WATCH: PLAYER TO WATCH – MATT FORTE
The Buffalo Bills will look to continue their surprising 5-2 start to the season against the New York Jets in this week’s edition of Thursday Night Football. Let’s waste no time and get right into the fantasy breakdown.
Spread: Bills -3.5
Projected Total: 43
Bills Implied Total: 23.25
Jets Implied Total: 19.75
Bills QB Tyrod Taylor ($5,900) has been efficient this year (eight passing TDs vs. two INTs), but he’s proven to have a low ceiling for fantasy purposes, as he comes into the game with an average DK point total of just 15.3 points per game. This is still a decent spot for Taylor, however, as the Jets have allowed six passing TDs over their last three games (all losses) and have allowed 24 or more real points to each of their last three opponents. Seeing him best his season-high total of 20.02 DK points here wouldn’t be all that shocking.
At RB LeSean McCoy ($8,700) comes in on a roll, rushing for 242 yards and totaling 11 receptions over his last two games. McCoy has scored three times in his last two starts (after not scoring at all in the first five weeks) and is averaging 19.52 carries and 5.52 receptions per game. With one of the league’s biggest workloads, he also gets a decent matchup here, as the Jets have allowed the seventh-most rushing and receiving yards to RBs this season. His price has risen, but he should still be considered heavily in all formats.
The Bills’ receiving core got some much-needed clarity at the trade deadline with the acquisition of Kelvin Benjamin, but, unfortunately, he likely won’t be suiting up for this game (for the Traded Player Policy – Click Here and then scroll to “Traded Player Policy”). Last week, Zay Jones ($3,400) led the Bills in snaps at 55, with Jordan Matthews ($3,900) playing 48. Jones has actually seen 20 targets over the last three games but has only converted those into six catches. Still, with no Benjamin in play and a near min-priced salary, Jones could easily hit over 3x value in this game against a Jets secondary that has allowed 74 yards or more to four different receivers over its last two games. Rounding out the WR core is Andre Holmes ($3,100) and Deonte Thompson ($3,700) who both played on about 30 percent of the snaps last week. Thompson followed up on his big Week 7 with a one-reception dud but probably represents the Bills’ best downfield threat. He’s a decent boom-or-bust tournament option for short-slate lineups.
At TE, Charles Clay (knee) will not play this week meaning Nick O’Leary ($3,100) again will handle the starting duties. O’Leary has seen target totals of six, two and three in his last three games since Clay went down and does get a matchup with the Jets, who have allowed five TDs to the TE position over their last four games. Like all Buffalo receiving options, he’s risky, but for fantasy purposes, he might have the best matchup of anyone on this offense.
QB Josh McCown ($5,500) has defied the odds this year by leading the Jets to a semi-respectable record and comes into this week off his three best fantasy performances of the season. McCown is still a turnover-heavy QB but does have multiple passing TDs in four straight games. However, the Bills’ slower pace of play has made them tough on opposing QBs (fourth fewest DKFP per game allowed to the position), and while McCown has been admirable this year, he’s a good fade candidate in this tougher matchup.
At running back, the Jets’ three-headed monster might have lost a head last week as Matt Forte ($4,100) and Bilal Powell ($4,600) each played 29 snaps to Elijah McGuire’s ($3,800) three. With McGuire out of the picture, both Powell and Forte look like legitimate options but will need either a big play or for the other to play significantly less snaps this week to really “go off” for fantasy. Forte’s 20 targets over the past three games definitely make him the safer play due to the potential cheap PPR points he can rack up, but it should be noted that Powell leads the team in red zone rush attempts. The Bills have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to the position thus far, so neither is guaranteed a big game here.
The Jets’ receiving options have actually been fairly productive for fantasy purposes, with the targets being spread out to a small group. At WR, Robby Anderson ($4,200) and Jermaine Kearse ($4,800) have dominated playing time and targets for this offense, with both playing over 80 percent of the snaps for the year. The Bills have been less efficient at covering the WR position this year and might also be without starting safety Jordan Poyer (questionable) and starting cornerback E.J. Gaines (out) again this week. Anderson seemingly has taken the lead as the No. 1 option here for New York as he’s out-targeted Kearse 23 to 13 the past three weeks and is coming off a great game (six receptions, 104 yards, TD). Of the two, he’s the higher-upside option and should be considered a nice value target.
The Jets’ most consistent receiver arguably has been TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins ($4,900), whose price has now risen to nearly $5K. The Bills have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points per game to the position this season but just two TDs overall (both to O.J. Howard). Given his price, Seferian-Jenkins almost would certainly need to find the end zone here to pay off. He’s a nice short-slate target if you need a reliable TE, but there are cheaper plays on the bigger slate with similar potential this week.
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