New York Jets (2-5, 2-5 ATS) at Indianapolis Colts (3-5, 5-3), 8:20 p.m., TNF
Brolley’s Jets Stats and Trends
The Jets have played over the total in four straight games.
Michael Carter has taken control of this backfield out of their Week 6 bye with Tevin Coleman out of the lineup. Carter has played 70% of the snaps or more in each of the last two weeks, and he posted season-best in rushing (15/77/1), receiving (9/95), and FPG (32.3). Ty Johnson has actually seen his two worst snap shares (29%, 32%) in the last two weeks with Coleman out of the lineup, but he’s been active with Mike White, posting 11/136/1 receiving. The Colts are giving up the third-fewest FPG (17.9) to RBs this season, and they’ve yet to allow an individual RB to post 4+ catches or 35 receiving yards.
Mike White came out of nowhere to lead the league in passing yards (405) in Week 8, and he remarkably did it with the league’s shortest aDOT (4.2) last week. He completed 37/45 passes for 405 yards (9.0 YPA), three touchdowns, and two INTs in their stunning victory over the Bengals in Week 8. The Colts’ defense has allowed multiple TD passes in 6-of-8 games this season.
Corey Davis (hip) will be in a race to play in a short week after sitting out against the Bengals. He posted 4/47/1 receiving on six targets in Week 7, with all of his production coming when White was in the contest.
Elijah Moore owned a 34.6% catch rate heading into Week 8, but he left their showdown with the Bengals by catching all six of his targets for 67 yards, which gives him double-digit FP in consecutive games. On the downside, he ran the fourth-most routes (17) at the position last week. Jamison Crowder paced the WRs with 8/84 receiving on nine targets, while Denzel Mims (39) and Keelan (37) actually ran the most routes with Davis out of the lineup. The Colts are giving up a league-high 1.6 receiving TDs to WRs this season and the ninth-most FPG (39.1).
Brolley’s Colts Stats and Trends
The Colts are 4-1 toward overs in their last five games.
Indy is 1-4 ATS in its last five games as a favorite.
The Colts are 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games.
Jonathan Taylor has posted 19+ FP in five straight games thanks to seven TDs in that span, and he’s totaled 110+ scrimmage yards in each of those contests. Joe Mixon posted 18/91/2 scrimmage against the Jets last week. New York has given up nearly seven more FPG (37.3) than the next closest team in the Eagles (30.6)
Carson Wentz threw one of the worst interceptions you’ll ever see in a tie game with 90 seconds left in regulation. He bounced back to lead the Colts on an impressive game-tying drive before throwing another back-breaking INT in Colts territory to ice the game in overtime.
Michael Pittman has posted 20+ FP in three of his last four games, and he’s done it four times overall after posting a season-best 10/86/2 receiving. He had just seven combined targets in Weeks 6-7 before exploding for 15 looks last week. The Jets are giving up 13.2 YPR, and Tee Higgins posted 4/97 receiving in this matchup last week.
The Colts’ receiving corps is a mess behind Pittman with T.Y. Hilton (concussion) struggling to stay healthy. Zach Pascal could be needed this week after finishing with 5/43 receiving on eight targets (16% share) last week. Pascal hasn’t reached double-digit FP since Week 2, and the Jets have given up just five receiving TDs to WRs this season.
Mo Alie-Cox scored four TDs in a four-game span in Weeks 4-7, but he posted a goose egg on four targets on 49% snap share against the Titans in Week 8. Jack Doyle sniped a goal-line score on a 63% share. The Jets gave up three TDs in a two-game span before holding C.J. Uzomah to 4/33 receiving.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Pace (seconds in between plays): 27.6 (13th)
Plays per game: 67.0 (16th)
Pass: 68.1% (1st) | Run: 31.9% (32nd)
Pace: 29.4 (24th)
Plays per game: 66.0 (22nd)
Pass: 59.5% (19th) | Run: 40.5% (14th)
How did the Jets upset the Bengals last week? Well, we all saw Mike White nickel and dime Cincinnati to death with short throws to their backs but it runs a little deeper than that. The Jets haven’t been consistently effective running the ball all season long, so they decided to basically abandon the ground game in Week 8. The Jets went 67% pass-heavy on early downs last week – which, for reference, tied the Bills the seventh-highest rate. I don’t have an answer for why this is, but New York did not use a similar plan with Zach Wilson before he got hurt. In Weeks 1-5, the Jets only threw the ball on 48% of their early downs when the game was within a score and that was the sixth-lowest rate in the league. Regardless, this is a brand new offense with White at the controls. I expect the Jets to take another extremely pass-first plan against this Colts team that is struggling against the pass (8.1 YPA allowed | seventh-most) and is fairly strong against the run (3.81 YPC | fifth-fewest).
