What We Saw: Week 1

New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills

 

New York Jets

 

Quarterbacks:

 

  • Sam Darnold: 27/40, 179 yards, 1 TD

 

Sam Darnold had some trouble getting settled into the game as stout defenses were the story of the first half. He did flash in a handful of drives, including his lone TD pass and then 2-point conversion to first-year Jets’ RB Le’Veon Bell. Until this Jets’ offense gains some traction this season, it would likely be best to look elsewhere for potential streaming QB options.

 

Running Backs:

 

  • Le’Veon Bell: 17 carries, 60 yards | 9 targets, 6 receptions, 32 yards, 1 TD
  • Ty Montgomery: 2 carries, 4 yards

 

If you’re like me, you were likely worried about Le’Veon Bell heading into this season – for a variety of reasons. For starters, Jets’ first-year HC Adam Gase has a long and tumultuous history of forcing his offense to run through a RBBC (running back by committee) regardless of the talent on his roster. Additionally, it’s always difficult to predict how an entire season away from the game will affect a player. Well, Bell’s performance today can safely put those fears to bed. He finished the game with 23 total touches, 92 total yards and a TD reception. He also caught a 2-point conversion from QB Sam Darnold. He was the only Jets’ RB to be given any carries besides Ty Montgomery (2 carries for 4 yards). Bell averaged a measly 3.5 yards per carry, but his usage was certainly encouraging and he appears to be in line for an RB1-type season assuming his workload remains consistent.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends:

 

  • Robby Anderson: 6 targets, 2 receptions, 15 yards
  • Jamison Crowder: 17 targets, 14 receptions, 99 yards | 1 carry, 4 yards
  • Quincy Enunwa: 3 targets, 1 reception, 8 yards

 

Other than WR Jamison Crowder, the rest of the Jets’ WR corps had a fairly quiet day. In fact, RB Le’Veon Bell finished 2nd on the team in targets and receiving yards. While Crowder had an astounding 17 targets and was able to haul in 14 of them for an impressive 82.4% catch rate, he only averaged 7.1 yards per reception. WR Robby Anderson had a quiet outing, finishing with only 2 receptions. There were multiple occasions where Sam Darnold tried to hit Anderson on deep routes but was unable to. There was plenty of talk from the Jets’ training camp that suggested Anderson and Sam Darnold were developing chemistry, but we didn’t see it this week. The entire Jets’ offense will look to improve next week against Cleveland.

 

Buffalo Bills

 

Quarterbacks:

 

  • Josh Allen: 24-37, 254 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT | 10 carries, 38 yards, 1 TD

 

Bills’ second-year starting QB Josh Allen more-or-less picked up where he left off last year. He was inaccurate more often than not but made some plays with his legs throughout the game to make up for it – including a 3-yard rushing TD in the 4th quarter. Allen’s accuracy issues seemed to be less of a concern as he was able to complete 64.9% of his passes on the afternoon. The addition of WR John Brown seems to be a welcome one for Allen. Allen completed 7 out of 10 passes thrown Brown’s way. This offense wasn’t incredibly dynamic against a stout Jets’ defense, but Allen is worthy of consideration as a streaming option, or even as a starter in deeper formats.

 

Running Backs:

 

  • Devin Singletary: 4 carries, 70 yards | 6 targets, 5 receptions, 28 yards
  • Frank Gore: 11 carries, 20 yards

 

Another NFL season has officially begun, which means another opportunity for Frank Gore to steal work away from a younger, more capable back is upon us. Gore was less than effective, averaging a miserable 1.8 yards per carry. Meanwhile, rookie RB Devin Singletary was much more effective on the ground – and even added 5 catches on 6 targets. It’s tough to imagine Gore continuing to garner as much work as he did against the Jets. Singletary looked the part and provided a spark in the Bills’ come-from-behind victory. Singletary certainly appears to be the most talented back in the Bills’ rotation, but until it’s clear that he takes on more of a feature-back role, it will be tough to consider him anything more than a RB2/Flex option. RB TJ Yeldon finished the game without a touch. 

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends:

 

  • John Brown: 10 targets, 7 receptions, 123 yards, 1 TD
  • Zay Jones: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 18 yards
  • Cole Beasley: 9 targets, 5 receptions, 40 yards

 

It was a mostly quiet day for Buffalo’s WR corps, other than WR John Brown. Brown was open early and often – and his deep-threat speed is proving to be a fantastic compliment to big-armed QB Josh Allen. We shouldn’t expect Buffalo’s offense to take a huge leap forward by any means, but Brown’s 7 receptions on 10 targets certainly appear to be a promising prospect. In fact, Brown’s 17.6 yards-per-reception average was higher than Cole Beasley (8.0) and Zay Jones (9.0) combined. With RB Devin Singletary expecting to figure into the passing game more as the season goes on, Brown may just be the only Bills’ WR to garner any fantasy relevance this season. This is an offense that wants to run the football more often than not. It will be interesting to see how Buffalo’s target share will settle throughout the course of the season. But if John Brown is sitting on your league’s waiver wire or sitting on your bench (like he was sitting on my bench today), he’s certainly worth considering as an add. Brown will look to build on his productive outing next week against the Giants’ feeble secondary. 

 

— Corey Saucier

 

 

Michael Miklius

Mike is a lifelong Bears fan and unapologetic Mitch Trubisky homer. Twitter: @SIRL0INofBEEF

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