New York Jets (1-4, 1-4 ATS) at New England Patriots (2-4, 2-4), 1 p.m.
Brolley’s Jets Stats and Trends
The Jets slipped to 1-4 ATS after yet another ugly start against the Falcons in London.
The Jets, 49ers, and Washington are the only teams with one ATS cover this season.
New York has scored just one offensive touchdown in the first half of their first five games, and they have more first downs in overtime (2) than they do in the first quarter (1).
Michael Carter is the one offensive player who had a little positive momentum heading into the bye. He’s reached double-digit FP in three of his last four games with 9+ carries and three targets in each of his last four contests. He posted career-highs in rushing yards (59) and receiving yards (29) against the Patriots in Week 2. Houston RBs combined for 111 scrimmage yards against the Patriots two weeks ago.
Zach Wilson’s career is off to a rough start with just four TDs and nine INTs in the first five games before their Week 6 bye. He’s thrown an INT in every game and he’s failed to reach double-digit FP in three of his first five starts after completing 19/32 passes for 192 scoreless yards against the Falcons in Week 5. He was a complete disaster when these teams played in Week 2, posting 210 scoreless yards with four INTS and a 6.4 YPA average.
Corey Davis has 7+ targets and 4+ catches in four of his five games, but he’s hit double-digit FP just twice — at least he hit 21+ FP in those contests. His lone game without seven targets came against the Patriots in Week 2 when he posted 2/8 receiving on five looks.
Jamison Crowder finished behind only Davis in targets (6, 19% share) in Week 5, but it translated into just 4/24 receiving against the Falcons. He ran 24 routes behind just Davis (27) and ahead of Keelan Cole (18) and Elijah Moore (16). The Patriots did allow 7/73 receiving on 11 targets to Braxton Berrios in Week 2.
Brolley’s Patriots Stats and Trends
The Patriots are 1-3 ATS in four games as a favorite this year. Their lone cover came against the Jets in Week 2 in their 25-6 victory as 5.5-point road favorites in a game totaled at 43.5 points.
New England is 4-1 toward under in its last five games as a home favorite.
Damien Harris handled the bulk of the work in this backfield last week, posting 19/108/1 scrimmage on 48% of the snaps. Rhamondre Stevenson added 5/23/1 rushing and a promising 3/39 receiving on three targets and eight routes while playing 33% of the snaps. Brandon Bolden had just 2/0 scrimmage on seven routes on a four-week low 20% of the snaps. Harris managed 16/62/1 receiving in this matchup back in Week 2, and the Jets are giving up the most FPG (33.2) to RBs
Mac Jones has yet to crack 18+ FP in his first six starts and he’s thrown interceptions in four straight games with six picks overall. He completed 15/21 passes for 229 yards (10.9 YPA), two touchdowns, and one interception in an overtime loss to the Cowboys in Week 6. Jones posted a season-low 186 yards against the Jets in Week 2, and it’s the only game he hasn’t thrown for at least one touchdown.
Jakobi Meyers had his first career touchdown taken off the board last week by a penalty, so he had to settle for 5/44 receiving on a team-best six targets with a two-point conversion. He managed just 4/38 receiving on six targets in a low-volume game against the Jets in Week 2.
Kendrick Bourne got a bit lucky with his two targets last week, taking a house-call on a dangerous pass over the middle for a 75-yard touchdown. He’s scored double-digit FP in three of his last four games, but he still ran fewer routes than Nelson Agholor (18 to 14). Bourne managed just 2/10 receiving on three targets in this matchup in Week 2.
Hunter Henry has scored in three consecutive games to give him a run of 10+ FP in that span. He’s clearly distanced himself from Jonnu Smith in the last two weeks, easily topping him in routes (10 to 3), routes (39 to 16), and receiving production (8/100/2 to 3/36). Henry had just 2/43 receiving on four targets and Jonnu had 4/28 receiving on five targets in this matchup in Week 2 back when these two were more evenly split.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Pace (seconds in between plays): 26.5 (6th)
Plays per game: 64.0 (23rd)
Pass: 67.2% (3rd) | Run: 32.8% (30th)
Pace: 28.5 (19th)
Plays per game: 64.3 (22nd)
Pass: 64.3% (10th) | Run: 35.7% (23rd)
The Jets were a sleep-walking, dead under team until Weeks 4-5 when their offense came to life a bit against the Titans (27 points scored) and Falcons (20) as both of those contests cruised past the over. The big question for this week: Can Zach Wilson put Week 2’s four INT performance behind him and take advantage of this skidding Patriots defense? New England has given up 28, 19, 22, and 35 points over their last four games and over 350 total yards in three-straight (vs. Bucs, Texans, and Cowboys). Overall, this game is the third-quickest on the slate in adjusted combined pace and might be a tad undervalued if New York can find a way to be competitive coming out of their BYE. That is a lot easier said than done with the Jets, though. Only Washington (84% of snaps) has been behind on the scoreboard more often than New York (83%) this year.
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
After games with 15% and 14% target shares wasted on Brandon Bolden, Week 6 welcomed signs that his role might decline. Even though Damien Harris was only provided with a 5% target share, at least Bolden only touched the ball twice. In most weeks, the desired approach is to fade the plodders. Harris attended high school right down the road from my home. I know for a fact that he is a skilled receiver. So, while I personally feel Harris is being unfairly phased out of the passing game, this is a game where the Patriots are going to stomp a trail directly over the Jets in Foxboro.
Also, Jakobi Meyers essentially never leaves the field and owns the 13th-highest target share in the NFL. If he made a couple stops in the end zone — he had a big TD grab called back on a hold in Week 7 — his PPR upside would make him a weekly play. And it’s the consistent volume that elevates him over his WR teammates. New York continues to utilize a rookie as their nickelback, Michael Carter II. The ‘21 fifth-rounder is generally playing well, but you want to target your receivers on the inside against NYJ since they are closing down production outside at only 9.1 FPG (the lowest).
