by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Who performed well in last night’s game and who was a bitter disappointment? Let’s take a look at how all the skill players performed, as well as what we can expect moving forward, as we hand out our grades for the evening:
Geno Smith – New York Jets
15-35, 214 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT
Grade – D-
All three interceptions came in the fourth quarter, when the game was on the line. Considering he also failed to get anything going on the ground (3 rushes for 17 yards), it’s tough to take too many positives from the performance. Sure he was able to hang in the pocket and make some throws, but he has a long ways to go before he’s deemed a viable option. Hopefully he learns from his tough fourth quarter and continues to grow, but it was certainly a poor performance and it’s hard to consider using him even in two quarterback leagues. He has too much to learn and not enough weapons at his disposal.
Tom Brady – New England Patriots
19-39, 185 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Grade – C
It’s hard to find fault with Brady, who clearly was not on the same page with his young receivers (who also consistently failed to make plays). Unless he gets help in the receiving corps his value is going to plummet and maybe, just maybe, he won’t be considered a QB1 in Week 3. Of course, with Rob Gronkowski nearing a return and hopefully a return to health for Danny Amendola, the offense in general is going to get a big boost. That said, given the performance from the “skill” players around him, there is reason to be concerned.
Chris Ivory – New York Jets
12 carries, 52 yards, 0 TD (he was not targeted)
Grade – B-
He showed promise, running hard and averaging 4.3 yards per carry. Unfortunately, since he’s not an option in the passing game, unless he is going to get 20+ carries a game he’s going to be a desperation play. The move to New York was supposed to give him regularly playing time, but right now it’s not happening. It could, in time, but for now he’s only a stash on the bench until his touches increase.
Bilal Powell – New York Jets
13 carries, 48 yards, 1 TD (2 receptions, 22 yards, 5 targets)
Grade – C+
He scored a touchdown from three yards out, so maybe he’s not going to lose the short yardage carries. Of course he managed just 3.7 yards per carry (which is what kept him from getting a B or B-) and now has run the ball 25 times for 77 yards in the first two games. If the carries are going to continue to be split moving forward he is going to be the more valuable back, courtesy of his ability in the passing game, but a change is likely on the horizon (at some point).
Stevan Ridley – New England Patriots
16 carries, 40 yards, 0 TD (he was not targeted
Grade – F
Is it a harsh grade? Absolutely, but on a day that the Patriots needed Ridley to step up he averaged just 2.5 yards per carry and couldn’t break a run for more than nine yards. After getting benched in the opener due to fumbles, this was not the type of performance that Ridley needed, even against a strong Jets defense. The team still doesn’t have much of a choice but to roll with him, but don’t be surprised if we hear about them working out veterans in preparation for Week 3. That said, he still has RB1 potential and should eventually improve. He’s worth trying to buy low on if someone in your league has grown frustrated.
Stephen Hill – New York Jets
4 receptions, 86 yards, 0 TD (8 targets)
Grade – B-
He appears primed to be the top receiving option in New York, doesn’t he? This was definitely a step up from his six reception, 39 performance in Week 1 and, while he did lose a fumble (which pulled him down from a B to a B-), the potential is there for him to have some big weeks. Of course, with Geno Smith under center it’s going to be tough to trust him on a weekly basis but he’s worth stashing in most formats.
Santonio Holmes – New York Jets
3 receptions, 51 yards, 0 TD (6 targets)
Grade – C
It was a mediocre day for Holmes, but obviously a step up from his one catch in the opener. The real question is if he is healthy or not. Lisfranc injuries are tough to come back from and it’s showing that the Jets are bringing him along slowly.
Clyde Gates – New York Jets
2 receptions, 42 yards, 0 TD (8 targets)
Grade – D
He was close to an F, but he nearly made some plays (including scoring a TD). That said, he’s not going to be the top option in New York and isn’t worth owning. He was forced into duty thanks to the injury to Jeremy Kerley and doesn’t appear ready to make an impact.
Julian Edelman – New England Patriots
13 receptions, 78 yards, 0 TD (18 targets)
Grade – B+
Obviously we weren’t going to expect two touchdowns on a weekly basis, but you couldn’t ask for more from the player who appeared to be the only viable option for this offense. Of course, the fact that he reeled in 13 catches and managed just 78 yards shows his limited upside in most weeks and he likely was a disappointment outside of PPR formats (which is what kept him from earning an A grade). He shouldn’t be considered a top receiving option moving forward, because hopefully the offense gets reinforcements back limiting his potential value and weekly targets.
Aaron Dobson – New England Patriots
3 receptions, 56 yards, 1 TD (10 targets)
Grade – C-
We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, much like we did Thompkins a week ago (plus he scored a touchdown, which is more than we can say for Thompkins). That said, he and Brady clearly aren’t on the same page and turning 10 targets into just three receptions is a bitter disappointment.
Kenbrell Thompkins – New England Patriots
2 receptions, 47 yards, 0 TD (7 targets)
Grade – F
For the second straight game Thompkins got his opportunities (6 receptions for 89 yards despite 21 targets), but whatever rapport he appeared to have with his quarterbacks in the preseason clearly isn’t there now. He came close to making a highlight reel touchdown catch late in the first half, but couldn’t quite bring it in. While he’s worth stashing on your bench, there’s no way he can be trusted until he and Brady prove they can put up big numbers in the regular season.
Kellen Winslow – New York Jets
3 receptions, 16 yards, 0 TD (6 targets)
Grade – F
Wasn’t he supposed to be the safety valve for Smith? Instead he was nearly nonexistent after catching seven passes for 79 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. Injuries are always a risk and, given the depth at the position this season, he’s impossible to trust on a weekly basis. Chances are he pairs good weeks wit bad, much like many other low-end tight ends across the league.