The New York Jets and head coach Adam Gase will look to improve in year two of his system. Last year the offense sputtered and ranked towards the bottom in points scored (31st), while the defense ranked towards the middle of the pack (16th) in points allowed. The Jets struggles on offense had to mainly do with missing key pieces of the offense throughout the season, and a poor offensive line. Ideally a Gase offense is one that likes to attack the sidelines in the passing attack. You look at his time in Miami and how often outside the numbers was targeted, over 1,100 times. His offense attacks the sidelines through check downs, flat routes, comeback routes, and out routes. It is obvious that Gase loves using the sideline to his advantage, as well as the short to intermediate field. Gase would also like to have an effective run game that is able to attack through inside zone runs up the middle, blast plays, and outside zone runs. Primarily in 2019 due to a lack of talent up front the Jets essentially ran only inside zone runs and blasts. So, it should be no surprise that they looked to stabilize the line for 2020. The team went and brought in Connor McGovern and Mekhi Becton. They also resigned guard Alex Lewis who has starting experience though his time in Baltimore. These additions will allow for more of these desired outside zone runs as well as counters and tendency-breakers since there is now more athleticism in the starting front five. The ability to run these different looks should make the offense more unpredictable and dynamic.
Sam Darnold (QB) – on paper it appears that Darnold has the best offense surrounding him that he has ever had as a pro. Darnold certainly will have better protection in front of him then he has ever had which is much needed for him to continue to develop into the Jets franchise quarterback. Darnold tends to become chaotic and frantic to easily on his own and a poor line magnifies this deficiency. The team will look for Darnold to be more in control in year three as a pro. They will also look for Darnold to be steadier in the pocket so that he is able to move the ball down field more efficiently. Darnold has shown great individual moments in his young career which gives hope to the organization he can be this leader.
*Fantasy Spin: Despite the upgrades around Darnold we still feel uneasy trusting an offense ran by Adam Gase. This lack of trust only puts Darnold as our QB26 entering 2020. Ideally, we would like to see the Jets more willing to take shots down the field and to do that the run game has to get going first. In dynasty leagues Darnold can be viewed as a mid to backend QB2 as we have him ranked as our QB18 in dynasty entering 2020.
Le’Veon Bell/Frank Gore/Lamical Perine (RB) – last year Le’Veon Bell underwhelmed as he was terribly inefficient. Bell despite playing 83% of snaps in 2019 only ranked as RB19 in points per game. Bell was middle of the road when it came to forced missed tackles and ranked towards the bottom of the league in yards after contact. A lot of this inefficiency can be chalked up to a poor offensive line, which is evident with his terrible yards before contact number. It is important to note that Bell is no longer a big play home run hitter. Bell is more of a sustaining back who is more of a grinder, this is who he has become. If you look to his last season in Pittsburgh, he only had a handful of plays that went over 20 yards. Bell is a patient back who waits for holes to open, that was fine in Pittsburgh but not in New York. The additions of more athletic lineman as mentioned above will help with the outside zone runs which Bell is particularly good at. Perine was drafted to be the number two, or at least we thought at the time. Perine will be looked upon to be the passing down back. At Florida last year Perine caught around 40 balls showcasing his receiving ability. The thing with Perine is he kind of lacks juice. Perine struggled in breaking tackles and making people miss at the college level, which is a red flag on the pro level. This could be why Gase decided to bring in the ageless Frank Gore. Frank Gore will have a similar role to what he had in Miami under Gase, that trusted short yardage back who is a great pass protector.
*Fantasy Spin: The addition of Frank Gore puts a damper on Bells upside as we can now expect less carries for him. We can no longer expect that 1,500-yard season out of Bell as he has evolved into more of a sustainer. In redraft leagues Bell can be viewed as a backend RB2. Gore is not anything more then a late round bench filler in deep leagues. Perine does offer more value than Gore in our eyes, especially in PPR leagues, but we are not overly excited about him in 2020.
