What We Saw: Patriots at Jets

Nick Folk's leg saved the day for a struggling Patriots team

Patriots @ Jets

 

While this game wasn’t very highly anticipated in the Week 9 slate, it turned out to be a pretty darn entertaining matchup. Starting in place of QB Sam Darnold, Jets’ backup QB Joe Flacco looked, dare I say it, elite? Well, in the first half, anyway. Patriots’ QB Cam Newton accumulated over 200 passing yards for the first time since Week 2 and also put up 2 rushing TDs for the third time this season. The Jets had the Patriots in the first half, not gonna lie. But the Jets, as they tend to do, ultimately found a way to lose the game in the end – falling 30-27 to New England on a last-second 51-yard FG by Patriots’ K Nick Folk. What did all of it mean for your fantasy team? Let’s dive into what we saw:

 

New England Patriots

 

Quarterback

 

Cam Newton: 27/35, 274 yards | 10 carries, 16 yards, 2 TDs

 

Fantasy managers who hoped that Patriots’ QB Cam Newton would feast on the lowly Jets’ defense were rewarded on Monday night – as Newton delivered his second-highest fantasy output of the season. He didn’t look particularly great doing it, however. While Newton was able to connect with WR Jakobi Meyers 12 times for 169 yards, mostly on intermediate routes, he struggled to take shots downfield. He was also dreadfully inefficient on the ground – his 1.6 YPC average was his lowest of the season. All that being said, Newton did produce his third output of the season with multiple rushing TDs – and we all know TDs are king in fantasy football. Newton also showed some dazzling moves in the pocket to avoid negative plays on several occasions. While Newton did provide QB1 numbers against the Jets, it’s safe to expect his production will dip next week against a tougher Baltimore defense.

 

  

Running Backs

 

Rex Burkhead: 12 carries, 56 yards, 1 TD | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 11 yards

Damien Harris: 14 carries, 71 yards

James White: 2 carries, 0 yards | 5 targets, 4 receptions, 24 yards

 

While the Patriots weren’t able to dominate the Jets’ defense on the ground, they did run effectively enough to provide a couple of decent fantasy performances. RB Damien Harris paced New England’s backfield in rushing yards, but he was forced out in the 4th quarter with a chest injury. Harris was questionable with an ankle injury leading up to Monday night, so I’m sure his managers were hoping for a better performance against New York’s porous run defense. RB Rex Burkhead was the leading fantasy performer on Monday night for New England and he did most of his damage in the second half. While the touches were split pretty evenly between Harris and Burkhead, neither one of them was on the field for even 50% of New England’s offensive snaps (Harris – 35%, Burkhead – 42%). If Harris’ injury keeps him out in Week 10 vs. Baltimore, Burkhead may be worth flex consideration – even against Baltimore’s stout run defense. RB James White was basically a non-factor for a third consecutive week. Three of White’s six touches came in the Patriots’ 47 second long, game-winning FG drive. White’s usage has been trending down since Week 6, and he is hardly worth a roster spot at this point.

 

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Jakobi Meyers: 14 targets, 12 receptions, 169 yards

Damiere Byrd: 9 targets, 5 receptions, 65 yards

Gunner Olszewski: 1 target, 1 reception, -1 yard | 3 carries, 16 yards

 

The big story from New England’s pass-catching group was WR Jakobi Meyers’ huge performance on Monday night. Meyers failed to find the end-zone, but he was able to get open all night long against an awful Jets’ secondary. With injuries to WR N’Keal Harry and WR Julian Edelman, Meyers has taken on the role of Cam Newton’s favorite target. Meyers saw 10+ targets for the second straight week against the Jets, and with no clear timetable for Harry (concussion) or Edelman (knee) to return, it appears that Meyers should continue to receive a high volume of looks over the next several weeks. WR Damiere Byrd had a decent fantasy performance operating as the WR2 for the Patriots on Monday night. Byrd nearly found the end-zone on a winding 31-yard reception – catching the ball in the right-hand flat, weaving all the way to the left side of the field and around the corner, diving and reaching for the end-zone. Byrd stepped out of bounds at the 2-yard line, and Cam Newton eventually ran in for the score. While Meyers and Byrd appear to be the top two options for the foreseeable, they are both risky starts next week against Baltimore. 

 

 

New York Jets

 

Quarterback

 

Joe Flacco: 18/25, 262 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, 1 sack

 

As I mentioned in the opener, Jets’ QB Joe Flacco actually looked really good for most of the game Monday night. While he did throw a 4th quarter INT that helped New England’s chances to win, Flacco otherwise dished some dimes against the Patriots’ tough secondary. He threw two TDs to WR Breshad Perriman, one of which the DB fell to the ground, and the other was a lovely sideline throw in the end-zone where only Perriman could get to it. But the real dime of the night came on a TD pass to WR Jamison Crowder, and instead of explaining, I’ll just show it to you:

 

 

The tight window and close coverage made this throw the most statistically improbable completion thus far this season. Flacco has outplayed Darnold to this point in the year, and while there may be better waiver options out there, Flacco has proven that he’s worth a dart throw in deeper/2-QB leagues.

 

Running Backs

 

Frank Gore: 12 carries, 46 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 13 yards

La’Mical Perine: 6 carries, 19 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 19 yards

 

While Flacco diced up the Patriots through the air, the run game for the Jets wasn’t able to produce much fantasy output on Monday night. The running game was working slightly better early on, but an injury to Jets’ stud rookie LT Mekhi Becton late in the 1st quarter dampened New York’s efforts on the ground for the rest of the game. RB Frank Gore had the largest gain on the ground for the Jets’ backfield with a 15-yard rush in the first quarter – during the play that Becton was injured on. Neither Frank Gore nor RB La’Mical Perine has produced much fantasy value thus far this season, but after the Jets’ bye in Week 10, it’s possible their output can improve in Week 11 against a worse-than-average Chargers’ run defense.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Breshad Perriman: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 101 yards, 2 TDs

Jamison Crowder: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 26 yards, 1 TD

Denzel Mims: 8 targets, 4 receptions, 62 yards

Braxton Berrios: 1 target, 1 reception, 13 yards

Ryan Griffin: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 28 yards

 

The Jets’ pass-catchers were probably the most surprising group of the game on Monday night. WR Breshad Perriman had his breakout performance of 2020 – finding the end-zone twice and going over 100 receiving yards for the first time in a Jets’ uniform. If you had to start Perriman out of desperation it paid off in a big way, but it’s tough to imagine such production could continue. If Sam Darnold returns after the Jets’ Week 10 bye, it’s likely that Perriman’s production could take a considerable hit. WR Jamison Crowder was able to fight off a groin injury to suit up on Monday night, and while he wasn’t incredibly involved in the gameplan, he was able to turn his 2 targets into 26 yards and a score – providing a decent amount of fantasy production. Rookie WR Denzel Mims seems to be settling into this Jets’ offense and is showing a consistent amount of involvement. In Mims’ 3 games this season, he’s seen at least 80% of the offensive snap share in all of them, and at least 7 targets in 2 of the 3. While Mims has yet to find the end zone, it’s important to temper expectations for all of the Jets’ position skill players. This is not a good team, and this is not a good offense – even when they are playing from behind and are forced to throw the ball more. While Crowder was the WR to roster early on this season (when he was healthy), the emergence of Perriman and now Mims makes this a tough situation to predict week-to-week.

 

 

Photos by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire and Tammy Anthony Baker (https://www.flickr.com/people/[email protected]) / Adapted by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

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