2016 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Outlook: New York Jets

Last season, you could have drafted Brandon Marshall in Round 5, which turned out to be a great return on your investment (ROI). He finished as the third-highest scoring receiver in PPR leagues.

Eric Decker also offered a great ROI as a ninth-round pick. He finished as the 14th-highest scoring receiver in PPR leagues.

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Heading into 2016, the value of each of these receivers was in question because Ryan Fitzpatrick disputed his contract. At some points during the summer, it seemed like the New York Jets would have to rely on Geno Smith.

But Fitzpatrick signed a one-year deal on July 27, and Fantasy players were once again confident in drafting Marshall and Decker.

Today, I’ll review the outlook for Marshall and Decker in 2016, as well as review the other receivers on the Jets you want to keep an eye on in the 2016 Fantasy Football season.

2016 Fantasy Football Outlook: Brandon Marshall

Marshall has been successful for any team that he was played for. In fact, Marshall has recorded at least 1,000 receiving yards in eight out of 10 seasons in the NFL.

Since Smith was supposed to start last season, though, Fantasy players were obviously skeptical of Marshall’s value in 2015. And some players thought things looked even worse when Smith had his jaw broken and Fitzpatrick would have to fill in.

But Fitzpatrick and Marshall built a rapport, and the 32-year old receiver finished 2015 with the most touchdown receptions (14) of his career. He also had the second-most receiving yards (1,502) of his career.

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Of course, Marshall is going to cost you more this season. He’s currently a second-round pick.

He’s a relatively safe pick considering his numbers from last year, but it’s always important to look at his current situation. Something new for this season is that Marshall is playing at a lighter weight. Marshall reportedly got down to 230 pounds last season even though his average weight was 234-235 for the last five years, but he reported to camp this year at 224.

That isn’t enough of a weight loss to limit Marshall being a physical receiver, but it is enough to potentially help make him quicker.

The only negative thing for Marshall’s production to keep in mind is Fitzpatrick holding out for so long. Fitzpatrick already has a good rapport with Marshall, but”Fitzmagic” may still need time to get fully prepared for the season.

2016 Fantasy Football Outlook: Eric Decker

Every week outside of Week 1, Decker caught at least three passes in every game.

His numbers also resembled the type of production he had in Denver in 2012.

Year Receptions Receiving Yards Touchdowns
2012 85 1,064 13
2015 80 1,027 12

But the one knock on Decker is that he only had one game with 100 or more yards last season. Marshall had 10, so most of Decker’s value was through his touchdowns and the amount of passes he caught.

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He was actually targeted more in the red zone than Marshall, though, turning 28 targets into 10 touchdown catches.

Player Red-Zone Targets Red-Zone Touchdowns
Eric Decker 28 10
Brandon Marshall 25 10

I personally haven’t targeted Decker in any of my drafts because there’s either other wide receivers in Round 5 I think have better upside or good running back values I can’t pass on. Decker was a top-10 receiver from Weeks 7-13, though, so I think he is more valuable in an MFL10 format.

The one benefit to drafting Decker in season long leagues is if Marshall gets sidelined for any reason, you own the best receiver on the Jets.

2016 Fantasy Football Outlook: Devin Smith

Smith was a second-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, who was compared to DeSean Jackson in his NFL Profile. He ran a 4.42 40-yard dash at the 2015 NFL Combine, and his skill set would compliment Marshall and Decker.

But he didn’t see a lot of playing time in his rookie year. He was only on the field for 28% of the offensive snaps, and he posted a 9-115-1 stat line.

Smith tore his ACL in December, and he’s not expected to play in Week 1.

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Third-year receiver Quincy Enunwa should see more playing time when Smith is sidelined. Neither receiver should be drafted in your 2016 Fantasy Football league.

The Bottom Line: Brandon Marshall lost weight this year to try and be quicker, and he has a fair price tag in Round 2. The only thing you have to worry about is Ryan Fitzpatrick getting off to a slow start at the beginning of the season because he missed spending time with the team during his contract dispute. Outside of that, Marshall is a solid pick in Round 2. Eric Decker was a top-15 receiver in Fantasy leagues last year, and he should continue to see plenty of targets in 2016. He’s not as valuable as Marshall, though, and he’s not going to offer your team the same consistency. But as a WR2 or flex option, Fantasy players should be happy with the results he provides.

Up Next: Is Marshawn Lynch Really Retired? 

Categories: 2016 Fantasy Football, 2016 Fantasy Football Wide Receivers, Fantasy Football

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