The New York Jets have their fair share of question marks at the wide receiver position. They lost speedster Robby Anderson in free agency, the team’s leader in receiving touchdowns over the last three seasons. Intriguing rookie Denzel Mims is expected to miss a month-plus following core muscle surgery. Breshad Perriman has been lauded as their big offseason addition, yet has never recorded more than 36 receptions in a single season.
Safe to say there’s an abundance of targets available in New York, and it appears Jets wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson knows just the guy ready to man the majority of them.
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Jamison Crowder to Top 90 Receptions?
Not only does Jefferson appear to believe it’s possible, he sounds quite adamant about the prospect.
“He should make the jump to 90-plus catches,” Jefferson said of Crowder on Thursday, per USA Today. “I can tell you that.”
Crowder has never previously reached the milestone over his five NFL seasons. With that said, he enjoyed a career year in his inaugural season with the Jets. Crowder saw 122 targets come his way in 2019, hauling in a career-high 78 receptions. His 833 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns both rank second-most over his career.
With the aforementioned Robby Anderson now out of town, there is an additional 96 targets for the taking in New York. That spells good news for Crowder who averaged an impressive 8.5 targets over eight of his final nine games to close out 2019.
Over that time span (Week 9 through Week 17) Crowder firmly cemented himself as a high-end WR2 in PPR-scoring formats, ranking as the 14th-highest scoring player at the position, ahead of names such as DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones, Tyreek Hill and Chris Godwin.
Cris Herndon Working Himself into TE1 Range?
Crowder isn’t the only pass-catcher turning heads in New York. However, don’t take my word for it, take Crowder’s.
“The major X-factor in my opinion is having Chris Herndon back,” Crowder said of the tight end. “He’ll have a huge impact.”
Herndon was a big-time fantasy sleeper this time one year ago on the heels of an impressive 39 reception, 502 receiving yard rookie campaign. However, a four-game suspension and a fractured rib essentially wiped his 2019 campaign clean, appearing in just one game all year.
Now healthy, Crowder sees big things from the young pass-catcher, even drawing comparisons to his former Washington teammate Jordan Reed, who when healthy was one of the league’s very best at his position.
“When I was in Washington, we had a really good tight end in Jordan Reed. I see some of those similar traits in Chris Herndon — a bigger guy that can move like a smaller guy,” Crowder stated. “He has good hands. He’s good after the catch. He can open up the middle for a guy like myself.”
It’s no secret quarterback Sam Darnold likes to utilize his tight ends, especially with the question marks outside. Last season Ryan Griffin ranked as TE6 in fantasy from Week 6 through Week 13, right in front of 49ers superstar George Kittle.
Griffin should continue to see red zone usage this coming season, but Herndon’s upside trumps Griffin’s exponentially.
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