The New York Jets talked a great game during their month-long starring session on HBO’s Hard Knocks. Too bad they did not play a great game last Monday night against the Baltimore Ravens.
While many football fans and experts are chastising the Jets because of their undisciplined penalties, their third-down conversion rates, and their telegraphed blitzes, fantasy football owners are crying about a couple of the offensive players in particular.
Here are three Jets drawing the ire of their fantasy owners and what future weeks might do for their respective values.
Sanchez has done a complete 360. In his rookie season, he was a gunslinger who made Brett Favre look cautious, throwing into double coverage, throwing off his back foot, throwing while he was being dragged down, throwing while he was eating a hot dog, etc. That is why he had 20 interceptions compared to 12 touchdown passes and eventually had to follow a color-code system that was designed to help him make smarter decisions with the football.
After watching Sanchez against Baltimore, it looks like all that instruction about not turning over the football has been learned – a little too much. Sanchez looked downfield about as often as I look at my chunky self in the mirror. He would glance at his primary receiver, then check down to a back, tight end, or receiver that was within a seven-yard radius.
Sanchez went 10-for-21 for 74 yards. Yes, his yards per pass attempt were MUCH worse than LaDainian Tomlinson’s yards per run. Sanchez definitely missed opportunities to throw the ball 15-20 yards, especially against an Ed Reed-less Ravens secondary.
Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer was no help to Sanchez, either, as his game plan was about as imaginative as a John Cena movie. Sanchez threw the ball long twice – one was incomplete, one was complete but did not count – and instead opted to toss safer passes as if he were afraid Rex Ryan was going to sit on him if he didn’t.
The offense has to be opened up a ton more before Sanchez can be considered a fantasy option. I would rather the Jets not wait until Santonio Holmes returns from his suspension in a month. Let Sanchez at least throw for 170 yards and a touchdown per week! Jeez!
Sometimes fumbles can be forgiven when a running back coughs it up due to fighting for extra yards or because he was gang-tackled by 10 guys all pawing at the ball. One of the types of fumbles that is not forgiven, however, is when you run directly into the back of your own offensive lineman and lose the ball – and possibly the game – because of your own incompetence.
Greene suffered from fumble fingers last season and was benched on occasion because of it, so what happened this past Monday night should not come as a surprise. He barely sniffed the field after his costly second-quarter fumble and was shunned for more than a quarter. And when he did return to the game, he proceeded to drop a catchable swing pass in the flat.
Tiki Barber, you have nothing better to do these days, so please spend a day with Greene and teach him how to hold onto the rock, will ya?
What makes matters worse is that Tomlinson showed bursts of the old L.T. (11 carries for 62 yards). Already word is that Tomlinson and Greene will be splitting carries for the foreseeable future. Anyone who drafted Greene in the first or second round of their fantasy draft just felt a chest pain.
Tomlinson has been wearing down late in seasons the past couple years, so maybe staying fresher because of a lighter workload will pay off with some late-season 100-yard games for Greene. His fantasy owners can only hope that is the case.
If Edwards was going to be a fantasy force, it had to be during the first month of the season before Holmes hopped onto the field. Edwards was a force last Monday, all right. One of his penalties possibly cost his team a touchdown, and his other penalty allowed Baltimore to score its own touchdown.
Edwards caught one pass for nine yards and had one rush for four yards. Unlike other No. 1 receivers who have these types of games, Darrelle Revis was not covering him. Sanchez barely looked at him, which is a stark contrast to 2009 when Sanchez would stare at him like a stalker and throw to Edwards even if three corners and two safeties were surrounding him.
It is obvious that Edwards’ fantasy value is virtually nil when he is on a run-first team like the Jets. He has one 100-yard game and nine games of fewer than 50 yards in the 13 regular-season contests he has played with them. Edwards probably will not be fantasy-worthy until he bolts after the season when he becomes a free agent.
Run and Shoot
The top four players to pick up on fantasy football waiver wires this week are:
Shaun Hill, Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford will miss between two-to-eight weeks with his separated shoulder according to media reports, which is like the cable company telling you they will be dropping by between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm.
Hill is not gifted with a great arm or fast feet, so do not expect any 300-yard, four-TD games from him. But Hill’s career numbers in limited action – 23 touchdown, 12 interceptions, 61.2 completion percentage – suggest he will have a couple decent weeks as Detroit’s starting signal caller. With Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson at receiver, and quarterbacking an offense that is not conservative, Hill should have a couple 200-yard, two-TD games while pitching in relief.
Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
Kevin Kolb is failing concussion tests like Vince Young failed his Wonderlic tests, so all signs point to Vick starting this weekend at Detroit. We all know what Vick can do on fast tracks against suspect defenses. It would not shock anybody for the fleet-footed dog lover to throw for 200 yards and run for 70 more this week.
Brandon Jackson, Green Bay Packers
Two reasons fantasy owners drafted Ryan Grant this year was because he has been so consistent and durable over the past three seasons. Unfortunately, the only player who never misses games is Brett Favre.
Now Grant is toast ala Elvis Patterson, and Jackson gets to be the ball hog from here on out. Jackson has not shown much in a reserve role in his three-plus seasons, which is one reason why Grant received most of the rushes. Jackson seems quick and has good pass-catching skills, but I do not see him busting out like the second coming of Ahman Green. Last time I checked, the Packers prefer to throw the ball, plus fullback John Kuhn looks like the one who will get the ball down on the goal line.
Whenever you have a chance to snag a starting running back, you have to do it. This is why Jackson is listed here. I do not think he will be as great as Grant, but fantasy owners can still use him if he racks up 85 total yards per week and scores the odd touchdown here and there.
Mark Clayton, St. Louis Rams
Fantasy owners know rookie Sam Bradford will be chucking the ball 35-50 times a game because St. Louis will be trailing most of its games this year, but nobody knew who would be on the receiving end of his passes after top target Donnie Avery tore his ACL in the preseason. Now we know.
Clayton joined the Rams one week before the season started, and already Bradford and he are clicking like Kurt Warner and Torry Holt. Credit both being Oklahoma Sooners and playing catch together in the off-season as the reasons. Clayton caught 10 balls for 119 yards in Week One and should be Bradford’s go-to-guy all season. That could mean Clayton might end up with 1,000 yards even though he proved during his stint with Baltimore that he really is more of a 700-yard receiver.
Just do not pencil Clayton in for more than 50 yards this week. He will likely be covered by Oakland’s $15 million per year man, Nnamdi Asomuha. .