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November 12, 2008

Week 11 fantasy football recommendations for Thursday night NY Jets @ New England


NEW YORK JETS

QB – Brett Favre – While it was comforting in a sense to see an efficient Brett Favre performance that was not plagued by turnovers and mistakes, his week 10 effort still left plenty to be desired in terms of fantasy production. With Thomas Jones running wild on the Rams, Favre’s services were not called upon very often and hardly a necessity. That should change to some extent in week 11. The Patriots will not be a pushover against the run and the Jets should go with a more balanced attack, if not one that favors the pass. Favre will face a middle of the road New England pass defense. They haven’t been horrible, giving up just over 200 passing yards per game, but the 14 TD’s they have allowed through the air in 9 games is far from acceptable. In a week 2 meeting with the Pats, Favre threw for 181 yards, 1 TD, and 1 interception. He should improve on those totals this time around, but don’t bet the farm on it. While Favre should be considered a decent week 11 starting option, you can probably do better.

RB – Thomas Jones – There is no denying that Jones has been very impressive in recent weeks, but when you consider the level of competition that he has faced, it isn’t exactly shocking. That said, Jones will face his biggest challenge in weeks against a pretty solid Patriots run defense. New England ranks 12th in the NFL against the run, but the more telling stat is that they have only allowed 4 rushing TD’s all season. In a week 2 meeting against the Patriots, Jones managed just 75 total yards and no TD’s. While it is promising that Jones will carry a tremendous amount of momentum into this match up, he will definitely have his work cut out for him. It also doesn’t help that Jones is coming into this game on a short week of rest after coming off of a hefty workload on Sunday (26 carries). It would be extremely difficult to bench him at this point, but this match up is not exactly favorable, and Jones should be considered a risky RB2 or flex play depending on your other options.

RB – Leon Washington – You can never tell when Washington is going to step in and make a solid contribution, but that is the problem, you can never tell when. Unfortunately, the odds are not favorable for that to happen against a solid Patriots run defense. He is not recommended for fantasy use in week 11.

WR – Laveranues Coles – After a lackluster week 9 and a week 10 in which he was virtually non-existent, it is difficult to endorse Coles for week 11. That said, we still like his chances for a solid game with this match up. If the Patriots defense has a glaring weakness, it would have to be against the pass. While New England gives up a modest 200 passing yards per game, the 14 TD passes they have allowed in 9 games sticks out the most in terms of being favorable for Coles. Coles is clearly Brett Favre’s favorite target in the red zone, so it seems logical that he will be the most likely to benefit from the Patriots vulnerability in that area. In a week 2 meeting with the Patriots, Coles accumulated 72 receiving yards and that was before Coles and Favre really started to click. There is some risk involved with starting Coles given his recent production, but under the circumstances, we expect him to bounce back this week. Coles makes for a solid WR2, WR3, or flex play for week 11. Check injury report: thigh

WR – Jerricho Cotchery – While Cotchery is capable of a big fantasy performance any week, they have been few and far between to this point, and good luck figuring out when that will be. He is one of those rare unpredictable players that can go bust even in the most promising of match ups, while being just as likely to play well when the match up is not favorable. Bottom line, you never know for sure what he is going to give you. His stat lines have been all over the map in recent weeks ranging from non existent to very solid. Unfortunately, Cotchery has not had a monster game since week 4, which by the way was the last time he scored a TD. In addition, he only managed 1 catch for 20 yards against the Patriots back in week 2. He is certainly talented enough to bounce back against a shaky New England secondary this time around, but that is far from a safe bet given his inconsistency. Cotchery makes for a risky WR3 fantasy play for Thursday night. Check injury report: shoulder

WR – Chansi Stuckey – In spite of Stuckey’s early season success, including a solid week 2 effort against New England which included a TD, he has become irrelevant in the Jets passing game in recent weeks. While it isn’t out of the realm of possibilities that the Jets could pull Stuckey off the shelf, dust him off, and get him back into the fold with this match up, it is improbable. Stuckey is far too risky as a week 11 fantasy option and he is not recommended.

TE – Dustin Keller – We have been waiting all season for the talented rookie to have a breakout game and it finally happened as Keller was the lone bright spot in the Jets passing game in week 10 with 107 receiving yards and a TD. While it is highly unlikely that Keller will repeat such lofty numbers in week 11 against a Patriots team that has been solid in defending TE’s so far this season, it is promising to see him living up to his potential. Keller is a borderline TE1 or TE2 starting option for your fantasy team with this match up. In other words, he wouldn’t be our first choice, but you could do much worse. It depends on your other options.

K – Jay Feely – In spite of back to back monster fantasy efforts, the week 11 match up against the Patriots is not favorable for Feely to continue the trend. While it’s possible that this game could turn into a FG heavy contest, don’t bet on it, and even if it does, Gillette Stadium is one of the most difficult venues for a visiting player to kick in. Feely was 1 for 2 against the Patriots back in week 2, making a 21 yard FG and missing on a 31 yard attempt wide right. Feely is not highly recommended for week 11 fantasy use.

