Jets @ Buffalo
Ryan Fitzpatrick is probably having a nightmare by now. Last time he visited New Era Field, in a game that he could have clinched the playoff for first time in his career, he flinched and gave up three interceptions. He didn't fare well in his first game against them at home either, and he averaged ugly 44% completion rate with 187 passing yard per game (4TD 5Int) in those two meetings. He has a better chance this time because of all the injuries currently suffered by the Bills defense, but Rex Ryan still held the Ravens to only one TD in Week 1 with his short-handed roster. Joe Flacco was hurried most of the time, and the Jets' O-line isn't any better the Ravens'. Also, no Jets receiver can run as fast as Mike Wallace did to burn the still healthy and strong Bills secondary. Fitzpatrick has far more talented skill players to help him than Flacco does without a doubt, but the Amish Rifle won't have too much chance to flash his arm. This game will feature a lot of short drop passes to their two running backs with great hand skills to move the chain, and they will have to rely on their receivers' size advantage to exploit the Red Zone. If his supporting cast can get their job done, Fitzpatrick can finish with nice numbers in the end, but he won't be able to create anything for himself in this game.
Tyrod Taylor, the 92 million guy, isn't probably one of the best quarterbacks in the league, but he is at least one of the most athletic QBs. He not only can run the ball, but also can make multiple deep throws. Last year, nearly 20% of his throws were longer than 20 yards, and his 12.5 yard per completion was 5th best in the league. It wasn't the case for his very first game of 2016 season, where he barely averaged 7.4 yards per completion. He is coming off a very poor 111 yard 0 TD performance, and Rex Ryan blamed lack of protection from his O-line. We have to give some credits to the Ravens defense, but the next outing doesn't get any easier. The Jets defense put Andy Dalton on the ground 7 times last week, and the Bills possibly have to play without their starting LT Cordy Glenn, who is the key part of their stronger left side. Tyrod does have great legs to avoid pressures, but Thursday night won't be too much fun for him. Without Glenn, Tyrod's rushing won't be effective enough to provide safe floor, and while A.J. Green dominated Revis Island, reportedly far from 100% Sammy Watkins won't enjoy the same kind of vacation on this Thursday. Tyrod owners can easily find a better option at the QB.
Matt Forte is probably too old to punish even the injury-riddled Bills front seven. This is the game, however, that he needs to step up and prove why he is still worth $12M at age 30. The talented but old Jets receivers won't be able to separate themselves from the brutal man coverage of the young and speedy Bills secondary, so Forte will be asked to pick up the slacks. Don't expect him to be an efficient runner in this game. The Jets O-line isn't capable to open up the holes consistently, and with or without the right personnel, Rex Ryan is the best in the business to stop the opposing running plays. Nevertheless, Forte will be heavily targeted and asked to create short first downs to advance the field. In fact, the Jets aren't considering about lightening the workload of the veteran RB even on the short rest. Bilal Powell, whose skill sets are very similar to Forte's, would chip-in to do some of his duties, but the Jets made pretty clear in the first week that he is nothing more than a breather option at this moment. This will be the Forte show, and even with the low scoring expectation, he is a must start, especially in PPR.
LeSean McCoy's first season with the Bills was mildly successful. He started the season with some minor injuries, but he still averaged 4.4 Y/A with 74.6 Y/G. He simply gave away too many TDs to Karlos Williams (9 TD vs McCoy's 5 TD), so now that McCoy is healthier and without competition, many people have predicted he can have a renaissance year as an unquestioned bellcow of the offense that led rushing yards in the league. His 58 yard performance in his first game of the season, however, wasn't the renaissance (3.5 Y/A, 1 TD), and without LT Cordy Glenn, one of the better run blockers in the league, he won't be much more efficient against the Jets' stout run defense. The good news is that the Bills won't be able to move the ball in the air any easier, so they need to run the ball often in this game. Taylor also can't expect too much protection inside the pocket against the defense that just sacked Dalton 7 times, so the QB desperately needs McCoy to function as a security blanket to move the chain. Expect tons of touches both in the air and the ground from McCoy, which provides good enough floor, but he won't be much better than his week 1.
Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker are on the same boat here. Fitzpatrick will be continuously under the pressure, and the receivers will be shadowed by dangerous Stephon Gilmore and Ronald Darby. They probably won't be able to create much space for big plays, so they will have to run mostly the short routes. They still have the size advantage, so they will see healthy number of targets, but we can't expect huge yardage total here. At least one of them has a good chance of bringing down a TD, and that someone will be whomever not covered by 6-1 Gilmore, so Decker has a slight edge here. Due to the slow pace and the defense dominated game plays from the both sides, there won't be enough pies to be shared between two of them, so play wisely.
Sammy Watkins is listed Questionable for this game, and even if he plays, he is certainly not going to be 100%. His O-line isn't going to perform any better to protect his QB this week, which means not too many deep balls are expected on his way once again. Darrelle Revis looked very slow against A.J. Green, so even with less than 100%, the natural-born freak Watkins probably can win this matchup. The problem is, however, that the Bills are not the high volume passing team in the first place, so Watkins usually needs couple big plays to deliver in Fantasy. The game script won't include too many long throws, and slower Watkins is unlikely to be open consistently enough to force the issue. For the same reasons, even if he sits, Robert Woods, without any special talent, won't be a streaming option.
Kellen Davis is the Jets starting TE for now. He has played 76% of the offensive snaps against the Bengals. Despite the Ravens TE, Dennis Pitta registering playable 39 yards against the Bills D last week, Davis won't be a factor in this (or any) game. He was targeted zero times in Week 1, and the Jets have no plan to involve their TEs in the passing game as of now.
Charles Clay had failed to take any advantage of Greg Roman's TE friendly offense last year. He is carrying a chronic knee issue, and he will never serve as a focal point of the Bills offense. Nevertheless, if there is any game that Clay can deliver a Fantasy friendly stat line, this week should be it. The Bills won't have too many passing options, especially if Watkins is out, and their run game isn't going to be any easier. Last week, after getting annihilated by the Jets defense early in the game, the Bengals started to exploit the short passing routes, which fueled their comeback victory in the second half. In the process, they targeted C.J. Uzomah, their third string TE, 5 times during the game, which was 2nd highest after A.J. Green's 13. This is the game that the Bills desperately need Clay to step up to move the chain, and the former fullback is athletic enough to make plays in the heavy traffic. It's tough to see him exploding, but he will get plenty of chances, and he is a valid option for the TE streamers this week.