After enjoying an orgy of fantasy points the past few weeks, Brady owners should probably temper their expectations this week. Jets opposing QBs have combined to post a 74 QB rating this season, and New York has allowed just 15 passing TDs on the year. Anything more than 240 yards and two scores would be gravy. You probably don’t have a better option this week though.
Wes Welker/Deion Branch/Brandon Tate
Both wideouts found paydirt twice in Detroit, but they won’t have Alphonso Smith to kick around this week. Since we can’t be sure which one of these guys will draw coverage from Revis, starting either player this week is a bit like Russian Roulette. If I had to offer my best guess, I’d figure that Revis covers Branch and holds him to 2-3 catches for less than 50 yards. I’m a bit more bullish on Welker, whose quickness should allow him to get open for a handful of catches and over 50 yards. He’s probably the better bet of the two to score. If I’m in a deeper league that awards return yards, I might take a flyer on Tate this week. He isn’t likely to draw coverage from Revis or Cromartie on a consistent basis, and Jets safety Leonard will miss the game due to injury. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get on top of the defense for a long score.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis/Danny Woodhead
I look for the Patriots to get their running backs more involved this week to take some of the heat off the Jets’ pass rush. However, the Jets rank third in the league against the run, so I’d expect both backs to see some tough sledding. I look for both backs to finish with a similar statline — about 12 total touches, 60 total yards and a 50-50 shot at a TD. Woodhead could be more involved in the passing game this week, so I’d favor him over BJGE in leagues that award a point per reception.
Rob Gronkowski/Aaron Hernandez
While I’m not bullish on the Patriots offense as a whole this week, I expect both tight ends to be a huge part of the gameplan. Belichick likes to attack a team’s weaknesses, and the absence of Jets’ starting safety Leonard coupled with the number of checkdowns and hot reads Brady will need to make against exotic New York blitzes could translate into a big day for one or both tight ends. While Gronkowski has been getting a larger share of the targets, I think this will be a nice bounce-back game for Hernandez after a few quiet weeks. Look for both tight ends to split up 8 catches for 100 yards and a score.
Patriots Defense/Special Teams
Once again, I’d put this unit in the middle-of-the-road category. They are very reminiscient of the Saints defense from a year ago — don’t look at the overall stats, but the final number of fantasy points usually won’t make you throw up. The Jets don’t allow many sacks, but Sanchez has thrown a pick in his last four games. I think you’ll see something close to 2 sacks, 1-2 turnovers and 23 points allowed.