“You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.” Zig Ziglar
The New York jets are not planning, preparing or expecting to win, in 2017. Oh, I am sure they hope to eke out a few wins, but they are one of a few teams already in the hunt for the number one overall spot in the 2018 draft. The Jets are in the middle of a full-on airport renovation. It’s almost like they spent a lot of money on a living room suit, only to get it home and realize it was too big, wrong color, and 5 years out of date. Now they are digging through their garbage trying to find those receipts.
The Jets off-season was not a good one if you were a veteran. Letting go of their expensive Revis Island, WR Brandon Marshall, Center Nick Mangold and not re-signing QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. These moves were an obvious tip of the cap to the hard truth, they need to start over again. This move will put a lot of youngsters in important roles.
One of those young players Robby Anderson, has just added to the list of issues, with his arrest in Florida. He is now looking at possible suspension and would join three other team mates in the leagues penalty box. That basically leaves Eric Decker to carry the load along with his running mate Quincy Enunwa. Combined with the fact that the Jets will have a three way camp battle for the chance to start the 2017 season. Christian Hackenberg, Bryce Petty, and Josh McCown will compete for the chance to get a hard life lesson. Mr. Tannenbaum, I have the Columbia Fireflies on line one.
It has always been my practice to avoid bad offenses when drafting my fantasy team, but on occasion it does give a few select player a chance to shine. I have always liked Decker, he has always had a nose for the end zone and his current ADP in PPR is 8.09. Sandwiched between Titans Rookie Corey Davis and Browns Corey Coleman. He will be the clear #1 for the Jets, but if you want a real value Quincy Enunwa is practically free at 14.06 203 overall. Enunwa played well for the Jets in 2016 and will have an even bigger role in 2017. Decker on the other hand had injuries that limited him to just 3 games in 2016. Had he been healthy you could have figured on numbers similar to the 2015 campaign, where he finished with 1,027 yards and 12 TDs. Decker should get the lions share of targets this year. However, Decker is coming out of off-season surgeries on his hip and shoulder, and the whispers his contract could be the next on the chopping block. You would have to ask if he is fully committed to the Jets for the 2017 season. Knowing he will probably be elsewhere in 2018 or maybe even sooner. This is a shame for one of my favorite players. He is stuck in a situation that he knows the team is weak but he needs to play well to keep his stock up for a potential landing spot. Jets are looking at a cap hit of 8.75 million this year and 9 million in 2018. When times are hard you have to make sacrifices. I am sure the Jets would love to hang on to a player like Decker, who can produce on the field and is a positive locker room guy, nothing personal Brandon. These teams like the jets and the 49ers can’t afford one or 2 high priced pieces when they need so many other things.
It is clear to anyone who would care to watch that the Jets have gotten away from the eternal optimist Rex Ryan. The man who convinced owner Woody Johnson, that they were close if they just had a few expensive items. The example they should have been looking at is teams like Seattle and New England. You draft good players and develop them into stars, then plug holes with role players, like LaGarrette Blount. They come in and have a great year then when their price tag goes up you let them walk.
The big difference between the Jets and the elite teams in the NFL is a Quarterback. The elusive unicorn that every team covets and will mortgage their children for. Why has AFC East King Pats been able to dominate for as long as they have, because they have not only one of the greatest QB’s in NFL history but one who knows it is more important to win then line his pockets. They have been fortunate to have Brady willing to sign for less so they can continue to reload each year. A good QB is the only way to expect to raise the trophy in January. Therefore, a lot of people are speculating that the Jets could care less about winning this season, and have their eyes locked on the 2018 rookie QBs. A class that most experts rate very high.
My recommendations for the Jets fantasy stock is this. Don’t consider any of the Quarterbacks, not even in 2 OB leagues. Bilowel Powell should get ample opportunities to carry the rock, and should be the back to own in New York. The Wide Receivers could be a mixed bag and will obviously suffer from poor QB play, But Decker is a highly skilled vet who should be able to take the lemons that they will hand him and turn them into lemonade. Or at very least into lemon flavored water. Enunwah should return value if his ADP remains at or near current levels.
The 2017 season will be hard for any Jets fan to watch. Thy have grown a bit cynical over the last several seasons. Season after season of high hopes and underperforming teams. I would say to the Jets organization it will not be easy but it must be done. Draft smart, build slowly, and don’t overreach. They can look to the state of Ohio as an example of what happens when you reach and overpay. I believe the Browns are on the right track, now. Let that soak in for a second. They are no longer the worst team in the NFL. It remains to be seen who will hold that distinction. If the Jets will follow the advice of Zig Ziglar, plan prepare, and expect to win then maybe their airport renovation will look fantastic.