To know which New York Jets wide receiver that St. Louis Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan is preparing to take away on Sunday is to know which wideout is New York’s No. 1 option. After three straight games with five or more receptions, Jeremy Kerley might be that man—but he hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 3.
We may not know until Sunday whether Finnegan will be tasked with taking Kerley out of the game, but it’s hard to trust any Jets wide receiver in fantasy football. Stephen Hill was blanked (on two targets) in Week 10 against the Seattle Seahawks and their massive cornerback tandem.
Richard Sherman is 6’3”, 195 pounds. Brandon Browner is 6’4”, 221 pounds. St. Louis has a couple of corners that should prevent Hill (6’4”, 215) from being a big size mismatch: rookie Trumaine Johnson (6’2”, 204) and Bradley Fletcher (6’0”, 200).
The Rams permitted New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski to have a big game (eight catches, 146 yards, two touchdowns) in Week 8, but fantasy owners should temper their expectations for Dustin Keller in Week 11. He has caught 17 passes for 207 yards and a score in his last three games—but the Rams have kept talents like Vernon Davis and Jermichael Finley out of the end zone.
Gronkowski’s game is the single biggest reason that the Rams are, on average, a favorable fantasy defense for tight ends.
In two games against the NFC West this season, Mark Sanchez has zero total fantasy points in ESPN standard-scoring leagues. He’s thrown for 227 yards and zero touchdowns to go with two interceptions and two fumbles.
He’s a must-sit.
Shonn Greene could find the end zone, however, as the Rams have given up three rushing touchdowns to running backs in their last two games. St. Louis has also allowed 5.5 yards per carry to the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers.
Because Sanchez has committed multiple turnovers in six of his last seven games, the Rams D/ST is a useful unit in Week 11—as is St. Louis’ running back, Steven Jackson.
After receiving 29 carries against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 10, Jackson may finally be getting revved up, and New York’s defense has been getting gashed by running backs all year. It has only stopped opposing running backs from topping 100 rushing yards and a touchdown, as a position group, twice this season.
Daryl Richardson has received seven or more carries in each of the Rams’ last five games and boasts a high yards-per-carry average (5.7), making him a decent sleeper in Week 11. A big game for Richardson’s fantasy purposes, however, would likely come in the form of a touchdown—something that he has not yet had in the NFL.
St. Louis should lean on its running game, making Sam Bradford—and the Rams receiving corps—less-than-ideal fantasy starts in Week 11. Danny Amendola should still be a presence, especially in PPR formats, but the rest of Bradford’s targets are not as consistent as he is.
New York’s defense is not a strong fantasy play against the Rams, who have totaled three turnovers in their last three games at home.
Follow Jamal on Twitter: Follow @StatManJ.