Even though the Colts have been very balanced all year, HC Frank Reich decided to go away from the run game last week despite Carson Wentz’s struggles. In a game that was close throughout, Wentz dropped back to pass 52 times compared to just 20 runs against the Titans. This is despite the fact that Jonathan Taylor is averaging 6.1 yards per carry over his last six games. The Colts, for some reason, went away from the one consistent part of their offense in their most crucial game of the year – a must-win to stay alive in the AFC South. Indy has been maddening to watch and study all year long. This week, the game-script and trends should lend itself to a run-heavy plan. The Jets are facing 26.1 RB carries per game (sixth-most) and 0.73 rushing fantasy points per carry (fourth-most). But, with these 2021 Colts – who knows?
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
NOTE: Each week, Huber’s Key Matchup Notes in the Fantasy Points Game Hubs are little snippets from Wes Huber’s industry-best, comprehensive Advanced Matchups bible. A DFS-slanted article typically available to only our Premium Subscribers, we are making this week’s edition FREE to coincide with our midseason price drop, with rates reduced by 50%. There is still plenty of time to get on board!
All signs point to the fantasy scoring in this game being dictated by the RBs. On the Indianapolis side, Jonathan Taylor is fresh off taking a season-high share of backfield carries (80%). In none of the previous seven games has JT even eclipsed a 60% share. Before we get too excited by that, it must be clarified that the 16 carries from Week 8 is only one carry more than Taylor’s average going into the game (15.0). And it was very odd that Taylor’s number was only called seven times — compared to 29 dropbacks for Carson Wentz — during a first half when his offense held the lead for 86% of the 30 minutes of play.
Prior to the Jets’ Week 6 bye, Michael Carter averaged 1.6 receptions on 2.8 targets/game. Exposure to the 2021 fourth-rounder revolved entirely around reaching the end zone on the ground. That valuation flipped upside-down since the moment Zach Wilson injured his knee. Over the last seven quarters with Mike White under center, Carter has assembled a 17/162/0 receiving line on 22 targets. Those numbers are nothing short of CMC numbers.
Carter was able to supplement his receiving numbers with 13.7 FPs on the ground last week, but it’s important to remember that the damage was done against a Bengals’ run defense currently abandoning 27.3 FPG for RBs (sixth-most). The Colts’ run defense is on another level. They are approving the third-fewest FPG to RBs (17.7) and the fewest rushing TDs/game (0.25). White may not have the aggressiveness of Wilson, but he is determined to put the ball into the hands of his RBs. During his seven quarters of play, White has targeted a RB on 44% of his throws, accounting for 49% of receptions, 49% of yardage, and 25% of TD passes.
Dolan’s Vantage Points
I thought this was an interesting comment for multiple reasons, from NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal, following Indy’s Week 8 loss to the Titans.
i am so confused the post-game heat in Indy is on … Frank Reich— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) November 1, 2021
Indeed, Rosenthal is referring to the fact that QB Carson Wentz was abysmal in the loss, and he is 100% correct about that. Wentz made two indescribably bad turnovers, one of which directly cost them the game by setting up Tennessee’s winning field goal. The other was arguably the worst play you’ll see a QB ever make — throwing a pick-six left handed from his own goal line.
But I think some criticism of Reich is warranted — RB Jonathan Taylor has been underutilized all season, including in Week 8 when Taylor had 16 rush attempts to 51 throws for a clearly struggling Wentz. Taylor’s season-high in carries is 18, while Wentz has gone over 30 pass attempts in all but two games (wins over the hapless Texans and the 49ers in a monsoon). The good news for Taylor is that his snap shares the last three weeks have seen three consecutive season-highs — 65% in Week 6, 69% in Week 7, and 74% in Week 8. My guess is the Colts respond to the criticism and come out running it against the Jets, who actually have been improved against the run — while they’re giving up 115.1 rush YPG on the season, they’ve actually allowed just 99.0 over the last three games, including shutting down the Bengals’ run game last week. Still, I think this is a Taylor game, with the Colts favored in a must-win situation. It is worth noting, of course, that star LG Quenton Nelson (toe) is questionable.
