2018 New York Jets IDP: Change My Mind!
Three of the four teams in the AFC East ranked in the bottom half of the NFL in team defense in 2017, and all put a decent amount of draft capital and/or free agency money into their defense, with the hopes of changing those rankings.
Everyone talked about the Teddy Bridgewater signing in free agency, though by year end I’d expect the best signing the team made in free agency will have been either Avery Williamson (came over from Tennessee), Trumaine Johnson (from the Rams) or Kevin Minter (from the Bengals).
Williamson is a tackling machine, racking up 92, 104 and 102 the last three seasons to go with 3, 2 and 3.5 sacks each of those seasons. Last year with LA, Johnson had 57 tackles and 2 interceptions, one being for a touchdown, I’d expect to see those numbers dip a bit but he could still be close as the Jets defense is on the rise. Minter, on the other hand, was a bit miscast in Cincinnati’s 4-3 as he made a name for himself in Arizona’s 3-4 the first 3 years he was in the league. Minter’s flying under the radar mostly because of injuries zapping much of his 2017, though 2015 and 2016 he was injury free and produced solid but not spectacular numbers for the Cardinals.
On this team, IDP wise Jamal Adams is the name to get, typically regarded as a top-10 IDP S/DB, I’ve seen him go as high as the 2.04 in IDP drafts. 63 tackles, 2 sacks, a forced fumble and 2 fumble recoveries will cause people to get excited, especially when those are numbers from a rookie at a tough position getting picked on by some of the best in the game! Outside of Adams, the Jets secondary doesn’t have a lot I’m excited about other than Marcus Maye. The 2nd rounder taken in 2017 looked comfortable and produced nicely as a rookie so I’d jump on him as well, though not look at him as anything more than a rotational guy until I see a little more from him.
This team will continue in the 3-4 scheme, so there will be some value for probably 3 linebackers on this team in Avery Williamson, Darron Lee and either Jordan Jenkins/Lorenzo Mauldin (you slip minter in this group if an injury occurs). Demario Davis left in free agency for New Orleans which he racked up 97 solo tackles, you have to imagine Williamson slips into a similar role as he is a beast and stays healthy year in and out (has not missed time since 2015). Mauldin is a sneaky player, who if he returns from his back injury healthy could continue to ascend on this defense as a rotational outside backer who racked up 6.5 sacks in his 1st 26 games.
On the D-line, I’ve taken a flyer on Leonard Williams as he continues to see the highest snap counts of the lineman, hoping that we see more numbers closer to 2016 where he had 7 sacks and 36 tackles, which aren’t amazing give him the chance to be a bye week rotational IDP player. I’d keep an eye on Xavier Cooper & Henry Anderson, Anderson came over from Indy and should slide into the other starting role but I haven’t seen him produce anything in his 3 seasons so I’d steer clear until further notice. Outside of Williams, I don’t touch 3-4 Nose Tackles as they are supposed to be space-eaters and that doesn’t tend to produce fantasy relevance.
Good Luck building those IDP squads, feel free to comment if you want to change my mind!