TNF Fantasy Preview: Denver Broncos vs. New York Jetsby Mike Fanelli October 1, 2020 1 comment
Hopefully, you enjoyed Monday night’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens because tonight’s game is going to be a major letdown. The banged up Denver Broncos head to New York to take on the dysfunctional Jets. There aren’t many startable players in tonight’s game, so you might not need to watch the game.
Last week, the recommendations had mixed results. James Robinson scored 30.9 fantasy points and finished the week as the RB4. Meanwhile, Gardner Minshew struggled, scoring just 9.2 fantasy points, finishing as the fourth-fewest among starters last week. Hopefully, the recommendations this week turn out a little better. With that said, let’s take a look at who is startable from tonight’s game.
Quarterback – Brett Rypien
Last week Jeff Driskel got the start in place of the injured Drew Lock. However, he didn’t finish the game as Rypien played the final 13 snaps. This week Rypien has been named the starter against the Jets. However, despite how bad the Jets defense is, do not start Rypien. Even if it was Driskel or Blake Bortles starting, they all belong on the waiver wire. Even in super flex leagues, you can find a better option on the waiver wire or your bench.
In the first two games of the season, Gordon was playing well. He was averaging 16 fantasy points per game and had scored in both contests. However, last week against the Buccaneers and their strong run defense, Gordon was shut down. He averaged just 3.3 yards per carry on his eight rushing attempts. Gordon scored just 7.8 fantasy points as he failed to find the end zone. However, this week he faces the Jets, who have given up the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs this season. Furthermore, they have given up three rushing touchdowns over the last two weeks. Despite all the injuries around him, Gordon’s role and matchup make him a mid RB2 this week.
Lindsay has missed the last two games because of a turf toe injury and has been a limited participant in practice all week long. He appears unlikely to play tonight, but if he does, he shouldn’t be in your fantasy lineups. In Week 1, Lindsay averaged just 3.4 yards per carry on seven attempts. Yes, he left the game early with the injury but unless you play in a deeper league or have been destroyed by injuries, you likely have a safer option on your bench or waiver wire. Even if he plays, give Lindsay a week to show us how healthy he is coming off the turf toe injury before you start him.
Entering the season the Broncos’ wide receiver room was full of upside and talent. However, due to injuries to Drew Lock and Courtland Sutton, this group now is shaky at best. Jeudy is seeing an average of eight targets per game this season, and of the trio, he is the one fantasy owners should consider starting. Meanwhile, Hamler has 12 targets in two games while Patrick has 14 in three games. Last week, Patrick led the way with 14.3 fantasy points, thanks to scoring the only touchdown in the game for the Broncos.
Meanwhile, the Jets have been a mess this season but done a good job slowing down opposing wide receivers. After giving up 53.7 fantasy points in Week 1 to the Bills wide receivers, the Jets have given up a total of 41.3 fantasy points to wide receivers over the last two weeks, including zero touchdowns. With the unknown Rypien at quarterback, fantasy owners would be wise to avoid playing any Broncos wide receiver tonight. Of the trio, Jeudy is the safest with his consistent target volume. However, he should be viewed as a low-end WR3 with limited upside.
Tight End – Noah Fant
The only Broncos pass catcher you want in your lineup this week is Fant. Despite the quarterback merry-go-round, Fant has been consistent for fantasy owners. He is averaging seven targets per game this season and is coming off a season-high 10 targets last week. While he failed to get in the end zone against the Buccaneers, Fant still scored 9.6 fantasy points. Meanwhile, the Jets have been slaughtered by tight ends the past two weeks. They have given up three touchdowns and an average of 19.8 fantasy points per game to the position. While Fant’s quarterback situation limits his upside, his matchup and target volume suggests he should finish the week as a mid TE1.
