Remember Buddy Ball? C'mon, who can forget the aggressive 46 defense, bounties on opposing players, and the brash attitudes of Buddy Ryan's boys?
Well, his son Rex Ryan has brought Rexy Ball to the Jets. The Jets are blitzing more than any squad and attempting to run the ball down opponents' throats. In addition, with the recent addition of Braylon Edwards, Ryan and GM Mike Tannenbaum have shown they will be equally aggressive in the trade market.
Let's examine the fantasy impact of the Jets' new toy and style of play.
Mark Sanchez won the starting QB gig over Kellen Clemens in the preseason. Let's be honest: Clemens never had a chance. He had twice as many INTs (10) as passing TDs (five) when he held the starting job in 2007. Moreover, the Jets had 45 million reasons to hand the rook the job. There was never a doubt Ryan was going to go with his QB.
From a fantasy perspective, Sanchez is nothing more than an average QB2. The Jets are third in the league in rushing attempts (161) and 26th in the league in passing attempts (134). Ryan is determined to establish a run-first identity and protect his raw signal caller from mistakes. Nope, this isn't going to change with Edwards in town.
Sanchez is going to have his moments with a nice stable of receiving weapons. He has a strong arm and great grasp of the offense. In addition, if you watched Monday night's game versus the Dolphins, you also know he's comfortable in the pocket and has the advanced ability to go through his progressions. The issue for owners is predicting when these "moments" will happen.
Sanchez currently sits as the 22nd-ranked QB. There's no question his numbers (especially his TDs) will go up with Edwards in town. That said, don't expect miracles and only throw him in your lineup if the matchup is perfect and you're lacking other options.
SANCHEZ'S WEEK SIX OUTLOOK (v. BUF): 170 PaYDs, 1 PaTD, 1 INT
This is not a week you should bank on Sanchez having an upside game. The Bills defense is decimated by injuries to their linebacking corps. As a result, coming off a game against the Dolphins where they were man-handled and verbally abused by their coach, the Jets will make a statement by creating an episode of "Running Backs Gone Wild" against the Bills. Sanchez will throw less than 25 times.
The Jets' running game is only going to get better with a proven deep threat like Edwards. The lack of a downfield threat was clogging both the running game and short-passing game as safeties camped out "in the box." Edwards will command safety respect.
Excuse me while I do some shameless begging. Rex, dude, we're buddies, and I know you're obsessed with reading fantasy articles. You need to give Leon Washington more touches. He's averaging 4.1 YPC and 7.1 YPR. Obviously, last year he also proved he was a TD magnet with eight scores in less than 150 touches. Washington is one of the most dynamic playmakers in the game. It's time to let Leon loose for the betterment of your offense and Washington owners. Ahh, it feels good to vent.
Starting RB Thomas Jones is clearly on the downside with an average of 3.7 YPC. That said, he will still see approximately 15 touches per game in a run-obsessed offense and receive the lion's share of goal line carries. Jones already has five TDs through the first five games. Consider him a strong RB3 or flex starter going forward.
I'm confident the not-so-sexy Rexy will follow my advice and give Washington more opportunities. Hold onto him and look for big numbers down the stretch. At this point, start LW as an average flex player. By the end of the year, however, I guarantee you he will be a strong flex, and weak RB3, as Jones continuously loses carries and Washington makes big plays. Trust the upside.
Shonn Greene is ridiculously overrated. Greene has limited agility and his hands are so bad he wouldn't make it as a slow-pitch softball catcher. Nevertheless, with Jones losing it, and because Greene is fantastic bowling ball in the red zone, he's worth a flyer if you're a Jones' owner. Greene has seen limited carries in the past two games. He's a nice insurance policy and possible goal line threat, but don't expect him to become a viable option in yardage leagues absent an injury to Washington or Jones.
JONES' WEEK SIX OUTLOOK (v. BUF): 70 RuYDs, 2 RuTDs, 1 Rec, 15 ReYDs, 0 ReTDs
The Bills have an atrocious rush defense (29th ranked) and may need a United Football League scrub to fill-in at LB due to injuries. Even if he's merely crawling for yards, this is a week to throw Jones out there as a RB2 given his goal line role, and his team's commitment to the run.
It's amazing what Braylon Edwards can do when he actually pays attention. That's a lesson for all you kids reading this column. Make sure you focus if you're making millions in your job, and you too can have success.
Edwards was a monster in his first game catching five balls for 65 yards and a TD (barely missing a second TD). Impressive, considering he barely knew the playbook. Edwards will put up sweeter numbers for the Jets simply because he's in a better offense. Of course, there are 85 lb. football teams with better offenses than the Browns, so that's not saying much. You still aren't looking at a WR1 because of the style of offense, but Edwards will have some huge games as the both the primary deep threat and red zone receiving weapon.
The Edwards trade keeps Jerricho Cotchery's value at status quo. Don't read anything into Cotchery's performance last week, he was severely hampered by a hammy injury, and may even miss this week's game. Cotchery's strengths are his dependable hands and ability to make tough catches in traffic. While he will see fewer targets with Edwards on board, he will find more room to roam in the middle of the field. Consider him a solid WR3 for the remainder of the season.
Some of you who watched David Clowney grab four balls for 72 yards last week may be tempted to scoop him off the wire. Look elsewhere. Clowney had more opportunities last week because of Cotchery's injury. He will be a bomb specialist and make a handful of highlight reel plays. That's it.
EDWARDS' WEEK SIX OUTLOOK (v. BUF): 6 Rec, 85 ReYDs, 0 ReTDs
Edwards should once again see a good number of targets this week with Cotchery expected to miss the game or be limited. Terrence McGee is a solid CB for the Bills, but still someone Edwards can beat in man-to-man coverage. Throw Edwards out there as a WR2 and hope he converts on a scoring opportunity.
Dustin Keller has virtually disappeared since Week 1 when he had four receptions for 94 yards. Luckily for Keller owners, Sanchez said this week that he needs to get Keller more involved in the offense. I know, many times these types of comments are completely meaningless. In this case, however, I would put some stock in the QB's comments. Sanchez and Keller developed a nice chemistry in the preseason. In addition, Keller has great potential in the offense because of his receiving skills, the Jets' strong running game, and the attention that Edwards will garner for the rest of the season. Keller is still a deep starting option and an excellent buy-low candidate.
KELLER'S WEEK SIX OUTLOOK (v. BUF): 4 Rec, 58 ReYDs, 1 ReTDs
Keller will bust out of his nasty funk this week due to the Bills' LB woes and Cotchery's injury. My dependable crystal ball shows a play-action TD inside the five yard line with all eyes on the running game and Edwards. Start Keller with confidence.