Turn On The Jets – NFL Week 5 Best Bets

Chris Celletti with his Best Bets for week 5 of the NFL Season

Eat. Drink. Football. Gamble. America. Make sure to check out our deal this weekend courtesy of Night Out. $20 for 20 wings and 2 pitchers of beer.

Week 4 Record 1-2

Season Record: 4-7-1

Damn you Larry Tynes! Once again, never bet on your crosstown rival. It just never works.

So I watched the Presidential Debate on Thursday night. It was horrible television, as most debates are. Everybody was ripping moderator Jim Lehrer for not taking control, but why even have a moderator on these things? Neither candidate follows the format whatsoever. This is how a presidential debate generally goes:

Candidate 1: “…And that’s how I plan on putting Americans back to work!”

Moderator: “Candidate 2, can you directly respond to Candidate 1’s plan to add jobs to the economy?”

Candidate 2: “Well, one thing I agree on with my opponent is that our military must remain the strongest in the world.”

These guys aren’t debating crap. They’re simply spewing pre-canned responses of their positions regardless of what the other says or what they were actually asked by the useless moderator. Unless you’re Mitt Romney, who essentially lied for 90 minutes and was deemed the run away winner. Only in American politics.

But the real reason I bring this up was that I saw a freakish parallel between the Presidential race – specifically the debate and the reaction to it – and the NFL. After the debate, it was widely opined that Romney had won. This was a shock to most people. Most expected President Obama to whitewash Romney. After the debate, there was incredible overreaction on both sides…just like we see each and every week in the NFL. It was like if the Colts beat the Packers this week. Massive underdogs, the Colts would be riding an incredible wave of high after beating an incumbent great NFL team. And good for them if they do, they should feel great about themselves. But you know if that happens, you’ll see Peter King dedicate four pages of his column on how sneaky-good the Colts are, how Andrew Luck is already a top-10 quarterback in the NFL and headed for Canton and how brilliantly the Colts are run from an organizational standpoint. And then you’ll flip on ESPN and Mark Schlereth will be babbling inanities like “The Packers are in trouble,” or “I’m seeing a shift in Aaron Rodgers that tells me he just isn’t the same guy he once was.”

Last night after the debate, Chris Matthews on MSNBC had me thinking I was watching Jets’ Post Game Live on SNY. He was totally distraught, yelling into the camera things like “What was he (Obama) doing out there!? Who was that guy!?” You can pretty much tune into SNY after every Jet game and get the same thing from Ray Lucas talking about Mark Sanchez. And of course Romney supporters are already pouring their scotch in anticipation of a November MittFest. It was just one good night for Romney, one bad one for Obama, and there’s so much that can and will happen in the time being. But you know, we can’t be rational about things like politics and sports.

Point of this all is, can we somehow find a way to have Mike Francesa moderate the next debate? Please?

Anyway, I’m supposed to make some picks or something in this column, so here we go:

Green Bay -7 at Colts

Ha! See what I did there? But no, really. Pack are due for a big win.

Bills +9.5 at 49ers

I in no way think the Bills are heading to the west coast and beating the Niners, but I think they’ll put up a much better fight than the Jets or Obama did (back to the politics for a second: who coached Obama before that debate, Brian Schottenheimer? “Hey Barry, here’s what you DON’T do: mention that 47% thing. Way too risky. Run the ball.”) Even if it’s a 14 point game late, I could see a late touchdown and a backdoor cover for the Bills.

Saints -4 vs. Chargers

It’s gonna be a silly high scoring game, but I think it’s about time the Saints won a darn football game. Back home at the dome, I think they’ll finally get on the board, and by a touchdown at least.

Bonus Non-Football Bet of the Week (Season Record 3-1)

We’re two for our last two in the English Premier League, so why mess with a broken thing? Let’s make it tiny bit harder and go with a little two-game parlay, Fulham (+165) over Southampton and Everton (+100) over Wigan.

New York Jets – Look Towards Future At Wide Receiver

The New York Jets can’t make a knee jerk reaction at wide receiver

There are unconfirmed reports that New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes is out for the season with a foot injury. Even if the news proves to be untrue, it is unrealistic to expect Holmes back before December considering how long his medical results are taking to be announced. This news has led many Jets fans to throw out names in desperation knee jerk reactions –

Plaxico Burress? It isn’t happening. Burress was a disaster scene in the Jets locker room last season. The team not bringing him back goes beyond being concerned about Mark Sanchez’s feelings as some have suggested. Burress was problematic for the whole offense. There is a reason he hasn’t been signed by anybody yet and has literally worked out for one team since the season ended. Outside of the off the field issues, he can’t get separation anymore. His skill set is not worth the headache. People go crazy about his 8 touchdowns last year. I have news for you 3 came in one game against San Diego, two came in garbage time, one against Oakland and one against Philadelphia. You take away the Chargers game, he had 3 meaningful touchdowns in 15 games.

