Can Jermaine Kearse have a repeat performance of last season? Here are some early fantasy football expectations for what he’ll likely do with the New York Jets.
Nine days before the 2017 NFL regular started for the New York Jets, they made a trade with the Seattle Seahawks. They traded away defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson for wide receiver Jermaine Kearse and Seattle’s 2018 second-round pick. Early fantasy football expectations for Kearse were up in the air due to the Jets quarterback situation.
Having such a short amount of time to learn a new playbook, Kearse did not disappoint his new team. He finished the season with 65 receptions, 810 yards, and 5 touchdowns; all career highs. According to the website, FantasyPros.com, Kearse ended the 2017 season as the 26th ranked fantasy receiver, finishing the season with 176 points.
Those numbers could have been a little bit better, but quarterback Josh McCown got hurt in the Week 14 matchup with the Denver Broncos, causing him to miss the remainder of the season. At the time, Kearse was on pace for 68 receptions, 903 yards, and seven touchdowns, which would have given him a total of 200 fantasy points, tying him for 18th.
Will Kearse be able to duplicate those career highs, or maybe even surpass them? I would not count on it, there are questions and factors that say he won’t be able to. Before taking a look at those questions, here are his projected 2018 stats from ESPN, FantasyPros.com, and me.
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The biggest question is who is the Jets starting quarterback going to be? If Sam Darnold wins the job, the Jets will try to be a ground and pound team, not letting their rookie quarterback throw the ball more than 20 to 25 times a game, causing fewer opportunities for receptions.
Another reason for the lower numbers is the return of receiver Quincy Enunwa, no matter how well he can perform, he will be taking away reps from Kearse.
Fantasy football owners who do not look at projections might take a chance on Kearse, solely based on his 2017 stats. But, with him projected to be the 65th or 88th ranked receiver, depending on which set of projections you use, Kearse does not look like a receiver that fantasy owners can rely upon to put up big numbers.
So unless something drastically changes with the Jets, I would advise you to stay away from Kearse. He won’t be worth it in the long run when there will be other viable fantasy options to consider at wide receiver.