Thursday Night Football: New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills
Thursday Night Football returns and our NFL DFS Week 2 kicks off with an divisional clash between the Jets and the Bills. We know from past data that divisional games typically favor the defenses and result in lower scoring, and we also know that Thursday night games have lead to less scoring as well. Vegas certainly reflects that, as this game checks in with the lowest expected point total of the week, with just 40.5 points expected and the Jets installed as one point favorites.
The biggest take away from Week 1 for the Jets is that we may be seeing a different offense than we saw for all of 2015, where Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall soaked up a huge percentage of the targets from QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. This year, with the addition of one of the premier pass catching backs in Matt Forte and emerging young receiver Quincy Onunwa, that volume seems likely to be reduced. The Jets target distribution in their Week 1 clash vs. the Bengals:
Enunwa – 8
Marshall – 7
Forte – 6
Decker – 6
Powell – 2
Now, nobody expects Enunwa to continue to lead the Jets in targets, but his emergence need to be acknowledged, as does the addition of Forte, and until further notice Marshall and Decker are likely not worth their DFS salaries, especially in a game with the lowest total on the board.
New Jets’ running back Matt Forte looks like he’s going to have a significant role on this team, getting three-quarters of the snaps in Week 1 and the vast majority of the running back touches. He’s a solid option this week on PPR sites, but I’m not sure the ceiling is there for him to justify what is a high price tag vs. a solid defense. Forte’s lack of effectiveness at the goal line over the course of his career worries me here, especially with touchdown machines Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall on the team to throw to when the Jets get into the red zone. If I had to play one Jets player, Forte would be the guy, as I do expect him to exceed 20 touches, but all told I’ll be steering clear of this offense, especially with higher-than-expected ownership for these players with the Thursday start.
This Bills offense is a bit of a mess right now, with QB Tyrod Taylor turning in a total dud in Week 1 matchup at Baltimore. Taylor accounted for just 111 passing yards on 22 attempts while adding an additional 11 yards on the ground. News came out roughly an hour before kickoff from credible source Adam Schefter that Sammy Watkins was still experiencing foot pain after his offseason surgery and was not 100% healthy. Watkins ended up playing 86% of the snaps, but managed just 4-43-0 on 6 targets and didn’t look like his typical explosive self. He’s expected to play in this game, but he’s a very tough sell at his price point against a solid Jets defense. I’ll be staying away from Watkins and this passing game until they show something, and I don’t expect that to be on Thursday Night Football against the Jets.
With Karlos Williams out of town and Watkins banged up, we may see the Bills try to lean even more heavily on McCoy this season, who received 20 touches (16 carries and 4 receptions) in Week 1. Expect a similar workload from McCoy in this matchup, who is one of the NFL’s few three down backs who also receives goal line work. Still, this is a very tough matchup against a tough Jets defense who ranked near the top of the league last year. Like Forte, he’s a decent play based on volume alone, and he’s certainly got a solid floor here, but the upside does seem a bit capped as explosive plays seem unlikely and he should have a hard time grinding out yards on the ground.