Chad Ochocinco? Terrell Owens? Neither player is worth the side show. There is no reason for a long paragraph since neither is capable of being a productive NFL receiver at this point of their career.

It is time to face the reality that the New York Jets roster needs to be completely rebuilt. Why not start now? If you acquire a wide receiver, go trade for a young receiver with long term upside. A type of player like James Jones, who the Jets should have traded for this off-season but now might not be able to be had because of how productive he has been and because of Greg Jennings injury problems.

The other option is to let the young players play. You drafted Stephen Hill in the 2nd round. No, he isn’t ready to be a full time NFL receiver yet but you might as well give him those reps now and let him work through the mistakes. He needs to be your opening day starter in 2013 or you wasted another 2nd round pick, just like you did with Vladimir Ducasse and Kellen Clemens. Jeremy Kerley is a very talented slot receiver, figure out the best way to use him and make sure he is ready to fulfill his potential next season in the slot and as a rushing option.

Chaz Schilens has looked good in limited duty through four games. Play him and maybe he gives you a productive season. Now you have another option heading into next year, now you are building depth on your roster. Bring 7th round pick Jordan White back and let him play 20 plays a game, maybe he develops…maybe he doesn’t but at least you are giving reps to one of your rookie draft picks and not a 37 year old veteran with no future.

Don’t dump money away. You have needs all over the field to fill next off-season. Let your draft picks play and hope they fulfill their potential.

Turn On The Jets Week 4 NFL Picks

The TOJ staff submits their week 4 NFL picks

The Race for Steak continues. Note that last week’s record includes the most recent Thursday Night game. Also make sure to hit up M1-5 in NYC for unlimited drafts for $25, courtesy of Night Out this weekend! 

CURRENT STANDINGS

1. Mike Donnelly (28-19-2)

2. Rob  Celletti (21-26-2)

3. Chris Celletti (20-27-2)

4. Chris Gross (19-28-2)

5. Joe Caporoso (18-29-2)

Joe Caporoso

Last Week (7-8)

  • Patriots (-4) vs. Bills
  • Falcons (-7) vs. Panthers
  • 49ers (-3.5) vs. Jets
  • Kansas City (PK) vs. Chargers
  • Titans (+12) vs. Texans
  • Rams (+2.5) vs. Seahawks
  • Cardinals (-6) vs. Dolphins
  • Raiders (+6.5) vs. Broncos
  • Bengals (-1.5) vs. Jaguars
  • Packers (-7.5) vs. Saints
  • Redskins (+3) vs. Bucs
  • Giants (+2) vs. Eagles
  • Bears (+3.5) vs. Cowboys

Mike Donnelly

Last Week (11-4)

  • Bills +4.5
  • Jets +4.5
  • Rams +3
  • Panthers +7.5
  • Vikings +4
  • Chiefs +1.5
  • Texans -12
  • Jaguars +3
  • Raiders +7
  • Dolphins +6
  • Bucs -3
  • Packers -7.5
  • Giants +1.5
  • Bears +3.5

Rob Celletti

Last Week (6-9)

  • Patrios (-3.5) over Bills
  • Lions (-4.5) over Vikings
  • Falcons (-7) over Panthers
  • 49ers (-4) over Jets
  • Chiefs (+1.5) over Chargers
  • Texans (-12) over Titans
  • Rams (+3) over Seahawks
  • Dolphins (+5.5) over Cardinals
  • Broncos (-7) over Raiders
  • Bengals (-1.5) over Jaguars
  • Packers (-7.5) over Saints
  • Redskins (+3) over Buccaneers
  • Eagles (-2) over Giants
  • Cowboys (-3) over Bears

Chris Celletti

Last Week (5-10)

  • Patriots
  • Lions
  • Falcons
  • Jets
  • Chargers
  • Titans
  • Seahawks
  • Cardinals
  • Broncos
  • Bengals
  • Saints
  • Bucs
  • Giants
  • Cowboys

Chris Gross

Last Week (6-9)

  • Patriots (-3.5)
  • Lions (-4.5)
  • Falcons (-7)
  • Jets (+4)
  • Chiefs (+1.5)
  • Titans (+12)
  • Seahawks (-3)
  • Cardinals (-5.5)
  • Broncos (-7)
  • Bengals (-1.5)
  • Saints (+7.5)
  • Buccaneers (-3)
  • Giants (+2)
  • Bears (+3)

 

Turn On The Jets Week 4 Fantasy Football Preview

It has only been three weeks of fantasy football so far, and I totally understand your natural reactions to your team’s start. If you’re 3-0, you think the good times will never end, while if you’re 0-3, you’re cursing Evan Silva and the other “experts” who insisted you draft guys like Ryan Mathews and Cam Newton with top 5 picks. I get that, it’s perfectly natural to feel like that. But no matter what has happened so far, and no matter how well you drafted, you’re going to need to add some pieces off the waiver wire. The key to keeping your 3-0 team on top is going to be building solid depth for bye weeks and protect yourself against an injury. If your team looks poor now, all it takes is one big time waiver wire pick up and you’ll be right back in it.

