Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know the issues here, and they are not minor. I'm about to push a pair of Jets, which seems like a terrible fantasy plan — especially in a non-bye week. And these particular Jets are playing on Thursday night, on the road, on just four days rest. And New York is starting a rookie quarterback. And there's rain in the forecast.
It's not a perfect fantasy situation, granted. No argument here. In an 8 or 10-team league, no one needs to own any Jets.
However, the idea with these Thursday fliers is to find 1-2 widely available options (think 35 percent-owned or less) for the deep league crowd, guys who have a puncher's chance at fantasy relevance. I'll give you plenty of duds here, with the occasional winner. We won't have a Julius Thomas/Marlon Brown double-success each week. But I'll try.
Let's check the new leads...
Kellen Winslow, TE, NYJ (30 percent owned) — Production at tight end was so ridiculously high in Week 1 that you might have missed Winslow's excellent Jets debut. He caught seven balls on eight targets, finishing with 79 yards and one score. Geno Smith found him on screens, on intermediate routes and in scramble situations. Smith, when given time to survey the field, wasn't a disaster. (When not given time, he did some bad things — airmailing passes, retreating into unnecessarily big losses. It wasn't a perfect day.) New York only managed two touchdown passes against the Patriots last season, but both were caught by tight end Dustin Keller. The New England defense allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to tight ends in 2012.
I've added Winslow in a pair of leagues this week, as a potential fill-in for the injured Jermichael Finley (toe. OF COURSE HE'S HURT ALREADY. Not sure why I expected anything different.) So this is not one of those situations where you can accuse me of hyping a player I'm not using myself. Like with this guy...
Stephen Hill, WR, NYJ (4 percent) — Realistically, if you're even thinking about Hill in Week 2, it's because A) you're involved in a very deep format — a league where 40-plus receivers start each week — and B) you whiffed on adding Edelman, Hankerson and Brown. I'm definitely not saying that Hill is a must-start, everywhere. But the kid had his moments in New York's season-opening win, hauling in six passes on nine targets. (And a couple of those targets were throw-aways. Hill basically caught everything he had a chance to catch.) With Jeremy Kerley concussed and ruled out for Thursday, Hill shouldn't lack opportunities against New England. Hill played 72 snaps in the Jets' opener, so it's not like he's a part-timer. The kid is 6-foot-4 and he has silly speed (4.36), so he belongs on the fantasy radar, without question.