Jets Insider’s Friday Fantasy Focus

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — No, unfortunately the Flight Crew is not a part of this fantasy. But the Flight Men are! (Sorry).

I can’t believe this hasn’t been done before! Well, there’s a first time for everything I suppose. Starting today, every Friday will be devoted to helping fantasy owners make all the tough decisions heading into the weekend. Want to know the inside scoop on which injured player’s practiced during the week? Which stud player will be shut down? Who’s due for a break out game? And which team’s statistically doomed come kick off? Be sure to check out JetsInsider.com Fridays for all things fantasy related.

Of course, the fantasy tidbits will be geared towards the Jets and their opponent for that week. I’m going to be breaking down headlines, what not to read in to, assessing player injuries, evaluating player match-ups and looking over stacks of stats to help you be envied and hated by your friends. Because isn’t that what fantasy football is all about anyway?

The Jets Week 2 match-up features a home battle against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jets are favored by a healthy 9.5 points, but are historically bad against the small-market team (3-6 overall record/2-3 home [1-0 postseason]). The last time these two teams met up (11/15/09’s  24-22 home loss), Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio sent fantasy owners into a frenzy as he memorably ordered running back and fantasy stud Maurice Jones-Drew to take a knee at the one-yard line — the smart football play, but costly to any parlays or PPR leagues — taking away any possible time for the Jets to score.

ATTN FANTASY OWNERS: If TE Dustin Keller is available in your league, grab him this week. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

FANTASY STUDS:

  • Speaking of Jones-Drew (97 rushing yards, 1TD last WK vs. TEN), he is a must start for all leagues. I know, I know. The Jets are a superior run stopping team and the Jags have no other superstar players to give the ball to. MJD is not scarred of the Gang Green (can they be called Gang Green if they wear the blue and gold Titan jerseys?) defense. In that 24-22 victory, MJD had 123 rushing yards and 1 TD, gaining 5.1 yards per carry. And in two games against the Jets he’s fared pretty well, averaging 91 yards, 4.9 YPC and has 3 TDs. He is my Brain Dead Move of the Week.
  • Shonn Greene, RB, Jets — Talk about beating a dead horse. Despite Mark Sanchez attempting a career-high in attempts (44), this is still a ground and pound team. The high total of passing attempts was part of the game-plan. A Ryan defense is stout against the run and Dallas was hurting in the secondary. Expect the Jets to get back to their bread and butter on offense early and often with Greene getting the brunt of the grunt work. It just makes too much sense that an offense that puts as much emphasis on running the ball as the Jets do will have a stud feature back one of these weeks.
  • Dustin Keller, TE, Jets — He, along with LaDanian Tomlinson, is Sanchez’s safety valve. After posting a great Week 1 (5 receptions, 61 yards & 1 TD), Keller ranks seventh in Yahoo! Sports leagues in tight end pick-ups this week (1,766 adds). He’s available in 30% percent of Yahoo! Sports leagues and is not being started by 70% of them. Big mistake. We saw a four-game stretch where Keller showed his fantasy value last year, the Jets just need to utilize him more often. With the possibility of being without Santonio Holmes this week (see below), he will be utilized more. Telling stat: Jaguars were the third worst fantasy defense against TEs, giving up an average of 11.51 points to the position.

FANTASY DUDS:

  • Marcedes Lewis, TE, Jaguars — He’s been listed as ‘doubtful’ all week with a calf injury — meaning he likely has a 25% chance of playing Sunday.(Injury Report Rule of Thumb: Doubtful = 25%, Questionable =50%, Probable = 75%.) He played sparingly last  week against Tennessee (2 receptions, 28 yards) and while the Jets are weak defending a play-making TE (see Witten, Jason: 6 receptions, 110 yards last WK), I don’t see Lewis being healthy enough to produce. Yahoo! Sports fantasy users seem to agree, as he’s the number one TE to be dropped this week (5,426 drops).
  • Mike Thomas, WR, Jaguars — He enjoyed a nice breakout season last year (66 receptions, 820 yards, 5 total TDs [1 PR]). But after the sharp words of his receiving mate, Jason Hill, to All-Pro corner Darrelle Revis, who will be covering Thomas, I wouldn’t expect much of anything from the receiver come Sunday. Click the link to read a statistical breakdown of just how lonely it is on Revis Island. That aside, opposing quarterbacks have been held to a 69.3 passer rating since 2009 — that’s ranks first for NFL defenses during that time. Additionally, opposing QBs have completed just 51.6% of their passes against the Jets — also tops in the league defensively. And who’s the Jaguars quarterback? Luke McCown? Yup. ‘Nuff said.
  • Santonio Holmes, WR, Jets — It won’t be ‘Tone Time on Sunday. There’s still a chance he plays — he’s currently nursing knee and quad injuries. He’s listed as questionable and was limited in practice on Friday. Here’s Ryan on Holmes’ status: “[He] looked good early in the week in practice, but right now [he's] questionable. He did kind of get hurt in practice. It wasn’t a game thing, I don’t believe.” The Jets had a physically and mentally draining game against Dallas and following that up by welcoming an aggressive Jaguars defense to town is not what the doctor ordered before heading out for a grueling three-game road trip. I think he, if anything, sees limited playing time with a lot more balls going to Keller, LT and Plaxico Burress.

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