Every year, starting players get injured and the backup steps in to take the league by storm. Some of these players single-handedly win fantasy leagues for people. Already this year we have seen a few players seemingly come out of nowhere to have monster games and are now mainstays on teams. Take a look around your fantasy league and you’ll see guys like Mikel Leshoure, CJ Spiller, Andre Brown, Christian Ponder, and Dennis Pitta already littering rosters and contributing in a big way. The key for your team going forward is to identify possible break-out candidates that are almost always running backs, stash them on your bench, and then keep your fingers crossed. Let’s identify some of these potential break through guys.

RB Jacquizz Rodgers – Readers of this column will know that I have been beating the Jacquizz drum since before the season. I think Michael Turner is absolutely useless, and you can see that the Falcons coaching staff is close to fully agreeing with me. Last week Jacquizz recorded 10 carries, 5 catches, 67 total yards, and a touchdown. In PPR leagues, he should already be on a roster in your league, but if he’s still there no matter what kind of league you are in, stop reading this now and pick him up.

RB Bilal Powell – Shonn Greene’s struggles this season have been well documented amongst Jets fans, and after last week’s game in Miami it appears as though the team is starting to lean more towards a running back by committee approach with Bilal Powell getting more and more touches. He was already the full-time 3rd down back and the preferred passing target out of the backfield, but now it seems as though he’s going to get a steady 10 carries or so a week with a chance for that number to greatly increase.

RB Kendall Hunter – The 49ers are going to remain a predominantly running team as long as Alex Smith is the quarterback, and I don’t think you can rely on starter Frank Gore all season long. The guy has a history of nagging injuries, and now that he’s getting older the team may err on the side of caution and start working Hunter in more and more, perhaps even getting a few starts.

RB Robert Turbin – The Seahawks loved the bruising RB in the preseason, and he’s the clear backup to Marshawn Lynch, who has been playing through a lingering back problem. Should Lynch break down from the 30 touches a week the Seahawks are forcing on him, Turbin would be in line for 20 or so touches a week, which makes him a real candidate to be a breakout star.

RB Lamar Miller – Jets fans everywhere are now rooting for Reggie Bush to get injured after his Darrelle Revis comments, and judging by the disgraced former Heisman winner’s history, it’s only a matter of time until he does indeed get injured. When he does, rookie Lamar Miller looks poised to take over rather than the terrible Daniel Thomas. If and when that happens, Miller could become a stud, even on a crappy Dolphins team.

RB Ronnie Hillman – Willis McGahee is a prime candidate for “starting RB who gets injured” status, and I believe rookie Ronnie Hillman will be the man to step in and get the bulk of the carries rather than Knowshon Moreno (who the coaches clearly hate), or Lance Ball (who isn’t that good).

RB Mike Goodson – If you own Darren McFadden and don’t have Mike Goodson on your bench to protect yourself, you need your head examined. If, or WHEN, McFadden suffers his yearly injury, Goodson should be in line for 15+ touches and some solid production.

WR Jeremy Kerley – Just a hunch…

WR Jerome Simpson – The Vikings are supposedly in love with Simpson and can’t wait to get him out on the field starting in week 4. He’s gotten a lot of buzz, but it’s guys like this who could end up turning your middle of the pack fantasy team into a legit contender.

WEEK 4 ONE-LINERS

“Get em in there!”

QB Christian Ponder @ Det – Few QB’s are playing better than Ponder, while few pass defenses are playing as poorly as Detroit.

QB Andy Dalton @ Jax – The Jags pass D is anemic, and AJ Green is dominating defenses.

RB Mikel Leshoure vs. Minn – The Vikings no longer have the dominant run defense they once did, and Leshoure is clearly the Lions bellcow, especially with Stafford hurting.

RB Ryan Williams vs. Mia – Yes, the Dolphins have a stout run defense, but Williams is a very talented runner and he no longer has to split reps with the useless Beanie Wells.

RB Jacquizz Rodgers vs. Car – The Panthers defense stinks, but the game could turn into a shootout where Rodgers gets lots of targets from Matt Ryan.

WR Jordy Nelson vs. NO – As a disgruntled Nelson owner, I feel your pain. But make sure you keep him active in week 4 as he catches up on 3 weeks worth of stats against that garbage Saints defense.

