Thursday, November 13, 2008

New York Jets at New England Patriots Fantasy Breakdown - Patriots

Patriots Face a Team Finally Jelling -
The Jets’ defensive unit is really starting to come together. While they have at times had lapses, overall it seems that the guys in the trenches (both oline and d) have stepped up of late. In the new style Gang Green, the Patriots find themselves face a solid overall unit and a team much better than when the met earlier this season. The Jets rush defense is 5th in the league and only allows 74.6 yds a game, with only 7 TDs to date. And with the Patriots running back core banged up, it could be tough sledding for the ground game. As for the pass defense, the Jets are 13th, giving 223 pass yards a game along with 11 TDs in the air. They are tied with Atlanta, Indy and Kansas City at 10th in league with 11 INTs and are 2nd in sacks with 31. They can bring the heat and can be opportunistic on defense.

Again, keep in mind that this game may be played in the rain and could come down to the line play – it probably will regardless – and the rushing attack. If it rains, you might bump all the pass numbers down a tick, save maybe Welker for the short yardage work and maybe Faulk for the same reason.

Did I just reuse a paragraph? Maaaaaaybe.

Cassel – I’m not a fan of rolling Cassel out in this one. I respect he is better now at protecting the ball. I think he knows what Moss and Welker look like so they have actually seen passes. But I think the Jets will keep some real pressure on him and force him into throwing away or throwing where and when he shouldn’t. Unless you are very much up against it with other matchups, I would avoid him this week. The potential rain only worsens it.

Randy Moss – Moss and Cassel have been connecting more the last few weeks but Randy still isn’t blowing up in non-PPR leagues. Frankly he isn’t killing in PPR leagues either. If he draws Revis, you can count on a shoddy fantasy output unless he gets one long. If he can get against Lowery or split zones or coverage, he could make some nice plays. But Cassel and the offense are more dink and dunk than bomb which limits his upside. I think the matchup is a wee risky. Do remember that Randy does love the spotlight and this is a huge game for the division with far ranging implications for the AFC. He often shows up for these events and could have a MNF style game. Don't love the matchup though.

Wes Welker – At some point preseason, we didn’t think Welker would repeat last season but he might. Well, he is on pace to catch an amount similar to last year’s. He fits in with the Cassel short game that is being played and so he is the best bet in the passing game, even against a tough secondary. In a PPR, he’s the guy you want – but weather, defense and Cassel make me want to warn you that he’s a lower end WR2 or 3 in a PPR league this Thursday and to be careful.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis – ‘Law Firm’ may have his work cut out for him this week. If it rains, he could see a huge workload but it may not amount to much against a tough Jets D. Bench him if you can and try not to put yourself in a position where you need to pray for a random TD.

Kevin Faulk – Short yardage stuff is nice and his value is probably more along the lines of PPR leagues than non-PPR. Still he may get some short yardage work, mud or no. Aside from last week vs Buffalo, Faulk had caught Faulk has been targeted quite often and occasionally made some big gains. A very risky flex, however.

As I said with the Jets post I am cautious with my Thursday starts, especially in this matchup. I think this could devolve into a chess-match oline/dline struggle in the trenches which could be exciting to watch (well to some of us it might be) but not explosive offensively. I think this game could go either way - it's tough to win in New England but the Jets have begun to come together and now face their biggest challenge. If they can get out of their own way, they can win this. But you can't count the Pats out, not until the final whistle.


KRH said...

I don't think this is going to be a high scoring game either. Even when Brady was around, these games tended to be field position/field goal battles. Add in the cold/wind/rain and I think we have a defensive struggle on our hands. Although, if anything, I would anticipate the Jets having an easier time on offense. The Pats are pretty banged up with the losses of Thomas and Harrison. Plus, the Jets have been rolling and the short week doesn't give them time to psyche themselves out over playing NE.

Andrew Garda said...

I like that point - they don't have enough time to dwell on pass losses so maybe this time the past won't set future.