Fantasy Football Free Agency Preview: New York Jets
Free agency has a major impact on fantasy football. For dynasty team owners it’s never too early to start thinking about how player values could change.
I’m going through each team’s free agency and salary cap as a thought exercise. As an avid dynasty player, knowing how player values could change is key to making good decisions about which players to stash and which to put on the trade block. Once I finish running through the teams, I’ll circle back and do some more player or position-specific analysis.
New York Jets
|PLAYER||POS||TEAM||TYPE||16 SAL||16 GUAR||TEAM CAP|
|TEAM||PLAYER||POS||DEAD $||CAP SAVINGS|
Needs – QB, TE, WR
The Jets may not want Ryan Fitzpatrick to be their quarterback, but cutting or trading him will create $5 million of dead money, without creating any cap space. For a team with negative cap space, that’s going to be tough to do. Still, with Geno Smith a free agent, something needs to be done. Under former offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, the Jets made virtually no use of the tight end position. Whomever the team hires to replace him might want a TE. At wide receiver, Brandon Marshall is probably nearing the end of the line, and Eric Decker will be trying to return from multiple surgeries.
About the only place the Jets are set is at running back, where both Matt Forte and Bilal Powell are solidly under contract. I’d expect both to have similar usage as they had this year, pending an announcement of who their offensive coordinator will be. Until then, the market for these two will be difficult to gauge. I’d hold both if I owned them, but wouldn’t really be trying to acquire them unless it was very cheap.
Things are similar at TE. Austin Seferian-Jenkins may or may not be retained, but as long as he’s on the Jets, and without knowing who the coordinator will be, there’s virtually nothing on which to base any hope for him. Seferian-Jenkins has no value in my opinion.
Let’s talk WR. Marshall had a very poor season by his standards, but he also had a poor season relative to the rest of the Jets pass catchers.
If you’re curious, Bryce Petty had a 2.5 AYA when targeting Marshall, on 24 targets. Cutting or trading Marshall also creates an instant $7.5 million in cap space, which the Jets desperately need. There are a handful of players on defense that can be restructured to create a good amount of cap space, but Marshall is certainly a candidate for release.
Obviously his dynasty value takes a hit due not only to his performance, but his age (33 in March). But how much of a cut? If we assume he leaves the Jets, he could end up in a much better situation. Just imagine Marshall signing with New England, for example.2 In games without Petty, Marshall averaged 13 points per game, which is WR2 territory. There’s absolutely risk that he’s just washed up, so I wouldn’t overpay. But I’d kick the tires and see if you can get him cheaply.
Many of the same things apply to Decker. He’s older, coming off injuries, and probably stuck in New York. But here’s the thing. If we assume Marshall is gone, then Decker should be the Jets WR1 next year, meaning more targets. Because of the injuries and uncertain QB situation, he should come at a discount to his potential healthy production.
So I like both Marshall and Decker for anything outside the first half of the first round. Rookie picks after that range are basically dice rolls anyway. Neither Marshall nor Decker will be a long-term stalwart for your dynasty team, but both could be difference makers for the next season or two.