WR Lance Moore @ GB – I’d normally never recommend starting Moore outdoors, but this game is going to likely be a shootout, and someone has to rack up the yards.

WR Kenny Britt @ Hou – The Texans have a tough run defense, and this could be Britt’s 2012 coming out party.

WR Brandon Marshall @ Dall – I’ve seen him ranked in the late 20’s on plenty of ranking lists this week. I don’t get it at all, he’s a #1 receiver still.

TE Dennis Pitta vs. Cle – His season has not been a fluke. He’s the most targeted TE in football.

TE Martellus Bennett @ Phi – The Eagles linebackers still stink.

“Not this week”

QB Matt Stafford vs. Minn – Reports say he’s going to play. Unfortunately those reports don’t say he might just end up leaving the game after a few series.

QB Michael Vick vs. NYG – There’s a really great chance he doesn’t finish this game.

RB Frank Gore @ NYJ – I think the Jets D steps it up big time this week.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw @ Phi – Just don’t trust him to take back the job from Andre Brown quite yet.

RB Benjarvus Green-Ellis @ Jax – I’d still start him if you got him, but I wouldn’t expect the kind of production many are calling for this week.

WR Hakeem Nicks @ Phi – The Eagles are going to stick Asomugha on him and do everything they can to slow him down.

WR Marques Colston @ GB – I don’t expect Colston to rack up big numbers this week, despite the game likely turning into a shootout.

WR Dez Bryant vs Chi – The Bears cover 2 defense limits the big plays, and that takes away from Bryant’s output this week.

TOJ Staff Thursday Night Football “Race For The Steak” Picks:

Joe Caporoso – Baltimore (-12)

Chris Gross – Cleveland (+12)

Mike Donnelly – Cleveland (+12)

Chris Celletti – Cleveland (+12)

Rob Celletti – Cleveland (+12)

Initial Reaction – A Win Filled With Major Problems, Jets 2-1

The New York Jets won ugly…very ugly over the Miami Dolphins 23-20 in overtime

Today was one of those wins that wasn’t very easy to enjoy. Let’s start with this reality, it appears likely that Darrelle Revis tore his ACL. We won’t find out for sure until tomorrow but any educated fan understands what a season ending injury means to the quality of the Jets defense. A Jets defense that already is not very good. It certainly isn’t elite. It certainly isn’t great. I’m not even sure if it is fair to classify it as good. When you allow a rookie quarterback to drive up and down the field on you with his second and third string running backs and the collection of receivers Miami has, you have nothing to puff your chest out about. If Reggie Bush doesn’t get hurt, the Jets might have lost by 10-14 points today.

The Jets have no pass rush, no speed at linebacker and cornerbacks in Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson and Ellis Lankster who play the ball poorly in the air and are susceptible to double moves. Quinton Coples and Demario Davis have brought nothing to the defense so far. Aaron Maybin is a non-factor and the tackling for the entire unit is below average. This defense has a ton of room to improve and Rex Ryan must start finding a way to manufacture a pass rush.

On offense, it is painfully apparent the New York Jets had no well defined plan on how to use Tim Tebow coming into this season. So far his primary use this year has been as a slot receiver, who can’t catch the football (sadly, I’m serious). The Jets have been awful in short yardage and around the goal-line. If Tebow can’t get on the field on the 1 yard line on any of the Jets attempts down there, why is he on this team?

At running back, Shonn Greene needs to be put on the bench. I have battled with readers of this site the past few weeks about Greene but the numbers and production don’t lie. 19 carries for 40 yards? 2 yards per carry? How could you defend this guy as the starting running back? Don’t talk about the offensive line not opening up holes because Bilal Powell had 10 carries for 45 yards or 4.5 yards per carry. It is time to make Powell the starter, Joe McKnight (the Jets aren’t good enough on offense to keep somebody with his speed on the bench) the 3rd down back and relegate Greene to 7-10 carries per game off the bench. He isn’t even reliable enough in short yardage to make him a speciality back for that. Greene is painfully slow and has no ability to break tackles or make people miss.

Mark Sanchez did not play well at quarterback today. Simply put, he needs to complete a higher percentage of his passes and improve his decision making. His interception in the red-zone was awful, regardless of the poor route from Jeff Cumberland. Yes, there were dropped passes. Stephen Hill dropped an easy touchdown and had an overall poor game. Bilal Powell had a key third down drop. Regardless, Sanchez supporting cast is weak. We knew that coming into the year. It is a reality that isn’t going away. He needs to find a way to elevate his play and the play of those around him.

