3-Point Stance: Powell, Decker only reliable fantasy options for rudderless Jets
A fantasy playoff hero, Bilal Powell burst onto the scene from Weeks 14-17 last year. Heading into this season, what’s his ceiling with Matt Forte approximately Betty White’s age and given the Jets’ overall shortcomings?
Liz – The words “burst” and “Bilal Powell” don’t belong in the same sentence. Yes, he was fed the ball at the end of last season as the Jets 2016 campaign devolved, but that doesn’t mean he’s suddenly usurped Forte’s RB1 status. In fact, it’s telling that Forte was “saved” down the stretch as the team’s playoff hopes evaporated.
The offense is likely to change under John Morton, but NYJ’s OC is a former receivers coach and WR himself. That might mean more for Powell in the passing game, but Forte can catch out of the backfield, as can rookie Elijah McGuire. And while Forte is of an advanced age for the position (31), Powell will be 29 before Halloween.
If anything, this looks to be a full blown platoon, not a windfall for Powell. I’d anticipate 10-12 total touches per game, resulting in a 900(ish) combined yards and 5 TDs. His value is, obviously, enhanced via PPR formats.
Brad – Similar to Pierce Brosnan in the James Bond series, Powell is a terribly underrated. Last year, he showcased his three-down wares once thrust into a featured role Week 14 finishing with the second-most valuable line during the fantasy playoffs (5.0 ypc, 138.0 total yards per game, 3 TDs). Digging deeper, he also compiled 14 missed tackles and a 3.2 YAC over that four-game span.
Overall, “Boom Boom” is a better-than-advertised runner between the pipes, a fantastic receiver and slippery in the open field. Among RBs, he ranked No. 14 in juke rate last season. Forte, meanwhile, checked in at No. 56 in the category and was one of the worst qualifying backs in yards after contact per touch (No. 61). Nearly three years Forte’s junior and with 2,067 fewer career touches under his belt, Powell packs more across-the-board punch.
My best guess is Morton installs a 60-40 platoon Week 1 with Powell shouldering the heavy side (14-15 touches per game). Essentially, Powell should provide owners with significant versatility and value, particularly in PPR leagues. The Jets’ suspect defense enhances his garbage time appeal.
Scrawl it in cement, Powell, going around pick No. 88 (RB30) in early drafts, churns out a top-20 RB return this year.
Eric Decker missed the majority of 2016 with a labrum injury. All signs point to him entering training camp at full strength though trade rumors continue to swirl. OVER or UNDER final WR rank (.5 PPR) this fall 24.5 (OVER = Outside the top-24; UNDER = inside the top-24)?
Brad – UNDER. Geno Smith. Michael Vick. Ryan Fitzpatrick. In terms of accuracy, Decker has been served several (expletive) sandwiches in his Jets career. Josh McCown isn’t Joe Namath — he completed a hideous 54.5 percent of his attempts last season with the Browns — but he’s at least serviceable. Without much competition for catches, the wideout could rediscover his red-zone crushing ways (38.2 red-zone TGT% in ’15).
Assuming Decker doesn’t miss a game, it’s entirely reasonable he registers a line around 75-1000-9. At his 84.2 ADP (WR43), he’s one of my favorite values at the position.
Liz – Just OVER. Decker is at his most productive when he’s the No. 2 option. I like Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa’s potential, but they won’t scare defenses the way Brandon Marshall did. At 30 years old and entering his eighth professional campaign, there’s only so much damage Decker can do. Pencil me in for a 70-850-5 stat line.
Looking at the rest of the roster, it’s largely scrap material. Dumpster dive and list one player who could provide some fantasy serviceability.
Liz – ROBBY ANDERSON. After the Jets’ Week 11 bye, the Temple product led the receiving corps in targets, scoring twice over a six game span. Despite going undrafted, the 6-foot-3 and 190-pound receiver has an impressive athletic profile, possessing 4.4 speed and an impressive catch radius.
He’s far from refined, but with Marshall joining the G-Men, Anderson is the team’s best available outside receiver. Enunwa has size, but as a TE/WR hybrid he’s likely to spend a good number of snaps blocking. And while the Jets did add two rookie receivers in the draft, they’ll both need time to develop. Anderson could surprise this season, and his activity throughout camp should be monitored closely.
This could all change depending on what comes out of a report that Anderson was arrested in Florida over the weekend.
Brad – QUINCY ENUNWA. Again, it’s important to emphasis the Jets’ defensive efficiencies. The addition of rookies Jalen Adams and Marcus Mayes should upgrade a pass defense that struggled mightily last year, but many questions persist. If the D is again vulnerable, all wide receivers stand to benefit.
Enunwa enters his Age 25 season off a respectable 2016. Over 16 games he amassed a 58-857-4 output on 102 targets. He also impressively slotted inside the top-12 in contested catch rate. Decker’s return complicates Enunwa’s role near the goal-line, but with the attention the No. 1 draws, he could see an uptick in workload. If all the pieces fall into place, he could peak at 65-900-6.