I’m guessing some receiver on the Jets will prove to be a good fantasy value. Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, Terrelle Pryor and Quincy Enunwa weren’t coveted draft picks entering the league (at least not as wide receivers) but all have shown some potential.
Anderson played particularly well last year, with 941 yards and 7 TDs. His touchdowns came from an average of 37 yards, 2nd-most in the league behind Tyreek Hill. So I think it’s reasonable and fair that he should be the first Jets receiver chosen.
But the others aren’t chopped liver. Enunwa missed last season with a neck injury, but he was very effective two years ago, catching 58 passes for 857 yards and 4 TDs (for a bad team). The Jets like him enough that they tendered him at the 2nd-round level, guaranteeing him at least $2.9 million this year. That’s $1 million more than the Bears were willing to tender Cameron Meredith (inviting the Saints to come in and make a bid). The Jets didn’t want to risk losing Enunwa, so they went with the higher amount, which also would have guaranteed them a second-round pick as compensation if he signed elsewhere.
And Kearse was pretty effective last year, with 65 catches for 810 yards and 5 TDs. He’s got a pretty big contract ($5 million this year), so it wouldn’t surprise me if they chopped Kearse in August if they like what they’re seeing from their many other receivers.
Pryor is a wild card. He’s got off-the-charts physical skills and was shockingly productive two years ago in Cleveland, catching 77 passes for 1,007 yards, with 5 TDs. Those are amazing numbers for a one-win team.
Pryor wasn’t as effective last year (after signing with Washington) and ended up missing most of the season after suffering an ankle injury. I’m not sure how much of the decline should be contributed to Pryor and how much should be assigned to how they were using him or him and Kirk Cousins simply not being on the same page. I remember Pryor making an insane one-handed catch in practice last August. Like Odell Beckham, he practices one-handed receptions extensively during workouts.
An article in the New York Post says Pryor has undergone a second ankle surgery and missed all of the offseason workouts. Brian Costello says Pryor has been in a walking boot, with Todd Bowles uncertain if he’ll be 100 percent when camp opens. Pryor says he’ll be ready.
Costello says that right now, he considers Pryor to be the team’s 14th-best veteran player.
“I struggled with where to place Pryor,” Costello writes. “If he is right, he could be a top-10 player for the Jets. If he is not, he might have zero impact for this team. There is a wide range of possibility for Pryor’s effectiveness. He is confident he will return to his old form this year.”
The Jets probably will have Sam Darnold starting for most of the year. That’s less than ideal. But Darnold did tend to throw plenty of downfield balls at Southern Cal; he doesn’t seem to be wired to settle for the safe, short check-down balls. That might combo well with some of these receivers, particularly Anderson and Pryor.
In the last two years, 52 wide receivers have had a season with over 800 receiving yards. The Jets are the only team currently holding the rights to four of those 52 receivers. (On the chart below, you’re seeing only the best season for each guy – I’m not listing guys like Antonio Brown and Julio Jones twice.)
|MOST YARDS FOR WIDE RECEIVERS (last two years)|
|2017||Antonio Brown, Pitt.||101||1,533||15.2||9|
|2016||T.Y. Hilton, Ind.||91||1,448||15.9||6|
|2017||Julio Jones, Atl.||88||1,444||16.4||3|
|2017||Keenan Allen, LAC||102||1,393||13.7||7|
|2017||DeAndre Hopkins, Hou.||96||1,378||14.4||13|
|2016||Odell Beckham Jr., NYG||101||1,367||13.5||10|
|2016||Mike Evans, T.B.||96||1,321||13.8||12|
|2017||Adam Thielen, Minn.||91||1,276||14.0||4|
|2016||Jordy Nelson, G.B.||97||1,257||13.0||14|
|2017||Michael Thomas, N.O.||104||1,245||12.0||5|
|2017||Tyreek Hill, K.C.||75||1,183||15.8||8|
|2016||Brandin Cooks, N.O.||78||1,173||15.0||8|
|2017||Larry Fitzgerald, Ariz.||109||1,156||10.6||6|
|2016||Amari Cooper, Oak.||83||1,153||13.9||5|
|2016||Jarvis Landry, Mia.||94||1,136||12.1||4|
|2016||Doug Baldwin, Sea.||94||1,128||12.0||7|
|2016||Julian Edelman, N.E.||98||1,106||11.3||3|
|2017||Marvin Jones, Det.||61||1,101||18.0||9|
|2016||Demaryius Thomas, Den.||90||1,083||12.0||5|
|2017||A.J. Green, Cin.||75||1,078||14.4||8|
|2016||Golden Tate, Det.||91||1,077||11.8||4|
|2016||Tyrell Williams, S.D.||69||1,059||15.3||7|
|2016||Pierre Garcon, Wash.||79||1,041||13.2||3|
|2016||Emmanuel Sanders, Den.||79||1,032||13.1||5|
|2016||Mike Wallace, Balt.||72||1,017||14.1||4|
|2016||Terrelle Pryor, Clev.||77||1,007||13.1||5|
|2016||DeSean Jackson, Wash.||56||1,005||17.9||4|
|2016||Michael Crabtree, Oak.||89||1,003||11.3||8|
|2016||Kenny Britt, LAR||68||1,002||14.7||5|
|2016||Davante Adams, G.B.||75||997||13.3||12|
|2017||Marquise Goodwin, S.F.||56||962||17.2||2|
|2016||Rishard Matthews, Tenn.||65||945||14.5||9|
|2016||Kelvin Benjamin, Car.||63||941||14.9||7|
|2017||Robby Anderson, NYJ||63||941||14.9||7|
|2017||JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pitt.||58||917||15.8||8|
|2016||Stefon Diggs, Minn.||84||903||10.8||3|
|2016||Willie Snead, N.O.||72||895||12.4||4|
|2016||Cameron Meredith, Chi.||66||888||13.5||4|
|2016||Allen Robinson, Jac.||73||883||12.1||6|
|2017||Cooper Kupp, LAR||62||869||14.0||5|
|2016||Brandon LaFell, Cin.||64||862||13.5||6|
|2016||Quincy Enunwa, NYJ||58||857||14.8||4|
|2016||Marqise Lee, Jac.||63||851||13.5||4|
|2017||Kenny Stills, Mia.||58||847||14.6||6|
|2016||Jamison Crowder, Wash.||67||847||12.6||8|
|2017||Devin Funchess, Car.||63||840||13.3||8|
|2017||Dez Bryant, Dall.||69||838||12.1||6|
|2016||Cole Beasley, Dall.||75||833||11.1||5|
|2016||Alshon Jeffery, Chi.||52||821||15.8||2|
|2017||Jermaine Kearse, NYJ||65||810||12.5||5|
|2016||Dontrelle Inman, S.D.||58||810||14.0||4|
|2016||Jordan Matthews, Phil.||73||804||11.0||3|