The quarterback play for the New York Jets in recent years has made fans yearn for the good ol’ days of Ryan Fitzmagic. But a new pack leader named Aaron Rodgers is captaining the flight out of East Rutherford, and he’s calling for a smooth landing for his No. 1 receiver, Garrett Wilson.
The sophomore receiver is currently a first-round dynasty startup pick and a top-20 pick in redraft.
Believe it or not, Wilson still isn’t going high enough. Let’s break it down.
Garrett Wilson 2023 Fantasy Football Outlook
Wilson’s rookie season didn’t fly under the radar. The 2022 first-round pick won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award on the back of over 1,100 receiving yards on 83 receptions.
But if you dig deeper, it’s clear that Wilson’s rookie season was only the tip of the iceberg.
Wilson caught just four touchdowns last season. He was one of six receivers in the NFL who recorded 100+ targets but didn’t exceed five touchdowns. The Jets receiver was seventh in targets (147) but sat tied for 46th in touchdowns.
Garrett Wilson's 81.2% Success Rate vs Press is one reason he's a True Alpha WR, but there's a lot more to his spectacular rookie season.
📍Success vs Press: 81.2% (94th Percentile)
📍Success Rate vs Man: 74.5% (79th Percentile)
📍 Elite Speed: 40-t = 4.38 (94th Percentile)… pic.twitter.com/URZTXZBKCz
— Snoog’s Dynasty Society (@FFSnoog) June 15, 2023
That doesn’t even cover how due Wilson is for positive regression. Of the 13 receivers who recorded 140+ targets, only Diontae Johnson and Michael Pittman had four or fewer touchdowns. Both had fewer targets than Wilson.
Aaron Rodgers comes into town after a down year where he threw 26 touchdowns. No Jet QB has thrown for more than that since Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2015. Three Jets QBs combined for just 15 passing touchdowns last year, with New York ranking 31st in passing touchdowns.
The Jets’ offensive scheme in 2022 resembled something between dog poo and vomit. It was probably worse to be around in person, but it was tough enough to look at.
Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur was let go, with Nathaniel Hackett walking in to replace him after a historically bad head coaching stint in Denver.
Hackett, who spent 2019-2021 with the Green Bay Packers and Rodgers, saw the Packers legend win two MVPs in that span. Jet fans will hope Rodgers can claim a fifth career MVP accolade with the Gang Green.
It seems like a foregone conclusion that the Jets will feature an offensive system resembling the Packers far more than Hackett’s Broncos. Short of the results on the field. However, there isn’t that much of a difference.
Green Bay in 2021: 17th in rushing attempts, 15th in passing attempts.
Denver in 2022: 18th in rushing attempts, 16th in passing attempts.
The difference comes with who played under center. Russell Wilson’s play fell off a cliff in 2022, which puts it mildly. His turnovers and inability to score impeded the entire offense. The injury to Javonte Williams did not help matters, either.
Green Bay in 2021: 10th in points, 7th in yards.
Denver in 2022: 27th in points, 15th in yards.
The Packers also finished no worse than second-best in GVA, which calculates interceptions and turnover rates. Rodgers’ ability to protect the ball should help the scheme function as it has in past years.
Of course, 2021 was an MVP-caliber year for Rodgers. He did not play that way in 2022 — notably without Davante Adams — but the Jets are clearly counting on a bounce-back season from the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback.
Alphas will eat. And Wilson has already established he’s hungry for work.
Wilson had the second-most targets by a rookie ever in 2022, only behind Anquan Boldin in 2002. He commanded just under a 25% target share and nearly a 32% share of the team’s red-zone targets.
The team traded away disgruntled receiver Elijah Moore and signed Allen Lazard to a contract worthy of a starting receiver. The former Packers receiver may have a strong connection with Rodgers, but it’s never equated to much more than a secondary option. Lazard never exceeded 600 yards in a season while Adams was on the team. Make no mistake, Wilson will command a similar workload.
Garrett Wilson is just so good. pic.twitter.com/jPw4od5CgA
— 𝙅𝙀𝙏𝙎 𝙈𝙀𝘿𝙄𝘼🛫 (@NYJets_Media) June 10, 2023
Corey Davis is surprisingly still on the roster, but he shouldn’t factor into anything overly significant. The same is true of a soon-to-be 33-year-old Randall Cobb.
Rodgers saw Adams finish inside the top five in targets in 2020 and 2022, and the receiver would have in 2019 if he didn’t miss four games due to injury. While Adams is one of the best receivers of the last decade, Wilson has already shown he can be the target hog Rodgers has been happy to feed in the past.
