Turn On The Jets Stock Watch: AFC East Preview

Mike Donnelly’s weekly Stock Watch previews the AFC East

Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly Stock Watch, today breaking down the AFC East. Make sure to give Mike a follow on Twitter and check out our new partner Night Out – 

After watching the Jets this offseason, I’ve decided I can’t do an All-Jets stock watch this week. I’m still waiting for a response from Mike Tannenbaum after the letter I wrote to him the other day, so I’ll let everyone know when he gets back to me, and I’ll reserve more comment until that time. I’m sure it’s high on his list of things to do, somewhere between “find the next Victor Cruz”, and “get back those incriminating pictures Wayne Hunter has of me”, because things like “get competent NFL lineman” and “find tight end who can block” are clearly not priorities. Let’s just move on before I punch my laptop.

But don’t worry Jets fans, there is still some Jets content coming today because I’ve decided to kick off my NFL preview series with the AFC East, which is home of our mighty J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets. I’m going to be buying and selling records (the real Vegas lines), stats, prop bets (mostly made up ones by me), and whatever else I deem relevant. Here we go…

1. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (12-4), #1 seed

BUY: Over 11.5 wins – Sigh. I have the Pats down for 12 wins because of Tom Brady, another ridiculously easy schedule somehow, Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and of course, Tom Brady. Looks like another division win for Cheating Bill and his prized unbelievably crappy defense. Ugh.

BUY: Tom Brady over 5,000 yards – I couldn’t find an actual prop for Brady’s yards this season, but I would be happy to bet that he breaks Drew Brees’s record from just last year. Can’t you just picture Tom going into Cheating BIll’s evil lair this offseason, mentioning what Brees did, then they both just nod at each other with the understanding this year they’ll blow that new record right out of the water? Well, I sure can.

SELL: Brandon Lloyd over 1,000 yards – I know a lot of people are extremely high on Lloyd this year as he’s following his coach/mentor/super best friend  Josh McDaniels to their third team together, plus he gets to play with Tom Brady this time. Unfortunately, I think the Pats just have too many weapons and Lloyd won’t be dominating to the degree many are expecting. There’s some free fantasy advice for ya.

SELL: The Patriots Defense – So funny how the media bows to Belichick and raves about how his two rookie defenders will dominate from day 1, but Quinton Coples is a lazy bum and is the second coming of Vernon Gholston. I guess it’s Bill’s awesome track record of drafting superstar defenders lately like Jermaine Cunningham, Ron Brace, and Darius Butler that would lead everyone to believe that.

2. NEW YORK JETS (10-6), wild card

BUY: Over 8.5 wins – I know, I know. After watching the preseason so far and seeing the complete lack of depth or quality blockers on the team, it’s hard to like the Jets right now. But let’s face it, this defense is going to be AWESOME. Rex is going to unleash that defense three times against rookie QB’s (Luck once, Tannehill twice), Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Fitzpatrick twice, Jake Locker, Kevin Kolb, Brian Schottenheimer’s offense, Matt Flynn, and Alex Smith this year. 9 wins is a lock. In fact, as down as most of us are right now, I think this is a 10 or 11-win team that’s heading to the playoffs this year.

BUY: Shonn Greene over 1,200 yards – I know many, many fans don’t believe in Greene, but here’s why I expect big things from him: he’s in a contract season. Never underestimate the hunger of a player playing for money. He’s going to play every game, Sparano is going to feed him the ball, and he’s going to play very well.

SELL: 4.5 games started by Wayne Hunter – I really, truly believe Mike Tannenbaum is going to do something drastic to address the RT position soon, which will relegate Hunter to a bench player.

BUY: Mark Sanchez over 60% completions – I think Sanchez is going to take a big leap this year. The numbers may not quite be there overall in a running offense, but we will see a noticeable difference in his play.

OVER: Quinton Coples 4.5 sacks – Some fans won’t be happy unless Coples racks up 15 sacks, but if he gets over 5 this year that would be a very solid rookie year for a lineman who will be taking on two blockers a lot of the time this year.

3. BUFFALO BILLS (6-10)

SELL: Over 8 wins – Sorry, we’ve been over this ad nauseam here, but the Bills are the most overrated, overhyped team around this year.

SELL: Over 2.5 media members who will admit they were wrong about it – The funny thing about the offseason darling team everyone picks in July to go to the playoffs, is that nobody is willing to admit they were on that bandwagon when they lose their 11th game in December. I’ll be happy to call out all the “experts” as best I can when this happens in Buffalo this year.

BUY: CJ Spiller – I think Spiller is going to be a nice little sleeper in fantasy football this year. Fred Jackson is an old, injured man, and Spiller helps them out since they have just one receiving threat. He will get his touches.

SELL: Mario Williams over 10 sacks – Granted, he can easily approach this number in two games against Wayne Hunter (ok, more like 2 quarters), but I don’t see Mario getting to double digits. He wouldn’t be the first guy to mail it in after a huge contract, right Albert Haynesworth?

SELL: Ryan Fitzpatrick – Speaking of guys sucking after getting a big paycheck, how about that Ryan Fitzpatrick?! I see that second half slide from last season carrying into this year.

4. MIAMI DOLPHINS (5-11)

SELL: Over 7 wins – Sorry, I can’t think of a single reason why this number would be so high. Not one.

SELL: 36.5 games coached by Joe Philbin – I went over this in my Hard Knocks review, but man oh man, that Joe Philbin sure doesn’t inspire much confidence does he? I don’t think you’ll see too many Dolphins fans this year saying “Man, I’m really glad we hired Joe Philbin!”. Actually, I don’t think you’ll see too many Dolphins fans this year, period.

BUY: Reggie Bush – In fantasy football leagues where catches count, Reggie Bush is going to be a very popular man this year. Well, at least he will be for the 10 games he actually plays. The Fins will always be losing and playing catch-up, and mop up time is where Reggie Bush shines!

