Friday Fantasy Focus
FLORHAM PARK, NJ — First off, I’d like to apologize for missing out on last week’s edition. The thing is, I didn’t even do anything else. I was just being lazy. I slept in, had a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios in bed while watching Sportscenter. Then I caught up on my DVR, went to the gym and before I know it the story of was completely behind me.
It’s inexcusable, really. I should be ashamed of myself. It was unprofessional. I’m a sorry excuse of a productive human.
Self-loathing at it’s finest, folks.
And while I really wasn’t that hard on myself (I had an awesome time.), it serves a purpose as we hit Week 5 in our fantasy leagues. A slow 1-3 start can really put a damper on the high hopes that the draft brings. Don’t let a few bad plays cut your dreams of hoisting fantasy gold at the end of the season. The goal is still within arm’s reach. At the quarter-mark of the season, don’t get down on yourself for the level of play. There’s a still a long way to go.
Moving on to the mega match-up between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets this weekend. It’s going to be a feast for fantasy owners of many players in this game. Let’s take a look at this weeks’ fantasy studs and duds.
- Stevan Ridley, RB, Patriots – The rookie running back has steadily been gaining speed as the Patriots have been gaining confidence in their first-round pick. In his last three games his carries have increased from 2 to 6 to 10, and he’s taken advantage of it; averaging 4.5, 7.0 and 9.7 yards per carry. The Jets are the 23rd ranked fantasy defense against running backs giving up an average 117.3 yards and 1.3 TDs, according to Yahoo! Sports. With Danny Woodhead listed as doubtful with an ankle injury, he could be the offensive x-factor.
- Plaxico Burress, WR, Jets — I’ve been hot and cold on Plax, but this week — if the offense does anything — it will be with his help. Devin McCourty will be covering Santonio Holmes for most of the game and with Leigh Bodden (groin) and Ras-I Dowling (hip) listed as questionable it will be the 5′10″ Hofstra alum Kyle Arrington covering the 6′5″ Burress. He’s still the Jets premier redzone option, they just have to get their first.
- Mark Sanchez, QB, Jets — I know, I know. He’s looked awful in the last two weeks. But Sanchez always seems to up his play for the Patriots. He’s thrown more TDs against New England than any other NFL. And against the 32nd ranked passing defense, he should be able to find holes in their secondary. According to Yahoo! Sports, the Patriots are the second-worst fantasy defense against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of 376.8 yards per game in the air.
- Deion Branch, WR, Patriots — There are plenty of options on this team, so there’s always guys who will get left out from week to week. This is two straight weeks that Branch has been absent from the action. Now that Aaron Hernandez (knee) seems likely to play this week expect the action to back to the tight ends. POTENTIAL PICK-UPS: Preston Parker, TB; Victor Cruz, NYG; Pierre Garcon, IND.
- Shonn Greene, RB, Jets — I know Nick Mangold will be back come Sunday, magically dispelling the Jets of all their running woes. Saying they’re rededicating themselves to the run game and producing are two different things. They are still going to have to deal with a stout Patriots defensive front that will feature Albert Haynesworth and Vince Wilfork. POTENTIAL PICK-UPS: Ryan Torain, WAS; Michael Bush, OAK; Isaac Redman, PIT.