Wilson is the WR8 in PPR and WR10 in half-PPR, going off the board 12th and 17th, respectively, overall, according to FantasyPros ADP.
So no, this isn’t a diamond in the rough. He’s the crown jewel in that engagement ring you just need to buy for your special squad.
Wilson finished as the PPR WR21 in his rookie season. He had six games of 15 or more fantasy points but also had eight games where he failed to record double-digit fantasy points.
He’s commonly going in the back of the first round of startup dynasty drafts.
Positive touchdown isn’t the only reason why Wilson will smash into the top tier of fantasy receivers.
The upgrade from Zach Wilson to Aaron Rodgers cannot be understated. The Jets receiver, who turns 23 in July, caught just 83 of his 147 targets. Of the 22 receivers who recorded 1,000 receiving yards in 2022, only Davante Adams had a worse catch rate (55.6%) than Wilson (56.5%).
That’s not on either Adams or Wilson. It’s on the terrible quarterback play both had to deal with. Wilson was sixth in unrealized air yards (837) and an unbelievable 90th in target accuracy, according to PlayerProfiler. His true catch rate — which throws out uncatchable targets — was 88.3%, 28th in the league.
Garrett Wilson was on pace for the WR8 in games with Mike White and Joe Flacco
Just imagine what he can do in his 2nd year with Aaron Rodgers at QB
— Alex Caruso (@AlexCaruso) June 15, 2023
If Rodgers can simply provide accurate passes, Wilson will easily exceed 100+ receptions in his sophomore season. Factor in his 13.3 yards per reception with the additional 17 receptions to last year’s stat line, and Wilson would’ve had an additional 40 fantasy points in PPR leagues.
That would’ve made him the WR9, which, again, is somewhat close to his floor. That doesn’t even factor in the inevitable positive touchdown regression that comes with a player of his target share.
Rodgers may be the MVP coming to town, but Wilson could have the best offensive season for the Jets in 2023.
A Look Inside the New York Jets
Editor’s Note: We don’t want to leave you hanging on the rest of the team. While Michael focused on Garrett Wilson in fantasy football, here is a quick look at the other fantasy-relevant Jets by Josh Hudson.
A “down” season still saw Rodgers with 26 TD passes. He has a true number-one receiver, complimentary pieces he has familiarity with, and a solid running game. If the turnovers get cleaned up — his 12 INTs last season was the first time he’d thrown double-digit INTs since 2010 — he’s a low-end QB1 option and a must-start in Superflex/2-QB leagues.
A torn ACL has people a little worried about Hall’s outlook for 2023. Recent ACL injuries to J.K. Dobbins and Saquon Barkley lend some credence, but when you dive a little deeper, you’ll see Hall’s injury isn’t like theirs. Hall can do it all and is primed for an RB1 season. To the moon!
Right now, Carter is the RB2 behind Hall. He’s a solid pass catcher but works best as a change-of-pace back. He’s a handcuff at best, even in Nathaniel Hackett’s offense, where multiple RBs will see work. But if Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon are the comparisons, Carter will end up the odd man out of this committee.
The rookie out of Pitt has some juice and is likely to see some early season work as Breece Hall gets back up to speed from his ACL tear. And it could just be a matter of time before Abanikanda usurps the RB2 role from the less-explosive Carter. But until then, he’s nothing more than a late-round flier or waiver-wire fodder.
I need rich and powerful friends in my life that always make sure I’m taken care of. Lazard had no business signing a contract worth $11 million a season, but alas, here we are. He can be a steady contributor behind an elite WR1, and he’s averaged 5 TD receptions over the last four seasons. Lazard will have some productive weeks, but you’re ultimately looking at a top-50 season with only a couple of weeks of startability.
Davis has been a major disappointment since coming over from the Titans in 2021. And now he’s, at best, the WR3 on the team. His fantasy value is in the toilet unless your team provides points for the number of snaps a player run blocks.
Conklin has been a fantasy flash in the pan the last couple of seasons, parlaying his 2021 breakout into a free-agent contract with the Jets in 2022. He has back-to-back seasons with 87 targets, and his current ADP on Underdog is TE28. Some like the price based on what he’s done the last two years, but if you think back to how TEs perform in derivations of this offense, it’s all (lots of touchdowns) or nothing. The TE1 has seen 60, 59, 33, and 55 targets with Hackett as the offensive coordinator or play caller. Unless Conklin has a spike in TDs (he’s never scored more than three in a season), best to just leave him on waivers.
We will be covering every team this offseason. So check back here often for all of our A Look Inside articles.