The New York Jets had an iffy quarterback situation entering this season, but Mark Sanchez’s shoulder injury opened the door for Geno Smith to take the starting job and he started all 16 games as a rookie as the Jets defied the preseason odds and finished 8-8. Smith finished with 3,046 passing yards and 12 passing touchdowns, along with 366 rushing yards and a team-leading six touchdowns on the ground, though turnovers were an issue with 21 interceptions and four lost fumbles.
Smith finished the season solidly, with 76 fantasy points (ESPN scoring) over the final four games of the season and zero interceptions in the final two games. But his production was inconsistent all season, with five games where he had 20 or more fantasy fantasy points (two from Week 14-Week 17) and six games with four or fewer fantasy points (including Week 11-Week 13).
Smith has not automatically been anointed as the Jets’ starting quarterback for next season by general manager John Idzik, so it can be assumed some competition will be added during the offseason with Sanchez expected to be released and Matt Simms the only other quarterback on the roster. What does that mean for Smith’s fantasy outlook for 2014?
Running backs Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell combined for over 1,500 rushing yards this season, but the Jets’ pass offense was 31st in the league (183.3 yards per game) and they allowed 47 sacks (tied for sixth-most in the league). Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley led the team in receptions (43) and receiving yards (523) despite missing four games, and with Santonio Holmes looking certain to be released adding a wide receiver in free agency should be at the top of Idzik’s offseason to-do list.
It would be a big surprise if Smith is not under center for the Jets come Week 1 next season, and the fact he took care of the ball better late in the season (two turnovers over the final four games) lends some hope for better consistency next season. His running ability is an added bonus for fantasy owners that will not go away in 2014, and if the Jets add at least one proven veteran wide receiver Smith would be worth drafting as a QB2 with upside in 12-team leagues.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.