SELL: 0.5 Quality Receivers on the Team – I would have put this at under 0.5 even before Chad Johnson got cut. Davone Bess is still there, and he counts for about 0.4 of a quality receiver, but not quite the 0.51 to push this over the total.

New York Jets: A Letter To Mike Tannenbaum

Mike Donnelly with an open letter to Mike Tannenbaum after watching the New York Jets gets get thrashed by the New York Giants

After an appropriate amount of time to decompress after last night’s horror show, TOJ is ready to break down the Jets second pre-season game against the Giants. We start with an open letter to Mike Tannenbaum from Mike Donnelly

Dear Mike Tannenbaum,

Hey Mike, I just wanted to send you this letter because I have some real concerns about the job you’ve done lately with my beloved New York Jets, and your secretary keeps saying you’re unavailable when I call with my list of ideas (seriously, you can’t ALWAYS be out to lunch, can you?). I understand being the General Manager of a sports team is a really tough job and there will be some fans who always hate you no matter what happens, but I’ve always been a staunch supporter of yours. I just want you to know that, before you keep reading.

You see, I was a big fan of the whole “Trader Mike”, never say never, aggressive persona you established for yourself. Bold trades for players such as Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, and Antonio Cromartie were all completely justified in my opinion, no matter what the cost ended up being. You brought real star power to the team and built a talented roster to compete with the Patriots. Your initial draft in 2006 was a goldmine as you brought in several players who were the foundation for the team. You followed that up with bold trade-ups in 2007 for players such as Darrelle Revis and David Harris, which I loved at the time and you were 100% right in doing so. Sure, the 2008 draft was a complete and total disaster, but every team strikes out from time to time. And even though the Gholston pick was more like you removing your pants, taking a dump on home plate and punching out the umpire while giving the crowd the finger than “striking out”, I still gave you a pass because I just blamed Mangini. I mean, screw that guy, right?

During the 2009 draft though, the bold Mr. T made his illustrious return and pulled off a blockbuster trade up for Mark Sanchez in the first round (a heist at the time), and then for Shonn Greene in the third round. We only ended up with 3 picks that year, but I didn’t care — we had our franchise QB and potential star RB. I still believe in both of them a great deal. The problem was, since that pick of Mark Sanchez you seem to have done everything wrong. You failed to give him the proper tools to develop properly, which should have been numbers 1, 2 and 3 on the agenda every day. Hell, I even wrote an entire column about those failures. I suggest you read it. The 2010 draft is when I started to really have my doubts, though. I didn’t mind the Kyle Wilson pick, even though I thought the pass rush should have been addressed.

When he looked terrible and had his butt firmly planted on the bench his entire rookie season, I still defended your choice. But if anything ever showed my true allegiance to you, it was my continued defense of drafting Vladimir Ducasse, despite literally ALL OF THE EVIDENCE pointing the other way. A Division 1-AA project offensive linemen from UMass with the  ootball IQ of a tree stump should not be a second round pick, especially if he’s bad at football. You’ve since given him ample opportunity to prove himself and earn playing time and he’s failed miserably at every turn. The guy sucks. But even after all that, I still defended you adamantly. Until now, anyway. Allow me to run down the reasons why that’s the case, Mike:

Wayne Hunter – After the 2010 season, you practically pushed Damien Woody out the door, despite his wanting to play one more season. Why would you do that? Because in your mind Wayne Hunter played four good games down the stretch in 2010 and that meant he was ready to be “the man” at right tackle (plus we had VLAD in reserve. Clearly we were set with that combo!) You rewarded those four games with a rich contract, despite all of the evidence during Hunter’s career pointing to him being a bad player. Not many guys suddenly become good at the age of 30, and Hunter is no different. He was, is, and will forever be a steaming pile of crap as an offensive lineman.

And despite him turning in the single worst season I’ve ever seen from an offensive lineman in 2011, you decided to guarantee his $2.5 million salary for 2012 and not send his uncoordinated, immobile ass packing. This is when you lost me. Despite having some salary cap room to burn and all of our draft picks for a change, you brought in zero offensive tackles to take Wayne Hunter’s job (And don’t even get me started about the moron you hired to coach the offensive linemen. You know, the one who said Hunter is the best RT out there and someone would have to shoot him to bench Wayne). There can only be two explanations for your refusal to dump the human turnstile that is Wayne Hunter: 1- Mark Sanchez did something to you personally and this was your plan to get revenge, by having defensive ends blow past Hunter and get Sanchez killed right there on the field; or 2- you’ve become incompetent. While option 1 is certainly possible, I’m leaning towards option #2. Why? Because…

No Blocking Tight Ends – Despite having the worst offensive tackle in the history of organized football and trying to get back to being a “ground and pound” running offense, you decided we didn’t need any tight ends who could actually block. We’ve known Dustin Keller can’t block for years now, but you can get away with that as long as you have a #2 TE who can manage to not whiff on pass rushers or get knocked onto his ass while attempting to push a pile. We saw that when Ben Hartstock was on the team. You’d think that since you came up in this league under Bill Parcells and saw the team lead the league in rushing in 2009, you’d understand the importance of being able to dominate in the trenches.

Instead, your ideas for who to pair with Keller at the tight end position this year were: Jeff Cumberland (a tall, skinny college wide receiver who CAN NOT block), Josh Baker (an H-back who can’t block OR catch), and Hayden Smith (an Australian rugby player). If you combine all 4 of those players, they equal about 92% of ONE competent NFL blocker. When you factor in that they play next to Wayne Hunter it drops to about 85%. That is UNACCEPTABLE. This was probably the most inexcusable oversight you’ve had. There is no reason you couldn’t bring in a blocking tight end to this roster for a very cheap price. Hell, give Anthony Becht a call, it’s not like he’s busy or anything.

