Santonio Holmes to Jets: Fantasy Ripples
Remember, value machine shows the up or down shift of a player's value relative to where his own value was before the move. A down arrow next to a player's name doesn't necessarily mean he's worse than a player with an up arrow. This is all relative to each individual's value (here's a good way to think about it: if I had said before last season, "the Lions will be better and the Titans will be worse," I would have been correct. But I never said the Lions will be better than the Titans, did I? Got it? Good.)
Let's start with the man himself.
Santonio Holmes - While I do think the Jets will pass a bit more this coming season, the fact remains they are still a running-and-defense team. They only attempted 393 passes last season. The next lowest mark for any team was 441. The Steelers attempted 536. So there simply won't be nearly as many chances for Holmes to get in the mix. Also, we now know he'll be suspended for the first four games. You aren't getting even in the same ballpark of 79 catches and 1,248 yards (his '09 figures) in 2010.
Braylon Edwards - Braylon will have had an entire offseason to train with the Jets, and he's already familiar with the offense after his partial season with them in 2009. Throw in Holmes to take attention away from him, and I'm loving the chances for a big season.
Mark Sanchez - Sanchez was going to naturally improve with experience anyway, but he has now been to the AFC Championship and should have even more a swagger. Let us not neglect the fact that he has a stellar offensive line and running game, and now he's getting another very solid weapon in the passing attack -- even if that guy has to miss four games. Sanchez is a nice sleeper in deep or multiple-QB leagues. Of course, let's not get carried away. As I said above, the Jets are still a run-and-defense group.
Shonn Greene, LaDainian Tomlinson - Adding another weapon in the passing attack only helps to possibly take attention away from the box.
Dustin Keller - Again, the middle should be much more opened up with Edwards and Holmes on the outside. Keller will be the beneficiary.
Jerricho Cotchery - If someone has a chance to get lost in the mix, it's Cotchery. He'll likely slide into the slot, and I'm not sure how much the Jets offense will even provide consistent chances for someone there -- regardless of how talented Cotchery is. The good news is that Cotchery will probably have four games to stuff the stat-box before Holmes makes his entrance. Thus, this down arrow is only slight.
Ben Roethlisberger - He was probably due for a downturn in production anyway, considering he shattered his previous career high in yards. There are many reason to still believe in Big Ben as a QB1 -- and I do -- but losing a 1,200-yard wideout never helps anyone.
Hines Ward - I'm on the fence here, because Ward does stand to see a sizable uptick in both targets and defensive attention. It all depends upon how much he has left in the tank. I do slot him as a respectable WR2.
Mike Wallace - I'm convinced this man is the reason the Steelers were fine with letting Holmes walk for someone so minuscule as a fifth-rounder. This team has been content to let WRs walk before and simply plugged in someone they thought was up to the task. Wallace is next in line. He caught 39 balls for 756 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie. I fully expect a 1,000 yard season in 2010 -- and he'll be consistent, too -- as Wallace ends up being a great value pick in all fantasy formats.
Rashard Mendenhall - The Steelers need to rely more on the run this coming season, and subtracting Holmes from the mix is even more reason to do so. Mendy will be the bell-cow and produce like a low-end first-rounder.
Heath Miller - It feels like the middle won't be near as open for Miller, as teams will look to stack up against the run and won't be as distracted by the presence of Holmes on the outside. He will still be a valuable outlet for Roethlisberger and this downgrade is only a small one.