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New York Jets 2020 fantasy football outlook: Does Sam Darnold take that next step?

Sam Darnold, Jamison Crowder, Le'Veon Bell
Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

The New York Jets 2020 fantasy football outlook hits on an offense that needs quarterback Sam Darnold to take that next step.

Rewind time back to the early 1990s. Yeah, suddenly, you feel better. You’re younger, you’re spryer, and you could actually lift your feet in the air at least a half a foot off the ground.

You also had to make sure you did not miss ESPN’s NFL Primetime every Sunday night. How else would you know who scored the touchdowns that day?

Without Sunday NFL Ticket and, of course, the internet, fantasy football players still used paper. Most leagues scored with touchdowns only and scoring the games manually paved the way to what we experience in the industry today.

Chris Berman and Tom Jackson helped the cause. Of course, not every touchdown could be recapped on the show—which would naturally create Monday morning uncertainty until the newspapers are read. But all told, that program was the go-to for all players.

Today, this singular article is just one of an incredible many that focus on fantasy football. But how often are the New York Jets the sole fantasy football topic? Rarely, I would surmise.

The Jets’ fantasy football outlook will come down to two things: the offensive line’s play and Sam Darnold‘s progression.

Sam Darnold

  • Average ADP: 168
  • 2019 Stats: 13 games, 3,024 yards, 19 touchdowns, 13 interceptions
  • Jet X 2020 prediction: 15 games, 3,855 yards, 24 touchdowns, 14 interceptions

Yes, Sam Darnold will take that next step. The question remains, “How big a step will it be?”

Mekhi Becton is the first crucial factor in the Darnold equation. If the stout Louisville product can man down the anchor, the sky is the limit for the California kid. Injuries at wide receiver are a concern but are also by far the last concern.

You do not have to draft Darnold. Pick him up as a No. 2 quarterback and see what happens over the first couple of weeks (if you can afford to carry two quarterbacks). Or, simply keep him on your watch list.

FLORHAM PARK, NEW JERSEY - AUGUST 23: Le'Veon Bell #26 of the New York Jets runs drills at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on August 23, 2020 in Florham Park, New Jersey.
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Le’Veon Bell

  • Average ADP: 49.5
  • 2019 Stats: 15 games, 789 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns, 461 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown, 66 receptions
  • Jet X 2020 prediction: 14 games, 925 rushing yards, 6 rushing touchdowns, 543 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns, 62 receptions

Stay away from Le’Veon Bell. There’s no question his fourth-round position is a possible tremendous value compared to his first-round status a year ago—which was ridiculous. Still, Adam Gase is a coach who does not care about needing to play somebody.

Bell running behind an improved offensive line will make the world of difference (his 3.2 yards per carry will drastically improve), but Frank Gore‘s presence means a lot. La’Mical Perine’s presence will also hurt Bell’s 2020 output.

Also, Bell’s the type of runner who needs time with his offensive line. His patience demands it, and yet again, Bell arrives at the party with a brand-new unit.

If he’s there in the fifth or sixth round, go for it and hope for the best.

Breshad Perriman

  • Average ADP: 168
  • 2019 Stats: 14 games, 645 yards, 6 touchdowns, 36 receptions
  • Jet X 2020 prediction: 12 games, 770 yards, 5 touchdowns, 53 receptions

Breshad Perriman is the most “boom or bust” Jets fantasy football player this season. The former Buccaneer’s talent cannot be questioned. His ceiling surpasses Robby Anderson‘s, but his unreliability also surpasses the former fan-favorite from Temple.

Go ahead and snag Perriman late in drafts; it’s worthwhile. Just do not count on him. Snag him as your WR5 and hope for health.

Denzel Mims

  • Average ADP: 176
  • 2019 Stats: N/A
  • Jet X 2020 prediction: 13 games, 723 yards, 6 touchdowns, 58 receptions

Much like Perriman, young Denzel Mims must stay healthy. Missing most of camp (if not all of camp team sessions), the rookie has his work cut out for him this season.

Rookie receivers usually have a tough go at it in year No. 1, so do not jump at the chance for Mims before it’s time. In dynasty leagues, sure, go for it.

Jamison Crowder

  • Average ADP: 125
  • 2019 Stats: 16 games, 833 yards, 6 touchdowns, 78 receptions
  • Jet X 2020 prediction: 15 games, 803 yards, 7 touchdowns, 84 receptions

Jamison Crowder remains the Jets’ top fantasy option. Perriman would surpass him in 2020 if he played all 16 games, but Crowder is the safe bet.

Go ahead and select Crowder as a potential WR3 where appropriate.

Chris Herndon

  • Average ADP: 172
  • 2019 Stats: 1 game, 7 yards, 1 reception
  • Jet X 2020 prediction: 15 games, 612 yards, 3 touchdowns, 51 receptions

Of all the Jets offensive players, Chris Herndon might be the best value at the moment. Ranked as the 23rd tight end at the moment (via Fantasy Pros), the young tight end should have no problem destroying those expectations.

He just needs to stay healthy.

If you wait on tight end, scoop up Herndon late.

New York Jets, Jets X-Factor

The Others

The wild-card on offense is Braxton Berrios. This kid is good. His tremendous route-running helps everybody offensively, which means Berrios will have at least one nice stretch during the season.

Stay away from both Frank Gore and La’Mical Perine. The former will help in spots while the latter may have a bright future ahead of him, but in 2020, forget about it.

Special Teams/DST

Sam Kicking Ficken as your fantasy football kicker? No shot. In terms of the Jets as your defensive/special teams unit, perhaps that’s not a terrible idea. Then again, Jamal Adams is gone. Stay away from that option and let them prove it first.


For those diehards who play IDPs (individual defensive players), there are a few Jets player to keep an eye on:

If Quinnen Williams busts out in 2020, he’ll be one of the hotter IDPs to scoop up over the first quarter of the season. Marcus Maye, the new strong safety, might be worth the time in a pinch if you need a safety during a bye week. Add Jordan Jenkins only when he’s facing a bad offensive line and the matchup is there.

***ADPs courtesy of Fantasy Pros.

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