As you may have heard, the New York Jets visit Gillete Stadium to take on the New England Patriots. Since it’s a Thursday game I will be analyzing the fantasy values of both the Jets and the Patriots in this post.
Weather Forecast for Foxborough, Mass.: 66 degrees, SSW at 14 mph, 80 % Thunderstorms
New York Jets:
Start: TE Kellen Winslow, WR Stephen Hill, K Nick Folk, Jets D/ST
QB Geno Smith played fairly well for his first game as a pro. It became apparent that his security blanket was going to be TE Kellen Winslow. When Smith left the pocket, it was Winslow who was able to get open and bail his rookie QB out. Winslow finished with 7 catches for 79 yds. and a TD. Those are starter worthy stats in fantasy and anytime a TE scores a TD, that is fantasy gold. If you are stuck at TE and need to plug someone in, I would recommend picking Winslow up. He is a veteran, finds ways to get open, and already has the trust of his QB. WR Stephen Hill had 6 catches for 39 yards in last weeks game. While these are not stats worthy of starting in fantasy, Hill is showing marked improvement from last year. The Patriots game plan may be to shut down the running game and force Smith to beat them through the air. This may create opportunities for Smith to get open downfield and catch a couple of deep passes and maybe get in the end zone. A forecast like the one posted above usually favors the defense. I think the Jets D will be able to get after Brady and force a turnover or two. I do not expect this to be a high scoring game as the Patriots are without some of their key weapons on offense. A kickoff return or punt return may be the difference in this game.
Sleeper: TE Jeff Cumberland The Patriot's Defense may look to lock down on TE Kellen Winslow, seeing as he is Geno Smith's go to guy. This could create opportunities for Jeff Cumberland to make some noise. If you are in a larger league and the pickings are slim, Cumberland could deliver for your team.
SIT: RB Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell; WR Santonio Holmes
The running game was nonexistent last week, as the Buccaneers held Powell and Ivory to 22 carries for 44 yards. I expect the running game to struggle again this week as Belichick will no doubt force Geno Smith to beat him with his arm. Santonio Holmes saw limited action last week and recorded one catch for 13 yards. He will see in increase in snaps this week but keep him on the bench till he proves he is back to 100%.
Jet Injuries: WR Jeremey Kerley-Out(Concussion)
QB Mark Sanchez- Out(Shoulder)
DE Quinton Coples-Out(Ankle)
New England Patriots
Start: QB Tom Brady, RB Stevan Ridley, WR Julian Edelman, Patriots D/ST
While I don’t think Brady is going to light up the Jets D, I do expect he will put up decent numbers. He could be without TE Rob Gronkowski, Zach Sudfield and WR Danny Amendola. RB Shane Vereen was placed on the short term IR earlier this week so he will also not play. This leaves WR Julian Edelman and Kenbrell Thompkins to pick up the slack. I expect Cromartie to blanket Thompkins, rendering him useless. Who will be covering Edelman? Kyle Wilson, Dee Milliner, or Isiah Trufant ? Last season Turfant did an excellent job covering Wes Welker and held him to 6 catches for 66 yards. If Wilson is covering Edelman, then expect Edelman to put up WR2 numbers and is worthy of starting. RB Stevan Ridley will see a lot more touches than last week. He was benched after fumbling and never returned to the game. Now that RB Shane Vereen is out and Brandon Bolden doubtful to play, Ridley will get a lot of work. The Jets D did a great job bottling up RB Doug Martin last week, but Ridley will still put up RB2 numbers based on the volume of work he will get. We all know how opportunistic the Patriots D can be. I’m sure Belichick will throw a variety of looks at Geno Smith to confuse him. Between that and the weather it could force Smith to make a few mistakes. There have also been some suggestions that NT Vince Wilfork will be lining up across from G Vlad Ducasse. If this is true expect Smith to get sacked a few times.
SIT: WR Kenbrell Thompkins, TE Michael Hoomanawanui
Patriot Injuries: TE Rob Gronkowski-Doubtful(Back)
WR Danny Amendola- Doubtful(Groin)
RB Shane Vereen – Out(Wrist)