NO DEPTH – Last year when Nick Mangold got injured, we had to watch Colin Baxter comically get knocked over play after play and then look like he was going to cry on the sidelines. Thanks for that. When Wayne Hunter was getting thrown around like a child, we had nobody to replace him with. When Bryan Thomas got hurt, we had the immortal Garrett McIntyre backing him up. Basically, the bottom of the roster is a wasteland. After last season you spoke about how the Jets might have “the next Victor Cruz” on the roster, meaning a guy to come out of nowhere and contribute. The problem with that is that Victor Cruz has talent; Caleb Schlauderaff does not.

The Packers, who are a very well-run organization, thought so little of Caleb that they traded him to you four months after they drafted him. Yet you routinely speak of him like he’s the second coming of Steve Hutchinson. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say he sucks. On your never-ending quest to find the new Victor Cruz, you also talk up other bums such as Baker, Cumberland, and of course Austin Howard, who can’t seem to beat out even Wayne Hunter for a job. So please, spare me the talk about how Ellis Lankster or Josh Mauga are going to really break out this year. Don’t tell me about all the touchdowns Dexter Jackson will catch from Matt Simms. The team has no depth, and it’s extremely obvious. At least you got rid of Mark Brunell this year, though. I’ll give you that one.

Pass Rush – It’s been four years since the aforementioned Gholston disaster, and in that time, other than Aaron Maybin last year (which was complete luck that he fell into your lap) do you know how many Outside Linebackers you’ve added to this roster? ZERO! Bryan Thomas and Calvin Pace are solid players on the outside, especially against the run, but since you traded John Abraham in 2006 we haven’t had one single top-notch pass rusher. At some point in the last four years, don’t you think some youth and speed should have been added on the outside? Obviously you don’t agree, since you didn’t do it. Did you get scared off by the Gholston era or something? Get over it, shit happens. Pace and Thomas are now on their last legs, and there is no depth behind them. That’s going to end up being a serious problem. We saw that last year after BT went down and the run defense went into the crapper. Or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the Victor Cruz of linebackers is on this roster!

So in conclusion, Mike, I just wanted to say that I’m not mad at you, I’m just hurt. The Mike Tannenbaum Era started off so great and I really believed in you. In fact, despite everything I just wrote, I still want to believe in you. I want to turn on the TV tomorrow and see you pulled off a trade for a legitimate starting Right Tackle (not one with chronically injured knees like Jeff Otah, though). I want to see that Wayne Hunter has been traded to the Siberian Football League or something. I want to see a tight end added to the roster that would be able to at least block me. There is talent on this team that you built and I’ve supported you through thick and thin, but as they say, a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link. With moves like Hunter, Cumberland, and Vlad lately, I’m starting to think that maybe that the weak link… is you.

Sincerely,

Mike Donnelly, Frustrated Jets Fan

Turn On The Jets Roundtable – Jets vs. Giants Preview

The Turn On The Jets writers preview the New York Jets/New York Giants pre-season game

The Turn On The Jets writing staff breaks down what they are most looking forward to seeing in the New York Jets second pre-season game. Make sure to leave your comments below or on the Turn On The Jets Facebook Page

Joe Caporoso – I want to see the New York Jets offensive line find a way against this Giants pass rush. Give Mark Sanchez enough time to complete his drop back and get the football down the field. Beyond that, there is no reason this talked up “Ground and Pound” shouldn’t be able to grind out a productive night running the football. Shonn Green get the yards per carry over 4.0 and break a run over 5 yards for once in your life. Finally, let’s see Dustin Keller involved in the passing game. Tony Sparano needs to find a way to successfully keep him active every single week, no matter how vanilla the game plan is. And oh yeah…how about a touchdown?

Chris Gross – Is anyone going to step up and take the metaphorical bull that is the Jets Running Back job by the horns? I’d love to finally see Shonn Greene step up and put together a performance we can feel confident as we inch closer to the regular season. Bilal Powell has done well in pass protection, but his performance last week against Cincinnati (5 carries, 16 yards) certainly did not reflect the praise he has been receiving in practice. Joe McKnight showed signs of life last week with his 32 yards on only 7 carries, but it’s time that he became more consistent and reliable. The Jets seem to be holding onto hope that one of these three is suddenly going to breakout and be the answer to the ground and pound. It is certainly time for this unit to start playing to the identity of this team, otherwise Tim Tebow will be getting the majority of the carries this season. Whether Jets fans want to hear it or not, this team is built to run the football. If none of these backs can prove to do so, New York will likely turn to Tebow to carry the workload on the ground, either as a RB or by rolling out the “Wildcat” more than anyone wants to see.

Mike DonnellyWhat do I want to see? Well there are a few things I’m looking forward to seeing, such as Patrick Turner continuing to stake claim to a big role on offense, Quinton Coples and Mo Wilkerson continuing their excellent play up front against an overrated Giants offensive line, and for Demario Davis to get more reps with the first team defense. But this game is more about what I don’t want to see: I DON’T want to see the safeties struggle against Victor Cruz over the middle of the field; I DON’T want to see Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell struggle against a so-so Giants rush defense; And I mostly DON’T want to see Mark Sanchez get carted off the field as Wayne Hunter and his buddies on the offensive line struggles to block JPP, Tuck, and the rest of the Giants pass rushers. If we can avoid those three things, this game will be a success.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch: Fantasy Football Draft Edition

Mike Donnelly is buying and selling fantasy football prospects for your upcoming draft

Mike Donnelly will be covering Fantasy Football all season for us here at Turn On The Jets. Make sure to give Mike a follow on Twitter and reach out to him if you are interested in potentially joining the TOJ fantasy league this year. 

