Week 2 Fantasy Preview: Jets at Colts

Joe Malfa with a fantasy preview for Jets vs. Colts in week 2

Here is a week 2 fantasy preview for the Monday night showdown between the Jets and Colts. Just a reminder from last week, I will not give exact score predictions per player because there are many different scoring systems used by leagues, but I will provide stats for you to predict scores based on your league’s system.

Quarterbacks

Ryan Fitzpatrick – 237 yards passing, 1 TDs, 1 INT, 17 yards rushing

Fitzpatrick did a nice job of managing the game against the Browns. He made key throws when he had to, moved the offense efficiently, limited himself to one mistake, and put his team in a prime position to win the ball game. Over the last few seasons, this team has struggled mightily in the red zone, but Fitzpatrick threw two red zone touchdowns in the victory. It was a very encouraging performance, and he should be able to continue his efficient play against a defensive line that does not cause many issues and a secondary that is suspect outside of Vontae Davis. Fitzpatrick, as he will likely be throughout the season, will be a serviceable starter in a deep league or a 2 QB league.

Andrew Luck – 287 yards passing, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 34 yards rushing

The schedule makers will not be receiving a Christmas card from Andrew Luck this year, pitting him up against two of the league’s best defenses right out of the gates. He had a rough outing by his standards against the Bills in week 1, throwing for 243 yards, 2 TDs, and 2 INTs in a losing effort. This Jets’ defense is almost a carbon copy of the Rex’s unit in Buffalo, so I expect Luck to have some of the same struggles. As the Bills learned in week 1, however, you can only keep a QB of Luck’s caliber in check for so long. Despite the unfavorable matchup, Luck will still manage to assemble a good-looking stat line; he is one of the few QBs in the league that is a must-start in fantasy every week.

Running Backs

Chris Ivory – 22 carries, 107 yards rushing, 2 TDs, 17 yards receiving

Ivory looked better than he ever has this past Sunday against the Browns. Not all of the credit can go to Ivory, however, as the offensive line had one of its most dominant performances in the recent memory. Monday night has the potential to be just as great of a performance for both Ivory and his blockers, as they take on a Colts’ defense that gave up 113.4 rushing yards per game last season and opened the season by allowing 147 yards on the ground to the Bills. Ivory fell 9 yards short of the century mark against the Browns — look for him to get over the hump this week. He should once again be among the top fantasy RBs this week, making him a high end RB1option.

Frank Gore –  6 carries,  27 yards rushing,  0 TDs,  13 yards receiving

We have been waiting for the demise of Frank Gore for a few years now, but it seems as if this year may finally be the end for him. Granted, he faced one of the league’s best defenses last week, but he looked like he was running in quick sand whenever he touched the ball. Maybe he will get his legs under him as the season goes on and the Colts face weaker defenses, but this is not something he will be able to accomplish against a Jets defense that gave up just 69 yards to opposing RBs last week. Unless you are really thin at RB, there is no reason you should start Gore this week.

Wide Receivers

Brandon Marshall – 7 catches, 74 yards, 1 TD

Between wrestling the ball away from the CB after an interception, going up for a TD on a fade over Joe Haden, and making a few other catches in key situations, Brandon Marshall was everything Jet fans hoped he would be last week. He showed tremendous chemistry with Fitzpatrick, and I expect the two of them to link up a lot again this week. he faces another challenge going up against Vontae Davis, but his dominance of Joe Haden last week showed that he is still one of the toughest WRs to cover in the league due to his size and physicality. Marshall is a high end WR2 option this week.

Eric Decker – 5 catches, 46 yards, 0 TDs

The encouraging sign for Eric Decker last week was that he scored a TD, but the discouraging sign was that he only caught the ball twice. Being that Marshall will draw most of the attention, Decker should be in the 4-6 catch range every week. I will continue to project him in that 4-6 range until he gives me reason not to, and a single 2-catch game against a very good secondary is not enough of a reason not to. He is in the low end WR2, high end flex play this week.

Andre Johnson – 6 catches, 64 yards, 1 TD

The aging Andre Johnson looked just as slow as Frank Gore last week, but the encouraging sign is that he was targeted 10 times and hauled in 4 of those targets. If T.Y. Hilton is indeed out this week, I would expect Revis to handle Donte Moncrief, giving the 6’3″ 230-pound WR an advantage over the 5’11” 195-pound CB in Marcus Williams (although he did step up and play well last week in relief of the injured Antonio Cromartie). With a favorable matchup and more targets coming possibly coming his way without Hilton, Johnson has some appeal as a flex option this week.

Donte Moncrief – 2 catches, 24 yards, 0 TDs

As I mentioned before, I expect Revis to handle Moncrief in the possible absence of T.Y. Hilton. It could be a long night for Moncrief, as this is a battle I expect Revis to win 9 times out of 10. Explore other options in place of Moncrief at WR this week.

*T.Y. Hilton is a game-time decision, so I would not advise starting him. Start someone who you know will play, otherwise you could be down a player in your lineup if he doesn’t play Monday.*

Tight Ends

Dwyane Allen and Coby Fleener – 7 catches, 65 yards, 2 TDs combined

The issue did not surface in week one thanks to the dearth of TEs on the Browns’ roster, but the Jets have had some struggles in the past with defending TEs. David Harris and Demario Davis are tackling machines, but they are not the best in coverage. It will be interesting to see how the new look secondary handles these TEs, but until they go out and prove otherwise, I have to project solid collective effort between these two TEs. As for the breakdown, expect Fleener to get the bulk of the yardage, with Allen getting the bulk of the scoring opportunities in the red zone. Both TEs are worthy of a start this week.

Defense

Jets – 325 yards allowed, 20 points allowed, 3 sacks, 2 turnovers

The Jets’ front line should get a lot of pressure on Andrew Luck, which can complicate things for this Colts’ offense and lead to a couple of sacks and turnovers. This defense is worthy of a fantasy start every week.

Colts – 375 yards allowed, 24 points allowed, 1 sack, 1 turnover

The Colts’ defense has been its downfall ever since the days of Peyton Manning, and they will continue to struggle against the run in this one. This defense should be unowned unless they play the Jaguars.

*Again a reminder, kickers are fluky in fantasy, and throughout this series I will refrain from giving any kicking predictions. My final score prediction, however, can be an indicator of a kicker’s fantasy output (i.e. 24 points = 3 extra points, 1 field goal)*