New York Jets "Spring" forward
It was a quiet Monday in the NFL media world until 4 o'clock EST. That's when news broke that quarterback Sam Darnold was getting traded to the Carolina Panthers.
The news was exactly what New York Jets fans were waiting for. To confirm the rumors that the Jets were decisively going to draft a new franchise quarterback with the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
It's now, no secret that the Jets are in a rebuild scenario under new head coach Robert Saleh. Saleh will have a big decision in drafting one of the four remaining top quarterback prospects (Justin Fields, Zach Wilson,Trey Lance or Mac Jones) assuming of course that Trevor Lawrence is drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
There is a lot of buzz in the fantasy community that the pick will be Zach Wilson from BYU. With exactly 24 days until the NFL Draft only time will tell. In the meantime, What are some of the immediate fantasy implications from the Darnold trade?
First, and foremost Darnold gets to work with a true bell-cow running back in Christian McCaffrey. This ensures that Darnold will not have to do it all by himself in the offense. Darnold finished as QB31 last year under head coach Adam Gase and no better than QB25 since he's been in the league. With McCaffrey in the offense to run and catch passes, the arrows point up for Darnold.
Second, Darnold gets reunited with his former wide receiver Robby Anderson. Anderson in 2018 and 2019 with Darnold under center finished as a top 40 wide receiver in PPR formats recording 102 receptions, 1,531 yards and 11 touchdowns . The two players will continue their strong chemistry and should have a comfortability factor throughout the 2021 season.
Lastly, wide receiver D.J. Moore will help boost Darnold's receptions. Moore has had back to back seasons as a WR2 in PPR formats with at least 66 receptions, 1,175 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns with two different quarterbacks. Look for Darnold to be an upgrade for Moore in head coach Matt Rhule's offense.
These offensive weapons ultimately move the needle up for me on Darnold for fantasy purposes. We actually get to see what he can do without being under the "Gase Curse". At the moment he still has to compete with veteran quarterback Teddy Bridgewater for the starting role but, there is plenty of time to see what happens in Carolina as we move further into the 2021 season.
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