Now to the positives because there were a few – Santonio Holmes as Mark Sanchez eloquently put it “played his ass off.” Despite coverage being rolled to him, Holmes racked up 9 catches for 147 yards and the key catch in overtime. Jeremy Kerley is turning into a reliable playmaker and the Jets must do a better job of the getting the ball in his hands more. LaRon Landry had a pick six and has been a substantial upgrade at safety. Sanchez deserves credit for driving the Jets for the go ahead touchdown and the game winning field goal and throwing for over 300 yards with the collection of receivers and tight ends he had on the field.

The Jets aren’t a very good team and have many things to improve on. Regardless, they are 2-1. 2-0 in the AFC East and currently in 1st place. A win is a win and we’ll take it.

Turn On The Jets 12 Pack, Week 3 – Jets vs. Dolphins

Turn On The Jets with 12 predictions for the Jets week 3 match-up against the Miami Dolphins

How about this weather in New York City? There is nothing like the autumn. It reminds me of getting ready for another breakout 3 catch, 26 yard performance at Muhlenberg as we got ready to whoop up on Union College (sorry Chris Gross). Anyway, The New York Daily News or as we call them around here, TMZ has had a fun week of stirring the quarterback controversy pot and talking about Tebow shirtless. Fortunately, we have supplied you with all the necessary football coverage…emphasis on football you need here the past five days. The Mission To Civilize continues –

On to the predictions –

1. Ryan Tannehill will have at least two turnovers and struggle to push the ball down the field to his overmatched wide receivers against the Jets secondary. He won’t top 175 yards passing.

2. Stephen Hill will get back to being a factor, finishing with at least 55 yards receiving and his third touchdown of the season.

3. Reggie Bush will be the leading rusher in this game and keep Miami competitive for about three quarters, finishing with 80 yards rushing and another 35 receiving, along with a touchdown.

4. Brian Hartline will have less than 40 yards receiving.

5. Bilal Powell will have 10 carries and average more yards per carry than Shonn Greene, who will have another disappointing effort.

6. Tim Tebow will have 40 total offensive yards and his first touchdown of the season on a short run.

7. Mark Sanchez will complete 60% of his passes or higher, finish with over 200 yards passing and not have a turnover.

8. Cameron Wake will have at least one sack.

9. Joe McKnight will see his most extensive work of the season on offense and finish with 45 total offensive yards.

10. Aaron Maybin will have his first sack of the season.

11. The Jets won’t miss a beat without John Conner. Konrad Reuland will play at FB/H-Back and play well enough to begin taking most of his reps when he returns healthy.

12. The Jets will win 23-10 in a game that will remain tight into the early fourth quarter but will get put away by a lengthly touchdown drive from the Jets offense and a shutdown Jets defense.

Turn On The Jets NFL Week 3 Best Bets

Chris Celletti submits his Best Bets for week 3 of the 2012 NFL Season

Week 2 Record: 2-0-1

Season Record: 3-2-1

For this column’s purposes, I went 2-0-1 last week. I say that because when I actually put my money where my mouth was, by Sunday morning, the Giants’ line vs. the Buccaneers had moved to -7.5. When I wrote my Week 2 piece, it was at -7. We call that a push, you guys. But as always the moral of the story goes: Don’t bet on your crosstown rival. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you need to root for a team you usually loathe, it never ends well. So that was the lesson of Week 2 for me (that and “Always buy the point, ass-clown).” As for my two straight up wins, I still cannot figure out how the Texans were only a seven point fave against a crap Jacksonville team, and I loved the Colts and Andrew Luck getting points in their home opener (FYI: Foreshadowing alert!). As Mike Francesa might so eloquently say when he’s not catatonic: Bink, bink, boom…and now we move to Week 3.

Steelers (-3.5) at Raiders

All of us here at Turn On The Jets got a first hand view at the Steelers last week. With Rashard Mendenhall out, Pittsburgh has finally gotten with the times and become a throwing team. Ben Roehtlisberger has three very good wide receivers who can stretch the field and a dependable tight end, and they look like a team who is going to put up some serious points. Big Ben totally picked apart the Jets’ secondary last week – still a talented group even without Darrelle Revis. Oakland just got their asses handed to them by Miami. Also, “The Black Hole” is the most asinine feature of any sports stadium in the world. Right, because the Steelers – world class, insanely trained professional athletes –  are scared of a bunch of mouth-breathers who treat eight Sundays a year like Halloween. I hope the Raiders go winless at home for a decade.

Colts (-3) vs. Jacksonville

This is a meshing of my Week 2 victories in one: Colts at home vs. the Jaguars. Love it, bro. Consider me on the Andrew Luck train. He’s a soccer fan who can probably name at least 15 out of the 19 MLS teams. Good on you, sir, you have that in common with me and 1% of the American male population. Home teams have been covering at a pretty high clip so far, some of which might have to do with the replacement refs. I’m not backing off my stance with the Jaguars being one of the worst teams in the league. I picked them before the season as under 5.5 wins for the year, and an 0-3 start would get that future bet off to a promising start.

