2022 AFC East Preview: Fantasy Football Outlook, Sleepers, and Busts

Dustin Ludke breaks down the AFC East from a fantasy football perspective.

2021 Review


Points per Game 18.2 28th
Offensive Snaps 1036 28th
2021 Record 4-13 28th
2022 Vegas Win Projection 5.5 T-29th


It was not the season that rookie coach Robert Saleh and rookie quarterback Zach Wilson wanted. Wilson struggled his first five weeks. He had nine interceptions and only four touchdowns. There was hope that the early bye week would allow for some growth but then Wilson got hurt and missed the next five games. It was a major bump in the development of the rookie QB, but there were signs of what is to come. Over the last seven games of the season, Wilson had five touchdowns and only two interceptions.

The Jets spent the 2022 off-season continuing to build the team around Wilson. They added tight ends C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin. They drafted RB Breece Hall and WR Garrett Wilson to give Zach Wilson more weapons. They also bulked up their defense to hopefully keep them in games where they can maintain their game plan. It’s a fantasy latent roster with second-year players Elijah Moore and Michael Carter still around to produce. It seems to be a make-or-break year for both Wilson and Saleh. They are in a tough division and even tougher conference so they will need to have some key wins to be in the playoff hunt later in the season. Most analysts would say that another losing season might signal the end of the tenure for Saleh and possibly have the Jets taking a quarterback in what projects to be a deep draft class.


Passing Game


Passing Yards per Game 208.3 20th
Passing Touchdowns per Game 1.2 T-20th
Pass Attempts per Game 35.5 13th


Can Wilson make the leap? We are looking at both Zach and Garrett with that question.  That will be the key piece for the passing game for the Jets in 2022. The Jets passed the ball 63.3% of the time which was third in the NFL. I don’t think that was the plan for the Jets going into the season but as a result of them trailing in most games. Zach Wilson will need to take a step forward in his completion percentage and keep the mistakes down. They added in Garrett Wilson who was a top wideout in the draft and should pair well with sophomore Elijah Moore. The Jets have 199 vacated targets–mainly from Jamison Crowder singing with the Bills. There should be plenty of targets for both Wilson and the duo of free-agent tight ends in C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin.

I see the total pass attempts coming down this year from 2021, so someone might be losing out. Moore only played in eleven games and still had 77 targets so can he continue that seven targets per game average? There are still plenty of other pass-catching options on the team. The Jets still have Corey Davis, Braxton Berrios, and Denzel Mims. This isn’t to ignore the strong running back room, which should also be fighting for targets. Garrett Wilson making the leap to the NFL and being able to command targets will be the big shift in the offense. If he does and commands the WR1 targets, then others will suffer–mainly Moore. If he can’t, then Moore will continue to be the WR1 and his value will be worth it. All of this is, of course, contingent on Zach Wilson taking the next step and keeping his interceptions down while raising his touchdown numbers. Can Wilson make the leap? Only time will tell.


Running Game


Rushing Yard per Game 98.1 25th
Rushing Touchdowns per Game .08 T-17th
Rushing Plays per Game 22.4 32nd


The rushing attack in New Jersey looks to have a major change this season. Drafting Breece Hall, who was considered the top RB in the draft, shows the Jets want to run the ball. It would seem that they would want to rush the ball more than 36.7% of the time. In 2021, Michael Carter got 147 carries in 14 games as a rookie. Most people expect Breece Hall to slide into that role. It’s only a ten carries a game average, which isn’t great, but if the running game can be more consistent this year that number could jump closer to 15. If Hall takes the lead spot, then Carter should slide into the RB2 spot on the team. That role was filled by Tevin Coleman last season who currently is still on the team. Coleman had 84 carries in eleven games. He failed to reach the end zone which lead to players like Ty Johnson and Austin Walter getting carries. Those two players combined for 87 carries. While Walter is no longer on the team, both Coleman and Johnson are currently still on the roster heading into training camp.

It seems like Hall is the only running back who projects to be fantasy-relevant, but Carter will be a change of pace back and could see some of the pass-catching work. The team does use multiple backs and isn’t as bad as the 49ers with their rotation but it’s close. It makes sense considering head coach Robert Saleh came from the 49ers, granted as their defensive coordinator.




Tyler Conklin, TE

The Jets are surrounding Zach Wilson with weapons. They signed both C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin in the off-season. I think Conklin is the one who has the most upside. As much as I love Uzomah, he just hasn’t produced in his career. Last season Conklin saw 87 targets with the Vikings. Uzomah only saw 63 on the Bengals. Conklin could easily take all the vacated targets in the Jets’ offense. The Jets tight end group of Tyler Croft and Ryan Griffin combined for 77 targets. Even if Zach Wilson stays the same as he was in 2021 that’s a good number of targets for Conklin to see. Uzomah is the much bigger body and probably more of a red zone threat but also a blocker. Conklin will probably be in the streaming category for tight ends due to his lack of touchdown upside but still a volume guy worth watching.


Deep Sleeper


Braxton Berrios, WR

Everyone talks about Hunter Renfrow in Las Vegas as the poor man’s Cooper Kupp. I will say that Braxton Berrios fits the bill. Last year, Berrios had six games with double-digit fantasy points. He had four the year before. He has sneaky upside heading into his fifth year. He has been a guy who can put up decent weeks. He projects to be the fourth wide receiver on the depth chart to open the season but his role in the slot means he could get on the field more than others like Corey Davis. He doesn’t have the every-week upside that makes him a must-have, but he could easily be a best-ball type player or a big name on waiver wire adds if there is an injury in front of him


Bust Candidate


Elijah Moore, WR

I asked earlier if Wilson can make the leap. I’m down on Zach Wilson being much better than he was in 2021. He projects to me as a 20 touchdown, 15 interception type quarterback who is in the bottom third of NFL starters. I do think that Garrett Wilson can be an impact player. I don’t think he has the Justin Jefferson or Ja’Marr Chase-type upside because of the quarterback play, but I think he eats enough into the total targets to make Elijah Moore a bust. He is being drafted as a high-end wide receiver two with wide receiver one upside depending on Zach’s progression. There is a world where the converse happens: Zach does leap and Garrett does not which would point to Moore being a very solid player with huge upside. I just see that being a lower probability though.



Feature image by Michael Packard (@CollectingPack on Twitter) / Photography by Joshua Sarner, Fred Kfoury III, Andrew Bershaw & Ken Murray / Icon Sportswire

One response to “2022 AFC East Preview: Fantasy Football Outlook, Sleepers, and Busts”

  1. Joseph Thayres says:

    Your AFC writer, Dustin Ludke has clearly been at this for a while. His in-depth perspective of each position and how it affects the whole is outstanding! I hope to read much more from him in the future.

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