One of the most difficult things for a fantasy football owner to face during the season is the possibility of having to start someone from one of his real-life favorite team's rivals. Nothing is more distasteful for a Jets fan than starting a player from the Patriots, Dolphins or Bills, and starting someone from any of their potential AFC playoff foes isn't a lot better.
It is with that in mind that the Jets-friendly fantasy football picks segment is being started. This series is aimed at pointing out a few start options that might be available to Jets owners to use in place of players from any of the aforementioned clubs. It will also aim, whenever possible, at those fantasy picks who are available in a significant percentage of ESPN leagues -- the idea being that starting a high-quality waiver-wire pickup is preferable to going with someone you deep down actually want to see fail.
This week there are five suggestions:
Devery Henderson, WR, New Orleans (available in 70.2% of ESPN leagues)
Robert Meachem, WR, New Orleans (available in 46.3% of ESPN leagues)
Lance Moore, WR, New Orleans (available in 28.6% of ESPN leagues)
These Saints receivers are due to face a Bengals secondary that has backups all over the place. The Jets let this defense off the hook last week by not going after them but Sean Payton and Drew Brees will not repeat that performance. New Orleans could post 40 or more points against Cincinnati and any wideout on their roster will reap the fantasy rewards commensurate with that kind of offensive explosion.
Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams (available in 66.0% of ESPN leagues)
He was the No. 1 pick in the entire draft but you wouldn't know it by how he has flown under the fantasy radar this year despite leading his team to a first-place tie in the NFC West. In each of the past four weeks, Bradford has posted at least 15 fantasy points and he has thrown only one interception in his last six games. The Arizona defense he will be facing has looked positively disinterested of late as well, so that bodes in his favor. He's a terrific pickup for two-QB leagues not only for this week, but also for the fantasy playoffs.
Kevin Boss (available in 56.2% of ESPN leagues)
Quoting from this week's ESPN.com Insider Pass Plays article (which comes out every Tuesday and details the best waiver-wire passing game pickups): "One of the ways the Giants are dealing with the injuries to Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith is by flexing Boss out as a wide receiver. He was thrown five passes against the Jaguars when he lined up in that manner and caught two of them for 57 yards and a touchdown. That kind of productivity will ensure that Eli Manning continues to target him, as long as Nicks and Smith remain out of the lineup."
I know it means pulling for a Giants player, but given the dearth of fantasy points to be found at the tight end position this year, it's worth putting up with.