After what the Colts D/ST did last week against the Jets, you would think the Broncos would be the top projected scoring D/ST this week. However, the Broncos are going to be without several key players on that side of the ball. So far this season, the Broncos D/ST is averaging just 2.7 fantasy points per game. A big reason why they are struggling is the lack of sacks, as the Broncos have just four on the season.
While the Jets are the best team to stream defenses against, their 14.3 fantasy point per game average is inflated from last week’s game. Over the first two weeks of the season, D/STs have scored an average of eight fantasy points per game against the Jets. That said, the Jets are a disaster on offense, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone if the Broncos D/ST scores double-digit fantasy points tonight. They are a top-five option this week.
New York Jets
Quarterback – Sam Darnold
Even if you are still a believer in Darnold, you have to admit he shouldn’t be anywhere near your starting lineup right now. So far this season, Darnold is averaging just 9.9 fantasy points per game and has three touchdowns compared to four interceptions. Even when healthy, his weapons are limited, and his offensive line has struggled outside of rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton. Between Darnold and Rypien, Darnold is the better starting option. However, neither should be anywhere near your starting line or on your roster at this point.
Le’Veon Bell is hopeful to come off injured reserve next week and suit up for their Week 5 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. However, while Bell has been out, the Jets have had very little success in the running game. Gore has 36 attempts the last two games for 120 rushing yards and just 13.5 fantasy points. Meanwhile, Ballage had 10.2 fantasy points last week as he caught five passes for 44 yards, as the Jets were in negative game script the entire second half. Neither belongs in your fantasy lineup tonight as there should be better options on your bench or the waiver wire. However, between the two, Ballage offers more upside because of his passing game role.
It appears that Crowder will return tonight after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury. Assuming he plays, he is the only Jets wide receiver you should consider playing. Meanwhile, Hogan is dealing with knee and rib injuries and is questionable to play tonight, while Breshad Perriman is out with an ankle injury. Last week Hogan scored zero fantasy points despite playing 80 percent of the snaps.
Meanwhile, Berrios led the way for the Jets last week, playing 81 percent of the snaps while bringing in all four of his targets for 64 yards and a touchdown. Berrios scored 16 or more fantasy points for the second straight week. However, he should see a major dip in production with Crowder back. Crowder is the only Jets wide receiver you should consider putting in your lineup. He is a safe floor WR3 in PPR, given Darnold’s love for his slot wide receiver.
Tight End – Chris Herndon
Coming into the season, many viewed Herndon as a sleeper. However, the Jets’ dysfunction has ruined any chances of that happening. After catching six of seven targets in Week 1, Herndon has caught just four of nine targets the past two weeks. Part of his struggles has been Darnold, and the other part is the Jets needing him to block more often than fantasy owners had hoped.
Herndon has yet to score more than 7.7 fantasy points in any game this season and has scored a total of 6.6 fantasy points over the last two weeks. While the Broncos have given up 18 or more fantasy points to opposing tight ends in two of three games so far this season, it’s hard to trust Herndon given his situation. Herndon is at best a mid TE2 this week with some upside given the matchup.
While the Jets D/ST is the third-lowest scoring unit in the league, averaging just two fantasy points per game, the matchup with Rypien makes them a possible streaming option. Despite being blown out by the Colts last week, the Jets D/ST only gave up 22 points as the rest came on Darnold pick-sixes. Meanwhile, over the last two weeks, D/STs have averaged 16 fantasy points per game against the Broncos. They have totaled 13 sacks and four turnovers. While the Jets don’t have the defensive stars the Steelers and Buccaneers do, they should be viewed as a low-end D/ST1 this week against a quarterback making his first career start.
Gordon: Mid RB2
Lindsay: Avoid if he plays
Jeudy: Low end WR3
Hamler & Patrick: Avoid
Fant: Mid TE1
Broncos D/ST: Top five option
Gore & Ballage: Avoid
Crowder: Safe floor WR3
Berrios & Hogan: Avoid
Herndon: Mid TE2
Jets D/ST: Low end D/ST1
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