The New York Jets
Jets’ QB Sam Darnold is in a rough spot. The Ravens’ secondary, since returning to full health and adding CB Marcus Peters via trade, has been lights out against opposing signal callers. Darnold also has to work against his own head coach, Adam Gase, a man who for most of the year has refused to truly feature playmakers like WR Robby Anderson and RB Le’Veon Bell as centerpieces of the New York offense. Darnold can’t be trusted as anything more than a QB3 with talent-based mid-tier QB2 upside.
Although Robby Anderson has finally posted a string of usable box score results, in this matchup, he’s no more than a highly volatile boom/bust flex option. Although claims have been made that FS Earl Thomas has lost a step, and could therefore be vulnerable to deep shots, that evidence has yet to surface. If anything, playmakers of the underneath variety like Cole Beasley in Week 14 and Julian Edelman in Week 9 are the types who’ve found success in the box score. Jamison Crowder is the more likely flex option to bring you fantasy goodness. Although, given the nature of this matchup (and the Jets’ offense) he still require a boom/bust designation. Demaryius Thomas is Out (hamstring/knee), as is stud TE Ryan Griffin (ankle), lending targets to the two aforementioned pass catchers. The absence of these oft-deployed pass catchers does increase Anderson and Crowder’s chances at a “boom” week. “Next men up”, WRs Vyncint Smith and former Patriots’ sleeper fantasy pick, Braxton Berrios, are unlikely to meaningfully contribute, although the latter is certainly talented.
TE Daniel Brown has seen some sparing action as of late and will likely takeover No. 1 TE duties for New York. He’s a long shot to register TE1 numbers in fantasy though, as the Ravens are the No. 1 team in the NFL at covering opposing tight ends.
RB Le’Veon Bell has a mixed Week 15 outlook. The Ravens have become a team to target with opposing running backs. Over the last few weeks, Joe Mixon, Raheem Mostert, and Devin Singletary have all thoroughly pummeled Baltimore in the box score. For this reason, Bell has matchup-based, high-end RB2 upside. Unfortunately though, HC Adam Gase has made it clear that he just can’t stand Bell. Whether it’s leaking that he didn’t want to sign Bell or the reticence to pile up touches on the running back’s plate, Bell evidently does not suit Gase’s fancy. He’s unlikely to receive the deserved 20-25 touches he should see as the lone piece in position to exploit the Ravens’ defensive weakness, he should be able to turn in Top 15 numbers on the 15-18 touches he’s likely to get.
The Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson popped up on the injury report after apparently injuring his quad last week. After limited practice participations on Monday and Tuesday, Jackson got in a full practice on Wednesday, signifying that he’s ready to roll. He retains his regular overall QB1 status for Week 15.
Marquise Brown should be locked into lineups as a WR2 with sky-high upside. The Jets’ pass defense is bad. Stud safety Jamal Adams being out (ankle) makes them even worse. Roll with Hollywood in your semifinal matchup. Willie Snead IV even deserves multi-flex, deep-league consideration. He’s far from a sure thing but it’s not out of the question that he could find the end zone.
Mark Andrews and his bum knee are expected to play tonight. Given the injury, his floor is perhaps a bit lower than normal. His ceiling is that of a multi-touchdown TE1 though. Fire him up. Nick Boyle and Hayden Hurst are touchdown-dependent TE1/2s. They could absolutely find the end zone here but could also give you a goose egg. Given that the Jets’ can’t keep their defensive players off of the injury report, the ancillary tight ends’ chances of scoring are higher than normal.
Mark Ingram II has as chance to smash a normally-stout Jets’ front. The abundance of injuries to the Jets’ D-Line can’t be overstated. He’s a high-end RB2 with easy peasy RB1 upside.