Here is a week 9 fantasy preview for Sunday’s battle between the 4-3 Jets and the 2-5 Jaguars. Reminder — 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.
QuarterbacksRyan Fitzpatrick – 265 yards passing, 2 TDs, 0 INTs
Fitzpatrick may not be at 100% this week, but thankfully his injury should not affect his play. The ligament issue that will require surgery is on his non-throwing hand, so it is a matter of pain tolerance on snaps under center and handoffs — he should not have any issues throwing. If you take last week’s injury-shortened game out of the equation, Fitzmagic has gotten into the mid-200s in yards in 5 of 6 games, and has also thrown for 2 TDs in 5 of 6 games. Against a mediocre passing defense, look for him to continue his consistency, as he will provide fantasy value and is worthy of a start if you are in need.
Blake Bortles – 225 yards passing, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
Bortles has had a good sophomore campaign thus far, but he showed his weakness in the game against the Bills prior to last week’s bye — playing against pressure. To his credit, the offensive line is less than stellar, but he is not very good when under duress. The Jets’ edge pass rush is virtually non-existent, but the likes of Wilkerson, Richardson, Williams, and Harrison will do some damage in this one. Bortles is still worth a start, however, as the Jaguars will not be able to run the ball much against this defense, and they will be forced to throw if behind on the scoreboard.Running Backs
Chris Ivory – 22 carries, 97 yards, 2 TDs
Limited by an injury in the Patriots game and taken out of the equation when down by multiple scores against the Raiders, Ivory has not seen much success over the last couple of weeks. A matchup against one of the worst run-defense in the league is exactly what he needs to get back on track. The Jets will look to get back to what they do best and pound Ivory against this soft defense, which will bode well for fantasy owners (like myself) who may need a big week from Ivory this week to begin that final playoff push on the right foot.
T.J. Yeldon – 13 carries, 27 yards, 0 TDsYeldon has quietly had a very productive rookie season, but this Jet defense is the best in the league against the run. If you have no one else, he is a viable flex option because he can punch one in near the goal line, but look elsewhere if you can.
Brandon Marshall – 6 catches, 78 yards, 1 TD; Eric Decker – 8 catches, 92 yards, 1 TD
Despite the great matchup against the Jaguars defense, I am a bit hesitant to give Marshall and Decker the predictions I have given them due to their respective ailments, but if they’re playing, you have to assume they’ll put up some solid numbers. They each have tremendous chemistry with Fitzpatrick, so their fantasy stocks were given boosts when it was announced he would be playing QB this week. Marshall has TDs in 4 of 7 games, while Decker has TDs in 5 of 6. Their consistency has mirrored Fitzpatrick’s and look for it to continue this week.
Allen Robinson– 3 catches, 24 yards, 0 TDs
Robinson has burst onto the scene this season as a top-10 fantasy WR, but he will be the next unlucky WR to take a trip to Revis Island. The Raiders had some success throwing the ball last week, but not in the direction of Revis.
Allen Hurns – 6 catches, 84 yards, 1 TD
As I just said, the Raiders had success last week, but not in the direction of Revis. Hurns will be the beneficiary of both an increase in targets with Robinson taken away, and a favorable matchup against a struggling Antonio Cromartie. Hurns has scored a TD in 5 straight games — look for him to be the bright spot of the Jaguar offense in this one as he’ll extend that streak to 6.
Julius Thomas – 6 catches, 73 yards, 1 TD
The Jets have been very good against TEs this year (except for Gronk), but a shaken up Buster Skrine may open the door for Thomas to have some success this week. He is a big body target like Gronk that can pose a matchup issue, and with Robinson taken away by Revis, Bortles should look towards Thomas a lot in this one.
Jets – 265 yards allowed, 17 points allowed, 3 sacks, 2 turnovers
The Jaguars have had issues keeping Blake Bortles upright, so look for the Jets to apply some pressure, wreak havoc, and force turnovers en route to a strong defensive showing.
Jaguars – 385 yards allowed, 31 points allowed, 1 sack, 0 turnovers
That Jaguars are owned in only 7.6% of ESPN fantasy leagues, so having to start this team shouldn’t be an issue. If you do own them, however, explore other options.
*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. 31 points = 4 extra points, 1 field goal)*