Monday - Jul 22, 2019

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RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT: Week 17

New York Jets at New England Patriots

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Average 2017 Fantasy Points Allowed
Position Jets Patriots
Quarterback 5th 6th
Running Back 15th 16th
Wide Receiver 12th 4th
Tight End 7th 25th
Defense/Special Teams 8th 32nd
Vegas Line: Patriots -14.5
Vegas Over/Under:
 43.5
Tom Brady has thrown just four touchdown passes since the start of Week 13, though the cure for what ails him could be a Jets defense that has given up 28 passing touchdowns this season, which is tied for third in the NFL. Rob Gronkowski decided this season he’s not ready to cede his perch atop the fantasy tight end throne as he’s eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards in a season for the fourth time in his career. Gronk should have no trouble adding to his stat totals against a Jets defense that he gashed for 6-83-2 back in Week 6. Dion Lewis took advantage to all of the injuries to his fellow Pats RBs by hanging 153 total yards and two scores on the Bills last Sunday. With Mike Gillislee (shoulder) now banged up as well, Lewis should the Patriots backfield mostly to himself yet again. Whether it’s Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg under center for the Jets, the Patriots D/ST will be an enticing option playing at home and favored by more than two touchdowns.
Bilal Powell‘s 145 rushing yards (on 19 carries) were actually his second highest single game total of the season. While Powell probably won’t do that again against the Patriots, he’s emerged as the Jets primary rusher and should again see a steady diet of carries given QB Bryce Petty‘s limitations as a passer. Brandin Cooks has been limited to two catches or less in three of his past four games, while not topping 60 receiving yards in any of them.
Matt Forte has not received double-digit carries in a game since Week 13 as he’s been dealing with a chronic knee issue. Chris Hogan (shoulder) has sat out the Patriots last two games, and is no lock to play a full compliment of snaps should he be cleared to play this week. James White (ankle) is tentatively expected to return after missing Week 16, and should slot back in as the Pats’ backfield receiving specialist, though he’s only caught 10 passes for 53 yards in his last four games played. The Jets passing offense has cratered since the Josh McCown (hand) was injured in Week 14. Robby Anderson has just 10 catches for 91 scoreless yards in his two games since. Jermaine Kearse (ankle) has not practiced this week and may not play, which should free up some more looks for Anderson, but it may not matter if the Jets don’t have a QB to consistently get him the ball. Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ribs, foot) is also ailing, though he hasn’t gone over 27 receiving yards in a game since Week 10.

Washington Redskins at New York Giants

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Average 2017 Fantasy Points Allowed
Position Redskins Giants
Quarterback 17th 1st
Running Back 7th (tied) 9th
Wide Receiver 22nd 9th
Tight End 5th 1st
Defense/Special Teams 9th 10th
Vegas Line: Redskins -3
Vegas Over/Under: 
39
The Redskins as a team may not have anything to play for, but Kirk Cousins should be plenty motivated as he guns for a new contract this off-season (be it with Washington or elsewhere).  The Giants have allowed the second-most passing yards and the most touchdowns to opposing QBs this season.
Samaje Perine soldiered through a groin injury to put up 53 rushing yards against one of the best run stopping units in the NFL last week, though he’s averaging a paltry 2.9 yards-per-carry (YPC) over his last four contests. Jamison Crowder has at least 67 receiving yards or a touchdown in 7 of his last 8 contests. Vernon Davis still has not caught more than two passes in a game since Week 11, and faces the friendliest defense in fantasy land to opposing tight ends (though the Giants did hold Davis to a bagel in Week 12). The Redskins D/ST, while no world beaters, should be stream-able versus a 2-13 Giants squad that desperately needs the season to end.
Josh Doctson caught just two of a whopping 13 targets last Sunday, which he turned into 61 yards and a score. The yards were Docton’s most since Week 11, and his fantasy value will remain dependent on finding the end zone in Washington’s season finale. Eli Manning may be down his last two viable offensive weapons, as both Evan Engram (ribs) and Sterling Shepard (neck) were both injured in the Giants’ Week 16 defeat to the Cardinals, and could be held out. Wayne Gallman once again led the Giants backfield in touches last week, turning 16 of them into 62 total yards, while Orleans Darkwa and Paul Perkins (remember him?) were mixed in sparingly as well and Shane Vereen did not record a touch. The Giants backfield has been toxic all season, and that won’t change here against a poor Redskins rush defense.

