Despite generally poor play over the last few weeks, and an awful showing by Tom Brady last week, the Pats just need a win against the Jets at home to clinch a first-round bye, and still have a chance at securing the AFC’s top seed as well. New England has won all its home games so far—with so much on the line, all the team needs to do is take care of business and get ready for the playoffs.
If you’re still in your final matchup, don’t start either of these two QBs. Tom Brady played poorly against Buffalo, and with so much still riding on this game it makes a lot more sense fo the Pats to follow up last week’s success and control the clock on the ground. This New York offense simply isn’t potent enough to win if the Patriots can dominate possession. With that in mind, Sam Darnold won’t have enough opportunities to score starter-level points, especially against this Patriots secondary. Leave both signal-callers on the bench.
Sam Darnold: 13 points
275 passing yards (10 points), 1 passing TD (4 points), 1 INT (-2 points)
Sony Michel cracked 100 yards with a TD last week, and did the same the first time New England played the Jets. He’s a strong RB2 consideration this week. James White rushed eight times last week for 41 yards and a touchdown, while only catching two passes. I wouldn’t expect him to be so involved in the running game again, but somehow he will get the yards (rushing or receiving) to make him a PPR flex option. New York’s Elijah McGuire has registered double-digit carries and scored a touchdown in each of the past three weeks, giving him flex/RB2 status against this Patriots rushing defense. He might not get a ton of yards, but he has the usage and red-zone proficiency to put up solid numbers. Bilal Powell’s usage has been trending downward, meaning he should stay on the bench if you have him.
Julian Edelman is fast becoming the only reliable Patriots fantasy option. With Tom Brady’s recent play, Edelman is getting the lion’s share of the targets and is often the only one who can capitalize on them. He’s a WR2 this week. New York’s Robby Anderson will be the Jets’ only viable receiving option with Quincy Enunwa and Jermaine Kearse not practicing at all this week. He’ll find targets, but it will be hard for him to separate from Stephon Gilmore and the Pats secondary.
Gronk was held without a catch last week. If you haven't already, it's time to look for another option this week (especially for the championships). One of those could be New York's Chris Herndon, who's coming off a 6-catch 82 yard performance and could be in line for another start Sunday.
D/STs and Kickers
Stephen Gostkowski is a reliable option, but not an outstanding one given his lack of opportunities recently. The Jets’ Jason Myers is coming off an injury and the team has been trying out other kickers this week, meaning he’s not an option. I think the Patriots defense is hungry and facing a banged-up offense with a rookie QB playing out the string, meaning there’s definite fantasy potential there.
That's it for this fantasy breakdown, the last of the 2018 season. Good luck in the championships, and Go Pats!
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