Trevor Lawrence (Start, Low-QB1)
Coming off a 4-touchdown, 27-point fantasy performance against the Cowboys, Lawrence is as hot as any quarterback right now. Over his last five games, he has thrown 13 TDs with just one interception and is averaging close to 25 fantasy points per game over that span. Unfortunately for him this week, he and the Jaguars draw one of the more difficult matchups out there.
The Jets are permitting the 4th-fewest points to QBs and are 6th in both EPA/dropback and pass DVOA defense. There have been only four instances when New York has allowed 20+ points to a signal caller: twice to Josh Allen (21 and 24 points), and once to Joe Burrow (29) and Lamar Jackson (25). The weather is also not working in Trevor’s favor either. MetLife is expecting consistent rain and winds at 15 mph throughout the game. If they’re available on your wire and you’re scared off by the Jets defense, Daniel Jones (at MIN) and Tom Brady (at ARI) draw easier defenses, but I’m okay rolling with Lawrence here based on his recent run of success.
Travis Etienne (Start, RB2)
Since the James Robinson trade, Travis Etienne has been the bell cow of the running game for Jacksonville. Over the six weeks Etienne has played without Robinson he has handled 86% of the 130 carries. He’s getting plenty of usage on the ground, but not much through the air. Despite that shortcoming, he is as dependable as any RB in the game based on his overall usage.
He hasn’t found the pay-dirt in a few games, and will likely need to in order to have a truly successful game against this tough Jets defense, however. The Jets have permitted the 7th fewest points to RBs, and are 8th in EPA/rush and 7th in DVOA against the run. They’ve done a solid job at shutting down running backs this season, but there’s no way you can leave ETN out of your lineup.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Christian Kirk (Start, Low-WR2), Zay Jones (Sit, WR3), Marvin Jones Jr. (Sit), Evan Engram (Start, TE1)
The Jaguars receivers will have their hands full this week against the Jets secondary, and they will likely not be filled with footballs if you catch my drift. Led by the likely Defensive Rookie of the Year, Sauce Gardner, The Jets have allowed the 2nd fewest points to wide-outs. We’ve seen some of the best WRs struggle to get much going against them such as Justin Jefferson (7/45 1 TD), Tyreek Hill (7/47), Stefon Diggs (5/93 and 3/37), and Amon-Ra St. Brown (7/76).
Evan Engram has come alive as of late with the most tight-end points over the last three weeks. Over that span, he has 32 targets and has scored at least 10 points in each game. The Jets are 13th in fantasy points allowed against tight ends, so I don’t expect the same output for Engram this game, but it’s hard to find many other tight ends better than him at this point. As discussed in the Lawrence portion, it will be a wet and windy game, and with this tough matchup in store, it’s safe to cool the jets on the Jags here.
New York Jets
Zach Wilson (Sit, QB2)
If the 0-13 Jets had just lost to the Rams back in 2020, Trevor Lawrence would likely be the one taking snaps under center for Gang Green instead of Zach Wilson. Don’t let the 19-point performance against the Lions fool you: Wilson still sucks, but he does get another fantasy-friendly matchup this week against the Jags. They are dead last in DVOA against the pass, 27th in EPA/dropback, and 28th in fantasy points allowed. I don’t care how good the matchup is, there will always be a better option than the erratic Wilson.
Zonovan Knight (Start, RB2/Flex), Michael Carter (Sit)
He left with an ankle injury last week and is questionable going into Thursday Night Football, but Zonovan Knight is the back to play if you need him. Unfortunately for Knight owners, Wilson didn’t target him once last week, but he still led the team with 13 carries on just 23 yards. The Lions have actually been stout against the run as of late, so we can give Zonovan a pass for his inefficiency last week, and hope he has a better day against a middle-of-the-pack run defense. The Jaguars are 14th in both EPA/rush and DVOA, and are 15th in terms of fantasy production allowed. If Knight is unavailable, Michael Carter can be used as a low-end flex.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Garrett Wilson (Start, WR2), Elijah Moore (Sit, Low-Flex), Corey Davis (Sit), Tyler Conklin (Sit, TE2)
It’s crazy to think this offense is THAT much better with Mike White throwing the ball over Zach Wilson, but here we are. Even with a fantastic matchup on hand, the Jets pass-catchers can be downgraded with the 2021 #2 overall draft pick slinging the pigskin. Jacksonville has allowed the 7th most points to receivers this year, but Garrett Wilson is the only viable start on this team right now. He saw a team-high nine targets last week en route to a 98-yard, four-reception game. In a rainy and windy game, it’s better to steer clear of anyone else other than him.