MNF Matchup: Dolphins @ JetsMonday, October 17, 2011
Monday Night Football
Miami @ NY Jets
The Jets lost their Week 5 game against New England, but there were promising signs for New York's rekindled Ground & Pound approach. The Jets showed true commitment to the run, finishing with a balanced 26:25 pass-to-run ratio despite trailing 10-0 early. The return of C Nick Mangold sparked the attack, as Shonn Greene piled up 13 gains of four or more yards en route to a season-best 3.95 YPC average. Greene remains a low-end RB2, but volume and occasional goal-line work can keep his value afloat, even if he lacks any hint of big-play ability. The Fins rank a middling 14th versus the run. ... Even with the return to a run-heavy philosophy in Week 5, LaDainian Tomlinson received a year-low two carries and caught one pass. Averaging 54.8 total yards per game with one touchdown on the season, L.T. isn't on the fantasy radar. ... There was chatter of Joe McKnight's role increasing last week, but he got one carry, gained one yard, and is averaging a lowly 2.14 YPC. ... In the Jets' passing game, Dustin Keller has lost the most immediate fantasy value as a result of the change in offensive philosophy. Keller blocked on more plays than he ran pass routes for the first time this year in Week 5, catching one pass for seven yards on a measly two targets.
The Jets' offense isn't spurning the pass game entirely. Santonio Holmes came up with his most productive game of the year against the Pats, scoring 12 standard-league points and 16 in PPR. The idea behind the Ground & Pound is to control time of possession and play with more efficiency, regardless of play call. Holmes doesn't have to "compete" with Keller for targets anymore. Consider him a solid WR3 with upside again. ... Plaxico Burress will match up with Dolphins RCB Sean Smith for most of this game. At 6-foot-4, 213, Smith is one of the rare NFL corners that can nearly match Burress' size. Plax is never a terrible bet for a red-zone touchdown, but he'll hurt you if he doesn't score one. ... While the Fins' pass defense ranking isn't pretty on paper, the life has been sucked out of Mark Sanchez's fantasy upside. He's barely on the two-QB league radar this week.
The Jets may want to consider activating hulking, 346-pound rookie Kenrick Ellis on game days, because they're showing no ability to stop the run. This was a problem even before New York left only 3-4 defenders in the box at New England last week. In the past four games, opposing tailbacks have creamed the Jets for 568 yards and five rushing touchdowns on 123 carries (4.62 YPC). No team in football has allowed more rushing scores (8) on the season. This all adds up to a strong matchup for Daniel Thomas, who should be a fixture in fantasy lineups assuming he's active. Thomas (hamstring) is a game-time decision. ... In Week 14 against the Dolphins last season, the Jets threw a curveball by using Antonio Cromartie instead of Darrelle Revis to shadow Brandon Marshall. Marshall finished with two catches for 16 yards and a touchdown. While Cromartie has performed at a high enough level this year that it's conceivable the Jets would repeat the strategy, I'd want to avoid Fins pass catchers altogether before seeing how new quarterback Matt Moore fares. If Marshall draws Darrelle Revis, he could be zeroed out of the box score. ... Reggie Bush is just a change-of-pace back when Thomas plays. Avoid. ... Davone Bess hasn't scored a touchdown all year, or topped 52 receiving yards in his last three games. He's not producing, and never offers upside even when he is relatively productive. Aim higher.
Score Prediction: Jets 20, Dolphins 16
Check out Gregg Rosenthal's fantasy take on Monday night's game.