One week ago, this looked like a potential Super Bowl matchup and now — not so much. The New York Jets fantasy preview for this week is simple: how much will the skill players see their value drop in this post-Aaron Rodgers world? The Dallas Cowboys fantasy outlook is focused on the pass game and if there is any value outside of fantasy football god CeeDee Lamb.
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New York Jets at Dallas Cowboys
- Spread: Cowboys -9.5
- Total: 38.5
- Jets implied points: 14.5
- Cowboys implied points: 24
Zach Wilson: After throwing just one pass in his Jets debut, Aaron Rodgers was pulled down, tearing his Achilles in the process. I’m hopeful that we get to see him throw a football again, but it won’t be in 2023.
Zach Wilson led the J-E-T-S to an impressive come-from-behind victory over the Bills. That was fun, but don’t get cute. Rodgers wasn’t a locked-in fantasy star, and Wilson isn’t someone that I’d even be excited about starting in a Superflex league.
Dak Prescott: The Cowboys’ pass game really wasn’t needed in the Week 1 dismantling of the Giants, leaving Prescott to disappoint fantasy managers who rolled the dice with him.
The nature in which he got scripted out of this game was as unique as it gets — the first time in franchise history that their first two TDs of the season came by way of defense and special teams — so I’m not too worried about a repeat in the volume department (13 completions).
The continued lack of rushing upside remains a concern, and Tony Pollard’s efficiency is going to allow Mike McCarthy to go with a conservative game plan against this stingy Jets defense.
If you want to be different in a DFS setting, you can site home cooking. In 2021, Prescott had a 23:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio at home. Last season, his completion percentage was 3.7 percentage points higher in front of the Cowboys faithful. He’s well off my annual league radar this week, as I have him ranked outside my top-15 quarterbacks.
Breece Hall: How special was what this kid did on Monday night? In his first live action since tearing his ACL, Hall piled up 107 yards on 10 carries, showing all of the agility and burst that we saw pre-ACL. The shift at the quarterback position will cap his scoring potential, but Hall sold me on his health, which has him inside my top 20 for this week.
Dalvin Cook: The veteran RB was fine in his Jets debut, but fine isn’t good enough with Hall popping off the screen. When all was said and done, Cook totaled 59 yards on 13 touches.
MORE: PFN Consensus Rankings
Those 7.4 fantasy points landed him as the RB34 for the week, and I think a repeat performance is about what you can count on in this tough matchup. While Hall is a fantasy starter, Cook is only a Flex option in deeper leagues.
Tony Pollard: We begged you. We pleaded. Kyle Yates and myself did everything in our powers to get you to draft Pollard this summer. He was a late-second-round pick at the beginning of August and moved up the round as the days went by, but we remained dug in. We even said that he should be considered at the end of Round 1, and we stuck to it.
We got plenty wrong (hand up, I fully admit to underestimating Breece Hall) this summer, but not this. Pollard picked up 82 yards and two scores against the Giants on 16 touches.
It’s just the beginning.
The Jets’ defense is solid, though James Cook did manage a Flex-worthy performance against them last week. Cook isn’t Pollard. The Cowboys star is priced between some of the biggest names in the game this week on the main DFS slate, which means potentially suppressed ownership. I’m in!
Garrett Wilson: Wilson made SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays for the circus touchdown catch on Monday night, but we didn’t need that play to tell us that the talent is off the charts. That said, shouldn’t we be concerned that the man had to bend the laws of physics to haul in a pass that should have been a simple fade put in a spot where only he could catch it?
Zach Wilson isn’t an NFL quarterback, and that’s a problem. Could Garrett Wilson produce an inefficient line like what DeAndre Hopkins did last week (13 targets, 65 yards)? Sure, but we’re talking a ruthless Dallas pass rush that is going to have Wilson panicking. The quality of target is very much my concern here, and that’s why I have Wilson ranked as nothing more than a modest Flex.
Allen Lazard: When my sister was pregnant, she craved marshmallows on nachos. That was her comfort food. It didn’t have to make sense to anyone else (spoiler alert: it didn’t), but it was what she wanted.
For Aaron Rodgers, Lazard was a version of marshmallows on nachos. Is he a great player? No, but Rodgers clearly was comfortable enough with him to bring him to New York.
But what happens now with Rodgers sidelined? The same thing that happened with the weird gooey nacho platter after my sister gave birth: useless.
CeeDee Lamb: It’s rare for a passing game to be scripted out of a high-volume attack without producing baseline numbers to get to that big lead, but that’s exactly what happened for the Cowboys in Week 1. Even without the need to be aggressive through the air, Lamb found a way to get to 77 yards — thanks in large part to a 49-yard catch and run — salvaging the day for fantasy managers.
CeeDee Lamb pic.twitter.com/Xa1odDRFPy
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) September 12, 2023
I’m not a fan of this passing game and think they struggle in this spot — and even I can’t drop Lamb outside of my top 15 wide receivers. Look for the ‘Boys to move him around the formation and avoid matchups with Sauce Gardner. Don’t get cute here, you’re locking in Lamb everywhere that you have him.
Brandin Cooks and Michael Gallup: These two combined for 32 yards on six targets in the Week 1 win. Better times are ahead, but I’m not yet sold that this offense is capable of sustaining two pass catchers on a weekly basis. That wouldn’t change if Cooks is ruled out: don’t get cute.
You’re not playing either in any situation this weekend, so there’s no need to incur that much risk for what is only a marginal potential reward.
Jake Ferguson: Fergalicious led Dallas with seven targets in his NFL debut, that’s the good. The bad? Eleven yards.
Averaging 1.57 yards per target is legitimately difficult to do. The involvement makes Ferguson someone worth tracking for the TE streamers out there, nothing more.
Who Should You Start in Week 2?
Should You Start Breece Hall or Jamaal Williams?
I have these two running backs ranked back-to-back, with Hall holding the slimmest of edges. The second-year star showcased his explosive skill set in the upset win over the Bills, something I don’t think is in Williams’ bag.
Both are viable options in our PFN Consensus Rankings and should be started in most formats.
Should You Start Dalvin Cook or Gus Edwards?
At the bottom of my FLEX tier for Week 2 are these two backs, neither of whom has a role I feel great about. Cook is clearly behind Hall in New York, but the ground game is the only hope the Jets have right now. Edwards plays for a far better offense, though we don’t know exactly what his role is in this post-JK Dobbins era. I’ll roll with Cook, hoping that he can hold the touch edge, but neither of these running backs are in the must-start range for me.
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