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2023 Fantasy Forecast: New York Jets

Bobby Bishop (@imbobbybish) examines the fantasy state of the New York Jets. With the new arrival of Aaron Rodgers, one of the most talented quarterbacks of all time, the fantasy landscape of the Jets has shaken up. Will Rodgers boost the Jets receivers? Will Aaron have an elite year, even in twilight of his career? We break down the possibilities in this article.

The Jets have a Quarterback? In this economy? Adding Aaron Rodgers to this team adds intrigue, if nothing else. However, I think it adds more than just intrigue. It should add fantasy value to all the weapons around him.

Quarterback – Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers left Green Bay after an illustrious career in Wisconsin. In 2022, Aaron Rodgers was QB13. I think Rodgers could see a bump back into the top ten(where we have grown accustomed to seeing him). Rodgers dealt with an avulsion fracture of his thumb in 2022 which may have contributed to his down year. Also, besides Christian Watson’s second half, the Packers’ receivers didn’t set the world on fire.

Rodgers projects as a great win now QB in dynasty. Will he contemplate retirement this offseason? Probably. However, there is a chance he will win you some games and maybe even a championship this season. I have him projected as my QB10 in 2023.

Running Back – Breece Hall

Hall’s ACL tear devasted the dynasty community in 2022. A young, workhorse running back showing extreme promise and efficiency was hit with a tough injury. Stop me if you have ever seen that before. However, like many running backs before him, Hall should return from his ACL surgery without losing a step. The only concern is if he will be back at full strength in 2023.

It is well documented that typically the second season back from an ACL is when the player returns to their previous form. Many players struggle to trust their knee the first year back, whether consciously or unconsciously. They are thinking about it. This year could be a struggle at times with Hall. I’m sure we’ll see flashes of the top-five running back that he is capable of becoming, but I think we’ll see times of him struggling to trust his knee.

All in all, I predict a high-end RB2 finish for Hall if he stays fully healthy. He will get enough catches and touchdowns to finish in the RB13-18 range. I think the Jets will ease him into the season, and they won’t overwhelm him with touches, especially early in the season. It’s too early to predict, but if all goes to plan, expect Hall to push for RB1 in 2024.

The RB Backups

The New York Jets RB room gets murky after Hall. Will the fresh legs of Israel Abanikanda take control of the backup job? Will Zonovan Knight play as he did in Weeks 11-13? Could the Jets sign a veteran like Dalvin Cook, Leonard Fournette, Ezekiel Elliot, or Kareem Hunt to boost their RB room? I don’t have the answers. However, I will say that if the Jets make zero changes to their roster, I project that Abanikanda will take over the backup job and earn a surprising number of touches as the Jets ease Hall back into things. Dynasty managers must monitor the Jets’ backup running back job throughout the preseason.

WR1: Garrett Wilson

Wilson exploded onto the scene as a rookie, climbing up dynasty rankings until he became a consensus top 5 dynasty receiver. Wilson is set to have a killer second season with an upgrade at QB. I don’t think the overall WR1 is impossible for Wilson in 2023, although Justin Jefferson will be a hard man to dethrone. In all likelihood, Wilson will put up WR1 numbers and finish in the 7-12 range.

WR2: Allen Lazard

Lazard joined the Jets this offseason on a healthy four-year, $44 million contract. This signing came at the recommendation of the new Jets QB. Lazard’s production will be somewhat touchdown dependent, as the 6’5″ receiver will be one of Rodgers’ best red zone options. Lazard will be a flex option, but WR3 production isn’t impossible. He had triple-digit targets in 2023, landing exactly at the century mark. He might even top that number this season. If Lazard stays healthy, he’ll finish somewhere between WR48 and WR64. However, the more double teams sent Wilson’s way, the more Lazard may thrive.

The WR Backups

Mecole Hardman will be hard-pressed to have fantasy relevance, but if he breaks off a couple of deep touchdowns, he could contribute in best ball lineups. He’s not my favorite option as a slot receiver (even though that’s where he is currently listed) because he’s not the cleanest route runner. Hardman is on a one-year deal, so the Jets haven’t invested much in him. He’s a speedy receiver, and if Rodgers’s arm feels fresh, he may start to look like 2015 Ted Ginn Jr.

Outside Hardman, the Jets have some depth in Corey Davis and Randall Cobb. Davis is unlikely to see the field much, barring injury. Cobb may see some time in the slot as a trusted target of Rodgers. Despite his potential playing time, I doubt Cobb will have fantasy relevance in any format.

Tight End – Tyler Conkin

Conkin posted a respectable season in 2022, but even by tight-end standards, it wasn’t enough to blow your socks off. He was the 16th-best tight end in PPR formats. With a QB upgrade, could Conkin sneak into the TE1 conversation? I project that Conkin will finish in the TE10-15 range. As a low-end TE1/high-end TE2, Conkin will be a great bench tight end option that managers can get for very cheap.

The TE Backups

The only backup tight end of note on the Jets is none other than former Bengal C.J. Uzomah. He likely will not have any fantasy relevance, barring a Conkin injury. Uzomah barely had more receptions (21) than games played (15) in 2023. He landed on the Physically Unable to Perform list, so Uzomah faces a seriously uphill battle to contribute to any fantasy team in 2023.

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