Broncos (+2) vs. Texans

I think this is going to be a really tight game, and I’ll go with the home team getting points. First off, everybody talks about the Houston Texans like they’re God’s gift to football. Yeah, they’re good. They might be really good. They’re not unbeatable. The Broncos have a solid enough defense to keep the game close, and I think we might see a Peyton Manning late-game drive to set up a winning field goal. I see this as a “can go either way” type game.

Bonus Non-Football Bet of the Week (Season Record: 1-1)

I know, last week’s bet that the Milwaukee Brewers would take their series against the LOLMets wasn’t the boldest of calls, but hey, I told you it was free money. And when the Mets took the first game of the series, we were hot water for a second there, folks. For Week 3 we move to the other football, and on Sunday morning before the NFL kicks off we have a classic English Premier League match between Fenway Sports Group’s latest shitshow, Liverpool, against Manchester United. Winning on the road in the Premier League is pretty tough, which is why Man U is +160 on the money line to do so (when you bet on soccer, with the prospect of ties, you get scenarios in which both teams are at “plus” odds like this). Much like the Red Sox, Liverpool is a mess. They’re winless through four Premier League matches and in 17th place. Maybe after Man U goes in and thrashes the poor Reds, John Henry will plant a story in the media that Brendan Rodgers is hooked on painkillers and Steven Gerrard and Pepe Reina are having pre-match Guinnesses and Fish and Chips. There isn’t a team and fanbase in the entire world more deserving of Fenway’s swift buy-and-destroy job than Liverpool. Good riddance.

Turn On The Jets Week 3 Fantasy Football Preview

Mike Donnelly with his fantasy football preview for week 3

One of the biggest traps people get caught up in when playing fantasy football is being enamored with a player’s name. No, I don’t mean keeping guys with funny names like LaDainian or D’Brickashaw for laughs, or even stashing guys with names that are easy to make team names out of (you can safety drop Isaiah Pead despite the catchy last name). I’m talking about seeing a guy with a big name and thinking just because he was an early draft pick or produced in the past that he will continue to help you out. On the flip side, just because a guy doesn’t have a household name and you may not even know how to spell it, doesn’t mean he can’t contribute to your team and become a fantasy force for you.

You want to stay ahead of the curve and cut bait — either by trade or stashing on the bench — with the “big names” who are duds before everyone else catches on, or you keep getting 3 point clunkers week after week. On the other hand, you want to identify the players on other teams that are off to disappointing starts and try to exploit that owner into trading you a superstar for 60 cents on the dollar. So who are these big name guys we should be making decisions on? Lets break it down..

Stay the Course if you have / Buy Low if you don’t

WR – Larry Fitzgerald – Larry has just 5 catches for 67 yards this season. That is not a misprint or his numbers from the one half of a game, those are his total numbers. Things look bleak right now after starter John Skelton appeared to shatter his leg in week 1 and the noodle-armed Kevin Kolb replaced him, but don’t worry too much. After all, Larry has been dealing with terrible quarterbacks pretty much his whole career. If the Fitz owner in your league is already making waves about how down he is on him, I’d make a low-ball offer and see if he bites. Even better, I’d wait until after week 3 against the Eagles, where Larry is again likely to be bottled up. At that point, the guy who has him in your league may be ready to cut bait.

RB – Darren McFadden – Much has been made about Run DMC’s struggles in the Raiders zone blocking scheme, but if you have him, you can’t even think about benching or trading him. He’s a supreme talent, and he’s likely to be the leading receiver on the team as well as leading rusher. Talk up his struggles and injury history to his owner in your league, and see if he takes 65 cents on the dollar.

QB – Matthew Stafford – Yes, he has underwhelmed so far this season, but he had to play a surprisingly solid Rams defense week 1 that took the Lions by surprise and the 49ers in week 2. There are better times ahead for Stafford and the Lions passing attack. Oh yeah, he also gets to throw to Calvin Johnson. That’s pretty awesome. Send out feelers to the Stafford owner in your league.

WR – Julio Jones – This one is tricky because Julio was dominant in week 1, but if you can convince the Jones owner in your league that Roddy White is still the #1 receiver in Atlanta and Julio is expendable, then you make your move. You make that move RIGHT NOW!

Don’t Cut them, But Let Them Think About Things on Your Bench

RB – Chris Johnson – As a Chris Johnson owner in one of my leagues, I think it’s already time other Chris Johnson owners and I form a support group online or something. We can all exchange horror stories about watching him rush for 1 yard per carry and his general “I don’t give a shit” attitude. I hate you, Chris Johnson, I really do. If you have him on your team, I’m sure you hate him equally as much, and if you have even a remotely decent option on your bench to replace him with, do it, until he shows he deserves to be in your lineup. My league is PPR and I’m considering starting Mikel Leshoure or Jacquizz Rodgers over him this week. It’s that bad. And if you were thinking about making the Johnson owner in your league an offer to buy low, take my advice: Don’t bother.

