Maybe the Jets made the right choice at quarterback after all. Josh McCown, who was named by Todd Bowles the Game 1 starter on Monday, has seen his fantasy football value skyrocket in just the last week. Relatively speaking, anyway.
As of Tuesday afternoon, McCown has been selected by 0.8 percent of fantasy players on ESPN.com. Though that might not seem like much because it isn’t, McCown’s value has doubled from 0.4 percent in the last week as it became clear he was going to be the starter by default.
ESPN.com ranks McCown as the 38th best fantasy quarterback. CBSsports.com is even more down on the 38-year-old’s value, writing after he was named the starter: “McCown will be the last starting quarterback drafted in two-QB leagues and won’t get picked at all in standard Fantasy play.”
But the Jets know this is no fantasy. It’s their reality.
Bowles said in a conference call Tuesday that McCown might play in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Eagles.
It’s unusual for a starting quarterback to play in the last preseason game because of the fear of injury. But it’s also unusual for a starting quarterback to throw only four passes in the first three preseason games.
The good news is McCown completed three of those passes for 75 yards and a touchdown in the preseason opener against the Titans. So he goes into Thursday with a quarterback rating of 156.2. His career regular-season rating is 78.2 and his teams are 2-20 when he’s played over the last three seasons.
And what was Bowles thinking on possibly playing McCown Thursday? “I don’t think of anything as far as Josh playing,” Bowles said. “I think of it as a team standpoint. If the team needs to work on something, we work on it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s for Thursday, whether it’s next week, whether it’s two weeks from now, it doesn’t matter. If we need to work on stuff, we work on it.
“Football is football. It doesn’t matter who we play. Everybody is available to play, it doesn’t matter whether it is the quarterback, the punter, the snapper, and I’ll play them as I see fit. We need to do some things, so we’ll work on them. If I decide to play or not play them, that will be my decision.”
Bowles said he was “optimistic” quarterback Bryce Petty will be healthy enough to play against the Eagles. Petty suffered a Grade 1 MCL sprain in Saturday’s game against the Giants.
Bowles has not decided whether Petty or Christian Hackenberg will be McCown’s backup in the opener Sept. 10 at Buffalo.
Petty is 32-for-48 for 426 yards with three TDs and one interception in the preseason. Hackenberg, who threw two interceptions that became Giants touchdowns, is 32-for-52 for 267 yards and one TD.
Notes & quotes: According to an NFL Network report, the Jets are talking with teams to see if there is any trade interest in veteran running back Matt Forte . . . Jets chairman Christopher Johnson, on behalf of the team and his family, announced a $1-million donation to the Red Cross for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts . . . The Jets announced that six-time Pro Bowl center Kevin Mawae will be inducted into the team’s ring of honor at halftime of the Oct. 1 game versus Jacksonville . . . LB Lorenzo Mauldin (back), who hasn’t played this preseason, could be headed for injured reserve, Bowles said.