NFL Fantasy: Do the New York Jets make Jermaine Kearse draftable?

Kearse moves from third-option in Seattle to New York's potential WR1. How should that affect your NFL fantasy draft board?

Jermaine Kearse has never been a top-notch fantasy wide receiver. His best season was 2015 when he managed 685 yards on 49 receptions and five touchdowns. 98 fantasy points are not something fantasy owners are reaching for. Last season’s WR50 had 98 points. 

Why should we expect any better from Kearse in New York? Maybe we shouldn’t. But since you asked… 

Seahawks offenses

Seattle’s game plan over Kearse’s five seasons was definitely not conducive to massive passing yards. A casual observer may note quarterback Russell Wilson’s fantasy numbers and think it did, but many of his points are accrued with his legs. 

Meanwhile, Doug Baldwin was around to grab the bulk of the receiving yards. Running backs and tight ends took a healthy chunk, too. Kearse’s 2015 season was admirable given all those factors. Last season, he caught a lower percentage of his targets for fewer yards. But that could be ascribed as easily to Russell Wilson’s injury woes and down year as much as any fault with Kearse. This preseason, Kearse caught four of five targets for 79 yards. 

Still, Kearse was more valued as a blocker in Seattle’s run-heavy attack than anything else. He is not a speedy deep threat nor did he consistently provide separation from defenders. When he did catch the ball, he provided first downs 60% of the time and fumbled only once in his five years with Seattle. 

Jets offense?

Now he enters the great unknown that is the New York Jets. He becomes the veteran among a group of first- and second-year wide receivers. The team has jettisoned many of its more senior stars while denying it is tanking the season. They don’t look done with their process as Matt Forte is now rumored to be available for trade. 

Yet, the offense will be led by a grizzled veteran in Josh McCown. The Jets’ attempt to groom Christian Hackenberg into a serviceable passer failed miserably. While it is possible Bryce Petty or even Hackenberg takes over during the season, Kearse has a knowledgeable QB throwing the ball to him for now. 

As with everything about the Jets this preseason, there is no discernible rhyme or reason about how their offense works. Whether they turn into a run-first or pass-first unit remains to be seen. New York fans are wary that the front office made as many of the preseason decisions as any Jets coach did. Whether the coach regains control of things during the regular season could mean the difference between… ahhhh! What am I saying? The Jets will be hard-pressed to win any games all year, especially after giving up a top defender for Kearse. 

The verdict

Don’t touch him in your NFL fantasy draft. This trade was more about getting rid of Sheldon Richardson than it was about obtaining a serviceable receiver. If you feel the need to pick a Jets wideout, go with the guy McCown threw a 53-yard touchdown to in preseason- Robby Anderson.

Even if Kearse emerges as the WR1 of the Jets, his totals are not likely to warrant much fantasy attention. Of course, we could be wrong. Kearse, Anderson or someone else could become a great waiver pickup down the road. 

If it looks like that will be the case, we’ll let you know right here at RealSport. So check back frequently for the latest!  

Will you consider drafting Kearse? If so, why? Discuss in the comments below!

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