Miami, New York, Washington, Oakland, Cincinnati and Miami. No, this is not the top of the NFL’s 2020 Draft board, this is the schedule the Jets currently find themselves in the middle of. It seems insane to think that there would be anything that could salvage the public perception of Sam Darnold after a haunted performance against the Patriots on Monday Night Football, but these are the types of matchups where you can start to pad the stats and make people forget. Darnold’s looked good the past two weeks, helping his team score 34 points in back-to-back wins and even going so far as to throw four touchdowns versus Washington last Sunday. Still, is that enough to make you trust the sophomore in season-long formats with the playoffs right around the corner?
I think the thing that was most promising about Darnold’s game in Week 11 was that it wasn’t a hollow stat line. New York’s pivot wasn’t dinking and dunking his way down the field and relying on his receivers to create yardage. He wasn’t playing scared. Darnold was truly out there letting it fly. The 22-year-old led all quarterbacks with an 11.5-yard aDOT against the Redskins; yet, despite the downward trajectory of his attempts, he still managed to produce an elite-level 80.0% adjusted completion rate for the week. That’s a promising combination of facts, especially as Darnold gets ready to take on a Raiders secondary that has been quite generous to opposing QBs all season long.
Fantasy Football Analysis, New York Jets QB Sam Darnold
A horrendous short-week start from Philip Rivers and the second-career appearance of Ryan Finley have done a nice job of camouflaging Oakland’s pass defense deficiencies in recent games. However, for the season, the Raiders have still surrendered more passing touchdowns (24) and passing plays of over 20 yards (48) than any other AFC team. This remains a secondary that has allowed three different quarterbacks to amass over 400 yards through in the air in 2019. If Darnold plays at anything close to the level he showed last weekend, he’ll have little issue being a Top-12 option at his position.