RB – Michael Turner – There are few less fitting nicknames in sports anymore than “Turner the Burner”. A more fitting nickname for him at this point would be “Turner the Slow”, or “Turner who looks like he runs with crap in his pants”. Doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, but it’s definitely more fitting. Turner is a guy I was extremely low on heading into the season and he hasn’t disappointed me. He even took his crappiness off the field and got himself arrested for a DUI. If you can trick someone in your league to take him off your hands, do it now.

WR – Wes Welker – He might have another solid game this week with Aaron Hernandez suffering an injury in week 2, so he deserves a spot in your starting lineups for now. However, it’s clear that once he failed to sign his contract extension, Bill Belichick decided he was done with Wes Welker. Look at the evidence: He seems to have dropped behind Julian Edelman on the depth chart; he was relegated to being the 6th option on the offense behind Edelman, Lloyd, Gronkowski, Hernandez, and Ridley; Kellen Winslow was brought in so Welker didn’t have to play as much after Hernandez’s injury. If you have him, try to trade him now. Like, right now.

WR – Marques Colston – Have you seen Marques Colston play this season? He looks like he’s moving in slow motion, which I’m pretty sure is a bad thing for a wide receiver. I wouldn’t hesitate to get him on the bench right now, and if you were thinking about trying to “steal” him from an owner in your league, get that thought out of your head.

WEEK 3 ONE-LINERS

Players to Start

QB – Ben Roethlisberger @ Oak – The Raiders are awful. Expect Ben to throw all over them and perform as a top 8 QB.

RB – Stevan Ridley @ Balt – A very tough matchup on the surface, but this is the kind of game Belichick likes to establish the run and keep the Ravens pass rush off Brady.

RB – Andre Brown @ Car – A no-brainer here. Bradshaw is out + bad Panthers D – crybaby David Wilson in the doghouse = heavy workload for Mr. Brown and a quality RB2.

RB – Mikel Leshoure @ Tenn – If he’s active, don’t hesitate to get him in your lineup. Jim Schwartz has had nothing but great things to say about his soon-to-be workhorse RB.

RB – Jacquizz Rodgers @ SD – I’m going to keep putting him here until he produces, but this could definitely be the week with Turner’s DUI, especially in PPR formats.

WR – Brandon LaFell vs. NYG – I’ll make this one simple: Prince Amukamara stinks.

WR – Michael Crabtree @ Minn – The Vikings pass defense is awful, and Crabtree has established himself as the #1 WR in San Fran.

WR – Percy Harvin vs. SF – You should never bench Harvin, but I’ve seen people question him this week against the tough 49ers defense. Don’t.

WR – Donnie Avery vs. Jax – As long as Austin Collie remains out, start Avery with confidence, especially with a juicy matchup like this.

WR – Stephen Hill @ Mia – This is more for deeper leagues, but think more about his week 1 performance than week 2. The Dolphins pass D is comical.

WR – Ramses Barden @ Car – Another deep league play. Barden is going to be the benefactor of Nicks’s absence, not rookie Rueben Randle.

TE Dennis Pitta vs. NE – I’m not sold on the Pats defense, and the most targeted TE in the league through two weeks is a very solid start this week.

TE – Martellus Bennett @ Car – Bennett is becoming a weekly must-start. He’s a threat to score a touchdown every week.

TOJ THURSDAY NIGHT PICKS

  • Joe – Car (-2.5)
  • Rob – Car (-2.5)
  • Chris G (Car -2.5)
  • TJ (NYG +2.5)
  • Chris C (NYG +2.5)
  • Mike (NYG +2.5)

New York Jets – The Sabotage Of Mark Sanchez

Writing against the Mark Sanchez sabotage campaign. When will the New York Jets support their quarterback?

It is no secret the New York Jets haven’t done an adequate job of developing Mark Sanchez since spending a first round pick on him in the 2009 NFL Draft. They certainly did not make a strong effort to upgrade his supporting cast heading into a critical year for his development. A week 1 point explosion against a suspect Buffalo defense temporarily shelved the debate but a disappointing loss to perennial AFC Powerhouse, Pittsburgh has the media hounds and their sources looking pin singular blame on Sanchez and reignite a non-existent quarterback debate.

