Kickoff: Thursday, November 4th at 7:20 PM ET
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
Betting Odds: IND -10.5, 46.5 total via Oddsshark
Network: Fox, NFL Network, Amazon Prime
New York Jets
Mike White (Sit), Joe Flacco (Sit), Zach Wilson (Sit)
It looks like Mike White will get his second start on Thursday against the Colts. I do believe that Joe Flacco was brought in to be the starter when Zach Wilson went down with a knee injury. I believe the way White played in week 8 sealed his starter position until Wilson returns and possibly going forward for the rest of the season. I don’t think you should start White this week. Yes, he led the league in passing yards in week 8 with 405 yards. He also threw for 3 touchdowns. The issue is in the past 2 games he has played he has 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He isn’t protecting the football which puts his team in a hole that he has to pass to get out of. The Colt’s passing defense is worse than the Bengals but I don’t see a repeat performance for White. There are now almost 2 games of tape on White so the Colts have time to plan for him and the scheme the Jets put in place for him. If you look at the game Davis Mills had against the Colts in week 6, the Colts held him 243 passing yards, no touchdowns, and 2 interceptions on 43 attempts. This was after 2 games of tape on Mills. I expect White to fair slightly better than Mills did against the Colts but I don’t expect a huge performance from him. The team is a run-first team and will rely on that early. They will probably fall behind in the game and will have to pass more so there should be opportunities for White but I don’t expect him to capitalize on it.
Michael Carter (Start, RB1), Tevin Coleman (Sit), Ty Johnson (Sit), Lamical Perine (Sit)
Rookie Michael Carter has officially taken over the backfield for the Jets. In the past 2 weeks since their bye, he has led the team in snaps at 47% and 59%. The next closest running back was Ty Johnson with 21% and 24%. Tevin Coleman has been out with an injury and does not project to return after missing practice again on Tuesday. Carter has scored in 3 of the last 4 games. He is only getting under 15 carries a game but he is receiving a ton of work in the passing game. Since the bye, he has seen 9 ad 14 targets in games. Both of those games featured Mike White as the quarterback. He is also leading the team in red-zone rushes with 12, scoring on 3 of them. Ty Johnson does have 7 red zone carries which could vulture a touchdown from Carter but the volume will be there to trust Carter as an RB1. Former hyped rookie Lamical Perine isn’t worth rostering right now. Even with an injury, his opportunities don’t project to be there.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
Corey Davis (Sit), Jamison Crowder (Start, WR2), Keelan Cole (Sit, Flex), Elijah Moore (Start, Flex), Denzel Mims (Sit), Tyler Croft (Start, TE2), Ryan Griffen (Sit)
Despite the lackluster names in the Jets wide receiver group they have been fantasy-relevant so far this season. Corey Davis is suffering from a hip injury and may not play. Jamison Crowder has been on a great pace since returning in week 4. He has yet to see less than 6 targets in a game. He has only scored once in those games but the volume will make him a good fantasy option. In a game script where the Jets should be behind Crowder will have plenty of opportunities. With a short week, I expect a very similar game plan for Thursday night. That game plan saw Elijah Moore get 6 targets and Keelan Cole gets 5. Both of them have opportunities but both only have 1 red zone target so far this season. Moore does have 1 red zone carry this season and has a longer history of getting targets vs Cole. Mike White’s starting does shine a light on Cole who seemed to have a connection with him. I think both Cole and Moore are flexible players in week 9 but I would rather start Moore given his track record. Tight end Tyler Croft came back in week 8 and had an okay game scoring a touchdown. His return made Ryan Griffen irrelevant. The Colts are 25th in terms of giving up points to the tight end positions so Kroft could be a sneaky start in the fantasy tight end landscape.
Carson Wentz (Start, QB1)
Carson Wentz has had a major turnaround in his career coming to Indy. He has only 2 games with less the 2 touchdowns and has only thrown 3 interceptions. Two of them did come in a heartbreaking Week 8 loss to the Titans. Wentz is still a very capable fantasy quarterback. He has a solid rushing game around him and a break-out star at the wide receiver which has helped him regain his form. The Colts defense hasn’t been able to stop anyone which has put Wentz and the Colts in passing game scripts. The Jets do have a good passing defense allowing the 10th best points to the quarterback position. Wentz should be able to overcome this and still give you QB1 points in week 9.
Jonathan Taylor (Start, RB1), Nyheim Hines (Sit), Marlon Mack (Sit)
Jonathan Taylor is looking like one of the safest picks in the top of the fantasy draft. He has been a workhorse back for the colts. he is averaging 15 carries per game and 79 yards per game. He has 6 rushing touchdowns on the season and has added 1 passing touchdown. Taylor’s involvement in the passing game has been s surprise this season. He has almost as many receptions and yards as he did in his rookie season. This has also led to Nyheim Hines being fantasy irrelevant. Hines hasn’t played more than 31% of the team snaps in the past 3 weeks. The lack of opportunities is sending Hines value to the basement and him to the waiver pools in fantasy. Hines does have 5 red zone carries and 1 red zone target this season. The Colts were unable to find a new home for Marlon Mack at the trade deadline so he will be riding both the fantasy and Colt’s bench for the foreseeable future. Mack only played 6% and 1% of the team’s snaps over the past 2 games. He just inst involved without an injury in front of him.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
Michael Pittman Jr (Start, WR1), Zach Pascal (Start, Flex), Parris Campbell (Sit-IR), T.Y. Hilton(Sit-Out), Ashton Dulin (Sit), Jack Doyle (Sit), Mo Allie-Cox (Sit, TE2)
Michael Pittman Jr has been a breakout wide receiver in the NFL and fantasy. His connection with Carson Wentz has netted him 65 targets, 45 receptions, 594 yards, and 4 touchdowns this season. All of those are better than his rookie season in 2020. The Jets are not giving up a ton of points to the wide receiver position but Pittman’s opportunities make him a must-start in Week 9. In week 8 he had 15 targets and scored 2 touchdowns. It made it 3 out of 4 weeks of scoring a touchdown. He is on the field in every situation playing 90+% of the team snaps over the past 3 weeks. He also has 9 red-zone targets which are tied for the team lead. He is tied with Zach Pascal for red-zone targets. Pascal is averaging 87.8% of the Colts snaps this season. He hasn’t scored since week 2 but still saw 15 targets over the past 3 weeks. He is second on the team in targets. On a team that seems to always be passing Pascal is worth a flex-start. With both Parris Campbell and T.Y. Hilton out for Thursday night Ashton Dulin is in line to see an increase in opportunities. He’s not startable for fantasy right now but could be a good stash for later in the season and especially in dynasty formats. Tight ends Jack Doyle and Mo Allie-Cox have been trading touchdowns over the past few weeks. Doyle is much more touchdown dependant compared to Allie-Cox who has been getting more targets.
-Dustin Ludke (Dunit13dl on Reddit)