Fantasy Football Week 6: New York Jets Receiver Jeremy Kerley Is a Must-Start

Adam WaksmanCorrespondent IIIOctober 11, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 30:  Jeremy Kerley #11 of the New York Jets tries to break tackle of  Patrick Willis #52 of the San Francisco 49ers  during a game at MetLife Stadium on September 30, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

It is debatable whether or not New York Jets wide receiver Jeremy Kerley can still be considered a sleeper. Regardless, he is as underrated as they come in the fantasy football world.

The New York Jets have suffered a historically bad wave of injuries to their receiving corps. This includes injuries to wide receivers Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill and Clyde Gates. It also includes the hamstring injury to starting tight end receptions leader Dustin Keller.

To make things worse, the Jets do not have a decent pass-catching running back. The result is that Kerley is the only starting-caliber player left on the Jets offense who can catch a pass. He is also a punt returner who has already returned one for a touchdown earlier this season. And to top things off, he is sometimes used as a Wildcat back and is capable of throwing the football out of that formation.

The result of all this is that Kerley—a fifth-round draft pick in 2011—is now a fantasy dream. He is quarterback Mark Sanchez's only viable target, and he gets his hands on the ball in multiple ways. Even against a very tough Houston Texans defense, he caught five balls on nine targets for 94 yards.

Against a much weaker Indianapolis Colts defense, better numbers are to be expected. One issue the Colts defense has is that none of the team's defensive linemen get their hands up to bat balls. As a team, the Colts have only batted three balls all season.

Sanchez is below average at finding throwing lanes, but if the lanes are already there for him, he can throw slant passes to Kerley all day.

If you are pessimistic, expect Kerley to be targeted at least 10 times for upwards of 100 yards. An optimist could predict much more.

If Kerley is available as a free agent, he is a steal. If he is already sitting on your bench, start him. He is a No. 1 quality fantasy receiver this week.


Adam Waksman is a featured columnist for the Bleacher Report New York Jets community. Be sure to follow Adam on Twitter to receive updates right away.