Dolan’s Vantage Points
It’s tough to write off an entire team in a week in which six teams are on bye and several other key fantasy players are injured, so we do at least have to do the common courtesy of looking into the Jets.
Let’s start with rookie RB Michael Carter, who has taken the lead role in this backfield, and is playing a Patriots team against which he posted a career-high 88 yards from scrimmage back in Week 2 (yes, this is our first rematch of the season). Carter’s snap share was above 50% in each of the last two games prior to the Jets’ bye, with a season-high 52% share in Week 5.
Not only did Carter go for 88 yards against the Pats, but Dallas RBs — obviously much better than the Jets’ — went for 182 yards from scrimmage last week, while Texan RBs — not much better than the Jets’ — went for 111 yards from scrimmage two weeks ago. The Pats have given up a decided lack of TDs to RBs this year (one to Alvin Kamara and one to Ronald Jones), but this is not a run-game matchup that scares me. I think Carter is in the RB2 mix this week in a brutal week overall.
The Jets also had a brutal WR rotation against the Falcons in Week 5, a much better matchup than this one, with only Corey Davis playing above 70% of the snaps (80%). The Jets used six WRs, with Davis unsurprisingly pacing them with 7 targets. Of course, his only game without hitting 7 targets was this matchup against the Patriots back in Week 2, when overmatched rookie QB Zach Wilson threw 4 INTs. Wilson has completed exactly 19 passes in three games, and 20 and 21 in his other two games. There’s not enough volume here to support multiple WRs as legitimate fantasy options, so the two I’d consider are Davis and Jamison Crowder, the only two Jet WRs who played more than 60% of the snaps in Week 5. (Crowder had 6 targets himself.)
The Patriots have multiple injuries in the secondary, including CB Jonathan Jones being out, so it’s possible the Jets have one or more pass catchers come through here. It’s just not a great bet.
The Patriots somehow managed to play in a game in which 64 points were scored, a game that went to overtime, while they ran all of 50 plays against the Cowboys last week. QB Mac Jones threw just 21 balls, and only Jakobi Meyers caught more than 3.
While poor Meyers still doesn’t have a touchdown on 121 career catches, and had one come off the board last week, it isn’t simple regression that should get him into the box. Will he score eventually? Sure. But he’s not going to turn into Adam Thielen all of a sudden. Here’s Scott Barrett from the Week 7 XFP Report:
“Contrary to public opinion, Jakobi Meyers is not a massive touchdown regression candidate. He ranks just 78th among all WRs in XTD (0.98). He totals 54 targets on the season, but zero end zone targets and just one target inside the 10-yard-line. He averages just 0.16 XTD per game, after averaging just 0.14 last year. You can contrast that to CeeDee Lamb’s 0.66, who is tied with Meyers’ 9.0 targets per game.”
Coincidentally, Meyers’ worst output of the season was his 4/38 receiving on 6 targets against these Jets in Week 2, and the Jets’ primary slot CB — the other rookie Michael Carter — has done a hell of a job in his first season. Per PFF, his passer rating of 77.1 allowed on his slot coverage snaps is 11th-lowest of 47 slot defenders with 50 or more coverage snaps. He’s been legitimately good. Nonetheless, I’m still trusting Meyers as a WR3… because who else am I playing here?
Anyway, remember this guy?
Nelson Agholor might have had the game on his hands last week. He dropped it.
Nelson Agholor with a drop, vintage Nelson. pic.twitter.com/IRQa1gzGrW— The 60FPS & GIF Guy (@IHaveFourBalls) October 17, 2021
Look at all the green in front of Agholor, if he beats the safety. And one thing Agholor can do is run.
If Nelson Agholor doesn't drop this pass... pic.twitter.com/hsA6hRDAr4— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) October 18, 2021
Brolley outlined above why Hunter Henry is the clearly superior option to Jonnu Smith if you need a TE streamer, but Jake Tribbey actually likes Jonnu this week if you’re desperate:
Smith isn’t an exciting waiver addition at this point, but he is a player that will almost assuredly help you avoid the dreaded ‘goose egg’ at the position. His volume has stayed consistent, seeing at least 2 targets in every game this season, and 5 or more targets in four games. He’s tied with Kendrick Bourne for 4th on the team in total targets (23) and is tied with Nelson Agholor for the team lead in red zone targets (7). He’s seeing respectable, mid- to low-end TE2 usage, and offers decent TD upside given 30% of his targets have come inside the red zone. Teams desperate for a TE waiver fill-in that can’t grab Ricky Seals-Jones, Jonnu Smith is your next best bet this week.
The big development this week is in the backfield, where Damien Harris (chest) was totally removed from the injury report after his big day against Dallas. Harris posted 8/101/1 rushing and 1/7 receiving on his lone target, leading the Pats’ backs with a 48% snap share — Rhamondre Stevenson played 33%, and Brandon Bolden played 20%.
But the rookie Stevenson vultured a TD when Harris was winded at the end of a couple of hard runs, and Stevenson also managed to make some plays in the passing game, posting 3/39 receiving and running the most routes (8) of any Patriot back during the game. Harris continues to look like the Pats’ best runner, but New England trusts both Stevenson and Bolden more in the pass game and as pass protectors, based on usage. In competitive games, Harris will be a solid RB2, but he is TD dependent and has a seriously low floor given his lack of a bell cow role. Fortunately, with the Pats healthy home favorites, against a team he crushed back in Week 2, Harris is a rock-solid play this week. Just keep an eye on Stevenson if you’re desperate for some Waiver Wire RB juice.