Many fantasy players love to grab a consistent veteran late in drafts. He won’t win you any games, but he won’t lose you any either. Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald, Kendall Wright, Rashad Jennings, Ahmad Bradshaw. Perfect players to use for bye week and injury fill-ins.
Well, the 2015 New York Jets offense is full of them. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Chris Ivory, Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker should all be solid fantasy players at each of their respective positions. I would love to have any of them as my third starter at that position, but I’d be nervous if they were my second.
Let’s start at quarterback. The position that determines almost everything in football. With the Geno Smith injury, Fitzpatrick will take over the position under familiar OC Chan Gailey. Due to the reliability of so many QB’s, Fitzpatrick will only make a real impact in 2QB and very deep leagues. He should be solid all year as long as Marshall and the offensive line, mainly C Nick Mangold and LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson, stay healthy. Under Gailey in Buffalo, Fitzpatrick had at least 23 touchdowns every year from 2010-2013. With a more established supporting cast, the Harvard graduate should thrive in the red zone with Marshall, Decker and second year TE Jace Amaro. Not to mention that the Jets retooled defense will put the offense in plenty of good field positions.
Ivory will also take a lot of pressure off of the aging QB because of Ivory’s running style. He’s famous for taking what the defense gives him and getting positive yardage every time he touches the ball, evidenced by Ivory’s 4.7 career yards per carry. This will allow Fitzpatrick to deal with more 3rd and 3’s instead of 3rd and 8. You should draft Fitzpatrick or pick him up off waivers if you’re running an injury prone QB in 2QB leagues like Bradford and Palmer. However, things could change when Smith comes back from the broken jaw.
As he has been, Ivory should be a solid RB2/3 barring injury in this upcoming year. Bilal Powell will take some third down work, but in the second preseason game Ivory caught three passes in one series. The combination of Steven Ridley and Zac Stacy shouldn’t threaten Ivory’s early down work. In a league filled with RBBC’s, Ivory is looking like he will be a bell-cow/three down back. I’d recommend Ivory as a perfect RB to draft if you’re planning on using a Zero RB strategy. Your WR’s will carry you and Ivory will be a mainstay in your weekly lineup. Ivory should be dependable for 15-20 carries, 80+ yards a week with scattered catches and touchdowns.
The Jets have been notorious for having poor fantasy receivers in the last five years, second to only the Chiefs. However in my opinion, Marshall is being severely under drafted. His current ADP according to fantasypros.com is 57. Even in a season plagued by injuries, Marshall finished eight touchdowns and 721 yards in 13 games, many of which Marshall was injured for. You should all remember that Monday Night Game were Marshall was limping around the field but still pulling down catches over cornerbacks. With a reliable Fitzpatrick under center and Ivory picking up chunk after chunk, Marshall should see plenty of 1 on 1 coverage, especially in the red zone. I’d love to grab Marshall as my flex option and play him by matchups. I’m more of a PPR guy, but Marshall could be like new found money in standard leagues. Stevie Johnson had huge years under Gailey and with Fitzpatrick.
Lastly, Decker benefits the most from having Marshall on the opposite side of the field. Even last year with horrid QB play and against top corners, Decker ended the season with 74 catches and 962 yards. But he took a big hit in touchdowns, scoring only 5, less than half of what he had with Peyton and the Broncos. I don’t think Decker will ever get back to those huge numbers in Denver but this upcoming year he should be able to put up solid WR 2/3 numbers in PPR leagues. The Jets struggled mightily last year to sustain drives. But Fitzpatrick and Marshall could change that. Decker will be moved around a lot under Gailey to see the best matchups. Especially once rookie deep threat Devin Smith returns from injury, Decker will see plenty of snaps in the slot. This will be great for his reception total. Take Decker as your WR3 with confidence in PPR. His production should only increase from last year against weaker corners and with a more reliable QB.
As I said at the top, I do not think any of these guys will lead your team in points. However, each of them should fill important roles on your team this season. Sure you can go all upside and pick a rookie who might be the next OBJ, but that’s hard to do. These guys will give you solid production and they’ll help you win close weekly matchups.