Matchup: Texans @ JetsMonday, October 08, 2012
Monday Night Football
Houston @ NY Jets
Much public focus has been placed on the impact of Darrelle Revis' ACL tear on the Jets' defense. The secondary is obviously less competitive, but the front seven was always a problem. Rex Ryan's unit is getting rag-dolled up front. Ranked 28th against the run entering Week 4, New York proceeded to get pounded by San Francisco for 245 yards and three TDs on 44 carries (5.57 YPC). The Jets' run defense now ranks 31st. It's safe to say this is a mismatch game decidedly in the Texans' favor. Houston leads the NFL in rushing attempts, and coach Gary Kubiak isn't ruling out the possibility of giving Arian Foster 400 carries over the course of the year. Foster is the best fantasy running back play in the league this week. ... Perhaps the wear and tear of handling 28 touches a game will take its toll on Foster eventually, but he looked fast, quick, and elusive when I re-watched Texans-Titans last week. Foster was a few fluky turf-monster slips from a third straight 100-yard game. With an extra day of rest entering the Monday nighter, expect Foster to pummel the lifeless Jets. ... Ben Tate's toe injury is another reason to expect a hefty workload from Foster. Tate is not expected to play, leaving Justin Forsett to operate in the change-of-pace and potential clock-killer role. For desperate Tate owners who were relying on him as a possible flex play in this favorable matchup, Forsett would be a sensible last-minute pickup. Showing plenty of juice in his legs, Forsett racked up over six yards per carry on 29 preseason rushing attempts and can play in the passing game. Forsett is a sneaky candidate for 7-12 carries in this contest.
Matt Schaub will never lead the NFL in pass attempts again now playing in the league's most run-heavy offense, but he's passing efficiently and productively enough to offer solid two-quarterback league value. He's also a viable bye-week QB1. Houston is a lock to generate ball movement on Monday, setting up scoring chances, and Schaub has been on a roll. He's completed 44 of his last 66 passes (66.7 percent) for 559 yards (8.47 YPA), and a 6:1 TD-to-INT ratio. The Texans could take the air out of the ball if they grab a big lead, but Schaub should have success whenever he drops back. ... Look for Antonio Cromartie in the Revis role, shadowing Andre Johnson outside. While Johnson's 24 targets through four games are underwhelming for an NFL No. 1 receiver, Johnson has made the most of them by securing 16 and averaging nearly 17 yards per catch. The Texans' play-action passing game is clicking right now. Johnson will get open deep if Cromartie bites. ... Owen Daniels quietly ranks eighth in fantasy tight end scoring, emerging as Schaub's clear-cut No. 2 pass catcher with a team-high 28 targets. And I really like Daniels in this matchup. If Cromartie gives Johnson problems down the sideline, Schaub isn't afraid to pepper his playmaking tight end with passes down the seam. Daniels reminds me a little bit of Miles Austin. He's producing at a locked-in fantasy starter's rate, but generating little to no fantasy buzz.
Every year, there is an NFL offense that we refer to as "fantasy wasteland." It's often been the Browns in recent seasons. Oakland. This year's fantasy wasteland is the New York Jets. Shonn Greene is the worst running back in the league still trotted out as a starter. With Santonio Holmes done for the year, there is no longer a chronic underachiever to tease our hopes, then catch two passes for 13 yards on Sunday and single-handedly fracture his team's locker room in the process. Mark Sanchez is going to be benched for Tim Tebow before the Week 9 bye. Dustin Keller can't shake his balky hamstring. Chaz Schilens is a starter in this offense. For real. On its last 34 possessions, the Jets' "offense" has scored one touchdown. ... Jeremy Kerley is the lone Jet worth Week 5 consideration as a desperation WR3 or flex play. Forced into the starting lineup due to Stephen Hill (hamstring) and Holmes' injuries, Kerley should be an every-snap player on a team that projects to be playing from behind on Monday night. Kerley is a weapon with the football in his hands, able to make guys miss. He should eat up Texans LCB Kareem Jackson's off-coverage cushion and is a candidate for 5-8 receptions. ... Instead of wasting your time with more Jets talk, here is J.J. Watt's stat line over his past eight games, including January's playoffs: 40 tackles (33 solo), 12 sacks, 9 batted passes, 17 quarterback hits, 16 tackles for loss, and an interception returned for a touchdown. He is an unblockable beast. Good luck, Brandon Moore.
Score Prediction: Texans 27, Jets 3