Fantasy football season is here (YESSSS!!!!), and you probably didn’t win your league last year. And it’s probably because you’re the kind of person who goes and finds someone like Evan Silva’s rankings before your draft and thinks they’re gold. If that’s the case, there’s a really good chance you lost in spectacular fashion, came in dead last, embarrassed yourself, had your girlfriend leave you because of it, and all your friends stopped calling because they were so appalled by your 1st round pick of Jahvid Best. Ok, maybe things didn’t get quite that bad, but let’s try to avoid that embarrassment you surely felt this year and actually, ya know, build a good team.

Mr. Silva kicked off his fantasy season this year on Rotoworld.com by participating in a mock draft where he took Ryan Mathews with the #2 overall pick (ahead of Ray Rice, Lesean McCoy, Aaron Rodgers, and Calvin Johnson) and claimed this is the year he stays healthy and dominates. The next day, Mathews broke his clavicle and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. So if that’s the kind of crap you’re looking for, then more power to you. But if you want to do some damage this year, this is where you want to be, reading this right here all season, and it all starts with a strong draft.

Speaking of drafts, if you are still in the process of putting your league together, I think you need to read The 8 Easy Steps For the Perfect Fantasy League before doing so. And while we’re talking about starting leagues, we are starting the TOJ Fantasy Football League and are looking to invite a few readers to join up and play against us. If you’re interested, comment here or hit us up on Twitter. Alrighty, let’s get on with the show. I’m going to be buying and selling players here based on their average rankings. I’ll be buying I guys I really like who are being drafted too low, and selling guys I think are overrated and that I want no part of. I’m not going to be telling you to draft Calvin Johnson, because if you need me to tell you that, well, then you need far more help than I’m able to provide.

QUARTERBACKS

When it comes to QB’s this year there are the Top 5 (Rodgers, Brady, Brees, Stafford, Newton in that order) and then a steep drop towards tier 2. If you can’t get one of the elite guys, it’s not the end of the world because there is still some solid value in the middle rounds.

BUY: Philip Rivers – After a bit of a down year (for him) last year, a lot of people are down on Rivers, especially after losing Vincent Jackson. That loss is overrated, because Vincent Jackson sucks (more on this later). Rivers is typically ranked in the #9-10 QB range, and I think that’s low for him. Norv Turner is a big joke as a head coach, but the man knows offense, and Rivers is going to perform in the #5 or 6 QB range this year.

BUY: Big Ben – I expect Mike Wallace to show up by the start of the season and that will give Roethlisberger one of the best and deepest WR corps in the NFL. More importantly than that is the fact that they Steelers have no running backs, which will lead to a ton of pass attempts for the 2-time sexual assaulter. Sure, Ben is a terrible human being in real life, but he can help you on the fantasy gridiron this season as a low-level starter.

BUY: Jake Locker – This is one of my favorite sleeper QB’s this season, especially in keeper leagues. He won’t be one of the top 10 or 12 QB’s this season, but as a backup he can definitely be useful in case of injury. If Kenny Britt ever gets his head on straight, it will help Locker even more and it could have him knocking on the door of being starter-worthy.

SELL: Cam Newton as a TOP 4 QB – Cam is still going to be great this year, but the Panthers are going to try and limit his rushing attempts this year, which could slide him down the QB rankings a few spots.

SELL: Michael Vick – I hate Michael Vick, so that could affect my ranking of him, but the fact is this guy absolutely CAN NOT stay healthy. Let someone else deal with the stress of checking the injury report every day to see if he’ll be able to play on Sunday.

SELL: Sam Bradford – DO. NOT. DRAFT. SAM. BRADFORD! Unless of course you enjoy watching your QB throw 6 yard slants and dump offs to the RB as his offensive coordinator looks on happily from the sideline.

RUNNING BACKS

The running back position in some serious trouble this year due to a major rash of injuries, holdouts, and suspensions across the league. Jones-Drew, Lynch, Mathews, Richardson, Peterson, Beanie Wells, and Darren McFadden have all been effected by one of these things. Oh wait, McFadden hasn’t gotten hurt yet, but don’t worry, he will soon. Many people think that because of the lack of top RB’s, you should pass on them at the top of the draft and load up on the mid-range players. I think the opposite, and that it’s imperative you land one of the top guys you can count on. Who are those guys? Arian Foster, Ray Rice, Lesean McCoy are the cream of the crop, with Chris Johnson, Darren McFadden, and DeMarco Murray a step below.

BUY: Shonn Greene – A lot of people want to just write him off under the “LOL, the Jets” rule, but I think that is way off. The Jets are going to run the ball a lot this year, and Tony Sparano isn’t going to just forget to run during the second half of games like Brian Schottenheimer did. Greene averaged 4.2 yards per carry last year and played really well in the second half of the season. 1,250 yards and 8 TD’s are very realistic numbers and I think he will outperform his draft position.

BUY: Mike Goodson – By week 5 or 6 he’ll be getting the majority of carries in Oakland when McFadden gets injured. Great player to stash on your bench as your #4 or 5 running back.

Buy: Toby Gerhart, SELL: Adrian Peterson – These two go hand-in-hand, and it’s pretty simple. Adrian Peterson tore up his knee late last year, and it takes at least a full year for these guys to get back to full strength after such a big time injury. They can say Peterson is a fast healer all they want, but the fact is he just started practicing, he’s been told not to make cuts, and the defense isn’t even allowed to hit him. That doesn’t sound promising. What does sound promising is Toby Gerhart’s 2012 fantasy chances. For a guy being drafted as a #4 RB, I think he will offer much, much more.

BUY: Jacquizz Rodgers – In PPR leagues, the Falcons 3rd-down back can play a Darren Sproles-like role, especially with their new up-temp offense. He’s worth a flier in later rounds and could end up being a solid flex option in all leagues.

