broncos with 16-59-0 rushing and 6-62-0 receiving on seven targets. His value entering the 2012 offseason is as a late-round pick in most drafts with a preference in point-per-reception (PPR) leagues.
How does the WR position shake out in 2012?
Santonio Holmes was high maintenance in Pittsburgh and now with the Jets, who already have paid him $7.5 million in guaranteed money this offseason, meaning he's on board for 2012 and will have to make peace with Sanchez. The team plans on meeting with Holmes in the hopes they can get on the same page, but his attitude this past season will lower his fantasy value going into 2012. He caught 51-654-8 on 101 targets, reaching at least 70 yards receiving in a game only twice with TDs being the saving grace for fantasy owners. He averaged 3.2 catches for 40.9 yards and 0.5 TDs on 6.3 targets and will drop into the early mid-rounds on draft day, making him a value pick based on talent.
Plaxico Burress is a free agent. He produced 45-612-8 on 96 targets and was a pleasant surprise for those that didn't draft him too early, but at $3 million, he was a bust to the Jets. The team doesn't appear to have any desire to bring him back. Burress' ability in the red zone will give him value as a bye-week or injury fill-in.
It's possible that Patrick Turner, re-signed to a one-year deal, will replace Burress as a red-zone threat in 2012 with Jeremy Kerley seeing an increased role as well. Turner had 8-96-1 receiving on 15 targets and Kerley added 29-314-1 on 47 targets. However, both have minimal fantasy value, as the team likely will explore the free-agent market to find a value player to complement Holmes.
Will TE Dustin Keller elevate his fantasy game?
Keller enters a contract year and that's always great motivation. He produced 65-815-5 receiving on 115 targets this past season. That's an average of 4.1 catches for 50.9 yards and 0.3 TDs on 7.2 targets in 16 games. Those are second-tier TE numbers, and now he'll be in a Tony Sparano-led offense which might mean more blocking. He does not enter 2012 with the upside he has had in the past.