If you want offseason intrigue, preseason hype, and an enthusiastic but often disappointed fan base, look no further than today’s team preview. One of the most talked about teams of the offseason mostly due to their addition of Tim Tebow, today we’ll get a inside look at the New York Jets from Fansided’s own Alan Schechter of The J-E-T Press as our fantasy football season preview continues.
Zach Thompson, FantasyCPR: Hey Alan, Thanks for taking the time to let us into one of the craziest camps in the league. The Jets have been one of the biggest storylines (as usual) of the offseason, and I’m excited to get an insider’s take on all things Jets.
I’m know you’ve written some on your blog already, but summarize for our readers what you think Tim Tebow’s role will be and what if any fantasy value you think he has.
Alan Schechter, The JET Press: That is the biggest question entering 2012 for the Jets. The Jets have been fairly quiet about it, but it appears he will be in many of the Wildcat packages, as well as some appearances in the red zone. Mark Sanchez should keep him off the field enough that other than as a bye week replacement, I don’t see a lot of fantasy value for Tim Tebow. Sorry to my Tebow fanatic readers.
Z: The guy feeling the pressure from Timmy T is Mark Sanchez. Can he survive this storm and actually be better because of it? Where do you think he’ll rank among QBs this season?
Alan Schechter, The JET Press: Mark Sanchez has entered 2012 15 pounds heavier than the past, all muscle. He seems to have more zip on his passes, and he is doing well for himself so far in training camp. I believe he will step up and have a career year. He had better, because as my readers know, I have no faith in Tim Tebow and if he starts a game for any other reason than a Sanchez injury, the Jets will have problems. As far as ranking, I would go so far to say he will be in the top half of NFL QBs this season. I don’t think he makes the step into the top 10, but top half I think is very realistic.
Z: The way the Jets are the most effective, in my opinion, is with the ground-and-pound fully engaged. For that to happen a running back has to step up. Is Shonn Greene capable of being an elite back? Will the Jets use a rotation and if they do who else will have value?
Alan Schechter, The JET Press: There are a lot of mixed feelings around the Jets bloggers regarding Shonn Greene, but I firmly believe he can and will be an elite back in 2012. Under new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, the Jets are making a full commitment to a physical running attack, and Greene will lead the way. Remember, Greene averaged 4.2 yards per carry in 2011, and that was with an 8-8 team that had a horrible year on the offensive line. I mean, I don’t know that Greene is your first choice at running back, but for a #2? I see no reason why not to pick him. They won’t have enough of a rotation for anyone else to be a major value.
Z: I’ve heard some love for Terrance Ganaway as a sleeper and I’m not sure what to make of it. What’s your take on him?
Alan Schechter, The JET Press: Anybody that scores the number of TDs that he scored at Baylor is someone that has to be at least in your discussion in the middle rounds. That being said, he is being given a run for his money at Jets camp by Bilal Powell, so it’s hard to say whether he will be a decent fantasy value or not at this point. Keep an eye on him. If he makes the team, I see him as a mid to late round pick as he will get carries near the goal line, especially when Tebow comes in.
Z: Another lightening rod throughout the offseason and preseason has been Santonio Holmes. He’s still your #1 receiver right? Last year he had 51 catches for 654 yards and eight TDs. Do you think he finishes over or under those numbers this year
Alan Schechter, The JET Press: Although he has still had some “interesting” comments to make to the media, Santonio has looked like a refocused receiver on the field, and I think he will be well over those numbers in 2012.
Z: What other wide receivers will have value?
Alan Schechter, The JET Press: Be aware of Stephen Hill, rookie out of Georgia Tech. He will be filling the role that Plaxico Burress did in 2011. He’s 6’5 and he can fly. He will get the separation that Plaxico can’t anymore, but Plaxico still wound up with 8 TDs just using his size. I see a reasonable chance that he eclipses Plaxico’s 8 TDs, maybe even going for double digits.
Z: Another name from the Jets getting some love as a sleeper is Dustin Keller. Can he be a top 10 TE this year?
Alan Schechter, The JET Press: Absolutely. Dustin is in the final year of his rookie contract, and he is not happy that the Jets have been unwilling to renegotiate. However, he has talked about using that to motivate him, and is priming himself to have a big year. I have been a big Dustin Keller fan for his entire career, and I think he will have a huge 2012 for the New York Jets.
Z: I know there was mixed reaction to the Jets picks at the NFL Draft this year. Some people loved the guys you got while others hated how it all went down.What was your reaction to the Jets draft?
Alan Schechter, The JET Press: I don’t understand where all the criticism came from on the Jets draft. I thought it was great. They needed help with the pass rush, they got a potentially super rusher in Quinton Coples. They needed a deep threat, they drafted Stephen Hill. They drafted two safeties, which was a big sore spot for the Jets last year. They got faster, and younger. Mike Tannenbaum and company had an excellent draft.
Z: The Jets have been a top 10 fantasy defense the whole time Rex has been there. Any reason that changes this year? Can they be top-5 good?
Alan Schechter, The JET Press: No reason why the Jets defense can’t be top five good. As I said before, they have gotten younger, faster, and they have address areas of need. Bart Scott, Rex’s on field leader, is recommitted to the team. Rex will be calling more of the plays, and generally be more involved with the defense, and that can only mean good things. Draft them with confidence.
Z: Last one, give me your realistic expectation for the Jets this season. The AFC East is a tough division with the Pats. Can they win it this year? What’s your best guess as to how Tebow-mania plays out throughout the year and what will it take for this year to be the year the J-E-T-S answer their cross-stadium rival with a championship of their own?
Alan Schechter, The JET Press: Anything can happen, but will all of the weapons that the Patriots have, it’s very difficult to pick against them for the division, as unfortunate as that is for a Jets fan to say. Tebowmania can play out two ways, it will make Mark Sanchez better, and the Jets are able to balance it and win 10-11 games as they did in 2011. If they handle the relationship right, this is possible. If not, and Mark Sanchez folds, the season will fall apart right with it. If the Jets get back to running the rock and good defense, they could make a run at a Lombardi trophy of their own.
If you enjoyed this fantasy football team preview, check out our draft kit for insider perspectives on other teams, positional rankings, and player spotlights for the upcoming season.