In the midst of the Free Agent Frenzy and chaos that ensued this week, there was a minor move that has major Fantasy Football impact.
No, the Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham, Jr. trades don’t count as minor…
Jamison Crowder, a Wide Receiver formerly of the Washington Redskins, signed with the New York Jets.
Jets are giving WR Jamison Crowder a 3-year, $28.5 million deal that includes $17 million guaranteed, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 11, 2019
The Jets’ mission this offseason was to surround their young quarterback, Sam Darnold, with weapons. After bringing in offensive-minded Head Coach, Adam Gase, it was all about improving the surrounding cast to make life easier on Darnold.
The Jets added Le’Veon Bell, of course, but Crowder is the one signing that’s going under the radar and needs to be talked about.
Crowder Dominates Out Of The Slot
In his time in Washington, Crowder was a constant sleeper candidate year after year due to his opportunity and potential target volume out of the slot. Slot receivers in the NFL are typically known for the ability to get open with their quickness and shiftiness to provide a quick outlet for a Quarterback under duress.
Crowder provided that over and over again in his time in Washington.
Stat nugget on Jamison Crowder: Of his 221 career catches, 150 have come out of the slot — 13th most in the NFL over the past four seasons, according to @ESPNStatsInfo. #Jets
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) March 11, 2019
He’s going to develop into one of Darnold’s favorite targets and a security blanket in the middle of the field. However, there’s one major factor that can lead to success in New York for Crowder.
Crowder Steps Into The Jarvis Landry Role
Adam Gase was the Miami Dolphins Head Coach from 2016-2018. During that time, he had a Wide Receiver by the name of Jarvis Landry that excelled out of the slot and was a huge part of that offense.
In the two years Gase and Landry were together, Landry averaged 146 targets per year. In a PPR format, this equates to fantasy gold.
If you take Landry’s target average and drop it into the 2018 season, it would’ve equated to the 12th most targeted wide receiver in the league. He would have only been behind players like Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, Michael Thomas, Adam Thielen, Zach Ertz, etc.
The above players dominated this season for fantasy football. Their individual talent certainly has something to do with that, but volume is key in fantasy football.
Now, Crowder will step into that role in Gase’s offense and receive more targets than he will know what to do with…
Although he’ll receive incredible target volume in Gase’s offense, it’s important to note that Crowder’s not well known for his RAC (Run After Catch) ability. His game is modeled after making the clutch catches in tight windows and moving the chains. He’s not going to break off a slant and take it 80 yards to the house…
With that being said though, Gase no doubt had a hand in bringing Crowder to the Jets and presumably has big plans for his involvement in the offense next season.
Crowder Has An Injury History
The only concern with Crowder, and why he hasn’t become as well known of a fantasy asset previously, is that he’s seemingly always battling some sort of injury.
He played in 15 games in 2017, but was battling injuries during that time and fought through to play regardless. The same situation happened in 2018, but he only ended up playing in 9 games.
Staying on the field is going to be Crowder’s biggest obstacle to overcome this season. But if he can, he’s going to be dangerous and a fantasy force to be reckoned with on receptions alone.
Because of his injury history, you may be able to get him for cheap from a league mate in a Dynasty league. As for Redraft leagues, Crowder’s current ADP (Average Draft Position) is outside the Top 67 WR’s according to Fantasy Football Calculator.
That will rise come draft season, but I still expect you’re going to be able to get him late in drafts.
Don’t sleep on Crowder in 2019.