Evan Silva

Matchups

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Matchup: Bills @ Jets

Thursday, November 2, 2017


Thursday Night Football

Buffalo @ NY Jets
Team Totals: Bills 23, Jets 20

A volume monster since Buffalo’s Week 6 bye, LeSean McCoy has strung together consecutive season-high touch counts of 28 and 33 while leading the Bills in catches (5, 6) in back-to-back games. Although the Jets have played passable run defense by limiting enemy backs to a 170/656/3.86/4 rushing line over the last seven weeks, Gang Green has been hurt in the passing game by backs, yielding the NFL’s fifth-most receiving yards (401) to the position. Overall, the Jets are giving up the seventh-most fantasy points to running backs. They are also likely to be without DE Muhammad Wilkerson (shoulder, foot) on Thursday night. McCoy tagged Todd Bowles’ defense for a season-best 159 total yards when these clubs met in Week 1. … Tyrod Taylor has logged fantasy results of QB9 and QB9 since the bye and on Thursday night draws a Jets defense that has given up top-12 finishes to 6-of-8 signal callers faced. As Jets back-seven defenders turn away from the offense on passing downs in Bowles’ man-coverage scheme, New York has allowed the NFL’s fourth-most rushing yards to quarterbacks (160). In addition to Wilkerson, Gang Green appears likely to be without top CB Morris Claiborne (foot), while born touchdown scorer Kelvin Benjamin should at least make a cameo after being acquired at Tuesday’s trade deadline, perhaps in red-zone packages. I like Taylor as a high-floor, high-ceiling QB1 play in the Meadowlands.

Taylor’s target distribution since the Bills’ Week 6 bye: McCoy and Zay Jones 14; Andre Holmes and Jordan Matthews 7; Nick O’Leary and Deonte Thompson 5; Logan Thomas 3; Mike Tolbert 2. … While acquiring Kelvin Benjamin may work out well for Buffalo in real life, the trade is likelier to hurt than help Benjamin’s fantasy value changing teams midseason at a position that notoriously takes time to gel. The Bills rank last in the AFC in pass attempts per game (28.0), while Benjamin’s separation-lacking game is a questionable stylistic fit for Taylor, who has never been a tight-window passer. If Benjamin plays on Thursday night, I would view him as a touchdown-or-bust WR3/flex option at best. … Jones remains scoreless on the year and takes a big hit with Benjamin in the fold. … Thompson dudded against the Raiders following his 107-yard tease from Week 7, playing 33% of the offensive snaps and running only 14 routes. Even against an injury-depleted Jets secondary, Thompson is difficult to trust as a dart throw on such low usage. … Holmes has cleared 20 yards in 1-of-7 games and figures to fall out of the wideout rotation whenever Benjamin gets up to speed. … Slot man Matthews’ target totals through six appearances as a Bill are 3 > 3 > 5 > 2 > 3 > 4. He doesn’t bring enough volume to the table. … O’Leary’s snap rates since the bye are 79% > 78%. Unfortunately, he drew target counts of 2 > 3 in those games.

A top-15 fantasy quarterback in five of his last seven games with top-eight results in three straight, Josh McCown has played himself into every-week streamer discussion ahead of Thursday night’s date with Buffalo, which gave up over 300 passing yards in each of the last three weeks to Andy Dalton (328), Jameis Winston (384), and Derek Carr (313). The Bills still rank 12th in pass-defense DVOA and have allowed the NFL’s second-fewest touchdown passes (7), so this can’t be considered an ideal matchup. I think McCown is best approached as a high-floor option with a questionable ceiling. … Matt Forte and Bilal Powell logged equal Week 8 playing time (48%), but Powell out-touched Forte 17 to 10. After the game, Forte complained that OC John Morton abandoned the run down the stretch of New York’s five-point loss to Atlanta. Either way, expect this to remain a near-even timeshare against a mediocre, now-Marcell Dareus-less Bills run defense that  allowed a 100/405/4.05/3 rushing line to running backs in its last five games. Both Powell and Forte are low-end flex options. Elijah McGuire has been weeded out of the rotation.

McCown’s Weeks 3-8 target distribution: Robby Anderson 40; Austin Seferian-Jenkins 39; Jermaine Kearse 27; Jeremy Kerley 24; Forte 20; Powell 15; McGuire 5. … Seferian-Jenkins’ three-game scoring streak ended in last week’s loss to Atlanta, but he set a season high for playing time (90%) and ran 34 routes, ASJ’s second most of the year. I like Seferian-Jenkins’ chances of rebounding against a Buffalo defense that was torched for 12/158/2 (Bucs) and 5/78/0 (Raiders) by tight end groups in the last two weeks. … Anderson’s big-play ability always gives him a shot to pay fantasy dividends, but his Week 9 matchup isn’t a gimme against impressive Bills rookie LCB Tre’Davious White, who checked Amari Cooper (5/48/0) last week and is currently PFF’s No. 5-graded cornerback in pass coverage among 114 qualifiers. … On a one-for-one basis, I would still rather take a shot on Anderson than Kearse, who has reached 50 yards once since Week 2. Anderson has cleared 50 yards four times during that span.

Score Prediction: Bills 24, Jets 23



Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva



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