Jets Defense – All in all, this is a solid fantasy defense, especially when the match up is favorable. They have one of the best run defenses in the NFL, they are one of the top units in producing turnovers, and their 31 sacks ranks second in the NFL. That said, their pass defense can best be described as shaky and they give up a mediocre 21 points per game on average. The Jets defense tends to excel against weaker opponents and struggle at times against quality opposition. We would consider the Patriots to be a quality opponent, so you may be best served trying to find a defense with a better match up, but you could do much worse than the Jets in week 11. They are a decent fantasy play.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QB – Matt Cassel – While he is starting to put up better numbers in the yardage department on a weekly basis, he has not thrown a TD pass in his last 2 games, and only has 7 TD passes on the season. Cassel will probably find some passing lanes against a shaky Jets secondary that is vulnerable to giving up big plays, but he can also expect to see a lot of pressure from a fierce Jets pass rush that ranks 2nd in the NFL with 31 sacks. Cassel threw for 165 yards with no TD’s and no interceptions while being sacked 4 times in a week 2 meeting against the Jets. Cassel is not dependable enough to be considered as anything more than a QB2 fantasy option for Thursday night. He is not highly recommended.

RB – BenJarvus Green-Ellis – For a guy that was nowhere to be found on the Patriots depth chart just a few weeks ago, Green-Ellis has made a pretty good account for himself with regard to fantasy football. Unfortunately, his days may be numbered with Sammy Morris expected to make his return as soon as Thursday night. Green-Ellis will probably remain in the fold even if Morris’ does return, but the question is to what extent? Regardless, Green-Ellis is not a safe fantasy play against a great Jets run defense that ranks in the top 5 in the NFL. There is just too much uncertainty with regard to his potential workload and the match up does not bode well. At this point, Green-Ellis should be considered a risky RB2 or flex play at best. UPDATE:It appears Sammy Morris will not be active on Thursday which should open the door for Green-Ellis to see a significant workload including the goal line touches. Unfortunately, the match is still bad and Green-Ellis remains no better than RB2 or flex play in fantasy. UPDATE2: The latest report has Sammy Morris dressed out in game pants and warming up. This is usually an indication of someone who is going to play, but that is still unclear. Check back about 15 minutes before kickoff for the final word. FINAL WORD: Morris is active for Thursday night's game. That doesn't neccessarily mean that Morris will play, but it definately makes Green-Ellis a very risky fantasy play.

RB – Sammy Morris – He did practice on a limited basis on Tuesday and it is possible that he could play on Thursday night. Unfortunately, even a best case scenario would have him sharing carries with BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Kevin Faulk, and the match up is far from ideal against the Jets 5th ranked run defense. Morris should not be on your week 11 fantasy roster. UPDATE: Not expected to play UPDATE2: The latest report has Sammy Morris dressed out in game pants and warming up. This is usually an indication of someone who is going to play, but that is still unclear. Check back about 15 minutes before kickoff for the final word. Final Word: Morris is in fact active for tonight's game. This does not neccessarily mean that he will play or play much, and it is probably still best not to risk using him.Check injury report: knee

RB – Kevin Faulk – With the emergence of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and the potential return of Sammy Morris for Thursday night, Faulk is clearly the odd man out. He should continue to receive a handful of carries and he can be useful in PPR leagues as a receiver out of the backfield, but you shouldn’t expect much from him against a great Jets run defense. Faulk makes for a desperate flex play in PPR leagues only. Otherwise, he has little value for week 11.

WR – Randy Moss – Moss only managed to pull in 2 passes for 22 yards against the Jets back in week 2, but he has slowly progressed with Matt Cassel under center since then, and we are optimistic that he will put up better numbers this time around. While that isn’t saying much and a monster performance is a long shot, Moss is talented enough to make it happen and the Jets secondary is shaky enough to let it happen. There are no guarantees, but Moss should be on your fantasy roster for week 11 as a WR2.

WR – Wes Welker – A week 11 match up against the Jets actually bodes pretty well for Welker. The Jets defense features a mediocre secondary with a very strong pass rush which means that QB Matt Cassel will look to pass frequently, but he will have to get rid of the ball quickly. This should benefit Welker as Cassel’s quick strike option in the passing game. Welker isn’t a strong candidate for a TD, but he should do very well in PPR leagues. He had 7 catches for 72 yards against the Jets back in week 2 and he should be right around that or better this time around. He looks to be a solid WR2, WR3, or flex play with this match up depending on your options.

TE – Benjamin Watson – He has underachieved all season, and there is no reason to believe that he will have a breakout performance against the Jets on Thursday night. Watson is not worth consideration for fantasy play in week 11.

K – Stephen Gostkowski – He rarely has big numbers, but he is one of the more consistent fantasy options in the NFL with regard to kickers. In addition, his best fantasy performance of the season came in week 2 against Jets, a game in which he hit on 4 of 4 FG attempts. He is one of the better fantasy options at kicker for week 11.

Patriots Defense – The Patriots defense is arguably the most unpredictable unit in the NFL and it doesn’t help that they will be facing one of the NFL’s most unpredictable offenses in the Jets. New England was pretty solid against the Jets back in week 2, but they have since lost several key members including S Rodney Harrison and LB Adalius Thomas, and they have been far from consistent. While the Patriots defense will probably hold their own against Brett Favre and company on Thursday night, the Jets offense can be dangerous. We figure the New England defense to be a decent starting option for week 11, but it would not be ill advised to look for a safer match up depending on your options.

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