The New York Jets are arguably the most talent-restricted team in terms of player productivity and to be honest, there’s not a single player on this roster I’m comfortable betting the over on.
The team’s offense struggled all season and scored only 259 points, or 16.2 points per game, which stood among the league’s lowest, and not a single offensive player for the team exceeded expectations other than perhaps receiver Jamison Crowder, who logged a career-high in receptions.
There’s not much to like here but there’s always potential that someone or a few players will break out and enjoy a solid 2020 campaign and that’s what this article’s about.
Here are 4 Jets to watch.
1 – Stud: Jamison Crowder, WR
- 78 receptions
- 833 yards
- 10.7 yards per reception
- 6 touchdowns
The 5’9, 180-lb Crowder established himself as the Jets’ go-to target in 2019 during his first season in New York after he spent his first 4 seasons as a member of the Washington Redskins.
Crowder is undersized and he lacks straight-line speed, but he’s an outstanding route runner who gets open downfield. He’s a poor man’s version of Wes Welker, who was built along the same lines yet lacked big-time speed.
Throughout his career, Crowder produced with decent, yet not eye-popping numbers, but enough to make his presence felt. And he did the same in New York, despite an unstable quarterback situation over the first half of last season, which ended with him catching passes from Luke Falk for a few games.
And Crowder figures to be the hot option in 2020, with quarterback Sam Darnold returning to the roster as a full-time starter. Darnold missed 3 games with mononucleosis and the Jets’ offense sputtered even more in his absence.
But even upon Darnold’s return, they still struggled as a unit with Crowder being the only starting offensive player on the team to garner respectable numbers. Placing a player at the ‘stud’ position under normal circumstances never guarantees he’ll overproduce in stat lines that online NFL betting sites set for him. For the Jets, it’s even more unlikely.
However, Crowder is most likely to produce over his 2020 projections but you need to bet with caution on every Jet listed here.
If you play fantasy football, look for Crowder to be a potential mid-round pick and the 1st New York Jet off the board, probably between Rounds 3 and 6.
If you bet the over on any Jet in terms of player productivity, Crowder is the safest bet. But again, there’s no guarantee he overproduces.
I’ve linked Crowder’s projected 2020 statistics and each New York Jets’ projected stat line to ESPN.com so you have quick access to their projections.
Here are Crowder’s 2020 projections:
- 75 receptions
- 834 yards
- 11.1 yards per reception
- 5 touchdowns
2 – Sleeper: Breshad Perriman, WR
- 36 receptions
- 645 yards
- 17.9 yards per reception
- 6 touchdowns
Perriman is a deep speed threat and he’s also a late bloomer who found a career renaissance in Cleveland in 2018 before latching on with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019. The budding journeyman makes his latest stop as a member of the New York Jets, where he’s coming off his best season yet.
Perriman would’ve received more opportunities in Tampa if it wasn’t for Mike Evans and Curtis Godwin starting at the WR1 and WR2 positions. They’re arguably the best receiving duo in football and it limited Perriman’s touches.
However, with top receiver Quincy Enunwa slated to miss the entire 2020 season, Perriman becomes the WR2 while Jamison Crowder becomes the WR1. This opens up the opportunity for Perriman to become a full-time starter, especially given the limited talent surrounding the Jets.
Now, Perriman hasn’t been in this position before and he only has a paltry 95 receptions in 5 seasons. However, he’s come on strong over the past year and a half and is among the fastest in the game at his position.
Perriman can excel if Sam Darnold makes a leap from Game Manager to Field General.
For you, Perriman’s the best New York Jet to bet the over with, next to Jamison Crowder. As stated earlier, however, there’s not a single Jet figuring to be a safe over bet, but Perriman and Crowder have the best chances to produce at least above average statistics.
It really hinges on Darnold and if he can play like the 3rd overall pick the Jets thought they were getting when they drafted him in 2018.
