NY Jets WR Garrett Wilson could be the breakout fantasy star of 2023

The second-year wideout is primed for a big year with Aaron Rodgers under center
NY Jets, Garrett Wilson
NY Jets, Garrett Wilson / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

Garrett Wilson, man. The NY Jets haven’t had a player this exciting in a hot minute. Peak Darrelle Revis might have him beat. Brandon Marshall was elite for like, six weeks. But other than those guys, I'm hard-pressed to find another New York Jet who’s got me as fired up as G-Dub.

He’s a cross between Justin Jefferson and a cheetah. He’s like if Usain Bolt had a kid with a rocket ship. Wilson’s combination of elite elusiveness (see this ridiculous 43-yard gain against Miami) and top-class ball skills saw the Ohio State product rack up over 1,100 receiving yards and four touchdowns in his rookie season, all while catching passes from Zach Wilson, Mike White, Chris Streveler, and an 85-year-old Joe Flacco.

Now he’s got a real quarterback, a quarterback with two MVP trophies, a Super Bowl ring, and a mind purified by raw, Ecuadorian ayahuasca. 2023 could be the year of Garrett Wilson.

Wilson’s impact on the Jets' offense will no doubt be immense, but right now, I want to approach his sophomore season from a strictly fantasy football perspective.

I also acknowledge that I’m coming at this from a bit of a biased lens as a pretty big Jets fan myself (a season anywhere close to Justin Jefferson’s 2022 campaign would be a resounding success — Jjettas crossed with a cheetah is a little aspirational).

But I do genuinely believe that Wilson will have a superstar 2023 fantasy season beyond my own personal attachment to the wideout, and the numbers back it up.

NY Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson has a much-improved QB situation

Let's start with the quarterback situation. Wilson finished as the WR21 in his rookie campaign despite the absolute dumpster fire that was the 2022 New York Jets quarterback room.

Zach Wilson and Co. placed dead last in the NFL in completion percentage at 56.9% and second-to-last in passing touchdowns with 15. But what those numbers don't really illustrate is just how epically bad Zach Wilson was last season.

I'm still in the minority who believe that the former BYU star could still have a successful professional career, but man, was he bad last year. In the nine games Garrett Wilson played with the 2021 second-overall pick under center, he mustered just 34 catches, 447 yards, and no touchdowns, tied for Parris Campbell as the WR51.

In the other eight with Mike White and Joe Flacco, he caught 49 passes for 656 yards and four touchdowns, good enough to be the WR9. All Garrett Wilson needed to be a top-10 fantasy wideout was a below-average quarterback.

Yes, there are questions to be raised about just how good Aaron Rodgers will be next season. 2022 was an objective down year for the four-time MVP by all metrics, and his deep-ball numbers (highlighted here by NFL analyst Warren Sharp) were among the worst in the league.

But if Aaron Rodgers can just be average, Garrett Wilson could be in for an awesome sophomore campaign.

A key metric where Wilson can improve in 2023 is his production in the red zone. The 2022 Jets were the second-worst team in the NFL in the red zone last season, scoring touchdowns in just 43% of their trips inside the 20-yard line.

Wilson was targeted a total of 19 times inside the red zone — good for ninth in the league — yet he only managed to score four touchdowns. Rodgers threw for 26 touchdowns last year without a wideout with half of Wilson's talent.

There's no doubt in my mind that Garrett Wilson will get into the endzone more than four times this season, and I don't think that double-digit touchdowns are out of the realm of possibility.