SELL: Maurice Jones-Drew – If his holdout lasts into the season, this is even more obvious, but even if he comes back tomorrow MJD is not going to be the elite back he has been the past few years. Holdout + Crappy Team does not = Good things. Simple formula. He’s typically ranked as the #7 or 8 RB overall as of now, but I wouldn’t take him as a top 15 back.

SELL: Michael Turner – Words can’t even express how much I hate Michael Turner this year. If you’re in a PPR league, the guy is basically useless, but even in standard leagues, you can expect his production to take a major hit this year. Sure he’ll have a few big games against garbage defenses, but as a whole, you can’t count on him at all. I wouldn’t want him as even a #2 RB on my team.

SELL: Steven Jackson – Again: Brian Schottenheimer.

SELL: Marshawn Lynch – Suspension + Got Paid + Bad Team = ????? Actually, I know what it means: That he won’t be on my fantasy team this year. I’d rather take guys like Ahmad Bradshaw or Doug Martin over him.

SELL: Benjarvus Green-Ellis – Things won’t be so easy this year without defenses petrified of Tom Brady passing the ball all game and daring BJGE to run. I’ll pass on him.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Wide receiver is extremely deep this year, but there’s only one truly elite player, and that’s Calvin Johnson. Behind him though, there are about a dozen excellent options, including the usual suspects like Fitzgerald, Welker, Andre Johnson, and Greg Jennings.

BUY: Julio Jones, SELL: Roddy White – As much as I hate Michael Turner, I love his teammate Julio Jones even more. The Falcons are going to an up-tempo passing offense, and it’s time for Roddy White to step aside, because there’s a new dreadlocked Sheriff in town. Don’t get me wrong, Roddy will still get his catches, but rather than finishing the year as a top 7 WR which is where’s ranked now, I think he’s going to be more in the 12-13 range. Jones, on the other hand, I have as high as #2 overall at WR, which may seem high now, but it won’t come December after he puts up a monster campaign.

BUY: Hakeem Nicks, SELL: Victor Cruz – It’s not that I think Cruz is going to be bad this year, because I don’t. But I do think that Nicks is going to be the fantasy monster this year and Cruz is going to settle into a solid #2 WR role for your team and slightly underperform on his expectations.

BUY: Brandon Marshall, SMALL BUY: Alshon Jeffery – To keep the teammate theme going, I think Marshall is going to get back to his old Denver fantasy superstar days now that he’s reunited with Jay Cutler in Chicago. 100 catches and 1100 yards are certainly possible. I also really like his rookie teammate Alshon Jeffery, who is definitely worth a late-round flier in your league after looking great in Bears camp so far.

BUY: Antonio Brown – After a great second half to the season last year, Antonio Brown is going to carry that forward into 2012 as the Steelers #1 passing option until Mike Wallace returns and gets back to form. For a guy ranked now in the #25 overall WR range, Brown is seriously undervalued right now.

BUY: Demaryius Thomas – Thomas had his moments last year, and that was with Tim Tebow throwing him the ball. Now he’s got Peyton Manning, and that’s what you might call “trading up”. Manning has raved about Thomas’s athletic ability and it’s not unrealistic to expect 1,200 yards from Peyton’s top target. I expect him to easily perform as a top 10 receiver this year.

BUY: Titus Young – Because Calvin Johnson can’t catch all of Matt Stafford’s 5,000 yards by himself, right? He’s being drafted as about the 33rd WR now, but I expect him to easily outperform that spot.

SELL: Vincent Jackson – So he got his big contract, moved from a passing team to a running team, and downgraded from Phil Rivers to Josh Freeman at QB. Yeahhhh… don’t draft Vincent Jackson this year.

SELL: Anquan Boldin – No longer a quality fantasy receiver. I’d rather roll the dice on someone like Titus Young than take the “name guy” in Anquan Boldin.

SELL: Steve Smith (Car) & Jordy Nelson – Both guys will have fine seasons I’m sure, I just don’t think either one will approach the success they had last year, which makes them overvalued heading into this year’s draft. It’s not bad to have them on your team, just don’t reach for them.

TIGHT ENDS

Here’s some good advice when it comes to tight ends: Try to get Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham! I heard those guys are pretty good. If you can’t though, there’s plenty of depth this year at the position.

SELL: Tony Gonzalez – One guy who isn’t a part of that solid depth is Tony Gonzalez. Yes, the Falcons are going to more of a passing attack, but it’s all about the wide receivers and guys like Jacquizz Rodgers now. Look for the Hall-of-Famer to take a back seat in the offense this year and not perform as a top 12 TE.

BUY: Fred Davis – Fred had a really solid season last year until injuries took their toll on him. With a rookie QB, look for the big athletic TE to get plenty of targets. I have him as the #8 TE.

BUY: Dustin Keller – As with Shonn Greene, he’s being discredited under the “LOL, the Jets” rule, but that’s a mistake. For all intents and purposes, he’s the team’s #2 wide receiver and will likely lead the team in targets this year. Plus he’s playing for a contract, and that can never be a bad thing. Look for him to be a top 10 TE and not finish in the #18 overall range which is where I’m seeing him at now.

BUY: Jermaine Gresham – With AJ Green getting a ton of attention against opposing secondaries, look for Gresham to really rack up some nice stats over the middle of the field. Of course, he did suffer a knee injury in last night’s preseason game, so keep an eye on that.

BUY: Kyle Rudolph – An excellent sleeper TE for the Vikings. He’s big and athletic, and Christian Ponder is going to need to throw the ball to somebody. Take a flier on him with one of your last picks and let’s watch him blossom into a very usable option at TE.