The Daily News‘ Manish Mehta, he of ever diminishing credibility, published a nearly 700 word story today pinning the Jets loss to Pittsburgh on a single play. A missed throw by Mark Sanchez in the 2nd quarter. This is a play we discussed in our film and Sanchez breakdown over the past two days and yes it was a missed throw by Sanchez on a well-designed play. Yet, to spin 700 words that make Tony Sparano look like Bill Walsh and Santonio Holmes look like Jerry Rice is exceptionally excessive. It is meant to fault the loss on a single player and of course drum up that non-existent quarterback controversy. The tone of the article puts me in agreement with the thought process that there is someone within organization pulling for a Sanchez failure and a Tebow ascension.

Let’s not lose perspective of the following. On the road, against one of the league’s best teams, Mark Sanchez was supported by an underachieving number one receiver giving a lackadazical effort, a practice squad caliber tight end, a rookie number two receiver, and one of the league’s five worst starting running backs. Did he play well enough? No. But if you want to go play specific, you can equally pin the game on Jeff Cumberland for missing a block that would have sprung Bilal Powell for a touchdown. Or how about Antonio Cromartie looked completely clueless on Mike Wallace’s touchdown? Maybe Jeremy Kerley muffing a punt? Or Shonn Greene being unable to make a safety miss as he went untouched for 9 yards through the Pittsburgh defense on what should have been a big play?

Don’t fall for the mainstream media okie-doke. Don’t fall for the quarterback controversy agenda.

New York Jets Week 2 Report Card – Failing Effort

The grade report for the New York Jets week 2 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers

Quarterbacks (C) – Mark Sanchez came out of the gates on fire, completing 4 of his 5 first passes for 80 yards and a touchdown. After that, the passing offense went into the tank as he finished an ugly 10/27 for 138 yards. He misfired on a few passes down the field and didn’t seem to be on the same page as his receivers. He wasn’t helped by dropped passes, poor route running and a nonexistent running game but overall this was a disappointing effort.

Tim Tebow had an impressive 22 yard run and sadly might be the best running back this team has right now. I’d rather watch 20 Wildcat runs than 20 2 yard Shonn Greene runs at this point.

Running Backs (D) – Shonn Greene finished up with 11 carries for 23 yards. If you take away his one 9 yard run. He had 10 carries for 14 yards. He also added in a holding penalty and a whiffed block in pass protection for good measure. We are two games into the season and Greene has 38 carries for 117 yards with 1 run for over 10 yards…not even close to good enough. The blame doesn’t fall on the offensive line, Greene doesn’t have the speed to get to the edge and can’t break through to the second level when holes are actually there.

The only reason this isn’t an F is because Bilal Powell showed some elusiveness on a 10 yard run and finished with 3.7 yards per carry which looks great next to Greene’s 3.0 on the season. Joe McKnight also had a nice 12 yard run where be broke a few tackles and made a defender miss…perhaps it is time to give him and Powell a longer look.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends (F) – I will go into this in more detail during our film breakdown but Santonio Holmes was awful yesterday. He spent the entire game whining at the officials, dropping passes and running lazy routes that lacked any measure of the needed preciseness from a number one receiver. Stephen Hill struggled with the Steelers physical coverage. Jeremy Kerley provided a big play with a 45 yard reception but was absent besides it.

Jeff Cumberland missed a hot read that could have converted a first down and didn’t provide anything in the passing game. The Jets really missed Dustin Keller in this one.

Defensive Line (C) – The run defense was terrific as expected, led by Muhammad Wilkerson and Sione Pouha. Yet, the lack of a pass rush was frustrating to see. Quinton Coples is barely on the field and when he has been looks completely lost. Outside of a sack when Ben Roethlisnberger slid behind the line of scrimmage, the defensive line didn’t touch him once.

Linebackers (C) – Way too many missed tackles. David Harris missed two opportunities for a sack. Calvin Pace was nowhere near the quarterback. Garret McIntyre of all people had the game of his life, finishing with 2 sacks, 4 tackles for a loss and 7 tackles. He should become a regular part of the defense moving forward, which means less Bryan Thomas and Aaron Maybin…who has been invisible so far this year.

Secondary (F) – They get a “F” just because of how putrid Antonio Cromartie was on Mike Wallace’s touchdown. What a lazy play that completely lacked any football awareness. LaRon Landry picked up two personal fouls and Kyle Wilson was average at best. Let’s hope Revis is back next week.

Special Teams (D) – Jeremy Kerley’s muffed punt was a killer in the second half. Isaiah Trufant should have downed a punt at the 1 yard line but inexplicably let himself land in the end-zone with the ball. Nick Folk hit his only field goal attempt.

Coaching (D) – Tony Sparano had no counter move when Dick LeBeau adjusted after the Jets first couple of drives. Rex was too conservative at the end of the half and admitted the team had a sloppy/sluggish week of practice. They better be ready to turn it up this week because if they slip up against Miami, 1-2 heading into back to back games against San Francisco and Houston isn’t going to be pretty.