Yesterday, I profiled running back, Shonn Greene. Today, it’s time to turn our attention to the outside and evaluate the Jets’ top receiving option, Santonio Holmes. Last season, the Jets rewarded Holmes with a five-year, $45 million contract that includes $15 million in guaranteed money. However, instead of receiving premium production, the Jets got ‘Bad Santonio’.
Bad Santonio hauled in career lows in receptions (51) and receiving yards (654). Holmes’ eight touchdowns were his lone bright spot as he constantly bickered with Mark Sanchez. During the off-season, Holmes and Sanchez worked on their relationship. The Jets can only hope things turn around in 2012. With a full off-season of practice with Mark Sanchez, will Santonio revert back into a reliable fantasy starter?
Despite a career high 26 passing touchdowns, Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes failed to get on the same page. Towards the end of the season, Sanchez stopped looking towards Holmes and focused on Plaxico Burress and Dustin Keller. Unhappy with his role in the offense, Holmes effectively quit and voiced his displeasure with the NY Media. With Burress out of the picture, Holmes should have ample opportunities to improve upon his 2011 numbers.
Can things get any worse for Holmes and Sanchez? Holmes has vowed to work harder this season, but many wonder whether his large contract has gotten into his head. However, Holmes is one of the NFL’s most dangerous threats in the open field. As we’ve seen, Holmes can turn small gains into huge plays by making defenders miss in the open field. If Sanchez can get Holmes involved early on, their confidence will grow.
Character issues aside, the Jets have vowed to revert back to their run heavy tendencies. Offensive coordinator Tony Sparano will want to run early and often–and that doesn’t bode well for Holmes’ fantasy prospects. In addition, the Jets face a daunting early season schedule. If the Jets stumble, Sanchez may be holding the clipboard as Tim Tebow runs the Jet offense. Tebow has shown the ability to get the ball to his play makers, but their production was sporadic on a week-to-week basis. Ultimately, the Jet offense isn’t tailored to Holmes’ strengths and that will ultimately hamstring his 2012 fantasy prospects.
Currently, Holmes is being selected as the 34th wide receiver. To obtain Holmes’ services, owners will have to invest a ninth round pick. Given the violate Sanchez-Holmes dynamic, the Jets ‘ground & pound’ identity, and the looming Tim Tebow factor, it’s difficult to get excited about his fantasy prospects. As WR3/Flex play, Holmes presents a low risk option for fantasy owners. No one will question his ability, but he’s not in an offense that plays to his strengths. I won’t own Holmes on any teams this year.
2012 Projection: 60 catches, 800 yards, 7 TDs