So there you have it: My first Fantasy Football Stock Watch of the season. I’d be happy to discuss these rankings and other players here in the comments or on Twitter. And if you’d like to get into our TOJ Fantasy League, then let us know and we’ll pick a few readers to play against us. And good luck to everyone this year… unless you’re playing against me of course.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch: Pre-Season Week 2 Edition

Mike Donnelly’s weekly Stock Watch is buying and selling New York Jets after their first pre-season game

Mike Donnelly is back with his weekly Stock Watch. Make sure to give Mike a follow on Twitter and to check back in later for a feature on New York Jets tight end Dustin Keller and Fact or False from Chris Gross, previewing Jets/Giants –

I know everyone was sorely disappointed that the Stock Watch did not come out yesterday as per usual, and I apologize for ruining everyone’s Tuesdays out there. I hope you can all find it in your hearts to forgive me. To make it up to you, I’m going to be giving you a bonus edition of Stock Watch on Friday to kick off our fantasy football coverage, free of charge! Talk about a good deal. Be sure to check back for some top notch fantasy advice if you have a draft coming up, and if you didn’t start your league yet, what are you waiting for? Read these 8 Easy Steps for the Perfect Fantasy League right here and get the ball rolling.

SELL: Peter Schwartz of WFAN- Many of you probably don’t know who Peter Schwartz is, and you should consider yourselves fortunate. That means that unlike me, you don’t listen to WFAN far too often, and you aren’t subjected to this guy’s completely ridiculous take on the Jets. You’d think a guy who watches the team every day would have a slight clue about what he’s talking about, but alas, it doesn’t seem as if he does. Last Friday before the Jets preseason game, Schwartz was on the radio with the worst host on the station, Marc Malusis. When asked about Quinton Coples, Schwartz replied thusly: “If you look up a picture of Quinton Coples in the dictionary, you’ll see a picture of Vernon Gholston.. a bust!”.

Now besides the obvious question of what dictionary does Peter Schwartz use that gives you definitions of people’s names, you’d think an NFL “reporter” would wait until a rookie first round pick plays ONE GAME, just ONE preseason game at least before even mentioning Gholston or throwing around the bust label. But not Mr. Schwartz, he confidently told all 14 listeners of Malusis’s show that Coples is the second coming of Gholston and will be a bust. Then, Coples went out and dominated the Bengals and drew rave reviews from everyone. When myself and a few others called Peter Schwartz out about this on Twitter, he simply blocked everyone rather than owning up to it. I’m selling Peter Schwartz’s already low stock, and I encourage everyone else out there to ask him about his Coples guarantee on Twitter. And then see how long it takes to get blocked.

BUY: Quinton Coples – I should have known right when Peter Schwartz called him a Gholston that I could start preparing for his trip to Canton in 2030, but I was very pleasantly surprised to see him play so well against the Bengals. With his size and athletic ability, combined with Mo Wilkerson, the Jets are going to be very, very good up front this year.

BUY: Patrick Turner – In last week’s Stock Watch I mentioned one of the big things to watch during the preseason was to see if one of the receivers on the roster could step up and make an impact with Santonio Holmes and many others out with injuries. Well, Patrick Turner is the one who appears to have made the most of his opportunity so far. Don’t forget, Turner played with Mark Sanchez at USC and was a highly regarded prospect coming out of college. He clearly has a rapport with Sanchez, and he’s earned his spot on the team with good special teams play and very good blocking. Now it looks like he will have the opportunity to get some serious playing time on offense, and he’s making the most of it.

SELL: Bart Scott’s Playing Time – I’m a big Bart Scott fan and I think he gets a bad rap from a lot of fans, but seeing Benjarvus Green-Ellis, who is not exactly “fast”, toast Bart on a crossing pattern for a big gain was painful to see. Whether Bart likes it or not, Demario Davis is going to see a lot of action in passing situations while he’s standing next to Rex Ryan watching.

SELL: The Offensive Line – My God that was painful to watch last Friday. And that was without the human turnstile Wayne Hunter playing. It appears as though the line is in midseason form and quite intent on getting Mark Sanchez killed on the field this season. There was constant pressure in the backfield and little to no running room opened up for the backs. Now, Cincinnati has a pretty solid defense, but if the line plays like that against the Giants this week, I hope Mark Sanchez fakes an injury before the game rather than play and suffer a real one.

That’s it for this week. Be sure to check back on Friday for the first Fantasy Football column of the season so you can kick the crap out of all your friend son the fantasy gridiron this year!

 

8 Steps To Achieve The Perfect Fantasy Football League, Part 2

Mike Donnelly finishes out his 8 easy steps to having a perfect fantasy football league

Mike Donnelly will be leading our fantasy football coverage all season. Make sure to check out part 1 of this article here and to follow him all season on Twitter. Today he finishes the breakdown of the 8 key steps to having a perfect fantasy football league –

GET YOUR TURN ON THE JETS VINTAGE JETS T-SHIRT NOW. PRE-SEASON OPENER IS 3 DAYS AWAY!

5. Appoint a strong Commissioner. Terms like “jerk”, “inflexible”, and “know-it-all” may seem like unflattering things to be called. But in the fantasy land, those are exactly the qualities you want in your Commission of the PFL. I take them as as compliment now. Oh you want to fight me tomorrow? That means I’m doing a good job. The rules have to be iron-clad, everyone has to obey them, and there can be no shenanigans. No unfair trades, no collusion, no getting around the waiver rules. Otherwise you end up in a league where a team falls out of it and tries to help their buddy in exchange for a few bucks, or there’s one guy who tries to cheat his way through waivers, etc. Those are not things you need in a PFL.

