New York Jets fantasy preview

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Everything that you will read below may change in the very near future if a certain someone from a certain city in Wisconsin ends up on the New York Jets.

His name?

Brett Favre.

Chances are Favre won't be playing for Jets and reportedly the team didn't even ask the Packers for permission to talk to the disenfranchised QB. But the truth of the matter is the Jets are still in a rebuilding mode under head coach Eric Mangini and that position is certainly lacking in New York.

But at the other skill positions the Jets aren't looking too bad and at least three of them will be selected in the first ten rounds of your fantasy draft.

These are the guys you need to know about:


Quarterback

Chad Pennington
2007 stats: 1,765 yds, 10 TD, 9 INT

Kellen Clemens
2007 stats: 1,529 yds, 5 TD, 10 INT


The quarterback situation in New York closely resembles the type of garbage typically reserved only for the 'Monsters of the Midway'.

Chad Pennington looks as if he'll end up with the starting gig, although mostly be default because Clemens certainly hasn't done anything to take it from him. The best compliment I can pay Pennington is that despite lacking the physical tools needed to be a big time QB in the NFL, he somehow manages to make enough plays to win using a mix of moxy and intelligence.

His career highs of 22 TD (2002) and 3,352 yds (2006) would only put him in the lower half of starting QBs from last year. Neither Pennington nor Clemens is legitimate fantasy options and I recommend you stay far away from them on draft day.

Running back

Thomas Jones
2007 stats: 1,119 yds, TD, 217 yds receiving, TD

Leon Washington
2007 stats: 353 yds, 3 TD, 1,291 return yds, 3 TD

If you've ever seen Thomas Jones, you know the kind of work ethic this man has. Known for being one of the league's biggest workout freaks, Jones is a tough runner that is known more for consistency than big play ability.

Jones is used to dealing with inept QB play under center, making stops in Arizona and Chicago before coming to New York. His years with the Bears were successful due to the road-grating offensive line that allowed him to gash opposing defenses for decent chunks of yards.

The Jets look to be creating a solid line themselves after drafting OT D'Brickashaw Ferguson and signing free agent stud G Alan Faneca, formerly of the Steelers.

If these guys can clear some holes out for Jones - and that's a big if because defenses are going to stack the box - he might be able to improve on that measley one TD in 2007. Running for over a thousand yards is nice and all Thomas, but TDs rule in fantasy football and we need a whole heck of a lot more this season.

Leon Washington is the second part to the Jets rushing attack, but pays most of his dividends for this team as a return man.

He ran three kickoffs back for touchdowns in 2007, ended with six touchdowns overall and was voted team MVP by his teammates. With the two back system being the flavor of the decade in the NFL, Washington dedicated himself to a rigorous offseason program in hopes of earning more touches in 2008.

I like Washington as a late round sleeper pick, especially if your league rewards you for special teams touchdowns. Even if your league does not follow that particular format, Washington should go no later than the 13th or 14th round.

Jones on the other hand will go much higher, especially in fantasy drafts around the city of Chicago. He's a questionable no. 2 back and ideally should be selected in the six or seventh round. However, he'll probably be selected much earlier, in the third to fourth round neighborhood.

Wide Receiver

Laveranues Coles
2007 stats: 55 receptions, 646 yds, 6 TD

Jerricho Cotchery
2007 stats: 82 receptions, 1,130 yds, 2 TD

I typically try to list the three top wideouts from each team, but I just couldn't do it with the Jets because I'm not sure they even know who their third WR is.

But the two they do have are most certainly noteworthy.

Laveraneus Coles had a very lackluster 2007 season after suffering a pair of injuries that forced him to miss time at various points in the year. But reports out of camp are that Coles is looking healthy and is determined to bounce back in a big way this season.

Cotchery has the distinction of possessing perhaps the coolest sounding name in the NFL and I'm seriously tempted to use it when naming my next fantasy franchise.

Other than that, you're looking at a very nice option for the third WR on your team or an average number two. With Coles out, Cotchery proved he could shoulder the load and had four games with over 100-yds receiving.

He averaged a little over five catches per game and had a ridiculous eight catches for 152 yards against the Titans in week 16.

With Coles getting older and Cotchery getting better, I'm inclined to believe the coolest name in football is the better choice out of the two. If he can find the end zone a few more times to go with the yardage he posted a season ago, Cotchery could be a steal you could find in the sixth round.

Coles won't go much later, and isn't a bad option either. Chances are he'll be off the board before Cotchery mostly because of name recognition.


Tight End

Chris Baker
2007 stats: 41 receptions, 409 yds, 3 TD

Bubba Franks
2007 stats:18 receptions, 132 yds, 3 TD

Dustin Keller
Rookie

I'm not exactly sure what the thought process of Jets management was this offseason.

Baker is coming off arguably the best season of his career.

But then they go out and sign Bubba Franks as a free agent, presumably to back up Baker.

Then the Jets inexplicably draft Purdue TE Dustin Keller with their second pick in the first round of this year's draft.

Confused?

Don't be because it's very simple.

Do not draft any of them.

Defense
2007 stats: 29 sacks, 15 INT, TD

Drafting LB Vernon Gholston is certainly going to help this defense, but not enough to make it a unit you should consider taking on draft day.

The only time I would consider using them is the first and last weeks of the season.

That's when the Jets have the pleasure of playing the lowly Dolphins.

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1 Comments

I will never draft a player from the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!!!

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Matt Wood is a web editor for suntimes.com and editor of CenterstageChicago.com. He is also a contributor for satirical sports publication The Heckler. Have a fantasy question? E-mail him.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Olsen published on July 30, 2008 4:00 AM.

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