Casual fantasy football owners might see the New York Jets’ signing of WR Breshad Perriman and shrug it off. His four-year career totals (95-1561-11) look like one good season by a real stud like Michael Thomas or DeAndre Hopkins. And it’s not like the Jets are world beaters on offense either, right? In 2019, they had the 29th-ranked passing offense (194.4 passing yards per game) and QB Sam Darnold threw a measly 19 passing touchdowns. Aaron Jones and Christian McCaffrey tied for the league-lead with 19 touchdowns last year. So again, the casual fantasy owner sees this signing headline and shrugs their shoulders and walks away.
The devil is always in the details!
Perriman, many moons ago, was a late first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. While many players are drafted for their NFL-readiness, it was clear that Perriman was still honing the fine details. He was an athletic specimen, though, running a 4.35 40-yard dash at that year’s combine.
Perriman went to UCF, a small school that faced weak competition. He probably came out a year too early but after posting 50-1044-9 in his junior year, Perriman had established himself as a big-play, down-the-field threat. Keep in mind, this is a 6-foot-3, 215-pound grown man we’re talking about running a 4.35.
Unfortunately for Perriman, he was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens during the steep decline of Joe Flacco. Nobody was doing much with him under center, so I’m willing to mildly discount the fact that Perriman had an exceptionally disappointing first two years of his career.
The problem is that his third season was forgettable after being released by Baltimore and bouncing to Washington for less than a week before finding a home in Cleveland. He was the WR4 there in 2018 behind veteran Jarvis Landry, promising up-and-comer Antonio Callaway and the still-being-groomed Rashard Higgins.
In 2019, he signed a one-year, $4 million deal with Tampa Bay. What exactly did he do to merit a one-year contract with the Jets worth $8 million with $6 million guaranteed? Let’s talk about it.
Perriman’s Fantasy Impact
In the final five games of his 2019 tenure in Tampa Bay, Perriman was targeted 37 times for 25 receptions for 506 yards and 5 touchdowns. That’s almost half his career stats in a five-game span. Now to be fair to the context of the situation, Mike Evans missed the final three games and Chris Godwin did not play in the final two games last year. But that also does show that even against an opponent’s top corner, Perriman was still coming down with numbers.
So was this a flash in the pan? Will lightning strike twice? Perriman’s draft price is low enough that I have no problem finding out. He’s a complete afterthought who will likely go undrafted or as a very late-round flier.
Right now, the Jets have Jamison Crowder and he’s been more of a slot or possession receiver so he’ll get the underneath work with his 10.7 yards-per-catch last season. New York also signed Josh Doctson last month, who still has a lot to prove to say the least. Did you know he was on the Vikings last year? Finally, Quincy Enunwa is still on the depth chart, but he’s been battling a neck injury and it’s been four years since he had his one productive NFL season back in 2016. This is all to say the Jets don’t have anything of note on the WR depth chart. You could say the same thing about Perriman’s talent, but you just can’t dismiss a productive player in this game and that’s what he was to close out the final weeks of 2019.
Even if you’re a total skeptic about Perriman, which I am and you have every right to be given his anemic career up until Week 13 of 2019, he is a no-brainer deep sleeper for this upcoming season. Assuming the Jets are marginally better on offense, what’ve you got to lose? I’ll gladly take a forgotten WR1 on a meh team! Let’s say he steps right into the Robby Anderson role, who is now in Carolina. That gives Perriman a 55-850-6 stat line based on what Anderson has done for the Jets over the last few years.
Jets reporter Kristian Dyer agrees, saying the expectations for Perriman will be similar to what Anderson had, but that the Jets may not be done adding to that wide receiver group:
"While the signing of Perriman bolsters their wide receivers room, the Jets likely will still invest in a target come Day 2 of the NFL Draft."
As for Perriman, you could do a lot worse with the last pick in your fantasy draft.
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