To become a good Commissioner you need to do a few things: First, put in the scoring system I showed you above. Second, implement a waiver system in which every team owner has 100 dollars to bid on free agents for the season. They put their bids in after the games on Sunday, and have until Wednesday night to do so. At that point, the highest bidder gets the free agent. After the waiver process ends, pickups are free Thursday through kickoff of the first game of the week. Very simple, fair, and efficient. Trust me on this. Third, make sure everybody pays at the draft or very shortly after. No exceptions. Fourth, draw up an iron clad league Constitution that clearly states all the rules and ins and outs of the league — Things such as Playoff rules, scoring tie breakers, trade rules, etc all need to be included here. That way any time an incident arises you can just point to the Constitution. Any questions or problems with these rules need to be brought up at the draft. Which is why you need to…

6. Have a live, IN PERSON draft. Besides being a great excuse to spend a Saturday with your friends drinking beer, eating pizza, and having fun, it also helps clear up any issues anybody might have with the league. Things just get done so much easier in person.

Besides that, it also gives you good insight into what all the other team owners are thinking or trying to do. Sometimes you can look across the table and just know who the other guy is hoping falls to him. That’s when you announce it to the group and blow up his spot. Nothing is more fun. Except maybe when a guy reaches for a player and you can string off a couple of thinly-veiled insults. Some of my favorites include: “We’re in the 10th round already?” when a guy makes a bad pick in the 5th round; “Is that last year’s draft guide you are using?” when someone takes a washed up player; “HA! Good one, who are you really picking?”;  “Someone needs to stop drinking”;  or “Awesome! That just means one more actually good player will fall to me”. Plus, did I mention it’s a good excuse to get together with 11 of your friends to drink beer and let loose for a few hours? I did, but one more time: It’s an excuse to get together with 11 of your closest friends and have an excuse to drink beer and have fun.

7. Have thick skin. I touched on this above, but it’s worth repeating and making it’s own rule. You have to remember: the things written about you, the pictures posted about you, the derogatory polls made about you, and whatever else are all in good fun. Plus they are probably hilarious, and you’d love it if they were about your friend instead of you. Then, you should strive to give it back to that person just as good without being a jerk about it.

In my PFL there are no less than 3 articles written with photoshopped pictures about a league member written per week. Plus at least a poll or two. And the polls don’t typically ask “Who is going to win this week’s matchup” if you catch my drift. They are far more personal and much more likely to include someone’s girlfriend and farm animals. That’s what makes it fun. If you get upset because someone asked “What’s in worse position – Joe’s team or the Kardashian family?” or called you the “Dungeon Master” because your team is absolute crap, well, you just aren’t going to make it over 16+ weeks. I will make a comment about anything you do. I will insult your free agent pick up; I will say you got fleeced in the big trade you made just to make you mad; I’ll laugh about the girl you hooked up with last night and post a picture of it that I secretly took; I’ll offer you some terribly unfair trades just to make you mad; I’ll make my team name something about you. I expect you to do the same, just be funny about it. Deal with it.

8. Finally, check your league at least once a day. This should go without saying, but if you aren’t doing this, you are really missing out. How are you getting through the work day? How are you getting through those hour-long phone calls with your girlfriend without scrolling through the top free agent defenses and their match-ups for the next 3 weeks? If someone offers you a trade and you don’t reply one way or another, or even say you are thinking about it, you should be excommunicated. There is no reason for that. A trade offer should not sit for any longer than 3 days. On top of doing it so you have a better chance of winning and staying a step ahead of your competition, in the PFL there is always something going on to entertain you whether it’s an article, a poll, a post on the message board, a picture, etc. Just check once a day, and you’ll be glad you did.

Keep in mind, fantasy football only lasts 4 months of the year. We have to cherish these times and get the most out of it that we possibly can. These 8 steps will surely help put you on the path to having a Perfect Fantasy League, but it’s up to you to make it happen. Just know that there are some people out there that have seen the light. It is possible. Come and join us and spread the word.

New York Jets: Green and White Scrimmage Recap

Mike Donnelly recaps the New York Jets Green and White scrimmage

Mike Donnelly provides a recap of today’s Green and White scrimmage. Make sure to give him a follow on Twitter and check back tomorrow for Chris Gross’ overview of the Jets options at wide receiver with Santonio Holmes likely being out for 4-6 weeks with a broken rib. 

With today’s first Jets Green and White scrimmage taking place, the important thing to remember is that today is August 4th and the season doesn’t begin for another five weeks. So getting too up or too down about certain players or position groups on this team based on one glorified practice is a pretty futile exercise. That being said, there would be no fun in keeping a level head and not breaking down the action that we saw, heard, or read tweets about this afternoon.

The main thing to know about today’s scrimmage was that in addition to learning a whole new system on the fly, the Jets offense was without wide receivers Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley, and Chaz Schilens, plus 3/5 of their starting offensive line were out. (Nick Mangold was off in London to watch his sister compete in the Olympics, Brandon Moore was out watching Curtis Martin get inducted into the Hall of Fame, and Wayne Hunter was not playing, which would usually be good thing until you remember his backups are even worse, but that’s a whole other issue). Oh, and they were only going against arguably the best defense in the NFL.

No big deal. That of course won’t stop many “experts” and commenters from bashing the offense and making unfunny Twitter jokes, but the fact is, the defense is supposed to dominate in situations like that. So for the purposes of this article, I’m going to be looking at all of the positives that came out of today’s scrimmage and not taking petty shots at anyone; not even at Tim Tebow, i promise. Let’s break this down in easy-to-read fashion with random thoughts:

Quinton Coples – I guess all the fans ready to call him a Gholston (it seemed like some actually want him to fail so they can say “I told you so”, which blows my mind) can exhale and actually, you know, give the first round pick more than 6 practices before writing him off. On the very first play of the scrimmage he beat his man, knifed in, and stuffed Shonn Greene behind the line of scrimmage. After that, by all accounts he played very well and should only build off this performance.

