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New York Jets Fantasies: Week 8 Start/Sit

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The 4-3 New York Jets visit the 5-2 Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday at 4:05 PM. In terms of fantasy, this game will be even more important than usual, due to multiple teams on a bye this week. Before we get into who should start/sit let's breakdown the target distribution of the Jets receivers and backs over the last three games.

Player Targets Receptions Yards TD
Stephen Hill 15 6 84 0
Jeremy Kerley 23 15 184 2
Clyde Gates 8 6 39 0
David Nelson 10 7 100 0
Jeff Cumberland 16 10 179 1
Bilal Powell 7 4 29 0
Chris Ivory 2 1 -2 0
Mike Goodson 3 2 19 0

*Gates and Goodson played in 2 out of the 3 games, both are out for remainder of season

Running Back Carry Distribution:

Player Carries Yards TD
Bilal Powell 24 74 0
Chris Ivory 42 147 0
Mike Goodson 7 61 0
Tommy Bohanon 6 21 0

*Goodson played in 2 out of the 3 games

Ok so what can we take from all this? With the absence of Santonio Holmes and Kellen Winslow, it seems that Jeff Cumberland and Jeremy Kerley have stepped up in their absence. The stats also reveal that Smith is targeting Kerley much more than Hill, could this be due to trust or based on the opposing defensive schemes ? Probably a product of both.

The RB distribution seems to be game plan oriented. In Atlanta, Powell, Ivory, and Goodson were being heavily rotated which threw the Falcons D off. Powell was leading in carries up until last week when he saw 3 compared to Ivory's 34. The Jets clearly knew the Patriots D was vulnerable to runs up the middle which is why Ivory  saw so many carries, and Bohanon had an uptick in carries as well. Powell was not hurt but should see a normal usage against the Bengals dominant front seven.

Start: QB Geno Smith, RB Chris Ivory/Bilal Powell, WR Jeremy Kerley, TE Jeff Cumberland, Jets D/ST, K Nick Folk

Sit: WR Stephen Hill/David Nelson, Santonio Holmes

As mentioned in my WW article earlier this week the Benglas D is ranked in the middle against both the pass and run. Geno Smith will no doubt have some trouble against this front seven and DC Mike Zimmer will try to confuse the rookie QB much like Steeler DC Dick Lebeau. Smith is still a bye week fill in however as he is starting to run the ball more, and in most fantasy leagues rushing counts for more than passing. Both Ivory and Powell are startable, just keep expectations low on Ivory, duplicating last weeks effort will be hard against this D. If you have both I would start Powell over Ivory based on the fact that screens and dump offs will be used much more to neutralize the Bengals front four. If you are a Kerley owner then you start him. The Benglas top CB Leon Hall is out for the season and it appears as though Santonio Holmes will not be available on Sunday. So Kerley will be the focus of the passing game and will help bail out Smith on 3rd down and will continue to get RZ looks. Cumberland is another player benefiting from Holmes absence, and is a suitable bye week fill in. Hill is hit or miss, and it appears that Smith looks for Kerley more than Hill. The Jets D/ST gets a huge boost from the addition of Josh Cribbs, and they will also be riding high over last week's defeat of Tom Brady and the Patriots. Nick Folk is a perfect 15-15 on FG attempts this year. What more can you say about the guy? He's consistent and that's all you can ask for in fantasy.