The New England Patriots and New York Jets are both in the middle of downward spirals and will face off at MetLife Stadium in Week 9. People expected to see the Jets at the bottom of the AFC East, but the sliding Patriots have been a surprise.
New England kicked 2020 off looking like a real contender and won two of its first three games. Cam Newton looked like he was on his way to a resurgent season but his progress was derailed by a positive Covid-19 test that caused him to miss a crucial game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Patriots have now lost four straight games and have seen both of their top receivers go down with injuries but will get a cupcake matchup against the worst team in the NFL. They have to take advantage of this opportunity.
New York is the only winless team in the NFL at 0-8 and have a real shot at going 0-16. It looks like the Jets are on track to win the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes, as they rank last in points per game (11.8) and have one of the worst defenses in the league. Sam Darnold has been one of the least impressive quarterbacks in the NFL and the poor talent around him won’t help him improve by much moving forward.
Date: Monday, Nov. 9
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Notable Statistical rankings (Football Outsiders)
Patriots: -7, -335
Jets: +7, +280
Fantasy football start/sit advice
Cam Newton, QB, $5,900
Newton thrived when he took things into his own hands earlier in the year and could have to use his legs quite a bit with Edelman on the IR and N’Keal Harry recovering from a concussion. Newton’s rushing prowess made him a top fantasy performer before he tested positive for Covid-19 and could find his way back to the end zone on the ground by using his athleticism in scoring situations.
Damien Harris, RB, $5,300
Harris has two 100-yard performances in four games and appears like the Patriots’ most dangerous ground threat. He’s averaging 5.7 yards per carry and has proven to be somewhat serviceable as a pass catcher. Rex Burkhead and James White appear to have been phased out so Harris should monopolize most of the backfield work.
Jamison Crowder, WR, $5,900
Crowder is probably the only viable fantasy option the Jets have. He has three 100-yard games in four starts but is on the mend from a groin injury. He’s has the highest DKFP average of any New York player and has major big-play potential.
Jeff Smith, WR, $3,300
Breshad Perriman is also recovering from an injury and Jeff Smith is an under-the-radar play I’ll have my eye on if the usual starter doesn’t play. Smith has totaled eight targets in three of his five games with the Jets. While he hasn’t matched his seven-catch performance against the Denver Broncos from earlier this year he has blazing speed that could make him a priority out wide on a team with limited options.