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Average 2017 Fantasy Points Allowed
Position Cowboys Eagles
Quarterback 12th 23rd
Running Back 24th 31st
Wide Receiver 8th 13th
Tight End 16th 19th
Defense/Special Teams 17th 23rd
Vegas Line: Cowboys -2.5
Vegas Over/Under: 
39
None of note.
Ezekiel Elliott performed well in a tough matchup last week with 118 total yards against a tough Seahawks rush defense. Zeke comes into this matchup with plenty of motivation as he guns for his second consecutive 1,000 yard rushing season (needs 120 this week), though not helping his cause is OT Tyron Smith (knee) most likely being held out.
Having locked up the first seed in the NFC playoffs, the Eagles are looking at potentially resting some of his starters. Nick Foles, Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, Jay Ajayi,  and Nelson Agholor are all risky bets given they are all uncertain to finish the game, if they even play at all. Dak Prescott has thrown for just 393 yards with 4 interceptions and no touchdowns over his past two games, as his early 2017 swoon feels like it was a long time ago. It’s been a nightmare season for Dez Bryant, who has zero 100-yard receiving games this season, and leads the NFL in dropped passes. Jason Witten has not gone over 50 receiving yards in a game since Week 10, and has caught just one pass in 6 of 15 games played this season.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans

Tale of the Tape – Ranks for Average 2017 Fantasy Points Allowed
Position Jaguars Titans
Quarterback 32nd 11th
Running Back 20th 23rd
Wide Receiver 32nd 10th
Tight End 23rd 15th
Defense/Special Teams 24th 19th
Vegas Line: Titans -3
Vegas Over/Under:
 41.5
DeMarco Murray (knee) has been all but ruled out, so it looks like the Titans will finally unleash the kraken known as Derrick Henry, who has generally been more efficient than Murray all season anyway (4.7 YPC for Henry as compared to 3.6 for Murray).  Henry previously battered the Jaguars for 92 yards and a score on just 14 rushes back in Week 2.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone has indicated he plans to treat this contest as he would any other regular season game (despite his team being locked into the no. 3 seed for the playoffs), so it’s tentatively safe to assume all the key Jaguars will play as they normally would. However, there’s still risk of the Jaguars coaching staff changing their minds at any point during the game. Blake Bortles took a step backwards last Sunday in throwing three interceptions, but fantasy owners will surely take the 382 passing yards and two scores. Bortles should be able to post decent stats against a Titans defense that has allowed the 8th-most passing yards this season. Keelan Cole has caught 13 passes for 294 yards and a score since being elevated to the Jags starting lineup when Marqise Lee was injured early in their Week 15 contest. Dede Westbrook has been no slouch either, with at least 74 receiving yards in three of his last four games played. The Jaguars D/ST gave up more points last Sunday against the 49ers (44) than they had in any game this season, though the Titans offense shouldn’t scare anybody.
Despite the allowing a big game to Todd Gurley (who hasn’t this season), the Titans rush defense is still very good, having allowed just the 5th-fewest rushing yards and a league low 4 rushing touchdowns to opposing backfields. Meanwhile Leonard Fournette has averaged 2.9 YPC or lower in four of his last six games played as he continues to battle lower body injuries. Marcus Mariota has thrown more than one touchdown pass in just three games this season, and has also tossed none in five of them. The Jacksonville defense absolutely smothers opposing passing attacks, so the odds are on Mariota as well as WRs Rishard Matthews and Corey Davis (who posted a career high 6-91 last Sunday) wrapping up 2017 on a sour note.

About Will Weiler

An NFL Red Zone addict and all-around data nerd, I've been obsessed with the NFL and stats ever since I started playing the virtual pigskin game in 2005.