For a second consecutive year, a rookie wide receiver is turning heads for the New York Jets. Where does Garrett Wilson‘s breakout performance project his rest-of-season fantasy stock?
In March of 2021, the Jets signed Corey Davis, a 2017 fifth-overall pick who had just enjoyed his best statistical and fantasy season in 2020, and talk began of Davis’ potential to fill the WR1 role in New York.
A month later, they drafted Elijah Moore, who lit up midway through his rookie year, which fueled the fire of his hype train heading into this past offseason.
And then, New York drafted Garrett Wilson this past April, and the path to production for the Jets’ top three receivers got murky.
WHAT DOES WILSON’S WEEK 2 PERFORMANCE MEAN?
Elijah Moore stans had good reason to be stans after an exciting rookie year, but two games see him third in targets among Jets receivers.
Wilson out-targeted Davis and Moore combined 14-to-9 on the way to an eight-catch, 102-yard day with two touchdowns in Week 2 against the Browns.
Could Wilson have established himself as the Jets’ alpha-WR this early?
Wilson was third in snap count (43) compared to Davis (55) and Moore (66), and the Browns defense didn’t treat him as an alpha, with top cornerback Denzel Ward primarily tracking Davis.
The performance merits an uptick in snaps but is not a guarantee. If it does happen, it will almost certainly merit an uptick in defensive attention as well.
Also noteworthy are Garrett’s numbers relative to where he lined up on the field. He earned just 1.06 yards-per-route-run on a 22% target share in the slot, compared to an absurd 5.19 YPRR on a 63% (10 of 16) share lined out wide. Not only is that anomalous in nature, but future defensive coordinators will undoubtedly look to neutralize those numbers.
THE TALENT IS THERE, BUT GREAT RESULTS ARE NOT YET A GIVEN
In a very short time, Wilson has shown an excellent ability to gain separation at the professional level, which was arguably his best trait coming out of Ohio State. But, there are still enough question marks in a now-crowded WR room that make calling him a locked-in starting fantasy WR possible, but risky.
Let’s see how defenses adapt. Then, let’s see how the Jets offense adjusts — especially with Zach Wilson returning in the near future. If he’s still on the waiver wire in your league, there’s no justification for him being there after this week.
Continue to follow Wolf’s Big Board And Rankings, updated weekly, for clarity on New York’s next rising receiver.