Fantasy football team previews: AFC East

2021 records: 4-13

Notable coaching and system changes

No notable coaching or system changes to the primary areas of concern, but it is worth noting Zach Wilson’s personal quarterbacks coach, John Beck, wasn’t retained after signing on as an offensive assistant in Week 8 last year. New York’s official QBs coach, Rob Calabrese, returns.

Key free-agent additions

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

Key free agent departures

  • WR Jamison Crowder (Buffalo Bills)

Key draft additions

  • 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 cut it. The Jets were the massive winners of the 2022 draft, completely overhauling both sides of the ball with highly rated picks.

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

Running back preview

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

Make no mistake about this, Hall is the alpha here. That said, Carter becomes a must-have handcuff and should be in the mix as a change-of-pace, particularly on clear passing downs. Hall is a fine receiver in his own right, so there could be a frustrating degree of interchangeability at times. Hall is an RB2 target, Carter’s ceiling is that of an occasional flex whereas in PPR.

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

wide receiver preview

Elijah Moore had a great rookie season. His performance allowed the Jets to let Jamison Crowder walk this offseason. Moore has one season in his pocket working with Wilson at quarterback, but just know that Garrett Wilson has a real shot to become the WR1 here before the season is over. Both Moore and Wilson will be in the low-end WR2 fantasy territory some weeks, but neither should be banked on as a set-and-forget lineup option just yet. Wilson will be the safer play in TD-heavy formats, and Moore will be safer in PPR.

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

Braxton Berrios has had a few moments late last year. third-year receiver Denzel Mims has yet to show much of anything. Neither will see enough work this season (barring an injury) to have any draftable value.

Tight end preview

New York went from the outhouse to the penthouse — relatively speaking — at this position during the offseason. Not only did the Jets sign two borderline TE1 receiving threats in CJ Uzomah and Tyler Conklinthey also drafted Ohio State’s Jeremy Ruckert in Round 3.

As a threesome, they will likely cannibalize each other’s numbers. It’s unclear just how the team will utilize the two veterans. Conklin was a backup and valued blocker prior to being thrust into a pass-catching role last year, an area in which he didn’t disappoint. Uzomah emerged unscathed from a 2020 torn Achilles to post career numbers a season ago, benefiting statistically from all of Cincinnati’s aerial outlets. In New York, aside from mostly checkdown work, it’s tough to envision either being more than a weekly matchup consideration.

Ruckert is the wild card. He has a LOT of Dawson Knox in his game. This could spell a windfall of TDs for the rookie. Just know that most TEs do not break out during their rookie season. If you play in a TE-premium dynasty format, his long-term outlook is quite appealing.

Sleeper/breakout candidates

Garrett Wilson will feast in single coverage as a rookie. Do n’t be surprised when his numbers outpace Moore’s by year-end. As with any rookie receiver, there’s a act of risk and reward to balancing measure, but he’s a viable No. 3 in most formats.

Zach Wilson has the weapons (and the physical tools) to take that next step in the QB growth chart. Will it be into the realm of reliable fantasy starters? Unlikely, but he definitely has a shot at filling in when needed.

Bust potential/overvalued players

Uzomah is a fantastic blocking TE that developed as an emotional leader and solid receiver last season for Cincinnati. Now, he figures to be asked to block more and run fewer routes. Last season was his career apex, it is likely all downhill from there.

Davis will be a starter on offense for this team but his output will be highly 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 it in him to overcome all of the drawbacks.

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