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Fantasy Football Breakouts, Busts, and Locks - New York Jets 2022 Outlook

Elijah Moore - Fantasy Football Rankings, Waiver Wire Pickups, Draft Sleepers

It has been quite some time since the New York Jets had players that were more than fantasy football busts.  And now, in 2022, with a good draft and a decent romp in free agency, there is a glimmer of hope. There are legitimate players who are breakouts and maybe a few who are locks in your fantasy team.

While quarterback Zach Wilson is scoring majestically off the field (could not let it go…damn), the success of the breakout player and the potential lock depends on his ability to show that he has improved from Year One to Year Two ( and not just in his offseason workout…make it stop) and that his 38.7% success rate per pass play (last in the league) or his 55.6% completion rate or his 6.1 yards per pass attempt (30th in the league) have all improved.

 

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BREAKOUT CANDIDATE

Elijah Moore, Wide Receiver

Here is what Matt Harmon has to say about Moore:

“Moore’s 75.2% success rate vs. man coverage puts him in the company of receivers who go on to have a high-end career success and are destined to enjoy a breakout season sooner than later. Moore showed that he could beat press coverage as an outside receiver with a 73.3% success rate (70th percentile)…Players who get open like Elijah Moore just rarely fail. Receivers who know how to beat man, zone, press, and get separation at all levels earn and command volume.  Moore should be no exception.”

High praise indeed. And it is warranted. In Weeks 7-13, Moore was the WR4 in half PPR, scoring an average of 15.2 PPG. For the season, Moore ran only 101 routes. He connected with Wilson on 45.2% of his targets.

In the first three games last season, Moore’s poor play ( Week 1: four targets, one reception, and -3 yards, Week 2: eight targets, four receptions, and 47 yards, and Week 3: six targets, three receptions, and 22 yards) can be attributed to a new head coach, new offensive coordinator, and rookie on rookie. After that, he began to adjust to the pace of the NFL. In Weeks 7-13, Moore was the WR4 in half-PPR leagues, averaging 15.2 fantasy points per game.

Due to injuries, Moore played in only 11 games last season. He finished the season with an 18.6% target share, 79 slot snaps, 20 deep targets, eight red zone targets, and an aDOT of 10.8 (per playerprofiler.com).

Moore’s potential breakout will rely on volume. He is projected to take most of his snaps from the slot position. His familiarity with both the system and the quarterback is helpful to Moore breaking out this season.

 

LOCKS

Garrett Wilson, Wide Receiver

I understand calling a rookie a lock is really “iffy.” Designating a rookie a lock in the New York Jets’ offense run by a second-year quarterback (who struggled in the first year, at least on the field, I know I must stop) is almost absurd.

So, I am not whole-heartedly dying on this hill. But in a shaky offense that last season had the third-highest pass-play percentage (63%), the fifth-highest pass-play rate in non-garbage times, and also ranked seventh in situational-neutral pace, did not have a passing situation they did not like. Now they have a rookie wide receiver who, before he was drafted by the Jets, was considered a top-three rookie fantasy prospect.

There is that nasty narrative about too many mouths to feed. In addition to Moore and Wilson, there is Corey Davis, Braxton Berrios, tight ends C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin, and Denzel Mims. Don’t worry about the running backs, as Wilson only threw to the running back position 67 times last season.

The Jets’ offense was ranked 26th last year. They were 28th in points per game (18.2) and 20th in passing yards per game (208.3).

Wilson is currently drafted as WR47 in standard fantasy leagues and WR49 in PPR leagues. That is not the range where most fantasy locks preside. There is concern that he is in a previously inept Jets offense. There is concern that although talented, he is in competition for targets. And then there is the concern of whether young quarterback Wilson can sustain more than one fantasy-relevant pass catcher. All valid. And all reasons “lock” is a fluid designation here. But if you can get Wilson at his current ADP and the other Wilson can raise his game on the field (as well as he did off the field… the last one, I promise…I’m here all night), then G. Wilson being a lock for your fantasy team doesn’t seem that far off.

 

BUSTS

Breece Hall, Running Back

Again, let’s reiterate a bust does not mean that a person is going to flame out but that your/our expectations will fall below his accomplishments.

Last season, the Jets were a passing team. They ranked 13th on passing attempts per game (35.5) while ranking 32nd in rushing attempts per game (22.4) and having the sixth-fewest rushing yards per game (98.1).  Yes, Hall was drafted to help the Jets improve on their rushing game. Wilson was drafted to help the passing game, and Uzomah and Tyler Conklin are there to help with the passing game.

Hall may simply not have the opportunity to impress us with his rushing skills. And having a quarterback who only passed 67 times in total to his running backs doesn’t seem like something worth counting on to raise Hall’s fantasy ceiling. And then there is the very real possibility of Hall being in a timeshare with Carter. Hall is in a great system for his talents. It is just the volume may not be there to raise his fantasy floor.

The Jets most definitely will be improved. They will field fantasy-relevant players. But they also have the fifth-hardest strength of schedule that will necessitate them relying on Z. Wilson’s arm and their receiving corps to keep them in games.

When dealing with the potential that is the Jets' offense this season, it is natural to be giddy and hopeful. But the truth is this offense will rise and fall under the arm of Zach Wilson. If all goes well, there will be plenty of breakout players to go around…if not, welcome to another year of Jets failure.



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