Fantasy Football Team Previews: AFC East

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records 2021: 4-13

Notable coaching and system changes

No noticeable training or system changes in key areas of concern, but it should be noted that Zach Wilson’s personal quarterbacks coach John Beck was not retained after signing on as as an offensive assistant in Week 8 last year. Official New York QB coach Rob Calabrese returns.

Major Free Agent Additions

  • TE Tyler Conklin (Minnesota Vikings)
  • TE CJ Uzomah (Cincinnati Bengals)

Top Free Agent Departures

  • WR Jamison Crowder (Buffalo Bills)

Main additions to the draft

  • WR Garrett Wilson (Round 1)
  • RB Breece Hall (Round 2)
  • TE Jeremy Ruckert (Round 3)

Quarterback Preview

Zach Wilson was okay last year by rookie standards. This is New York, though, and “okay” won’t be enough. The Jets were the big winners in the 2022 draft, completely overhauling both sides of the ball with some highly rated picks.

Wilson will inevitably be on the radar as the league’s most improved player in just his second season. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a lock on serious progress, though. In the 2022 drafts, he’s a high-risk, high-reward QB2 in most formats.

Running back overview

The team established Michael Carter Jr. last season as a solid running back with some versatility in his game. Last month, New York traded and drafted Brece Hall in round 2. It was already slated to be the 1:01 rookie draft in all formats. Now, not only does he have draft equity, he also has a decent landing spot.

Make no mistake, Hall is the alpha here. That said, Carter becomes a go-to handcuff and should be in the mix as a change of pace, especially on clean transmissions. Hall is a good receiver in its own right, so there can be a frustrating degree of interchangeability at times. Hall is an RB2 target, while Carter’s ceiling is that of an occasional flex in PPR.

Ty Johnson and Tevin Coleman remain as depth, but neither has value.

Wide Receiver Overview

Elijah Moore had a great rookie season. His performance allowed the Jets to leave Jamison Crowder walk this offseason. Moore has a season in his pocket working with Wilson at quarterback, but just know that Garrett Wilson has a real chance of becoming the WR1 here before the end of the season. Both Moore and Wilson will be in low-end WR2 fantasy territory for a few weeks, but neither should be hyped as a set-and-forget programming option just yet. Wilson will be the safest play in TD heavyweight formats, and Moore will be the safest in PPR.

Veteran Corey Davis will also line up as an outside starter. His numbers will be hit harder by Wilson’s presence than Moore’s, who will likely play more out of the slot. Davis arguably has more downside than growth potential, and he’s no stranger to bumps and bruises. The veteran is a much safer low flex or depth addition to rosters.

Braxton Berrios had a few moments at the end of last year. Third year receiver Denzel Mims hasn’t shown much yet. Neither will see enough work this season (barring injury) to have draft value.

Tight end preview

New York went from penthouse addiction — relatively speaking — to that position in the offseason. Not only have the Jets signed two borderline TE1s receiving threats in CJ Ouzomah and Tyler Conklinthey also drafted the Ohio State’s Jeremy Ruckert on turn 3.

As a trio, they’ll likely cannibalize each other’s numbers. It’s unclear exactly how the team will use the two veterans. Conklin was a valued backup and blocker before being thrust into a assisting role last year, an area in which he did not disappoint. Uzomah emerged unscathed from a torn Achilles in 2020 to post career numbers a season ago, statistically benefiting from all of Cincinnati’s aerial catches. In New York, other than primarily audit work, it’s hard to imagine either being more than a weekly confrontational consideration.

Ruckert is the joker. He has a LOT of Dawson Knox in his game. That could mean a TD boon for the rookie. Just be aware that most TEs don’t break out during their rookie season. If you’re playing in a TE-premium dynasty format, its long-term prospects are quite attractive.

Dormant/breakout candidates

Garrett Wilson will feast on single cover as a rookie. Don’t be surprised when his numbers surpass Moore’s by the end of the year. As with any rookie receiver, there’s a balance of risk and reward to be measured, but he’s a viable No. 3 in most formats.

Zach Wilson has the weapons (and the physical tools) to take the next step on the QB growth chart. Will it be in the realm of reliable fantasy starters? Unlikely, but it certainly has a chance to fill in when needed.

Eliminate potential/overvalued players

Uzomah is a fantastic blocking TE who developed as an emotional leader and solid receiver last season for Cincinnati. Now he thinks he will be asked to block more and travel fewer routes. Last season was the peak of his career, it’s probably all downhill from there.

Davis will be an offensive starter for this team but his production will be greatly diminished by all of their other weapons. He’s in a pivotal year for his career trajectory, and we’re just not convinced he has the ability within him to overcome all the downsides.

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