Breshad Perriman/Denzel Mims/Jamison Crowder (WR) – this position was another weakness for the Jets in 2019 so the team went out and signed Breshad Perriman, who shined for the Bucs late in 19. The team then drafted rookie Denzel Mims in the NFL draft. These two bring size and athleticism to the perimeter and will give Darnold two big bodies to target. They join Jamison Crowder who will again man the slot just as he did successfully in 2019. We all saw what Perriman could do when given the opportunity to shine as he filled in tremendously for TB when Godwin and Evans went down with injury late in the season. Perriman is unique in he has that rare size and speed combo. Mims who profiles as an X or Z will bring toughness to the Jets offense. He is big and physical and offers an unbelievable catch radius. Mims has extraordinarily strong hands and excels in contested catches. He will need time to adjust to the pro level and the jets will have to be patient with him. Mims showed everyone how physical and explosive he can be when he blew the combine up, as well as looking like a man amongst boys in this years Senior Bowl.
*Fantasy Spin: Crowder comes into 2020 ranked as our WR44 in PPR redraft leagues. The only concern we have with Crowder, as in years past, will he be able to stay healthy. We all know that durability and Crowder do not go in the same sentence. Perriman is very motivated to enter year one as a Jet as he plays on a one year 8 million dollar deal, and you know the saying money is a good motivator and Perriman will no doubt be playing for a big contract in 2021. Perriman is on the WR3 radar in PPR redraft leagues as our 34th ranked wide out entering 2020. Mims comes in as a WR6 in redraft leagues for us, as we anticipate some adjusting to the pro level, especially if the offseason is interrupted. Mims makes for a better dynasty add as he is our WR49 currently in our Dynasty Rankings.
Chris Herndon IV (TE) – Adam Gase is in love with this kid, as he stated he tried to get him while he was in Miami. Gase made the statement prior to 2019 that he had big plans for the young tight end, but those plans were derailed by a suspension and injuries. The tight end was never able to get on the field for Gase in year one. The Jets have plans to use Herndon as one of those split or detached guys, much like Julius Thomas was in Denver for Gase. Herndon is a big athletic tight end who could be dangerous for the jets who are desperate for another weapon on offense.
*Fantasy Spin: If Herndon can finally get on the field for the Jets in 2020, he can be viewed as a TE2 in redraft leagues. He can also be viewed as a TE2 in Dynasty leagues as well, as he is only entering year three as a pro. Herndon has a deep ADP so you should target him later in drafts.
Defense – the Jets defensive unit was middle of the road in 2019, which is a good job in hindsight due to the lack of talent in the unit. Prior to the season the team lost its defensive QB in linebacker C.J. Mosely, which crushed this unit. The team lacks that true pass rusher so defensive coordinator Gregg Williams does a fantastic job manufacturing pass rush with detailed sophisticated pressure concepts. Williams also deploys a cover 2 zone scheme to mass the deficiencies in the secondary, since in a cover 2 defense your cornerbacks do not have to be good cover guys.
*Fantasy Spin: The Jets should still rank towards the middle of the pack in terms of NFL and fantasy defenses. The return of Mosely to the field is huge as that will solidify the middle of that defense. In deep leagues and best ball leagues the Jets are in play, but in normal size leagues the Jets are a fade for us and should only be streamed in good matchups as other defenses offer more upside. We have them entering 2020 ranked as our 20th ranked unit.
Strength of Schedule
The Jets wide receiver corps will face the 4th toughest schedule this season. Their playoff schedule does not get better as they are projected with the 2nd toughest during weeks 14-16. Le’Veon Bell and company will be looking at the 13th toughest schedule during the fantasy regular season. The backs will have the projected 5th easiest schedule during the fantasy playoffs, however. Sam Darnold will face the 11th toughest schedule during the fantasy regular season, and the 9th easiest during weeks 14-16.