For fantasy owners, Perriman is a waiver wire pickup and shouldn’t be drafted unless you play in a 16 or 20-team league. Most leagues operate between 8 and 12 owners, so for these middle-sized leagues, he’s not a worthy draft pick.
Here are Perriman’s 2020 projections:
- 51 receptions
- 825 yards
- 16.1 yards per reception
- 5 touchdowns
3 – Stumbler: Le’Veon Bell, RB
- 245 carries
- 789 yards
- 3.2 yards per carry
- 3 touchdowns
- 66 receptions
- 461 yards
- 1 touchdown
Once upon a time, Bell was regarded as the best back in football. Then came his contract dispute with the Pittsburgh Steelers which prompted him to sit out the entire 2018 season rather than play under the Franchise Tag.
As a result, he left Pittsburgh for New York, where he fell back to Earth, averaging 3.2 yards per carry and posted his lowest rushing total since his injury-riddled 2015 season.
His 66 receptions were also his lowest since 2015. And at 28, Bell enters the time of his career when most running backs fall to the wayside given the number of times they’re asked to either carry or catch the ball.
This means Bell isn’t worth betting the over on at online sportsbooks. Even if he returns to form and has an amazing season and wins NFL Comeback Player of the Year, he’s not worth betting on. Err on the side of caution if you bet on Bell.
And as always, he could wind up excelling in 2020, but he probably won’t, especially when the Jets have his potential replacement waiting.
As for fantasy, Bell is an RB2. That’s if your current RB2 is on a bye and you need a back to fill in for a week.
Bell’s fall from grace could’ve started in 2017, when he averaged just 4.0 yards per carry, down from 4.9 the previous 2 seasons. Then came the holdout and the subpar season in New York.
Now, he finds his career at crossroads. Do yourself a favor and just avoid him.
Here are Bell’s projected statistics:
- 222 carries
- 883 yards
- 4.0 yards per carry
- 3 touchdowns
- 59 receptions
- 439 yards
- 2 touchdowns
4 – Rookie: La’Mical Perine, RB
2019 statistics (college):
- 132 carries
- 676 yards
- 5.1 yards per carry
- 6 touchdowns
- 40 receptions
- 262 yards
- 6.6 yards per reception
- 5 touchdowns
Perine may not have carried the rock on a full-time basis at Florida, but then again, a few great NFL backs have shared time at running back while in college. It just means he has fresh legs.
He also has a weak starting running back in Le’Veon Bell and an aging teammate in 37-year-old Frank Gore, who just signed on. And in running back years, 37 is super-centenarian. Gore won’t contribute a full workload and if Bell flames out again, it opens the door for Perine.
Perine’s also a prototypical power back despite his smaller size, meaning he should see some opportunity near the goal line. It ultimately depends on whether Bell continues to fade or if Father Time catches up to Gore, but watch the Jets’ running back room in the preseason and it’ll tell you everything.
When it looks like Perine is getting his reps, he’s a safer bet for the over, and having both Bell and Gore in the backfield with him helps his cause as he won’t receive high projections from oddsmakers or ESPN, making him a decent option to bet the over with.
The bottom line is that someone needs to take over the backfield and with Bell almost out of chances and Gore now in career twilight, Perine has the best option to shine and provides the most betting value.
He figures to be a late-round pick in fantasy but if you play in a keeper league, grab him in the final rounds and keep him on your roster all season, even if he doesn’t play much in 2020.
But players in situations similar to Perine’s often find their way onto the field and when they do, they can easily supersede their projected statistics.
The New York Jets aren’t the most talented team in the NFL and from a player productivity standpoint, they’re a wasteland for betting the over. There’s never a guarantee for the average team to produce overachieving talent, but for the Jets, the odds are even slimmer.
That said, players like Breshad Perriman and Jamison Crowder have produced in previous stops and if Darnold gets it together in his 3rd season, they can easily outperform their projected statistics.
Perine is in an opportune position to sign, given Bell’s increasing vulnerability and Gore’s age.