Here is a week 7 fantasy preview for Sunday’s battle between the 4-1 Jets and the 5-0 Patriots. Again, a reminder from last week, I will not give exact score predictions per player because there are many different scoring systems used by leagues, but I will provide stats for you to predict scores based on your league’s system.
QuarterbacksRyan Fitzpatrick – 225 yards passing, 2 TDs, 1 INTs
Last week was Fitzpatrick’s 4th consecutive game in the low-mid 200-yard range, and the 4th time this season he has thrown for 2 TDs. The Achilles’ heel of this Patriots defense lies in its ability to stop the pass, but the Jets will still likely rely heavily on the run-game in order to keep Brady off the field. Look for Fitzpatrick to record his normal low-200 yard and 2 TD stat line again in this one, making him a viable start in deeper leagues.
Tom Brady – 285 yards passing, 3 TDs, 1 INT
Brady is Brady…period. It doesn’t matter who he plays, he will always find a way to have success in the end. In terms of the game itself, the key for the Jets to win the game will be damage control, because it is inevitable that Brady will get into a groove at some point no matter how well the defense performs. In terms of fantasy, Brady is always a must start (currently 3rd in QB fantasy points this season, but with one less game played because of the bye), and he will continue to produce tomorrow.Running Backs
Chris Ivory – 22 carries, 135 yards, 1 TD
Ivory followed up a 166-yard performance against the Dolphins with a 146-yard outing against the Redskins, recording a TD in each of those games. He has been successful in his career against the Patriots, recording a 100-yard game against them in each of the last two seasons. Chan Gailey’s game plan will likely be run heavy this week in order to keep Brady off the the field as I previously stated, which gives Ivory the opportunity to have yet another monster game.
LeGarrette Blount – 12 carries, 38 yards, 1 TDWhen the Patriots have looked to run the ball, Blount has been the go-to-guy. He was not used much in the week two matchup against Buffalo, but in the three games that followed, he has tallied 245 yards and 4 TDs. Unfortunately for Blount, he won’t see much action this week against the league’s top run defense, and any action he does see won’t yield much success. He is still a must-start, however, as he is always a threat near the goal line.
Dion Lewis – 7 carries, 25 yards, 6 catches, 70 yards, 1 TD
Lewis will likely see more of the field than Blount in this one thanks to his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, and defending RBs in pass coverage has been an issue for this Jet defense through the first five games (see Ryan Mathews). Brady is still Brady and he is more than capable of beating Gang Green’s formidable secondary, but he is arguably the smartest QB in the league and will indubitably look to exploit the defense’s main weakness.
Brandon Marshall – 7 catches, 75 yards, 1 TD
Marshall’s consistency has mirrored that of his QB so far this season — last week was his 4th consecutive 100-yard performance, and he has a TD in four out of five games. Historically, Bill Belichick defenses have done a good job of taking away a team’s top target, and I believe that trend will continue this week. However, I do not believe Marshall will be a total non-factor because the New England secondary simply lacks talent.
Eric Decker – 9 catches, 102 yards, 1 TD
Attempting to take away a team’s top target leaves the door open for the secondary target to do some damage, which is why I believe Decker has his best game of the season this week. The last time a team tried to take away Marshall (the Colts in week 2), Decker had 8 catches for 97 yards and a TD before he injured his knee with over a quarter left to play. As I mentioned before, the Patriots simply do not have enough talent in the secondary this season, and with the extra attention that Marshall will attract, Decker should have a field day.
Julian Edelman– 6 catches, 67 yards, 0 TDs
Edelman will likely be shadowed by Revis this week, but number 24’s kryptonite has always been quick, shifty WRs like Edelman. Revis will win all of the battles on the outside, but Edelman will win a few battles over the middle en route to recording a respectable stat line.
Danny Amendola – 8 catches, 70 yards, 0 TDs
Antonio Cromartie is the weak link in this Jet secondary, and he especially has trouble with going over the middle and tackling. Amendola should be open rather frequently tomorrow, and Brady will look to link up with him as much as possible.
Rob Gronkowski – 5 catches, 60 yards, 1 TD
In the past, defending TEs has been a major issue for Gang Green, but the additions of Buster Skrine, Marcus Gilchrist, and the emergence of Calvin Pryor have changed things this year. The Jets have allowed the 4th fewest fantasy points to opposing TEs this season, though they have not faced anyone of Gronk’s caliber. I believe the Jets success against TEs will continue in this one, but an off-week for Gronk still consists of 60 yards and a TD.
Jets – 320 yards allowed, 21 points allowed, 2 sacks, 1 turnover
This Jet defense has been arguably the best in the league through six weeks, but what happens when the immovable object meets the unstoppable force? They will still provide good fantasy value this week, but not quite as much as they have provided the last few weeks.
Patriots – 360 yards allowed, 17 points allowed, 1 sack, 1 turnover
The Patriots always have a deceptively good defense and are always a good fantasy option because of their sack production, but against an efficient Jet offense that has allowed only 2 sacks all season, you should explore other options in fantasy this week.
*Again a reminder, kickers are fluky in fantasy, and throughout this series I will refrain from giving any kicking predictions. My final score prediction, however, can be an indicator of a kicker’s fantasy output (i.e. 17 points = 2 extra points, 1 field goal)*