Denver Broncos(+2) Vs. NY Jets (41)
Brett Rypien, an undrafted FA signing last season, now finds his first start staring him in the face. Lucky for the former Boise State gun slinger he finds a reeling Jets team across the line of scrimmage. This Jets defense is middle of the pack in terms of fantasy points allowed to the position, allowing 19.5 fantasy points per game. Quarterbacks on average have completed 84% of their passes for 243.6 yards and 1.6 touchdowns against this Jets defense. This bodes well for Rypien who looked decent on Denver’s final series against Tampa last week, completing 88.9% of his passes for 53 yards. Now, he did throw a pick to end that series but he still looked comfortable throwing the ball. We envision a few deeper throws down field tonight, as last week his ADOT was just 4.9 yards. All we need for Rypien to do is feed our fantasy assets in the passing attack, which includes Noah Fant, Jerry Jeudy, and KJ Hamler.
On the other side of the ball we find Sam Darnold who again looked terrible in the team’s week 3 loss against the tough Colts defense. Darnold completed just 58.6% of his passes in this contest throwing for less than 170 yards and only one score. Darnold committed 3 interceptions brining his season total to 4. Darnold will again be without Breshad Perriman, who has been sidelined with a sprained ankle. However, Darnold will likely have his favorite passing target back this week in Jamison Crowder. This Denver defense is allowing 20.8 fantasy points per game to the position, so there is hope for Darnold to perform enough to make this a competitive game. Denver’s defense over the last three weeks is allowing on average 285 passing yards and 2.3 passing touchdowns per game. However, they have faced two future hall of famers in Ben Roethlisberger, who torched them for 311 passing yards and 2 scores, and Tom Brady last week, who put up 297 yards and 3 scores against the unit. Tannehill, the other QB to face this unit, did well in week one throwing for 249 and two scores. Will Darnold find similar success through the air tonight as these three quality starters? Our money says not even close.
The Jets no doubt will be looking to the ageless veteran Frank Gore to carry the load this week on the ground. Gore played on 43% of the team’s offensive snaps last week, seeing, 15 carries and one target. Adam Gase always wants to get Gore the ball, ignoring game script, which is one of many reasons his butt cheeks are firmly pressed to the bottom of the hot seat. This isn’t the week for Gase to continue this feed Gore approach, as the Broncos are allowing just 19 fantasy points per game, which is the 6th fewest thus far in 2020. This Denver unit has only allowed one touchdown to the position, James Conner, and is allowing on average 4.7 yards per carry. Gore through the first three weeks is averaging 3.6 yards per carry. A word of advice to you Adam Gase, see what you have in the rookie La’Mical Perine tonight, it may just prolong your job.
The Denver backfield is in far better shape with Melvin Gordon carrying the majority of the load for the team. Last week Gordon saw 63% of the team’s offensive snaps, but only managed to carry the ball 8 times, while also seeing 6 targets in the passing attack. In retrospect this should have been expected as the game script figured to favor the passing attack, as the Broncos battered offense was going to have to air it out to match the Bucs high powered offense. The thing that is troubling with Melvin Gordon is his lack of success in the passing game. Melvin Gordon through three games has yet to top 15 yards receiving (8,14,12). However, tonight the game script should be in Gordon’s favor, as they should be able to rely on this ground game to control the jets. Shurmur has been pretty balanced in neutral situations, throwing the ball 56.4% of the time, which is about the league average. Phillip Lindsay is probable and is looking like he’s suiting up tonight, which also caps Gordon’s upside.
The Jets pass catchers have underwhelmed through three weeks, thanks in large part to the lack of availability of their off season additions of Breshad Perriman (FA), and Denzel Mims(Draft). Perriman has been dealing with an ankle sprain, while the rookie is an IR fixture with a hamstring. Jamison Crowder was sidelined after the week one loss to the Bills. In that contest Darnold targeted Crowder a massive 13 time. Crowder turned those 13 targets into 7 catches for 115 yards and a score. That stat line was padded thanks in part to a broken defensive play that saw Crowder catch a 69-yard touchdown. We erase that play and we see a stat line that saw Crowder averaging just 7.6 yards a reception. The rock star for the Jets the past two weeks has been slot man Braxton Berrios, who has caught 10 of 12 for 123 and two scores. This Denver defense is allowing the 4th most fantasy points per game to the position with 45.9 FP. The Steelers game skews this number a bit as the Steeler trio of Johnson, JuJu, and Claypool put up a combined 18-288-2 line on this defense. Last week against TB this unit gave up a 10-149-3 line to the TB trio of Evans, Godwin, and Miller. There is an opportunity here to exploit for Darnold and his pass catchers, especially from the slot, but can they take advantage?
For Denver we are looking at the trio of Tim Patrick, KJ Hamler, and Jerry Jeudy. With Sutton now on IR, Jeudy has become the teams go to receiver. Jeudy has seen over 7 targets in all three games this season. He is being targeted all over the field, including the end zone, which tells us that elusive first TD is coming, possibly as early as tonight. In his first prime time performance he committed a few crucial drops, so will no doubt be looking to redeem himself tonight. Jeudy has played predominantly in the slot which means Rypien may be looking to funnel the ball to he and Fant. Hamler is intriguing on the outside opposite Patrick as that deep threat, but we are far less comfortable looking to him tonight. The Jets are allowing the 10th fewest fantasy points per game to the position with 31.7 FP. This number is deceiving because the number suggests this defense is good against the pass, they are not, the thing is teams are just not having a need to throw against them.
Chris Herndon the Gase unicorn. No thank you. This unit hasn’t given up a touchdown to the position since Jonnu Smith in week one. This defensive unit is also not giving up a ton of yards to tight ends either, 61 yards a game. The unit is allowing 6 catches a game to the position on average. With that said, if you are feeling the tight end position tonight, you would be wise to look to the tight end on the other sideline.
Noah Fant has been off to a solid start for the Broncos this season. Through three weeks Fant is averaging 7 targets, 4.6 catches, 61.3 yards, and a 60% chance of scoring per game. We think this game script sets up well for a big Fant night. Fant has a first time starter under center who will look to the short to intermediate passing targets, which means the backs, slot, and tight end position. Another thing working in Fants favor is the Jets defense, who has given up TE 1 weeks to Mo Alie-Cox (3-50-1) and Jordan Reed (8-50-2) over the past two weeks. Fire Fant up with confidence tonight, especially in DFS line ups.
Prediction: Broncos Win 24-13
How to Bet:
Broncos Money Line (W)
Broncos (+2) (W)
Under 41 (L)
Gore OVER 53.5 Rush Yards (L)
Jeudy OVER 51.5 Rec. Yards (W)
Fant OVER 44.5 Rec. Yards (L)
*Injury impacted Bet*
*Last Week Went (3-3 (50%) In Suggested Bets*
*TNF Season Best Bets Record: (11-7) (61%)*