Thursday Night Football Preview: Jets at Ravens

– Thursday Night Football Preview –

New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens

Spread: Ravens -14.5 | Over/Under 45

The NFL season is entering Week 15 and that means it’s time for another showdown on Thursday night football. The Jets are coming off a tight win versus the Dolphins to head on the road to take on the NFL’s best team: The Baltimore Ravens. This AFC matchup is between two teams are going in completely opposite directions. The Ravens are favored by more than two touchdowns, but can the Jets at least keep this game competitive?

Let’s take a closer look at Week 15’s Thursday Night’s Game.

Quarterbacks

Lamar Jackson is averaging over 26 fantasy points per game and has more than 50 points more than the QB2 overall on the season in Deshaun Watson. On Thursday night, he will be faced with a tough task on the ground with the Jets allowing the fewest rushing yards per game (68.5) on the road this season. Instead, teams have been throwing against the Jets where they have allowed an average of two passing touchdowns per game on the road. However, no team quite rushes the ball like the Ravens with Lamar Jackson and interestingly enough the Jets have allowed the sixth-most rushing attempts to quarterbacks this season and fifth-most passing attempts. So whether it be through the air or on the ground Lamar is a top option this week.

Sam Darnold on the other hand, has been playing better in fantasy football as of late. He has thrown multiple touchdowns in three of his last four games. However, in this matchup on the road versus the Ravens that have allowed the fewest fantasy points to the quarterback position over the last four weeks, he is basically unstartable even in a QB2 format. Darnold has played only one road game in which he scored more than 17 fantasy points and that was against the Redskins.

 

Running Backs

Le’Veon Bell missed the Week 14 matchup versus the Dolphins but seems to have checked out of New York at this time. In his absence, Bilal Powell had 21 touches, but ending up injuring his ankle late. At this point all we know if that whoever the starting running back is that is who will get the majority of at least 15 touches. The Ravens are allowing 5.1 yards per attempt at home this season which is second-highest in the NFL. So if the Jets do decide to run the ball whoever is the “starter” will be a low-end RB2 volume play. Devin Singletary was able to do damage versus the Ravens’ defense going over 100 yards from scrimmage on 23 touches.

Mark Ingram could not get much going last week versus the Bills, but still saw 18 touches and finished second on the team in receiving. The Jets matchup is obviously not ideal for a running back like Ingram who profiles as an in-between the tackles grinder, but he is the running back at home on a team that is favored by more than two touchdowns. That in itself justifies starting Ingram with confidence as RB2 this week. The Jets have also been more suspectable to pass-catching backs as they have allowed the fourth-most receptions, fourth-most targets, fourth-most red zone touches, and most red-zone targets to the running back position this season. Ingram has gotten more in the passing game as of late and that could be a potential matchup the Ravens could exploit. There’s also a possibility that Justice Hill or Patrick Ricard makes some noise in the red zone so they are interesting options in DFS.

Wide Receivers

If I own Marquise Brown, I think this is a spot where can he be played with more confidence than last week. This season they have allowed the third-highest percentage of fantasy points to the wide receiver position. Brown is the ultimate boom-bust play with under five fantasy points in three of his last four games. Over the last four weeks, the Jets have allowed the third-most touchdown receptions to wide receivers. Brown leads the team in routes run and receptions over the past three weeks. Any other Baltimore receiver is merely a punt play in DFS. The Jets have been more vulnerable versus slot receivers so if you had to take shot Willie Snead IV would be the play. He has three touchdowns over the past three weeks.

Robby AndersonAs for the Jets, Baltimore over the past four weeks ranks eighth-best versus the wide receiver position. However, it seems that most successes for some receivers have come from the slot. Robby Anderson is having one of his end of season hot streaks with 21 targets over the past two weeks and over 86 receiving yards in his last three games versus the Dolphins, Bengals, and Raiders. Jamison Crowder on the other hand as all but disappeared from a production standpoint in the offense despite seeing 16 targets over the past week. Still, if I am choosing one this week I prefer Crowder from the slot.

Tight Ends

I mentioned that the Jets are not great versus slot receivers, and Mark Andrews at tight end has played 63.5% of his snaps from the slot this season and leads all receivers and tight ends in yards per route run out the slot via PFF (3.46). Now he is dealing with an injury, but if he is healthy and Jamal Adams is once again sidelined it is wheels up for Andrews in this spot. If Andrews were to miss both Nick Boyle and Hayden Hurst would have to be streaming options. Nick Boyle would have to catch a touchdown as the more unathletic of the two, so the upside play would be with Hurst.

Ryan Griffin left Week 14 with an ankle injury and even so he is unlikely to suit up on a short week. This should just create more underneath targets for Crowder and the Jets’ starting running back. Daniel Brown and Trevon Wesco are merely just punted plays in DFS at minimum price. The Ravens on the season rank number one versus the tight end position.

Defense/Special Teams

The Ravens DST as a real chance to do some damage and have Darnold seeing even more ghosts. The Jets DST is only a contrarian play in DFS with the Ravens allowing the fewest fantasy points to the DEF position. They have had more defenses score negative points (four) than score double-digit fantasy points (two). Meanwhile, the Jets allow the most fantasy points per game to defenses. The Jets on the road have allowed the second-most non-offensive touchdowns. The Jets also just up 24 fantasy points to the Dolphins kicker so safe to say Justin Tucker could be in a nice spot. Sam Ficken is just a salary saver in DFS.

Final Thoughts

This game just seems like a Baltimore onslaught. The Jets seem overmatched and on a short week, I just do not see Adam Gase or Gregg Williams devising a plan to stop this Ravens offense. Especially if Jamal Adams does not play. The one sliver of hope that the Jets might have is that Gregg Williams has seen Lamar Jackson before in Week 17 last season. However, in that game, Jackson rushed for 90 yards and two touchdowns. But that damage was done in the first half. In the second half when Williams was able to make adjustments where he rushed for 23 yards and passed for 75 yards on nine attempts.

Final score prediction: Ravens 31-17 (Jets cover!)

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