Interestingly enough, I think Reich unintentionally threw Wentz under the bus with his comments this week…
Apparently Reich is saying that Wentz is killing run plays for pass plays.— Joe Dolan (@FG_Dolan) November 1, 2021
Don't know how often I've heard a coach just outright say that. https://t.co/syzBktKTIn
One guy who has benefitted from the Colts’ pass heavy approach is WR Michael Pittman. After Week 6’s win over the 49ers in sloppy conditions, Wentz said he likes throwing it to Pittman because he doesn’t need to be perfect, and he trusts his receiver to go make a play. It is, admittedly, something he seriously lacked in Philly the last couple years. You also saw the downside of that in Week 8, because Wentz forced the ball to a triple-covered Pittman in overtime. It was a completely boneheaded play by Wentz, but for fantasy purposes, we’ll take a quarterback force-feeding one guy — Pittman had 10/86/2 receiving on 15 targets, and he’s now scored in three of the Colts’ last four games. With TY Hilton (concussion/quad) again hurt, Pittman’s going to be the apple of Wentz’s eye for the foreseeable future… for better or worse. He’s a virtual must-start.
Anyway, the Colts are 3-5 and currently have a top-10 pick in the NFL Draft… that belongs to Philly if the season were to end today. Some who follow the Colts think that simply can’t happen — Wentz needs to play 75% of the Colts’ snaps this year for that pick to convey (it will be their second-round pick otherwise).
Doyel: Colts have to sit Carson Wentz to keep 2022 first-round draft pick https://t.co/O49ed9gYC6— IndyStarSports (@IndyStarSports) November 1, 2021
Jet QB Mike White changed the life of one crazy bettor last week, as his 405 yards led all QBs in passing in Week 8.
Bettor wins $125,000 on Jets QB Mike White's improbable debut: https://t.co/hj96KZJX1b— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) November 2, 2021
But is he a fantasy option this week? Jake Tribbey thinks he can be… if you’re desperate. From Streamers:
“If Taysom Hill and Tyrod Taylor aren’t available or can’t play in Week 9, Mike White may be the player to turn to for QB needy teams in deep leagues. On Sunday, White indisputably had one of the greatest NFL QB debuts ever, throwing for 405 yards and 3 TDs, earning a 70.0 overall PFF grade, and scoring 26.8 fantasy points. Could it have been a fluke? Absolutely. But, there is a chance that White is actually a good NFL QB, and thus, a relevant fantasy contributor until Zach Wilson returns as the starter. He draws a decent matchup as a 10.5-point underdog against a Colts defense that ranks middle of the pack in the defensive metrics that matter to me, so White should, at the very least, have the opportunity to throw the ball as much as any QB in Week 9. Still, with the Jets offense routinely looking like a dumpster fire, I’m not exactly excited to start White this week. White’s a decent fill-in for the most desperate of teams in Week 9, but just remember it’s a high-risk, highish-reward type of play — something I generally try to avoid in season-long formats.”
Here’s Graham from the Week 9 Market Report on Carter, who all of a sudden looks like a strong fantasy starter:
“After getting a big role increase last week coming out of the bye, Carter’s role continued to grow in the Jets' shock win over the Bengals. Carter set season-highs in carries (15) and targets (14) as Mike White checked the ball down relentlessly in his 405-yard performance. Carter had 77 yards and a score on the ground and added 9 catches for 95 yards through the air en route to finishing as the RB1 on the week (32.2 FP). Jets fans don’t want to hear this, but White gives them a better chance to win than Zach Wilson right now. Credit OC Matt LaFleur for coming up with a great game-plan against the Bengals, but the fact of the matter is that White provides a big boost to the Jets entire offense for fantasy. Obviously, the Jets will have to go back to the No. 2 overall pick when Wilson is back healthy – but for the time being, those that held Carter are going to be treated to a high-end RB2 with White at the controls. Through seven quarters, Carter has gotten 22 targets from White. Meanwhile, Carter got just 14 targets from Wilson in Weeks 1-5.”
Meanwhile, with Corey Davis (hip) out in Week 8 and doubtful this week with the short turnaround as well, guess who led the Jets’ receivers in snaps and routes run … Denzel Mims! Mims turned that into just 2/30 receiving on 3 targets, but the Jets also resisted overtures to trade him at the deadline, which does seem to indicate they have plans for him.
Hearing the Jets have received trade calls about WR Denzel Mims but the answer from the Jets has been a consistent “No.”— Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) November 2, 2021
Meanwhile, despite running just 18 routes, rookie WR Elijah Moore posted a season-high 6/67 receiving on 6 targets. He’s more of someone to monitor than someone to trust for fantasy… while if you’re playing a receiver here — especially if Davis is out — it’s Jamison Crowder.