While NFL fans get ready for training camp, we will examine the top fantasy football picks for the New York Jets this season. This is the third of a five part series.
The 2017 offseason has not been that kind to Jets fans who have seen many long time dependable veterans released. For fantasy football fanatics, that includes many players that were counted on to produce in fantasy drafts. Gone are Brandon Marshall, Nick Folk, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Eric Decker. What players on the current Jets roster do fantasy experts predict will be someone they can depend on? Let’s take a look.
Player: Bilal Powell – RB
Despite not having much of a career at Louisville in this first three years, Powell made a name for himself in his senior season. Powell ran for 1,405 yards in his senior season, surpassing his total for the prior three years combined and posting the third highest single-season total in school history.
The Jets selected Powell with the 126th pick in the fourth round of the 2011 draft. After playing in just two games his rookie season and rushing for just 21 yards, Powell has been a regular part of the Jets backfield rotation since. In 2013 Powell really established himself, finishing second on the team with 697 rushing yards and leading the team in total yards from scrimmage with 969.
Despite his strong showing in 2013, Powell struggled to get consistent playing time the next two seasons, combining for just 454 rushing yards on 103 carries.
2016 Fantasy Value – Powell had a breakout season last year for the Jets, setting career-highs in rushing yards (722) yards per carry (5.5), receptions (58) and total yards from scrimmage (1,110). He finished the season with 139 fantasy points on the season, good enough for 16th among RB.
Powell’s fantasy value really skyrocketed over the final four weeks of the season when he got the majority of the playing time. In those weeks Powell ran for 411 yards posting both his 100 yard games on the season, and totaling 70 fantasy points and ranking second in the NFL for RB over that span.
2017 Projection – Most fantasy experts have Powell as someone that should be counted on to contribute in a big way this season. Going back to his final four games of 2016, Powell averaged 18.3 fantasy points. Only seven other players posted more fantasy points than he did and six of them were QB (only Le’Veon Bell had more fantasy points for RB).
Powell should split time with Matt Forte again this season, but if with Forte’s age (32) and Powell proving he can handle the bulk of the offense, look for Powell to produce big time for the Jets this season. He’s a solid No. 3 Fantasy running back to target with a mid- to late-round pick, with his value higher in PPR.
Mark Kelly covers the New York Jets for ProFootballSpot.com. You can follow him on twitter @CkmagicSports. Looking for more Jets news and features? Like our Jets Facebook page and also follow @spot_jets on Twitter.