Flashes of the new Defense – Rex Ryan started to show some wrinkles he’s incorporating into the new 46 defense this year, and came in with many different looks. Aaron Maybin was all over the field lining up at many different positions, and we even saw some looks where Calvin Pace and Coples were standing up next to each other on the same side of the line. It’s very easy to get excited about this defense, especially when you read things like…

Antonio Allen, Garrett McIntyre, and Ricky Sapp all looked great – Three guys who are all under-the-radar and unknown to casual fans all have had very strong camps and continued that today. Allen has looked like an absolute steal as a 7th round pick, and Sapp and McIntyre are proving that the Jets are not as thin at OLB as many would think. Those Stock Watch Buys of Sapp the past few weeks are looking like money makers so far!

Dustin Keller – Keller caught 3 passes for 31 yards against the first string defense, which is a very positive sign. It appears as though new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano got the memo Brian Schottenheimer never got around to reading, about Dustin Keller being a legit weapon for this offense and if put in the proper position can really do well. Better late than never I suppose. Speaking of Sparano..

Sparano makes adjustments, Sanchez looks sharp – After getting it handed to them early in the scrimmage, when the offense came out for the first drive after halftime, they looked totally different. Mark Sanchez looked great as he went 7-9 for 52 yards during a 60-yard drive that culminated in a touchdown pass to Bilal Powell. That halftime adjustment already gives Sparano one more than Schotty had in six years here as coordinator. Sad, but true.

Santonio Holmes broke his ribs – Oh wait, that’s not a positive at all. But it looks as though that is the case, as he was apparently leveled by #2 wide receiver Antonio Cromartie — yes, Antonio Cromartie made a big hit. Seriously. — and came out of the scrimmage. If the rib is indeed broken, his status for week 1 is very much up in the air. The options to replace him from outside the organization are downright putrid now that Braylon Edwards just signed with Seattle, so someone has to step up. If there is a silver lining to all of this, it will give players like Chaz Schilens, Patrick Turner, Jeremy Kerley and even Jordan White the opportunity to step in and show the coaching staff something. It remains to be seen whether or not they will do so, but if all else fails, I guess we can just look forward to watching a 57-8 run/pass ratio in week 1, right?

Curtis Martin going into the HOF – Not part of today’s scrimmage, but definitely worth mentioning. One of the greatest Jets of all time is heading into the Hall of Fame tonight, and we couldn’t be happier for him here at TOJ. If you missed my column on why Curtis deserves this honor so much, you can check that out here.

Turn On The Jets Stock Watch 7/24 – Training Camp…Finally Edition

Mike Donnelly’s weekly stock watch is looking forward to training camp finally kicking off

Mike Donnelly is back for his weekly Stock Watch with his last pre-training camp edition. Make sure to give Mike a follow on Twitter and keep coming back for this column all season here at Turn On The Jets…

Training camp is a few days away still, the basketball offseason is basically complete, and the dog days of baseball are in full effect. The worst sports period of the entire calendar year is just about over, so let’s get the ball rolling and go ahead and make that our first sell –

SELL: Mid-July on the Sports Calendar I feel like I’m looking forward to the football pre-season more than ever this year. Baseball has basically bored me to tears, and the excitement of the Knicks and Nets bolstering their rosters has quickly faded. In two weeks I will probably be complaining about the media’s Jets hatred and over-saturation of Tebow stories, but as of right now, I can’t wait for that to get here.

SELL: Jason Bay and the Mets– And here’s a big reason why baseball has has officially turned me off for the season. The Mets have now lost 10 of 11 games and I have to watch the man who is by far my most hated player trot out there day after day after day to strike out  or ground out weekly to shortstop. I have a theory that Omar Minaya knew he was about to be fired so he signed Bay as an “F U” to the Mets ownership and their fan base as his final joke.

BUY: The Jeff Otah trade– YES! Now we’re talking! Some good old fashioned Jets news – and pleasant news at that. This just goes to show you that my previous sells of “The ‘New’ Wayne Hunter” and new line coach Dave DeGuglielmo’s spirited defense of him (which was downright hilarious and made him look like a fool) were money makers. Coach Gooch can speak until he’s blue in the face about how great Hunter is, but actions speak louder than words, and the action move was getting a new Right Tackle. Wayne Hunter did and will continue to suck, so getting a 1st round talent in here to take over the job is an excellent move. I fully understand his injury history and all that, but I’ll take a 60% healthy Jeff Otah over 450% of Wayne Hunter any day.

SELL: The Detroit Lions– Just reminding everyone that I’m down on the Lions this year BIG TIME, and in coming weeks I’ll mention that plenty more times. These 7 arrests this offseason? Yeah.. not a good start for them.

BUY: The new TurnOnTheJets.com T-Shirts – If you haven’t checked these out in the new TOJ store, you owe it to yourself to do so. Of course, I had a (small) part in picking out the design, so obviously they’re beautiful and top notch. And yes I just patted myself on the back for basically nothing. Like I said, its a slow time of the year, come on.

BUY: The Yankees Getting Ichiro– This move just screams Yankees. It has all the qualities of a classic Yankees midseason trade. They had a small crack in the foundation of the team with Brett Gardner out for the season so they went and poured 30 pounds of concrete on it. They added a future Hall-of-Famer for basically nothing, tacked on some salary (which no other teams seem willing to do), and now they have an outfielder who is going to KILL IT in Yankees Stadium the rest of this season as he makes a push for a new contract. You can add this as reason #9,671 of why I hate the Yankees.

BUY: Jets Training Camp – Worth mentioning again, but Jets training camp is here and I couldn’t be more excited. I hope all the readers stick with us in the coming weeks and months, because things are about to heat up in a big way around here. If anybody plans on attending training camp, shoot one of us a line, because I think there’s more than a good chance that I’ll make the trek up there one of the days. Hopefully I get to see my good pal Manish Mehta again and give him a chance to bribe me for the #1 spot in our next Power Rankings column.