Sam Darnold 2019 Fantasy Football Profile
This is the 2019 Fantasy Football profile for Sam Darnold. This profile was created on 06/02/2019 and reflects their current value and predicted 2019 fantasy football performance. This profile may be updated if significant changes occur during the pre-season that affects their 2019 fantasy football value. This profile also may be updated periodically throughout the 2019 season, to keep you updated.
Current ADP: 166th Overall, 25th QB
Current Ranking: 27th QB
2018 was a mix of good and bad for Sam Darnold. At time he looked like a rookie as expected, but there he showed flashed of what caused the Jets to draft him at number 3 overall in the NFL draft. He also missed 3 games because of injury. Two of the more promising things to see from the Darnold and the Jets’ offense as 2018 went along were the increased usage of Robby Anderson and the emergence of Chris Herndon at TE. After Darnold returned from injury over the last 4 games of the season Anderson averaged just fewer than 10 targets a game, the other 10 games on the season he average 5.5 a game. Anderson is a big play threat who has the ability to get down field to make big plays and will also draw coverage to open up the rest of the field. Herndon is a promising player who became more involved over the season, in the second half of the year is snap percentage never dropped below 63.6%, with 4 games over 70%. He has a change to finally be the answer that the Jets have been looking for at TE for a long time.
A lot has changed for the Jets this offseason. They have a new coach in Adam Gase who was brought in with the intention of helping Sam Darnold develop. There was the mess with Gase and the GM leading to the departure of the GM. The Jets gave a big contract to Le’Veon Bell after he sat out the 2018 season. Bell is has been an elite pass catcher out of the back field and is upgrade over the combination of Crowell, McGuire, Powell and Cannon who combined for 102 targets in 2018. Collectively the Jets RBs had a 66.7% catch rate with an average of 5.87 yards a target. Bell for his career has a 78.6% catch rate and average 6.7 yards a target. Even without the numbers anyone who watches football can tell you are better off throwing a pass to Bell than to Crowell.
The Jets also added Jamison Crowder and Kelechi Osemele on the offensive side of the ball. Crowder himself is likely not going to be a fantasy relevant player, but even though he has a down 2018 with injuries he is the type of player that will help Darnold extend drives a provide a reliable option with his career catch percentage of 67.2%. Osemele will provide a veteran presence along the Jets’ offensive front.
Outside of Super-Flex and 2QB leagues Darnold is not going to be a target in drafts, but he is an interesting player to monitor in 2019 and will be a streaming candidate in the right match ups. He has the potential to make a jump statistically going into his 2nd season from natural development. Darnold was better for fantasy after returning from injury last season, it is a small sample size but over 4 games he average 16.2 fantasy points a game and was the QB 12 over that span. That span coincides with Robby Anderson seeing more targets, that correlation is the most encouraging part. If he takes a step forward he will be relevant fantasy player, but his proclivity for turnovers gives him a very wide range of outcomes and makes him a risky player. However since he should be on the waiver in redraft, unless you are in a league where everyone holds a 2nd QB for some reason, he is someone I will be watching closely. If he does show signs of a breakout I would look to add him early before you need to spend too much FAAB or a high waiver priority when the rest of your league starts to notice.
A lot of what happens will depend on Adam Gase. He is presented as a coach that is good at working with QBs, but his most notable seasons coaching a QB he has Peyton Manning in Denver, which is more about the player than the coach. He did have one season in Chicago where he was able to get an efficient season out of Jay Cutler which is promising. His time in Miami makes it hard to judge his ability to develop a young QB due to Tannehill’s injury history. 2019 is going to be an important year for both Darnold and Gase.